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Words from the Bishop-"You will know the truth; and the truth will make you free." John 8:32
Jesus is speaking to a group of his co-religionists-a sympathetic audience. And he says, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." This sounds like a pretty reasonable thing to say. But the listeners push back. "What do you mean? We have always been free! What do you mean 'You will be made free'?"
I have always been a little puzzled by this interchange. Don't they remember the part of their history where they were slaves in Egypt for generations? Have they forgotten so soon? People bristle when they think their freedom is being threatened or questioned. People did in Jesus' day, and we do so today.
Montana Synod Strategic Benchmarks
Our Mission: "Marked by the cross of Christ forever, abundantly blessed, we faithfully serve God and neighbor."
Our Vision: "Every person a witness, Every minister equipping witness, Every congregation and ministry, empowered for witness, serving faithfully."
The Montana Synod will measure its own faithfulness to our mission and vision and to the task of providing leadership to the Montana Synod by the following benchmarks:
1. Meet the future boldly.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. (Jer 29:11-13)
We will take risks for the sake of the Gospel, remembering that Jesus said that whoever wants to save your life will lose it, and the only way to be a disciple is to pick up a cross and follow. We will learn from our conversations with congregations and we will model faithful, visionary ministry that is more prophetic than safe.