As our congregation continues to move through a process that ends in calling a new Pastor for Care & Community, it is easy to focus on the “to do” list alone. There are indeed steps in the process that must be tended.
This week, we were notified by Bryanne Lang, the Community Relations Director for Mosaic of Central Iowa, that Holy Trinity has been named Mosaic’s 2022 Church Partner of the Year. (You may remember Bryanne – she was on our learning staff a few years back). We are honored and humbled to receive such recognition from an organization that does so much to share God’s love with our neighbors who face intellectual and physical difficulties. Mosaic’s mission: we are called to love and serve our neighbor, which is a mirror of our own mission to Share God’s Love.
We are divided. Our nation, our communities, our schools, and our churches are all divided. That is not news. We have become a nation of red or blue states and citizens. The divide has driven wedges between friends and family members. Our government is so locked into the red and blue binary mindset that compromise, working for the common good, and so, governance is nearly impossible. Congregations have been torn apart or simply sit in sulking silence unable to find any unity. You are red or you are blue. It is reminiscent of our past when blue and gray divided us
This spring one of the synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had to cancel its annual assembly because they couldn’t gather a quorum. A synod’s assembly elects leaders and adopts budgets. A synod’s assembly affects every congregation in the synod, yet they couldn’t make it happen. Our congregation had to cancel Vacation Bible School this summer due to a lack of interest. Congregations all over are registering lower participation levels in all aspects of congregational life. The pandemic did not cause this – but it accelerated it. Twenty years ago, the average church member attended worship twice a month or more. Today it is once a month or less.