Christina Jackson-Skelton, Executive Director, Mission Advancement brings us greetings from the ELCA Churchwide offices in Chicago. She greets us with words of gratitude of the service of our synod, the vitality of the Church, and challenges us to continue our commitment toward service and justice in our communities, our synods, and the wider world.
[NOTE: Find the video she shared in a separate post.]
She extended her greatest appreciation for each of our ministries in our daily lives and in the ministries of our communities and shared updates from each of the many ELCA programs and ministries. Ms. Jackson-Skelton also brought us the ELCA’s Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s video message [NOTE: video link also in post], a message centered around an emphasis that separates Lutherans from other Christians and people of faith: GRACE. And while many Christians operate with an understanding of grace, our distinctive and unique message is that “grace is the gift of God.” She added that Luther wrote, “Grace does so much that we are accounted completely righteous before God — For grace is not divided or parceled out but takes us completely into favor for the sake of Christ, our intercessor and mediator.” Bishop Eaton concludes that Luther is making the evangelical point about grace — that it is not up to us, rather it is God’s good pleasure. “Grace is not something that God does, rather grace is who God is.” Her hope for us in the ELCA is that we speak of grace as evangelical grace, knowing that God created all things good and sent us Jesus, the embodiment of love, to save us from ourselves and the sin in the world.
We turn now to possibly the most thrilling part of the day – the voting device tutorial and the first ballot!