October 2014

 



 

 

THE LARGER CHURCH

This past Saturday, Gerald Mansholt was installed as Bishop of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It was a liturgical celebration. The procession alone consisted of fifty or more pastors, bishops, and ministers singing with the congregation as ribbon banners cascaded before the processional cross and Bible. During the service, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton addressed everyone gathered, seven pastors sprinkled baptismal water in thanksgiving, and no less than an organ, timpani, trombone, violin, cello, cantor, and two trumpets provided musical leadership for the service.

We’re connected to this.

Hope Lutheran Church in Wautoma, Wisconsin, is part of this ministry—Hope Lutheran Church because we are part of the larger church. The larger church is something bigger than any one of us.

Bishop Eaton reflected on this in her message as she said that while the larger church is formed of faithful Christians everywhere, it is still each o our individual selves and churches who make it up by being the church where we are.

Proclaiming the gospel and living out our faith in our corner of the world while others do the same in theirs creates a greater movement than we often realize. This movement goes beyond just the Lutheran church, too. In attendance at the installation were judicatories and dialog partners from the Evangelical Lutheran Church South Africa—Western Diocese, the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Presbyterian Church, and the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

We’re connected to this.

We are entrusted to be the church where we are—to carry out the presence of the larger church in our corner of the world. Just as we come together to worship, serve, and learn about God in Wautoma, Wisconsin, so do other congregations everywhere. Our worship services, Sunday School classes, and service groups aren’t the only ones in the world, but they are joined together with others down the street and across the earth in this greater purpose of following Christ faithfully. This is what makes up the larger church universal.


“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
Romans 14:19