March 30, 2016
It is a rare opportunity to hear directly/in person from the presiding Bishop of the ELCA - much less from the presiding Bishops of two denominations (the Episcopal church, also). But those of us at the retreat/conference have this privilege.
There is a lot being said, a lot to take in, learn from, and process, beginning with a reminder that we need to be clear about what we believe in order to have deep conversations with those who believe differently. It is only helps the conversation when we can be clear about our beliefs. Perhaps there is a need to brush-up on the Small Catechism!
And then a reminder about baptism - that we are not baptized into church membership, but into a community we call the church. And this thought: “Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, not the Dead Sea.” In other words, our baptism is into a “movement,” the Jesus movement, that is on the go and on the move - doing the ministry Jesus began and being who Jesus calls us to be. Then, a final reminder to continue preaching the message of Jesus’ love because many don’t know that the grace church exists.
As I said, LOTS to ponder (and this only scratches the surface)!