The assembly has begun. We started with worship ~ which is certainly a good way to start. We've submitted our nominating ballot, seen the results, and have just turned in the second ballot. We'll see soon who makes it to the next ballot, and then perhaps start to have a better idea about who our future bishop might be.
During worship, the sermon that Bishop Bjornberg preached, in part, was about imagination and insight within our faith life ~ particularly about the role that imagination plays in thinking and dreaming about the future of the church.
Our western culture is moving rapidly toward what has been labeled 'post-modernity'. Folks have all kinds of opinions (some well-informed, some not so much) about the benefits and drawbacks of post-modernity. Despite what any person thinks about that, it would be difficult to say that this is not the direction our world is moving.
At this assembly, we have the opportunity to imagine and to begin to live into a new way of being church ~ a way of being church in this new era of life in the western world. I hope and pray that the process which we are beginning to undertake at this very moment will be Spirit-filled, and that we as the Rocky Mountain Synod will begin to move away from the way we have been church for the past almost 25 years.
See, the way we've been church together has been great, particularly during much of the previous century. However, this is a new century, and the world is tremendously different from what it was 100, or 50, or 20, or even five years ago.
The church, also, needs to change in order that the Gospel message (which does not change) will continue to be communicated with a world which is so very desperately in need of hearing a message of grace and mercy and forgiveness and reconciliation and life into the midst of a world that hears more messages of death and destruction than anything else.
In our communal life of faith in and with and through the world in which we find ourselves today, may the process and the election of a new bishop move us forward in our work together at the church in today's world.