Dear Friends in Christ,
Welcome to 2020: The Year of Mission. Our focus this year will be on the Mission of God. God has a mission, and God’s mission has a church. In Scripture, we encounter the Triune God working to restore and renew all things. The Bible begins with creation and ends with the promise of a new creation. The Triune God is working to renew everyone and everything and invites us to participate.
The mission of the Northwestern Ohio Synod is a participatory mission:
Sent by the Crucified and Risen Jesus to
Make Disciples, Equip Leaders, Strengthen Parishes, and Launch New Communities
for the Renewal of Northwestern Ohio and the World.
During 2020: The Year of Mission, we will aspire to grow as we participate in God’s Mission through three distinct practices:
- To discern the Mission of God through prayer, Scripture, and sacred conversation;
- To align the identity and work of God’s people and parishes with the Mission of God;
- To participate in the Mission of God for the renewal of Northwest Ohio and the world.
One of my favorite Bible verses related to the Mission of God is recorded at the end of the Gospel of John, when the crucified and risen Jesus appears to His followers. The Bible verse is John 20:21, which will serve as our 2020 Year of Mission memory verse.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you” (John 20:21).
This powerful verse reminds us that Jesus did not call us to be a settled church, but a church sent to participate in God’s mission!
What follows is a six session Bible study on the Book of Acts. Open your Bible, gather with a group of friends, get outside the four walls of the congregation, and learn what God desires to teach you. But, be careful. Be very, very careful. Because God’s Word has the power to transform people and communities from who we are into the people and communities that God longs for us to be.
Let us pray, O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Evangelical Lutheran Worship pg. 317)
Bishop Daniel Beaudoin