Dear Risen Lord Friends,
Take a moment to reflect on the following words from Paul’s letter to early Church in Ephesus.
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16
So often when we think of “church,” we think of the individual congregation to which we belong. Deep down, we know Christ’s Church is larger, but our imagination of what the “body” looks like is played out in the individual congregation and usually into the larger denomination to which it belongs (for example, Risen Lord and the ELCA).
The Church in Ephesus and Risen Lord were/are infinitesimal yet fully beloved parts of the whole body of Christ that the Spirit has been and is knitting together still. That ought to deepen our curiosity a bit. What happens when we open the door to deeper conversation and relationship building in the name of Christ with another community of believers outside our denomination?
Your congregational president, Carol Reitz, and the rest of the Risen Lord Leadership Team have been confronted with that question and are inviting you into prayerful support of the open-ended conversation taking place between Risen Lord and Tapestry Church leadership right now. (Read Carol’s weekly newsletter submission for more information)
Please pray that whatever the direction the Spirit leads our two congregations, that the “growth” of the body in deepening this connection be fully built up in love. Christ’s love.
Leaning into Christ’s love,
+++Regarding the recent changes in mask recommendations for vaccinated persons, I speak the truth in love to you. Having traveled last week to Florida (a COVID hotspot) and reading about the number of breakthrough cases for vaccinated individuals, I will be wearing a mask inside the Risen Lord building when I am not preaching or leading worship. I strongly urge you to do the same. I would like to begin in-person visits to those needing pastoral care. My personal preference is to wear a mask in your home regardless of vaccination status. If there is a way to meet outside, I am open to removing my mask. I want to be thoughtful of your safety concerns, too. Please don’t hesitate to share them with me.+++