Monday, May 5, 2014
As I reflect on these interviews, I see three common themes within each conversation. While I have added some of my own thoughts to clarify the theological connections, I believe that these theological connections greatly influence all of these relationships.
1) God acts in communities around the world. God is not limited to our community. Where do we see God acting within international communities? Members of these international communities can help us see where God is acting and discern how we are called to participate in God’s actions if we are willing to listen to their wisdom.
2) We are basing our companion synod relationships not on our giving and their receiving but on mutual learning. Churches in international communities carry out certain relationships and ministries better than we do. As we build relationships with our Companion Synods, we discern areas in which our Companion Synods can train us for ministry in our communities. Our Companion Synods are also discerning areas in which we can train them for ministry in their communities. In the near future, we hope that we can put groups living in different countries but sharing similar interests in touch with each other so that they can share their various strategies, techniques, and activities with each other.
Ultimately, we must remember that our model for these relationships is the perfect unity between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three persons of the Trinity share a perfect love which unites them as one God. The Trinity also draws creation into its relationship and shares that perfect love with us. Therefore, we engage these members of the Body of Christ not as victims of circumstance who need our financial and material support but as equals. Instead of pressing forward with various tasks which we must accomplish as soon as possible, we focus on building these relationships and engaging in dialogues.
3) As we create the communication networks which will allow many more people to be directly involved in these Companion Synod Relationships, individuals and congregations can already participate in these relationships in several ways. We can pray for our Companion Synods. We can read international news stories which reveal the major events and stories within these countries. We can participate in synod events and read synod announcements which discuss our latest steps within these relationships. Finally, we can study the language(s) spoken within our Companion Synods and pursue the goal of conversing with our partners using their language.
Do you see other themes within this project? What do you take away from here after reading through my reports?
Posted by Anonymous at 9:07 AM