The weather is starting to improve, the flowers are starting to bloom, and we’ve been marked with the sign of the cross on our foreheads that brings us closer to the day that is the Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour. Yes, it’s that time of year again! It’s Lent. It’s one of my favorite times of year, a time for reflection and also a time for preparation.
And time for Synod Assembly!
Believe it or not, a lot of reflection and a lot of preparation go into Synod Assembly; months of planning, numerous meetings, phone calls, contracts, emails and to-do lists that at times never seem to end.
Yet for me, the best part is actually being there: meeting new people, connecting with the people that I’ve only talked to on the phone or conversed with by email, seeing again those that I only get to see a few times a year. I love the being together part. Sharing ideas, thoughts, concerns. Sharing smiles and laughs and for some sharing the anxieties that come from trying to get things right as we go through doing the business of our congregations, the synod and the church.
When I first heard our theme this year, “To See Ourselves as Others Do,” I had to stop for a minute. Who are the “others”? Our ecumenical friends? Our neighboring congregations? Or are we talking about those that walk through the doors of our respective congregations for the first time? Or all of those? And more? And what DO they see?
This last question had me really looking at my congregation and the people in it and remembering how I felt the first time I walked through those doors. What’s changed, and why? A time of reflection.
I’m not the only one thinking this. The synod has launched a Secret Visitors Training Event taking place in May to gather people who are interested in visiting congregations on our synod’s territory, and not just ELCA congregations, to better “See Ourselves as Others Do” and to see others, too! To reflect upon who we are and to prepare and share ways to “do church better”.
I look forward to seeing you at Synod Assembly – to see all of the hard work that will bring us together and to share your reflections. Yes, it’s work, but it’s work worth doing!