Dear brothers and sisters and siblings in the Spirit,
You are a paraclete congregation. Not a parakeet congregation, a paraclete congregation. Paraclete is the word John’s Gospel uses to name the Holy Spirit, and it means “the One who comes beside us when we are vulnerable.”
Here’s what I’ve experienced during my brief time with you:
· The council is effective–both discerning what is wise and working to practice what is Christ-like.
· The liturgy is done well–you gather as Christ’s people, listening to Christ’s Word, receiving Christ’s body and blood, and then being sent as Christ into the world.
· The congregation values generosity–sending school kits and health care kits around the world through Lutheran World Relief.
· The people see generous giving as our response to God’s abundance.
· You give because you desire to be a sign of Divine Abundance in the world.
· You treasure and support Camp Kirchenwald, Camp Nawakwa, and the Wittel Farm.
· You pray for and support the Konde Diocese and the Uyole congregation in Tanzania.
· You are Spirit-filled people who are willing to walk beside the vulnerable, knowing that there is never a quick fix, but we can be signs of God’s endless love.
· You love one another well, especially when someone is in crisis.
· You see that the Gospel matters to a hurting world, and you are willing to become intentional in sharing the Gospel without strings attached.
Your name is Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, and you are indeed a paraclete congregation.
Let’s use this time of transition well, to keep focusing upon…
Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing.
Loved people+, love people,