March 11, 2019
Mothering God, you gave me birth
in the bright morning of this world.
Creator, source of ev'ry breath,
you are my rain, my wind, my sun.
[Evangelical Lutheran Worship #735]
The Lectionary readings for this coming Sunday, March 17, the Second Sunday in Lent, are as follows:
This will be one of my briefest Musings because there's quite a bit of material to which I'm providing links and I would ask that you spend more time reading those that anything I have to say. I will depart from any reference to the Lectionary readings this week.
The first is a link to the summary of the work we did at the Conference of Bishops from February 25 to March 4. Bishop Rodger Prois of the Western Iowa Synod has taken on the task of keeping the written record of all that is discussed in the Conference and then provides it to the rest of us to adapt to our respective synods. You can read those notes by clicking [here].
Bishop Rodger Prois (front center) taking notes
during Conference of Bishops
I have just completed my tenth conference and I admit that, even though I have become better at understanding all that is covered over the course of the six days, it is still a lot to absorb. I am grateful for people like Bishop Prois for having the tremendous concentration that it takes to pay constant attention to the proceedings and the discipline to accurately record them.
The second link is one that requires quite a bit of discussion, not necessarily by me, but by all of our rostered leaders.
For years, the standard of conduct for our pastors and deacons has been guided by a document titled Vision and Expectations. As bishops, we acknowledge that this document has not been applied evenly and fairly. At this conference, we composed and released a pastoral letter expressing regret to those who have felt the hurt and pain of being excluded from leadership in the church. You can read that letter [here].
The Conference of Bishops and others have been working on a revised and renamed document titled Trustworthy Servants of the People of God. I commend this document as an opportunity to engage in prayerful, thoughtful, and meaningful dialogue. This document is aspirational, not punitive, in tone.
It now goes to the Church Council for adoption. But before that, you are being asked to read it and comment on it between now and March 18. As we gather feedback, should we see cause for a major revision we will advise the ELCA Church Council. Please read the document [here], and send your comments to me, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be open to telephone conversation about the document. Please call the synod office. My schedule is pretty open this week.
Here is the link to the ELCA website, where you can also read the introduction that outlines the legislative process of adoption.
Again this year, we have published our annual
Lenten Prayer List for 2019
, listing all rostered ministers and congregations. I encourage you to make prayer for pastors, deacons and congregations a part of your Lenten discipline.
Throughout the season of Lent at the Lutheran Center, we gather daily promptly at noon in the chapel for a brief period of prayer. The time will include a hymn, a reading from Scripture, a brief reflection, as well as petitions for specific persons and congregations taken from the prayer calendar. This year we are using Walter Brueggemann's, A Way Other Than Our Own as our reflection resource. You are invited to join us for that brief interlude, which takes no more than fifteen minutes.
Sunday, March 17, which is also St. Patrick's Day, I will be with Pastor Kathy Kluck and the people of God at First Lutheran Church in Strongsville. Please keep Senior Pastor Chuck Knerem in prayer while he recuperates from surgery.
This week and always, may the Lord continue to be your light, your salvation, and the stronghold of your life. [Psalm 27]
+Bishop Abraham Allende