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Words from the Bishop: Follow Jesus and Breath
“Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath (spirit) to enter you, and you shall live. (Ezekiel 37:5)
I’ve been thinking a lot about breathing these days. I picture those people with the Covid-19 virus trying to suck breath into their lungs, with or without ventilators. I think about the doctors, nurses and other health care workers having to breathe through masks all day…or not being able to breathe through them because of the shortage. I breathe in a deep lungful of fresh Montana air as I walk, thanking God that I can breathe. Even the planet is breathing easier as the pollution levels have dropped drastically around various parts of the globe.
Breathing, the in and out of air through our lungs into all parts of our bodies, is central to life as we know it. Without breathing we die.
In the ancient Hebrew language as well as ancient Greek, the words for breath and spirit are the same word. (Heb: ruah; Gk: pneuma) God breathed spirit into the first human and there was new life. God continues to breathe the Spirit into us so that we may have new life again and again in Christ.
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.