That greeting is sort of a trademark of my Pastors that has been adopted by our entire congregation. I use it here because I need a double portion of grace and favor from all of you.
When we looked at our Mission Bank offerings for this year, our funds are far from the goals we set and anticipated. I must take some of, if not most, of the blame for that. I have not been writing articles on the great work our two Mission Bank recipients do on a daily basis to impact the lives of the people they serve. To play a bit of catch up I am going to share some of the wonderful work that is being done with the funds that go to the Great Commission Society. Those dollars go to support the mission work of the church, from servants in the mission field, to church new starts, our partners in ministry around the globe.
Disaster Response needs no introduction, Mary Bates and her team go where God calls them to be. They need our flood buckets, gift cards, bibles and funds. Who would have ever thought that Texas would freeze over? Disaster Response was there to help people in need. That’s where the funding and gift cards come in. They allow the Response Team to purchase whatever is needed for that situation. Enough from me, check out the work being done in our NALC mission fields and please support the WNALC Mission Banks.
Mission Driven – The Faithfulness of God
The Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba
As we approach Holy Week and Easter, we are celebrating God’s goodness and faithfulness. In 1 Peter 2:6 ESV we read:
For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
There are many discouraging things that we face today in this world: a continuing global pandemic, civil unrest, political instability throughout the world, and natural disasters.
But these things should not come as a surprise to us since the fall in Genesis 3. We do not ignore the challenges, but rather, we proclaim the faithfulness and goodness of our God. We proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ which does not change, even in the midst of a changing world. And we know that other things may be shaken and fall away, that we rest securely because of the unshakable cornerstone. We rejoice in the privilege that God has called us into mission together as living stones, built upon the rock that is Jesus Christ.
To that end, our strategy for 2020-2021 continues:
A Paradigm for Revival – in Psalm 85, we have a paradigm or blueprint for revival. The practical nature of what the renewal and revival of the Church looks like practically speaking.
- 1-4: Remember God’s Faithfulness – The same God who has called us His own through the death and resurrection of His son, who has claimed us in Baptism, sealed us by His Holy Spirit, and continues to feed us at His table is faithful. He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ.
- 5-6: Acknowledge The Present – it is critical not to dismiss our current reality. Not dismissing the difficult things that stand before us or in our midst, the struggles, and our own need for repentance.
- 7-9: The Word – renewal and revival only come by the Word of God. It is critical that we listen and submit to the Word of God and be sustained by His Word.
- 10-13: Look to God’s Promises – looking to the future as we are called to be ambassadors, living agents of God’s grace. Living into our call of the Great Commission to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
Great Commission Society of the NALC Ministry Opportunities
The NALC encourages all congregations to have an active, intentional relationship supporting a local community ministry, one of the NALC mission congregations in North America and one global mission. The Great Commission Society of the NALC strives to facilitate partnerships between congregations and ministries that are passionate about spreading the Gospel. Following are links to several of the Great Commission Society’s Ministries and Mission Partners. To explore the full listing of mission opportunities supported by the Great Commission Society of the NALC, please visit thenalc.org/gcs/#find-ministry-adopt and click on the “Find Ministry to Adopt” button.
Transfiguration Lutheran Church,
Pastor Pedro Portillo
The last fifteen months my merciful God has blessed Transfiguration Lutheran Church in many ways. Our call to help with word and sacrament to many people in the middle of COVID-19 has been a special challenge. Read more about Pastor Portillo’s mission.
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch helps at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ. Learn more about this GCS Mission Partner.
India Transformed: Our story began over 30 years ago with 28 street children desperately needing a safe place to call home. Recognizing the inequalities of life and need for abandoned children to have hope for a better future, we started a school for abandoned children so these children could have a safe childhood filled with love, access to education and career opportunities. Learn more about India Transformed
LCBI is a Lutheran high school. Their mission statement reads, “LCBI is a Lutheran Discipleship school offering grades 9-12. LCBI has strong academic, sport and choral programs. LCBI’s Discipleship program is intended to provide students with team leadership opportunities. LCBI’s is operating in its 109th year and continues to focus on “‘We Would See Jesus’.”
New Starts in the NALC – Starting New Missional Communities to Expand the Kingdom of God
NALC Mission Office & New Starts Team
The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, and working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission.
In I Corinthians 3:6-9 the Apostle Paul writes, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but God gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to the labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”
Some of our mission congregations are:
- Faith Lutheran — Wilmington, North Carolina
- Grace Point — Sedona Arizona
- Peace — Clifton, Texas
- Rindal Lutheran — Viking, Minnesota
- Pueblo De Dios — Compton, California
To learn more about these congregations or to see a list of all mission starts visit:
- thenalc.org/ministries/ and select
- Partner Status: GCS Ministry and
Ministry Focus: Mission Start
To learn more about the GCS New Starts Team visit thenalc.org/new-mission-starts/