Final item of business was worship. The convention gathered in a wide circle as we prayed and sang together. I particularly appreciated Bp. Mike Pryse’s challenging and hopeful sermon, calling us to follow the undomesticated Jesus of the bible.
Then Bp. Susan led us as we shared holy communion together as a family. One thing about these gatherings is that we get to have the sacrament everyday. A National Church gathered in fellowship and sharing the meal Jesus gave us.
But now people are slowly making their separate ways home, trying to figure out what this convention means for our congregations. Not an easy task. We often ask out loud what the role the National Church office plays in our lives. At least I ask that question.
I often think that the programs of the National Church are irrelevant to my life as a parish pastor. I prefer that the local communities chart their own courses. My congregation has a better sense of our mission than someone three provinces away. And often national programs seem to fit another agenda, separate from what we feel our call is locally.
But I think the point of these conventions is to simply be together as a church family. National Church council can take care of the administration and housekeeping. Our job, as rank-and-file Lutherans in the ELCIC is to pray with and for each other, to share the sacraments, and listen to each other in love.
Then head out in mission for others, for the life of the world.