Reading time: three minutes. I didn’t attend all 35 district conventions, just a small sample of about a half dozen. Michigan will just be wrapping up when you receive this, completing the cycle for this season. I was impressed by the measure of health and wellness I experienced. If you don’t mind, I’ll break from my pattern of reflections on the Lutheran Wellness Wheel to share some of what I saw at our conventions. First and foremost, it’s clear to me that the healing ministry of Jesus our Lord is advancing powerfully by His Spirit and the Word of life. As we learn in Mark 2 where Jesus healed the paralyzed man, His ministry is always about healing; sometimes in a restored body, but always the healing that comes through the forgiveness of sins. The gospel predominates in our beloved synod. The healing work of Jesus continues. What a joy to see pastoral and lay delegates in worship, prayer, study, and even the details of the work of the church in convention resolutions, united around the life-giving cross of Jesus. There is still healing that needs to take place, but the Holy Spirit lives and works among us. Second on my list of affirmations is the brotherhood among pastors. We see each other far too little. I witnessed hundreds of smiles/handshakes/hugs of greeting between the pastors of our synod who greeted each other (and me) with true love, honor and respect. We’ve got a ways to go here also, for sure. We don’t all get along the way we should, but there is a genuine spirit of brotherhood among our clergy. Thanks, guys. I love being a part of this fellowship. Third, in the midst of complaints and resolutions designed to “fix” the church, the conventions I visited were marked with a spirit of Joy. That’s the fruit of the Spirit. An ounce of joy outweighs a ton of complaints, and I found joy by the truckload! Fourth, pray for your District President. When asked if I were interested in the position, I said, “The office door has little red marks on it from me touching it with a ten foot pole!” We have several newly elected DP’s. Thank God for their willingness to bear this tremendously heavy burden. Pastors, let’s do our share to lighten the load. Take care of your own wellbeing and that of your family, spiritually, relationally, emotionally, physically, so that “it may be well with you and you will live long on the earth without being called in to the District President’s office.” Fifth, the convention essayists, Bible study leaders and preachers I heard were amazing! What a wealth of wisdom, knowledge, passion and love these people bring to us! President Harrison’s report, delivered in his own inimitable style, offered insights on the burden this man bears also. Keep him and his family in your prayers. And last, I was greatly pleased to see so many of our districts’ resolutions hold up the health and wellbeing of professional church workers and their families. It’s our joy to partner with your District for the wellness of those who serve. God bless you as you have returned from the convention to the fields of harvest! Thanks for reading. A Congregational Wellness Weekend is designed to help create a ministry environment at your church or school where professional church workers can thrive and serve joyfully in their calling at top capacity. Let’s start the conversation today! Find more information on our website or contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman to learn more.
Health and Joy at District Conventions!
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