What an incredibly full and wonderful day! We started off with a workshop on Luther, Lutherans and Poverty, looking at our understanding of our call to care about people who are trapped in poverty. Even in Luther’s day, he understood this to be a part of our life of faith: Christians are to be taught that [the one] who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better a deed than [the one] who buys indulgences.(Martin Luther)
We had an opportunity to explore the displays and check out the Walk for Water which included information about malaria and the challenges faced by people in developing countries related to accessibility to clean water.
We celebrated Holy Communion with the voting delegates to churchwide assembly, over 1200 Lutherans singing, praying and worshipping together!
In the afternoon we attended a workshop on Lutheran-Muslim Relationships. We learned that the US is the first country where Muslim students were treated as equals in the society. The US is the first Democratic country where Muslims have had an organized society for more than 50 years. Lutherans in the US have a history or welcoming Muslims, even sharing their church buildings for prayer and worship when new Muslim groups needed a place to gather.
We were able to hear a presentation by Leymah Gbowee from Liberia, who was the leader of a women’s movement of prayer and rebellion that played an active role in ending the civil war and genocide in her cuntry. She was part of a trio of African female peavcemakers who were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. One of the most powerful statements she shares with us was this: “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”
The day ended with a banquet and a musical presentation by a group of young musicians called Glocal Musicians.
Below are photos of Leymah Gbowee, Glocal Musicians, a Reformation 500 banner from the front of the convention center, a picture of me with Pastor Megan Rohrer from San Francisco and Brian and I with Julie Hettig, a member of Faith Lutheran in Meadow Vista. We had the chance to meet fellow Lutherans from around the US and are coming home with new energy for preparing to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and discerning new opportunities for ministries at home and beyond!
Tomorrow we will have worship and then prepare to head home to Grass Valley.
Shalom! Pr. Eileen