"I have come to this Churchwide Assembly more hopeful and grateful for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America than I have ever been." So began my report to the 2011 Churchwide Assembly. The reason is clear and was evident throughout the assembly: we are a church clear about who we are and about our engagement in God's mission for the life of the world ("Churchwide Assembly looks to future").
I am hopeful because we are a church called to discern what the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ mean for the world and our life together. The assembly theme, "Freed in Christ to Serve," is grounded in the good news that in Christ we have been freed from the power of sin, death and evil and freed for lives of service.
Videos shown at the assembly portrayed what it means to "live Lutheran." In a culture and world where lines constantly are being drawn to divide, exclude and demean, to "live Lutheran" means to embody the ministry of reconciliation God entrusted to us.
I am hopeful because we are a church that belongs to Christ. We believe God calls each of us by name. The assembly's actions said, "There is a place for you here" to those often isolated or forgotten.
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