I’ve come to appreciate the logo for the upcoming National Convention. It wonderfully captures what I feel a person needsto know about what this convention will be about.
Each National Convention considers where we’ve been, where we hope to go, how we plan to get there and who we want to lead us. Along the way those who attend will worship, make new friends, renew old acquaintances and pick up some new insights and ideas.
This convention offers a lot to consider.A resolution that is intended to help us when we are making decisions at the end of life offers ideas for how we can faithfully journey with those who are dying.
Our church is being challenged to re-imagine itself. It is filled with insights and ideas that should engage us for many years.There are terms like “missional, diaconal and prophetic” which we will need to cometo understand and to unpack. The document Reimagining Our Church—PublicMinistry in the ELCICoffers some visions while clearly stating the challenges that face us. In one place, we read, “The need for change is clear, but the direction is not.”
There will be opportunities to deepen our relationships with the wider church, with Anglicans, with Indigenous Peoples, with the environment, with Muslims and other people of faith, and with all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.
It’s an ambitious agenda; one which past conventions have shown the ability to embrace. Although convention actions and what’s going on in the wider church do not always percolate into the consciousness of some of our members, they have influenced and helped to shape who we have become. I fully expect that this one will do the same.
Seldom mentioned, except in a general thank you resolution at conventions, is a word of thanks to the many, many people who devote long hours to prepare for every part of the convention. If you are included in those who should be mentioned: Thank you. Your efforts do make a difference.
I’m still pondering the question posed at the end of Q & A (p. 15). You probably will be too.
The piece on racism (p. 9) reminds us how easily we fail to notice it in ourselves and to work at being more open.
I have the privilege to learn a bit about each person who appears in the In Mission column as I shape their responses to my questions into what you read. Ninety-year-old Shirley Holcomb (p. 6) is an inspiration.
Kenn Ward, Editor