“I am about to do a new thing…”

Karen Matthias-Long

I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19
Have you ever experienced a time when different threads in your life converged and suddenly you saw some amazing connections between them? It happens to me sometimes – and when it does, I get goosebumps.

Make that God-bumps!

I’m in the middle of this kind of convergence of threads now – Something new is happening ~

Here are the threads that are coming together for me at the moment: A Renewal Enterprise, Unbinding the GospelGod Sightings in the Northeastern PA Synod, and Going GLOCAL. For me – all of these things are about telling our stories; being particularly watchful for God’s movement in our lives, churches, schools, and communities; and, discerning where God is calling us.

THREAD #1: A Renewal Enterprise

Our synod has asked the folks from A Renewal Enterprise (ARE) to walk with us for the next year or two. They are helping us to focus on doing what matters and helping us to take time to look for places where “God is on the move.”  Where is God calling us? This is a different way of thinking for many of us. It is drawing us outside our congregational walls and into our communities to purposefully look for places where God is already at work in the world.

THREAD #2: Unbinding the Gospel

The pastor of my church (who just happens to be my husband) has gathered a small group of people to take part in reading and praying their way through “Unbinding the Gospel,” an amazing faith-sharing resource written by Martha Grace Reese based on a study of evangelism in mainline churches. We are being changed! I can honestly feel it! In a nutshell (from the website), “It is a book for Christians who want a hopeful, powerful, prayerful, joy-filled way to learn to share their faith.” I highly recommend this resource to pastors to use with their members.

THREAD #3: God Sightings in the Northeastern PA Synod

Some of our synod leaders had an initial meeting with Kelly Fryer of ARE back in December. At that gathering, youth came up with an idea: “Let’s make a Facebook page to encourage people to share their stories of where they see God on the move in their lives.”  Two months later there are 118 people who “like” this page – and many are starting to share their incredible stories. I try to look at the page every day to see if something new has been posted. Some are incredibly inspiring stories! Wouldn’t this be a wonderful project for each of our synods to do?


In case you haven’t heard, the ELCA Board of the Lutheran Youth Organization is promoting a “Summer of Servanthood.” The emphasis is doing ministry within one’s own community. As it turns out, back in October a subcommittee of our newYouth, Young Adult and Family Ministry Team, came up with our own GLOCAL event of sorts. In July we are having a World Hunger Lock-In but it will be held at nine different locations throughout our synod (one in each mission district/conference)! We’re raising money for World Hunger, doing projects in the communities around the local sites, assembling health kits for LWR and simply getting to know our Lutheran neighbors! We hope to Skype one another – at each of the sites – and perhaps do a worship service together that way. Encourage the young people in your synods to be involved “Glocally” this summer. Point them to the Facebook page dedicated to this.

  • Where is God on the move where you are and how can you be a partner with God in that work?
  • What threads are coming together in your own life and ministry?