Happening Now Blog

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pastor's Wednesday Message

I just got home from the annual Bishop's Convocation.  This yearly event is a time for clergy from across the Oregon Synod (covering all Oregon) to gather for worship, learning, fellowship, and mutual support.  The venue was just right: the Kah-Nee-Ta Resort on the Warm Springs Reservation in Central Oregon.  High desert, stark and lovely hills, dry grass, sage, juniper.  Quiet.  They made us welcome and treated us like honored guests.

The theme of the program this year had to do with the huge changes in society and church culture that we expect in the next decade, and in numerous ways are already experiencing.  We had sessions where we prayed for and talked about three separate areas of our work as pastors: our churches, our selves, and our hopes for a good future for both church and society.

More specifically, the focus was adaptation – how we adapt to changing circumstances, especially when the changes are not a slow progressive change but dramatic quantum leaps, rapid discontinuous shifts where new phenomena sprout up and "go viral," bringing unforeseen challenges (and opportunities).  Of these three sessions, I found the last one the most interesting.  We paired off and interviewed each other, recording each other's answers in a form that had three questions.  First, what kind of transformations do you think we need in church and society?  Second, what skills are needed to make these transformations?  Third, who should make these transformation?

I suggest you try this exercise yourself, not necessarily pairing off for mutual interviews (though that might be fun, too), but simply thinking for yourself about these three areas.  What would SOV and Beaverton/Hillsboro look like if your transformational ideas were implemented?

The Synod staff will gather the interview forms from the Ministerium group today, and put them together with other such interviews that are being conducted in a variety of places.  A report will be generated on the basis of these interviews, targeting areas for investment in new ministries by the Oregon Synod.  It will be really interesting to see what sort of innovative ministry initiatives come out of this process.

Part of your support of our congregation, SOV, is given to the Oregon Synod (about 5%).  So your mission support is helping the Oregon Synod of the ELCA do some promising new work.  Thank you for your support of God's work through the Oregon Synod!

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Thursday  12:00 pm All church luncheon, all are welcome lunch will be furnished
                 5:45 pm TTF Meeting

Friday       9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK preschool