“God, who is rich in mercy and love, gives us a new birth into a living hope through the sacrament of baptism.” (ELW pg. 227) You will find these words at the beginning of the baptism liturgy in the red hymnals in our pews. Baptism is something that God does for us, through water and the word, we are pulled into the grace of God and into the community of the church.
This past month, the Southeastern Iowa Synod gathered for their synod assembly in Iowa city. The purpose of this assembly is to gather together as a synod for prayer, worship, looking at the past, and planning for the future. The theme this year was The Water and The Witness. We are all baptized into one common mission, sharing God’s love for the world. Consequentially, we are all witnesses to (and recipients of) God’s unconditional love and grace. The synod assembly celebrated this love and grace. The synod assembly also asked how do we make this come alive?
It’s a good question, and something to be pondered more than once a year at a synod assembly. How do we, as a local congregation, make God’s grace and love come alive in our world today? How do we witness/tell the story of God’s love? How do we invite others into that same experience? In this synod, the invitation is extended in a variety of ways. Countless churches operate food pantries, a new prison ministry has been started in Anamosa, money is collected for ELCA water projects, new leaders are trained, and community partnerships are formed. This synod is always on the lookout for ways to make God’s love come alive. They are on the lookout for ways to support congregations as they make God’s love come alive in their own local communities. God really is rich in mercy and love, and we as a congregation are a part of a network of churches around Iowa that proclaim that. This summer, think about your own story, your own witness of God’s love. How could that be shared? How could that propel you into a new way of life?
Baptism is a gift. A gift that invites us into the abundant life Christ offers. The best part is, this gift multiplies when we share it. The love of God never runs out, no matter how much of it we give away. We walk through the water and are sent to witness.
If you would like to see any videos, pictures or learn more about what happened at the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly, please visit…
I was elected to serve on the synod council (2-year term) and as a churchwide assembly delegate (August of 2019). I am excited to serve in these capacities. If you want to learn more about serving in the synod, please give me a call.