Looking forward in hope…

July 12, 2011

It is just a few days until the ELCIC gathers in its National Convention in Saskatoon, SK. Many have said that this will be a turning point in the life of the church and it will not look the same post-convention. I do believe those statements are true, but what will the “other side” hold for us. I have heard statements of despair, fear, powerlessness, wilderness wandering, pointlessness and others that have created a sense of gloom and doom in relation to the convention. It has undertones of “post-apocalyptic” living in which the life we have known will be no more.

This outburst of change is for me a sign of hope in the life of the ELCIC. Even as we are still a young church, we have fallen into a lifestyle (faithstyle?) that is killing us. We gather in small groups to do again and again what historically has been produced for us to do. We constantly look to the past and “what has been” for the “true” way to be Lutheran. We lounge in a sense of entitlement and comfort in knowing who we are historically as Lutherans, but have no idea what it is to live a “Lutheran” life in today’s world. And I believe that we fear the identity crisis that the future still holds for us.

Is it time that we renew our commitment to the Truth of Christ, instead of defending the differences that make us “Lutheran”? How would our lives change if we truly embraced the transformation that comes in the Love shown to us through the man Jesus? How could we transform this world by remembering that as we are found in Christ we are in an interdependent relationship with each other and all creation?

What might we be as the ELCIC if we look forward in hope toward a life of abundance given to us through Jesus the Christ? I am excited to see what God has in mind for the future of the ELCIC. I believe the decisions made will indeed break us from the past “institutional” identity of church (which scares some people) into a transformed life that lives in relationship with God and the Creation in love and joy and hope.

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Thank you!

July 5, 2011

Since August, 2009, abtrenewal.wordpress.com (or the What if? Blog) has been a place to get us thinking about renewal and new ways of ministry and thinking in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Alberta and the Territories Synod.  We have almost 150 posts from several contributors and almost 25,000 hits on our little blog.  We’d like to continue creatively push the envelope by sharing thoughtful, Christ-centered vision and innovation – ideas or reflections that move us in healthy and vibrant directions.  How do we move past broken systems?  How do we instill hope for tomorrow?  How the does the living Gospel of Jesus change our whole perspective and move us into open spaces?  If you would like to contribute to the conversation, please send your mini-articles to Preston Pouteaux (equip@oursaviourchurch.ca), and we’ll post your thoughts. 

Like Luther we want to turn hearts towards Christ.  This blog, we hope, will encourage us to live that out.  Unlike Luther, who faced tremendous push-back, our Bishop is quite pleased to hear of new ideas for faithful ministry.  So what is yours?