During his first circuit of forums through our Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s conferences, Bishop Wayne Miller spoke about the ministry of the church in two dimensions at the Northeast Conference: “Word and Sacrament Ministry” and “Word and Service Ministry”. Beginning a new column titled “The Bishop’s View…” Bishop Miller offers further reflections on these dimensions in his article, “Structures of Mission and Ministry Leadership”.
This volume of Let’s Talk will explore how Word and Service Ministry is embodied in two of our congregations: Café Immanuel in Evanston and Concordia Avondale Campus on Chicago’s North Side. These ministries share a common theme—a congregation seeking to serve the community in which they are located. Both face the task of witnessing to communities that are no longer made up largely of Lutheran church members. Gregory Singleton offers reflections on his own journey of ministry, giving particular attention to the relational priorities of the proclamation of the Gospel.
Also, in this issue of Let’s Talk we continue to share the dialogue of responses to our previous issues on Hispanic ministry, Biblical hermeneutics, and homosexuality.
Lest you, the reader, feel assigned only to the task of reading, I invite you to contribute to this dialogue by providing a reflection on your own ministry, particularly as it relates to your congregation’s ministry in community. I would ask that you:
- Briefly describe the community ministry your congregation has developed—history, purpose and value to the community, program activities, and population served.
- How does your community-directed ministry serve as an embodiment and/or proclamation of the gospel?
- How has this ministry shaped your congregation?
Your responses can be e-mailed to me at nzook @concordia-chgo.org. We will try to include them in future issues of Let’s Talk. Join us in the conversation about the ministry of the church, particularly the church in this place.