that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel."
— Philippians 1:12
I couldn’t have done it without you. Getting home from Germany and looking at the checkbook alongside the bills, that much became clear. Thanks to all of you for the time, prayers, and financial help with this fabulous sabbatical trip. The highlight for me was Wittenberg, of course. Being there where the fuse was lit, where the Reformation began was an amazing experience. One of the most important acts in history happened right there in that sleepy little town of cobbled streets, green gardens, and ancient shopfronts. Here in 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 theses — 95 challenges to the church of his day. But more than that, this is where Luther lived and taught and worked to support the reforms his challenges sparked.
I wish I could take you all there, but the best I can do is to bring to you the images and story of my journey. You are invited to join me after church on Sunday, September 22 for my re-cap of our Germany journey. In addition to Wittenberg, my brother Paul and son Brian and I traveled to Munich, Berlin, and even ventured into Austria to visit Salzburg, land of The Sound of Music. We wrapped up our trip in Berlin, where we saw such sights as the Brandenburg Gate and remains of the Berlin wall. I hope you can be there on the 22nd — we want to thank everyone for helping us take the trip and give you a taste of what it was like to visit the land of Luther.
We are also celebrating the election of a new national bishop for the ELCA. Elizabeth Eaton, bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod, was elected as our denomination’s first female bishop at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly on August 15. Again we are grateful for the service of outgoing bishop Mark Hanson. In an online interview, Bishop Eaton seemed as surprised as anyone at the election, and clarified that the process was not a political one centered on voting so much as a spiritual process, trying to discern what the Holy Spirit is up to. From what I could tell in the interview, Bishop Eaton seems smart and personable and a good choice for national bishop.
|New ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.|
I am so looking forward to being back with you at Atonement, and sharing the joy of Jesus with you in worship and service to our Lord. See you there!