I remember an art teacher who came to my Lutheran school unsure about where she belonged. A year or two passed and she came to consider school as her church. That has sometimes been my experience too.
What do I mean?
I would like to begin answering that question by quoting from Bishop Mark Vainikka’s address on September 12. Speaking to folk from all arms of LCAQD Mark said,
We are a church. That’s our identity. Every person who works or volunteers for the Lutheran Church in Queensland, in whatever capacity, can authentically state that they work or volunteer for the church. And we have been called to share the gospel and administer the sacraments, that’s our purpose. Everything we do as a church is about sharing the gospel and administering the sacraments. But what does this mean?
For me, Ministry Summit 2022 was about remembering that our diverse and beautiful church is a rich body where we are indeed sharing the gospel and administering the sacraments in diverse and beautiful ways. Mark sought to open up dialogue about what we might mean when we use the language of ‘Word & sacrament’.
I am reminded of Rachel Held Evans words in her chapter, ‘Gospel Stories’.
“So what is this good news?
Well, it depends on who you ask…”
Rachel goes on to describe the way in which Jesus met people where they were. Jesus met people’s real and diverse needs and that was God’s good news reaching into their hearts and lives. Similarly Bishop Mark reminded us that, God inhabits the little stories. Sharing the gospel and administering the sacraments must therefore mean that God calls us to care about what our people care about..
LCAQD Ministry Summit was an opportunity to come together as the whole body of Christ. It was an opportunity for those of us who work or volunteer for the Lutheran church in Queensland to be reminded of our identity, to build relationships and to listen together to where we can fruitfully, learn from and with one another and discern opportunities to collaborate into the future.
Each arm of the Lutheran church in Queensland has gifts to give and it is my conviction that together we can be Christ to one another and to those we encounter as we go about the work to which we are called. Let’s keep on asking the questions, How might we love our neighbours together? How might all people in our communities, know that they are seen and loved and that they belong?
Would you like to know more? Read Kathy Matuschka’s reflections here.
Director – Identity & Formation