Response to ELCIC ABT Synod Bishop’s November Letter

Posted: October 14, 2011 by Ty in Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , ,

The church that does not change and grow is one that stagnants and dies.  Sadly one, that after a monumental, Gospel lived change like the ELCIC just experienced, continues to focus on a minority voice within the church and project these emotions onto all others is one that is using language to set up a death.  What of those that are overjoyed that themselves, loved ones, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, can now fully be realized as the blessed beloved creation of God and there is no longer any barriers to answering the call God has set on their lives?

My challenge to the ELCIC in the days ahead, is to speak the story, fine, but as a body of Christ you have made a choice to embrace the new love, so live into it…and yes, like with any healthy change in a body, some of the bad cholesterol, and flab has to go away.

The actual text of the e-letter for your reflection follows.

Friends –

The November E-Message is found in the attachment below and is pasted into the body of this e-mail as well.  As always, make use of this as you see fit.  Blessings!  +RBM

 

Bishop’s E-Message for November 2011

No one knows better than the Synod staff and I that individuals and congregations in our Synod are wrestling mightily with the ELCIC National Convention decisions of this past July. I have said – and I believe it is no exaggeration – that our Church changed forever in July. Folks in our Synod are dealing with various levels of uncertainty and anxiety as they seek to determine what the Convention decisions mean, and how they will be lived out, in the local context of their congregations.  As I said in my September E-Message, this is necessarily each congregation’s work to do, as difficult as some may find that. In all of this, though, we must not let ourselves be sucked under in a whirlpool of despair.  The world of faith does not revolve around the ELCIC’s decisions, nor does our own faith.

The late Henri Nouwen once said that we cannot confess our belief in God the Father Almighty, Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord,  and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life without at one and the same time confessing our belief in the one, holy catholic, and apostolic church.  This is something for us each and all to pause and ponder. When all is said and done, Jesus Christ is Lord of the church.  Whether the visible church is faithful or unfaithful, Jesus Christ is never anything but faithful to his body.

So while I am dealing on a daily basis with the plight and pain being experienced across our Synod, I am also reminding myself of Paul’s call to us to think higher, better thoughts: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8) I love this ELCIC that adopted me when my family and I chose it. I love the goodly fellowship I have experienced in community with all of you.  I may not be the happiest camper in the ELCIC tent right now, but I have enough wisdom and experience to know that this is the family of God into which I have been reborn and to which I will belong to my last breath. Not because it is perfect, and not because it always gets it right, but simply because I meet Jesus here in company with all of you.

Our colleague, Pr. James Hendricksen (St. Paul’s – Ellerslie) launched a website (http://1000reasons.ca) in October called “A Thousand Reasons”… a thousand reasons to give thanks for the ELCIC. I have a thousand reasons all on my own, and they have names and faces: yours.  So, my friends, we work with what is currently on our plate, but (I pray) not forgetting for a single second that “The Church’s One Foundation IS Jesus Christ Her Lord.”  Grace and peace, faith and hope, be with you all!

+Ronald B. Mayan, Bishop
Synod of Alberta and the Territories,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

+Ronald B. Mayan, Bishop
Synod of Alberta and the Territories
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
10014 – 81 Avenue
Edmonton, AB.  T6E 1W8
E-mail: rbmayan@elcic.ca
Synod Website:
www.albertasynod.ca

 

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