by the Rev. Amy Lincoln
Synod of the NE Mission and Ministry Commission Reflection April 2016
Another innovative step in living out the New Way Forward took place as the Synod of the Northeast Mission and Ministry Commission met April 1-2 to do the work of the church in a new way. The commission spent intentional time slowing down, setting aside the “business” of the church, reflecting together on Isaiah 43:19, and discerning where new things are bubbling up in our life together as the connectional church.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Informed by a presentation by Erin Weber-Johnson on generational differences in the church today, commissioners experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence in smaller groups as we shared stories of our first memories of church and of the ways God has met us in times of wilderness in our lives. Transformation happened as we invited the Holy Spirit into our midst, trusted in our foundational connection in Christ, told stories of our faith, and were heard. The differences that we may have assumed about each other initially in these diverse groups melted away as we were vulnerable and the Spirit connected us in that space. I was reminded of how God shows up amidst losses and challenges, hopes realized, and dreams deferred. Truth resonated and I was encouraged in faith hearing in the stories of how others experience God. This is the hope of the church in 2016 and beyond. Taking the time to slow down and build bridges of connection between people in the name of Christ is the New Way Forward. It is about connecting, sharing, and building up God’s beloved community together.
This is the sort of important work that the Synod of the Northeast is doing. We are about spiritually sustaining work and worship. We are creating compelling connections for the church. The Synod of the Northeast is life-giving and faithful in its imagination and innovation. Thanks be to God! God is making a way in the wilderness!