In the New Year....
Each Sunday throughout the month of January the Evangelism Committee offered a new suggestion for a New Year’s resolution based on the 5 Gifts of Discipleship as outlined by the ELCA based on the confirmation of our baptism. As a reminder, these tips have been posted on the wall in the narthex.
A preview can be found at https://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Congregations-andSynods/Faith-Practices/5-Gifts
WEEK 1 - Live Among God's Faithful People
Let’s resolve to “Live among God’s faithful people”. Your presence here or online worshiping together renews your affirmation of Baptism at each opportunity. “Living in community as God's faithful people is a gift of love, and an invitation to serve in mission. We are chosen not for position or privilege, but to live as faithful witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ. In our baptism we were made children of God and members of the body of Christ, the church. God's message of hope and reconciliation strengthens us in our faith walk. Our life in Christian community supports us as we experience the joys and struggles of life. In our walk we are encouraged to equally embrace all differences and celebrate the diversity of gifts that can strengthen us.”
READ MORE, CLICK HERE>> LIVE AMONG GOD'S FAITHFUL PEOPLE
WEEK 2 - Hear the Word of God
Each year on the Sunday after January 6 (Epiphany), the church celebrates the baptism of Jesus and hears a clear affirmation of God’s love for him, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17 NRSV) All four gospels describe this significant event in the life of Jesus. In baptism, the Holy Spirit came to Jesus, and his mission on this earth was launched. In our baptism, we too are claimed as God’s beloved children. In our baptism, we too receive the Holy Spirit, transforming our lives and launching our mission. That mission is made known in the gifts of discipleship which we are given and to which we commit our lives as we affirm our baptism.”
READ MORE: LIVING OUR BAPTISM
WEEK 3 - Proclaim the Good News
When we affirm our baptism we promise to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed. This proclamation can be seen as well as heard. The focus is outside ourselves to others. We can see “the possibility of us being a gift to the world. The image of followers of Christ being light to the world is powerful. With our own eyes, we have seen how a single lamp can light up and transform an entire room. We also know how easy it is to take our light and hide it under a bushel basket.” Find someone to practice talking about Jesus and your faith. Pray for courage to find the words. Plant seeds of love through your deeds. (Page 5)
READ MORE, CLICK HERE>> PERSONAL INVENTORY INWARD OUTWARD GIFTS OF DISCIPLESHIP
WEEK 4 - Serve all People
“Serve all People” is the suggestion for a New Year’s resolution from the Evangelism Committee this week. Our example of service is the life of Jesus. We might ask Jesus to “help us not to be so busy with our own importance that we no longer see the humanity of our neighbor—especially our neighbor in need. Holy Spirit, awaken in us compassion which is mobilized into action and allows us to serve joyfully.”
READ MORE, CLICK HERE>> PRAYERS FOR GIFT OF DISCIPLESHIP
WEEK 5 - Strive for Justice and Peace
“As we affirm our baptism, we are asked the following question: Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism: to live among God’s faithful people, to hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper, to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?" (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 236) Each of us responds: “I do, and I ask God to help and guide me.” This response sounds like a New Year’s resolution for daily living. This response is not an obligation, but rather a five-fold gift from God. Each gift contains the potential of blessing.”
Treasure and use these gifts from God all year long as the blessing they are.
READ MORE, CLICK HERE>> LIVING OUR BAPTISM