This year’s Annual Gathering & Convention for Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is being hosted at Hosanna Church in Lakeville, MN on October 2-5.
Our gathering is so much more than a traditional, old-school business meeting, or a pastors’ only meeting. It is a gathering of God’s people, lay and ordained, coming together to worship the Lord, to begin building new friendships or nurture existing ones, to pray with and for one another, to be encouraged by vision-casting keynote sessions, and to be equipped for the work of the ministry through breakout sessions. The LCMC Annual Gathering is a time to be loved, connected, and cared for. It is all of this and more.
At this year’s Annual Gathering we will be reflecting on one of our core values as an association: working together to fulfill Christ’s great commission to go and make disciples of all nations. This is an important matter for us because it is God’s call upon our lives as individuals and churches. Furthermore, it is essential because the world is already at work discipling God’s people. The values and life practices of the members of our churches are being influenced by social media, the internet, the 24-7 news cycle, the network news option of your choice, and more. The influence these sources wield is often not in keeping with God’s Word, His will, or His ways. If we are not intentional and active in the discipleship of God’s people, the world will do it for us.
At the gathering, we hope to cast an inspirational vision for discipleship, provide a solid theological foundation for its practice, and share multiple models and resources for carrying this out in and through our churches.
With all of this in mind, and as I pray for the gathering, I cannot help but wonder: What does God have in store for you at the Annual Gathering this year? Who will He bring across your path to meet you and be blessed by you? Whom will he connect you with who will, in turn, be a blessing and encouragement to you? Whom will you find yourself praying with and for? How might God encounter you, speak to you, and act in your life during the gathering? What words of guidance and encouragement might you receive to take back home with you to share with others in your congregation? I cannot help but wonder about all of this and more.
And so, I find myself praying for you and for the gathering. I find myself praying that God will remind us of His unshakable, unconditional love for us. I find myself praying that God will remind us that we are His beloved daughters and sons. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will help us network with one another so that every member and congregation of our association is being loved, connected, and cared for. And I am praying that we can rest, be refreshed, and be restored in God’s empowering and healing presence.
If you have not already registered for the gathering, please do. Registration information can be found at www.lcmc.net/annual-gathering, and the discounted “early bird” rate is still available through August 15.
I hope to see you there.
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