Thursday, 4 July 2013

Joint Assembly Day II (yesterday)


We re-affirmed our Baptismal Vows during the opening Eucharist. Lutheran National Bishop, Susan Johnson, spoke of the potential in the new closer relationship between Lutherans and Anglicans. She also acknowledged the challenges we both face: more church closures than openings, more burials than baptisms. We should be in the discipleship business, she said, not the church business. God so loved the world, not the church.

I got a new insight on the Joint Assembly theme: "for the love of the world" as she spoke—from John 3:16: for God so loved the world, that…he gave us Jesus. We gather for the love of the world, to do the same, by speaking of what we know of Jesus, and bearing witness to what we have seen of him (John 3:11—from our Eucharist gospel).

All here.


Later, as she and Anglican Primate, Fred Hiltz, gave their Joint Report, she described the Lutheran's present focus on the need for spiritual formation and discipleship.

I like that. Daily prayer and Bible reading, regular and frequent worship, some sort of annual study, service outside our congregations. She even used the T word, "tithe," when she talked of giving.


And then, in the evening, keynote speaker, The Reverend Dr Christopher Duraisingh: an unmissionary church is not a church, he said. Will this assembly be a "pacemaker jolt" which will turn us inside out into the world? If not?…