Southern Ohio Mission Territory Lenten Devotional 2017
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Shortly after I began my new call as the Synod’s Director for Evangelical Mission, Bishop Dillahunt and I were invited to attend a baptismal celebration at Vida Eterna-Iglesia Luterana, our Latino congregation-under-development in West Chester. Of course, all Lutherans love a baptism—but these baptisms were the first baptisms to be performed at Vida Eterna, for, as Pastora Carmen Colón-Brown explained, the community is only now starting to believe that the good news of Jesus Christ is for them and their children. It was a joyous day! Three young girls, Melanie, Yeimy, and Emily, dressed in beautiful baptismal dresses, approached the font with huge smiles matched only by the smiles of the parents and congregation and pastors, as, together, we trusted God’s baptismal promises.
Vida Eterna-Iglesia Luterana is just one of six congregations in development or redevelopment in the Southern Ohio Mission Territory. All of these communities are celebrating similar stories, as the Holy Spirit is changing lives and communities in real and powerful ways, thanks to your mission support dollars. Indeed, without your support, we simply wouldn’t have these stories to tell. Without your mission support, we would not be able to rejoice with Melanie, Yeimy, and Emily and their families as they joined the family of God.
We want to have more stories to tell, and so the Stewardship Team has designated this Lent’s Special Time of Giving for the support of our developing and redeveloping congregations. We know that many congregations will be taking up special Lenten offerings during this season for God’s good work in the world, and we hope you will consider designating these for this purpose so that lives continue to be changed in Jesus’ name. Perhaps you will want to make a special gift yourself (though we remind you that we encourage such gifts to be over and above mission support giving).
As part of this partnership, the congregations in development and redevelopment in the Southern Ohio Mission Territory have created a Lenten Devotional for you and your congregation. Electronic copies of this devotional can be accessed on the synod website (link provided below) and devotions will be posted each day on the Synod’s Facebook page, Southern Ohio Synod ELCA. As a companion to this devotional, we are also offering a video series, so that you might learn more about these congregations and their witness. These, too, will be posted on the synod’s Facebook page each week, but may be viewed online and downloaded for congregational use by clicking the links below.
It is our hope that this devotional series will enrich your Lenten journey and deepen our sense of connection as the body of Christ in the Southern Ohio Mission Territory. We share our stories and our financial resources with one another because we are Stronger and Better Together: joining Jesus in the restoration of the world.
With you in Christ’s service,
Director for Evangelical Mission
Southern Ohio Mission Territory