Greetings from Interim Pastor Paul Bengtson
The Times, They are A-Changing
I’ve been talking with several friends who were part of the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans, and to a person they have returned home excited about the ELCA’s ministries and leaders. They report a very strong sense that we – yes, WE, St. Mark in Storm Lake, working alongside some 10,000 sister congregations, plus synod & churchwide leaders, agencies and institutions, partner synods, and international and ecumenical partners – are Church Together!
My friends’ enthusiasm for the Assembly experience usually focuses on two main points. The first was an overall kind of observation: we are a new and growing church. New congregations are getting started in a variety of settings. Old established congregations are gaining new life through renewal and redevelopment programs, and their transitions take on remarkable new shapes. Seminaries are rethinking how the next generation of students will be prepared for ordination. Global Mission and the World Hunger Appeal bring our local ministry into the world. Our ELCA’s Assembly-goers left the event inspired by the unity, vitality, and vision they experienced.