This is the text of Bishop John Henderson’s Heartland eNews, 7 October 2015. To subscribe to Heartland eNews, go to www.lca.org.au/enews
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1–2 (NIV)).
I am writing this eNews to thank the members of the LCA/NZ, especially delegates and visitors, at last week’s General Convention of Synod in Rochedale, for your prayers, support and cooperation. While only around 500 or 600 were able to attend the event itself, I know there were many others praying and participating by watching the live-streaming of worship services and following the many tweets and Facebook posts.
The Convention was immersed in worship. Every day began with a full Communion service in the chapel. When we arrived at the meeting space, the Christ-candle, signifying our unity in him, was there every day, burning brightly.
Both delegates and visitors coped very well with a number of innovations designed to make the meeting measured, purposeful, and as peaceful as it could be. This included small group work and seating in ‘cabaret’ style at round tables.
Along the way we broke some records, including a total of 78 speakers during the Friday debate. It was a marathon session, which the delegates and visitors handled with good grace. On Saturday we concluded our business with no need to refer unfinished items to the General Church Council.
During Convention, what made me proud (if I can use that word carefully) was the way we conducted ourselves as a church, showing Christ’s love in the love we had for one another, even in difficult or painful circumstances, and where opinions differed. Seeing such love is always an answer to prayer, and I thank people across the LCA for that.
Later this week we will be releasing some information about the decisions made by Synod, which you might like to share with your congregations and communities. For now, I simply want to thank you.
May God bless you in the days that, God willing, now lie ahead of us.
Your brother in Christ,
Lutheran Church of Australia