JUNE 18, 2019
The church of Christ, in ev'ry age
beset by change, but Spirit-led,
must claim and test its heritage
and keep on rising from the dead.
Across the world, across the street,
the victims of injustice cry
for shelter and for bread to eat,
and never live before they die.
Then let the servant church arise,
a caring church that longs to be
a partner in Christ's sacrifice,
and clothed in Christ's humanity.
For he alone, whose blood was shed,
can cure the fever in our blood,
and teach us how to share our bread
and feed the starving multitude.
We have no mission but to serve
in full obedience to our Lord;
to care for all, without reserve,
and spread his liberating word.
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship #729]
The Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday, June 23, the Second Sunday after Pentecost, are as follows:
I'm still basking in the glow of our Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly which just concluded last Saturday. Our theme, "Who is my Neighbor?" was taken from the parable of the Good Samaritan as found in the gospel according to Luke.
We had several of what I call "Holy Spirit moments," in which we didn't know what would happen, but the outcome was spectacular. The most vivid one for me was the question and answer session with several young ladies from the Lutheran Youth Organization. This totally unscripted session, in which adults were to ask questions of the young people, began tamely enough, with a description of their previous evening and what they were doing for a service project on Saturday morning. Knowing that they would not fill much time, I got the questioning started by asking them what was their hope for the church?
Like the rush of a violent wind as described in the book of Acts, the Spirit took over. These young ladies spoke the truth in love, expressing their frustrations with what can only be described as righteous indignation. They said what the adults needed to hear: that they didn't like being treated like kids, that they were human, that they could carry on an adult conversation, and so it went.
Over the last three years, those who have attended the assemblies have witnessed the responsible and mature nature of these young people. I've said before that we as adults sometimes need to get out of the way and let the young people lead. I pray the adults in the room on Saturday got that point.
As I did last year, here are some highlights of the assembly in no particular order.
The music was magnificent! The ELCA Glocal Music Educators led all the worship services with a variety of global music that rocked the room.
The Rev. Amy Reumann, ELCA Director of Advocacy, was the Churchwide representative. She preached, gave the churchwide report, led a workshop on the work of her office, and also took part in a plenary discussion on "Accompaniment and World View."
Also in that discussion were the Rev. Moses Penumaka, Director of the Theological Education for Emerging Ministries program at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. He is a native of India and spoke about Lutheranism from that perspective.
Folabi Olagbaju of Nigeria, who works with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, also was a part of that panel and gave an African viewpoint, in addition to leading a workshop on the work of LIRS.
For the second year, a former Young Adult in Global Mission came back to share his experiences. This year, it was Jacob Sprang, who served in Rwanda in 2014, and is still involved in empowering the people there to become self-sufficient in business.
You can relive the worship, the music, and the conversation on the Northeastern Ohio You Tube Channel. I would invite you to attend next year to see first-hand the mission and ministry that goes on in the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Here are assembly highlights in pictures:

 Glocal Musicians

 Youth Q & A with adults


Youth Service Project

Ecumenical Representatives

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week I will be in Washington D.C. along with several of my bishop colleagues for World Refugee Day activities. We plan to visit several legislative leaders on the Hill on Thursday morning.
Friday and Sunday, I will be with the people of God at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron as they bring down the curtain on their year-long 150th anniversary celebration. They will have a swing dance party on Friday, and Sunday's worship, which begins at 9:30 a.m., will be followed by a "Party in the Park" in Grace Park.
Following that activity, I will be on vacation for a few days. However, I will leave a musing for next Monday.
This week and always, may you be filled with the Spirit of God, that you may go and declare what God in Christ has done for you and with you.
+Bishop Abraham Allende