What Does It Mean to Be Faithful?
Is the ELCA in a state of anxiety, or does it have a sense of urgency for mission?
- Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson
It may seem that these are anxious times for the ELCA. Yet anxiety is only one of many responses open to faithful members and leaders of this church.
Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson wrote in Faithful Yet Changing (2002), "an anxious church dwells on what it lacks, seems hopelessly divided and becomes distrustful of its leaders. In an anxious church, members and congregations begin to distance themselves from the larger church."
He then follows up with this question: "Is the ELCA in a state of anxiety, or does it have a sense of urgency for mission?"
"My hope," writes Hanson, "is that I can invite this church into a time of prayer, lively conversation, and holy imagination regarding what God can do" with this church and its members.
Being faithful also means supporting one another across this church from our abundance.
Hanson writes: "A church ... that trusts in the abundance of God's grace and gifts will experience growth in faith, membership, and the generous giving of money and time. As a giving and growing church, we will be faithful to the mission to which God is calling us."