Advent is a time of hope and expectation. We wait, watch, and hope as we prepare for the coming of Christ. It is a time of vision. In the parish pastor's role as theological guide, I’d like to share some of my vision for our own congregation; areas in which I want to push and challenge us as a communinity of faith in the coming year:
Justice: How can we become more glocal—globally mindful and locally engaged? I’d love to seen an intentional focus on addressing issues of poverty and injustice both across the globe and right here in San Antonio. How about a service trip? Marching together on Martin Luther King Day?
Using our Assets: An asset-based approach uses what we have instead of lamenting what we don’t. We have a closet full of hymnals we never sing from. We have a building that could more efficiently used by both the congregation and groups in the community. Space-use conflicts are good conflicts to be having. We also have fabulously talented members who rarely, if ever, get asked to show leadership. This means that the Council and I need to be better at actually using the Time and Talent forms we ask you to fill out.
Loving our Neighbors: On any given afternoon, there are often children from the neighborhood using swings, skating in the driveway, or running in the field. We need to reach out, but how? Afterschool programs? Skateboard ministry? Teen coffee house?
Welcome! ¡Bienvenidos! It’s easy to say “All are welcome here,” but it’s harder to put it into practice. Let’s have more intentional conversation on hospitality and welcome and ask ourselves the hard questions about who is really welcome here. Young families? Folks in wheelchairs? Transgender people? Aggie Fans? Longhorn Fans? Republicans?
Who are we? Whatever our identity is as a congregation is, it needs to be unapologetically Lutheran—rooted in Word and Sacrament. We are transformed by encountering the Gospel (through Bible reading, preaching, conversation) and gathering around God’s presence in the waters of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
What's your vision? Let's talk!
(Adapted from the December 2009 newsletter of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church).