Today's Top Stories:
2018 Synod Assembly
Bishop Aitken always has an abundance of good information to be shared. Now, instead of finding it at the bottom of the home page, he has an entire page dedicated to sharing these resources. it will be found under the home drop down list or by clicking this link.
link to: SEASONS GREETINGS FROM THE HOLY LAND
Bishop Aitken's Reflections 1/22/18
Out and about with our Rostered and Synodically Authorized Ministers at Hope Lutheran/Moose Lake. Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan, Wartburg Seminary, presented on "Preaching Pastorally and Prophetically in an era of Polarization and Messy Politics." He centered us on the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a culture that has become "Post-Truth" and reminded us that when we attend to our Word and Sacrament Ministry, the truth of the gospel is enacted,it's not just words, it's not simply talking doctrine. This enacted gospel alone, will transform lives. Christian Ministers are like surgeons doing "reparative surgery" on people sick in spite of hundreds of cultural promises delivered by "Religious Identity Politics" rather than "Neighbor Politics" as Jesus lived out and empowers us for today. Only the gospel is our true unity, never this issue or that, and only that gospel can ultimately set us free for our neighbors, for truth telling, and for the sake of our God given reconciling work in the world. Thanks Dr. Nessan!
Bishop Aitken's Reflections 1/08/18
In this new year of 2018 that God has granted us to live in, I am both hopeful and concerned. I’m hopeful because hope is granted to us in Christ; and that hope does not disappoint us as the Scripture says. In fact, God’s gift of hope is not merely wishful thinking; it is a power that sustains us, even in the midst of difficulties. It is a power that resides in us, empowering us to love and bless the world with the love of Jesus, the One through whom the world was created. Hope in the crucified and risen Jesus keeps our eyes and hearts fixed on God’s ultimate reconciliation of all things.
But I’m also concerned; as Christians in this country, we are faced with dilemmas that we probably never intended or wanted to be faced with. We are grafted to Jesus, our Lord, whose Kingdom we pray for, probably daily in the Lord’s Prayer. The Kingdom of God is often at odds with a large part of our own culture which often distorts love, lifts up health, wealth and success as ultimate values, and demeans certain people and groups of people in both conscious and unconscious ways. It is a culture that is at war with itself as voices of God’s kind of Kingdom are heard against a culture of Independence from God and God’s ways. This is a political reality, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is in fact political (not partisan) because it deals with this world, this life, in all of its realities. So there is that tension – and over the years I have witnessed that tension grow stronger, more crude and coarse and potentially more violent.
2018 is God’s gift to us. We who are baptized into Christ, who receive the Word (Jesus) proclaimed in worship, sermon, song, and Communion, are strengthened to speak up for the good and counter-cultural Kingdom that brings love, life and peace.
The Rostered Ministers in our Synod have been invited to a Convocation on January 19th ( see registration below) to think and discuss together with the Rev. Dr Craig Nessan about how to be that clear and powerful voice of God’s Kingdom values in the cacophony of alternatives in our world. How do we preach real love that challenges the “kingdoms of this world” and moves beyond sentiment to action the way Jesus did who spoke the truth with love, in a way that leads people to goodness and cohesion rather than more divisiveness? Pray for your Rostered Ministers who face this challenge every week, and encourage them in their good and faithful preaching!
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
For More Information and Registration click HERE
2017-2018 Young Adults in Global Mission