Dear People of God at Ebenezer,
Once a month I meet with a “coaching group.” This is a gathering of about 20 pastors from three states and six different denominations with one common goal – to lead congregations well in this new and challenging time in the life of the Church.
This past Monday morning we were thinking about the difference between “mission” and “vision.” Our coach encouraged us to think of “mission” as a high–level description of ministry that does not change over time (think of something like “Make Disciples of All Nations”), and then to think of “vision” as the very specific work we have to do in our unique community in this particular season of the congregation’s life.
I wonder what our “vision” is in this time of our life together at Ebenezer? While the pastor and staff are often the first ones to spot the vision, it is almost always a vision that rises up from the midst of our congregation. I want to invite you to imagine and dream with me about the work God has for us to do through the hands and feet and hearts of this congregation. What are we uniquely gifted to do? Where are the areas of urgent need in our congregational body and in the community that surrounds us? One mission statement I like very much is the one the ELCA has used for some time – “God’s Work, Our Hands.” As we near the conclusion of a worship year of deliberate thinking about the very active things God does through us, I would enjoy having conversations with you about how this mission might translate into a unique, vibrant, Christ–filled vision for our ministry together.
I am thankful for each one of you, and for the ministry you do in this remarkably resilient and compassion family of faith!
In Christ’s Peace,