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March 2016

March cover image: Wendy Ilott, Holy Spirit's clean energy advocate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada writes a regular column for each issue of Canada Lutheran.

ELCIC congregations are welcome to republish this material in their church publications. Please acknowledge its original publication by including the credit line:

Canada Lutheran, Month, Year, Volume# and Issue#


NATIONAL BISHOP'S TURN


The Growing Edge of Discipleship
We have many opportunities to reflect on our life of discipleship.


Discipleship is the way we live our whole life following the teaching and life of Jesus. The seasons of Lent and Easter give us opportunities to reflect on our life of discipleship.

In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), we talk about discipleship in a variety of ways.

We call ourselves a church In Mission for Others and set Spirited Discipleship as one of our strategic goals. So we call ourselves to spiritual renewal to: pray, read, worship, study, serve, give and tell—all classic disciplines of faith. In fact our entire ministry as a church is about discipleship.

One way that I’m trying to boost my discipleship is to take seriously our ELCIC Reformation Challenge.

From 2015–17, Lutherans around the world will be commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. We are using the theme Liberated by God’s Grace and three subthemes: Salvation—not for sale, Human Beings—not for sale, and Creation—not for sale.

The ELCIC Reformation Challenge is one way we are involved in commemorating the anniversary. The goals of the challenge are straightforward.

By sponsoring 500 refugees, we are showing that indeed we are ready and willing to welcome the stranger.

As we provide 500 new scholarships for students in the schools of our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, we are supporting them in their mission to work towards peace and understanding through education.

Planting 500,000 trees in Canada, Ethiopia and the Holy Land demonstrates our commitment to care of the creation.

By raising $500,000 for the Endowment Fund of The Lutheran World Federation, we will help to ensure that this worldwide communion of churches of which we are a part has a sustainable future.

These are goals of discipleship.

When you use your own financial resources to help to accomplish one or more of these goals that is giving. It’s part of discipleship.

When you are actually involved hands-on in sponsoring refugees or planting trees that is serving. It’s part of discipleship.

When you pray for refugees, for care of the earth, for peace in the Holy Land, when you sing songs that lift up these ideas, well, then you are praying, reading, worshipping and maybe even studying.

When you are talking to people in your congregation, your family or your community about the Reformation Challenge, then you are telling. They are all parts of discipleship.

Participating in the ELCIC Reformation Challenge can help you in your discipleship. I invite you to join me in discovering the growing edge in your commitment to follow Jesus in you daily living through discipleship.

Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada writes a regular column for each issue of Canada Lutheran.