December 22, 2011
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) National Bishop Susan C. Johnson has prepared a special message for the church inviting ELCIC members to take time this Christmas season and think of ways to deepen discipleship. The Bishop's message emphasizes the seven areas of the Call to Spiritual Renewal, including: Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give and Tell.
The text of the message follows. Bishop Johnson's message can also be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrhNOrhYXXM&feature=youtu.be
As we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, I want to encourage you in your Call to Spiritual Renewal. I invite you to take time this Christmas season to think of ways about how you can deepen your discipleship as you: Pray, Read, Worship, Study, Serve, Give and Tell.
Join with the angels and their song as you pray for peace in the world, and for those who are in need of food, shelter and safety.
Read the accounts of the birth of Jesus in the beginning chapters of Matthew and Luke. Read them with friends, or family, or your children.
Worship as often as you can over these twelve days of Christmas – and invite somebody to come and worship with you.
Study the differing accounts in those Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Find out what it is about the story of Christmas that is biblical and what you have learned from Christmas carols or tradition.
Serve. Find ways to serve over this holiday time – carol with a seniors home, or go and visit shut-ins, shovel the snow for neighbours, or help to feed the homeless.
Give an extra gift in honour of the birth of the child in Bethlehem - whether you give it to the church or to your charity of choice.
And tell, tell the story of Jesus as you have experienced him – whether you tell it on the mountain or wherever you are!
My hope and prayer for you is that this Christmas celebration will help you deepen your relationship with Jesus and help you grow in your spirited discipleship.
God bless you and merry Christmas!
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 145,276 baptized members in 594 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.
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