In the last weeks, in the News of the Week, I have included an invitation and encouragement for pastors and leaders in congregations to engage in the practice of “Dwelling in the Word”. You can find the Dwelling in the Word document on the Montana Synod web site under the “Resources” drop down menu under “Dwelling in the Word”. This is a copy ready document that you might use for your church council meeting, a Bible Study gathering, a family gathering in your congregation or with a youth group. Please use it and if necessary, revise it to make it fit for your context.
If you missed it, I encourage you to refer back to my blog (Rise Up, O Church) on the Montana Synod website to see the rationale for encouraging congregations to engage in this practice. (From Oct. 31st.)
If you have tried using the Dwelling in the Word in your setting and you have comments or feedback or examples to encourage others, please contact me! I would love to hear your feedback and stories.
Also, please note the continuing education opportunity coming up at Essex with Dr. Pat Kiefert in March. Pat saw the need for Congregational Vitality many years ago and has been working to encourage congregations to shift their emphasis from programs to relationships. I invite you to join in that time of learning together, courtesy of NRIT!
The definition of Congregational vitality: communities of Jesus where there are life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world; is not a program to use, but rather a way of thinking about and focusing energy on how congregations function. It is similar to our Montana Synod benchmark; “strengthen congregations.” It is the invitation to each of us to grow in our faith and share that with others. May God bless you and your congregation in these Advent days as you draw closer to our Lord!
Blessings to you all,
Pastor Peggy Paugh Leuzinger
Director for Evangelical Mission
for the Montana Synod
Check out more resources for Dwelling in the Word on our website!
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Rise, O Church
Resources for strengthening Congregations
Rev. Peggy Paugh Leuzinger
Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) for the Montana Synod of the ELCA