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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.
+Bishop Aitken’s Easter Message
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“We are witnesses to all he did both in Judea and Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day....” -Acts 10: 39-40
2nd Reading Appointed for Easter
I think of the real world, this Easter: Our world of gun violence, of our youth, sent away during the day to a school where they have less and less assurance that they will be safe or even alive at the end of the day, and the inability of a supposedly savvy and data informed culture to deal courageously with it. Our world is one of brutality in speech and in social media, of shameless disrespect for people made in the image of God. I wonder about the combativeness and blatant political manipulation through half –truths, of daily news regarding who is lying, who is covering up. But the real world also contains courageous youth and adults organizing together to stand up for what is right, for justice, for good and loving acts. It is the world where God is working in and through all kinds of people who don’t make the news but whose actions are not in vain. And I am encouraged by faithful people I run across every week and every Sunday, when I’m out and about our Synod of 132 congregations; people who show up with expectation and humility at the gathered community of faith for a renewed word and meal of strength from our Lord.
Jesus came from a culture of turmoil, violence, and vulgarity, mixed in with people of good will. He discerned his own call to teach, heal, and to bring salvation in the midst brokenness. Through it he disrupted the Empire’s plan of “salvation” a salvation through intimidation violence and with his plan of salvation – God’s unconditional love that alone can transform life. In the end he took into himself the powers of evil and death. They crucified him. But they couldn’t stop him.
Easter. Jesus arose. He appeared and spoke to people in his resurrected form. Gradually people came to understand that God’s plans would not be stopped. Jesus continued his mischief- making against evil. He was God’s resurrected truth; the truth that God loves this planet and everyone on it – no exceptions! Easter means God will continue to be a nuisance to any system that believes might makes right, that violence rules the day, and that sin and evil will be ultimately victorious.
Christian; you are a child of God, a sister and brother to Christ. You are chosen and empowered by this Risen Jesus. You are not powerless. You are connected to him, as branches are to a vine. You too have this resurrected life – already in you! It’s the promise of baptism. Believe it and risk your whole life by living his love, grace and forgiveness to your neighbor. Look around. Start small. See what happens!
In the power of Easter Faith,
+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken
STATEMENT IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
March 5, 2018
As part of our work together , the bishops of the ELCA , this past week at the Conference of Bishops, discussed our precious young people, and the relentless violence that happens to them in this country, and the peaceful Kingdom God has called us to create in our personal and corporate lives together. Please read our Statement and share it widely, for we are called to be light to the world.
-Bishop Thomas Aitken, Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA
CLICK HERE FOR FULL STATEMENT
My Neighbor is Not for Sale
We are pleased to present our sixth congregational discussion guide, “My Neighbor is Not for Sale.”Joining our previous studies – “My Neighbor is Muslim”, “My Neighbor is on Medicaid”, etc. – “My Neighbor is Not for Sale” brings congregations the facts, figures, and stories of the insidious world of sex trafficking of children and youth in our country. It also represents our first collaboration with Cherish All Children, a 10-year-old Lutheran social ministry, which has recently become a service of LSS of Minnesota.
It has been a shock to so many of us to learn that, what we used to call prostitution, has been quietly and quite creepily replaced by an Internet-driven industry of luring kids into phony relationships, controlling them, and selling them in the sex trade right under our noses in communities everywhere.
The images we grew up with of adult women on the corners of the “red light district” soliciting men has been replaced with an invisible web of adults preying on children and youth. Our new awareness has also made us question whether those women in the “red light district” ever really had many choices in life themselves.
Over the past couple of years, the State of Minnesota has contracted with LSS and others to offer “Safe Harbor” services in several communities that reach out to youth trapped in trafficking, help them escape the life, and support them in getting back into strong and healthy lives, utilizing our years of experience working with homeless youth.
Our new affiliation with Cherish All Children adds a rich dimension of congregational outreach and education and a focus on helping our children and youth protect themselves from trafficking by teaching them to beware of the signals that they are being lured into the danger zone.
I wish you blessings on your journey of awareness and enlightenment.
Jodi Harpstead, CEO
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
MY NEIGHBOR IS NOT FOR SALE download pdf
2017-2018 Young Adults in Global Mission