Half of us went to lunch, half of us thoughtfully shared our input with the ELCA Churchwide Representative to our Synod Assembly, the Rev. Cherlyne Beck – then we traded. Affectionately called “Lutheran church nerds” on Twitter by members of that club from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, @HTLC_HSYouth, we had lots to say from our hearts and spirits when asked these questions that are part of our identity and part of the ELCA’s “Called Forward Together in Christ” process.
- What is distinctive about our identity as a Lutheran church?
- What kind of church do we believe God is calling us to become?
- How do we become an inclusive, diverse church that is inspiring and relevant in different communities?
- What is God calling us to do in a world that is facing unprecedented levels of poverty, conflict and violence, inter-religious tension and massive displacement of people?
- What do we expect from our church leaders? And how do we recruit, invest in and support then to lead this church into the future?
- Will our current structures serve the church well into the future? How can we maintain strong local participation and ownership and at the same time, achieve a connection to ELCA as one church?
A smattering of responses noted by our blogger, Margretta Williams, include:
- Lutheran World Federation brings us into a global stance in ways that might not be visible.
- Praise; don’t tolerate.
- Find out what the local community needs are.
- Don’t focus on the place; focus on the people, the relationships.
- One speaker, who needed a translator, said need and its fulfillment embody what we are talking about in our church vision.
- The role of the church it to open the doors to everybody: the poor, outcast, LGBTQ community, all races.
After a spirited discussion and exchange of ideas, Pr. Beck requested emails if we have more to share on these topics.