May 2023 (NALC VISION Part 4)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                                                                                                           May 2023

This month is an exciting month, as we will have three students confirm their baptism in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will also celebrate Pentecost, the Church’s birth, and the Holy Spirit’s coming.

Some news to share with you all from the NALC, the NALC has approved a formal process to commission individuals into the office of the Deacon. A biblical office that is meant to support the Bishop and Pastor’s ministry of the church. This historical and biblical office is not the same as what we have seen in the American Lutheran tradition, where the elected officers of the church are often considered deacons. The office of the Deacon presented by the NALC is meant to be a way to support the local congregation acting in authority under the Bishop and Pastor. For the NALC, a deacon is not a minister of Word and Sacrament but will help assist the bishop in various ways (the list varies and is a few pages long depending on the situation and needs of the district and bishop). To become a Deacon, one must study at least 7 courses (21 credits) in biblical studies, systematics, church history, pastoral theology, and Lutheran liturgical practices.

In addition, I desire to finalize the final fourth vision for the NALC as part of their 2020 Vision, which is Fulfill. In this vision to Fulfill, the NALC wrote, “As a body of believers who trust in the promises of God in Jesus Christ and who follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our primary purpose of proclaiming the Gospel message of the kingdom of God will never change. We will, however, as the result of living in an ever-changing world, regularly review our strategies and commitments in carrying out that primary task of being ambassadors of the Kingdom — of forgiveness, healing, deliverance, and wholeness — to a confused and broken world around us.”

To help us fulfill this, I have offered an evangelism class and am currently offering a discipleship class on Wednesday nights. We must remember that our one and primary Mission given by Jesus Christ himself is to proclaim His Gospel of Salvation. This is the chief mission of the Gospel. We must realize that many of us have failed to do this in our life and the church; we have been too busy being distracted with personal preferences and selfish desires that prevent us from witnessing Jesus Christ. We must seek Christ’s forgiveness, repent, and become true disciples of Jesus Christ. In doing so, we can begin to Fulfill our mission of Christ.

My prayer is that we can be part of this together.

In Christ,

Pr. Tom