Kristin Glass is the ELCA representative to the synod assembly, and as such, she is the “ambassador” from the Churchwide expression of the ELCA and from the ELCA’s Presiding Bishop, Mark Hanson. Or, to put it another way, she brought an “outside the Beltway” perspective to this Washington, D.C.-centered synod.
Glass is wearing a second hat in her attendance at the synod assembly. She is on the staff at the ELCA’s churchwide offices in Chicago as the Director for Young Adult Ministry, which targets people between the ages of 18-30. In this role, she was also able to bring a wider view of the ELCA’s young adult ministry as the synod goes through its “Year of the Young Adult” and considers ways to strengthen its work with this age group.
With her two hats on, Glass addressed the assembly Friday afternoon. She brought stories and a perspective of the ELCA at large and told about its work across the United States and around the world. She also told about how our common mission includes young adults.
During her address to the assembly, Glass showed two short videos. One was hosted by Bishop Hanson and was titled “Everyday Evangelists.” It profiled ELCA members who carry out various ministries in their congregations from knocking on doors to invite people to church to feeding homeless people at a soup kitchen. The other video was an emotional montage of photos showing how churches have responded to the earthquake in Haiti.
In the other part of her address, Glass told two stories of young adults who have been involved in various ministries and how both the individuals and the ministries have developed and blossomed. Her stories told about how connections were made and faith was deepened.
Glass said that as a staff member of the Vocation and Education unit at the ELCA Churchwide offices, she has become obsessed with the Lutheran understanding of vocation. She helps people understand their callings in their multiple roles.
In conclusion, she noted that 80 percent of the work of the ELCA Churchwide expression is carried out by mission support (offerings given by individual members in congregations and sent through synods). She thanked the synod for its mission support and left the assembly participants with a question: Where did they see themselves in the stories that she told about the wider work of the ELCA and in its ministry with young adults.