BYLAWS of NATIONAL LUTHERAN SECRETARIAT revised 4.27.2020

Important Attachment

My Friends in Christ

Beginning late last fall, a committee from within our VdC community has been reviewing the current NLS Bylaws.  The committee was seeking inconsistences, less-than-clear statements, missing information and actions that have not been in compliance.

The attached document was submitted to the Executive Committee and approved.  It shows both the existing Bylaw and the potential change.  These potential changes will be voted upon by the delegates during our virtual Annual Meeting this summer.

It is the responsibility of each member receiving this notification to review and provide their feedback to their secretariat’s voting delegate (s) with feedback.  This way, come the voting section of our Annual Meeting, each delegate will be informed as to how best represent their secretariat.

The Executive Committee extends our sincere thanks to the committee for their prayerful work:

Chair – G. Karl Gaston

Members – Mark Hammond, Bobbi Lind, Jim Ryan and Paul Schmidlin

 

If you have any questions regarding these potential changes, pleased contact G. Karl Gaston at jgaston550@yahoo.com

 

You can expect further communications about the Annual Meeting and elements of the Annual Gathering as the weeks go by.

 

Rest in His grace and peace.

Wendy Showalter, President NLS Board

Link to PDF file.

BYLAWS of NATIONAL LUTHERAN SECRETARIAT revised 4.27.2020(PDF file)

Walking With Jesus #59

Walking With Jesus
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” 22When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22.
During these days of the rapid spread of the deadly Coronavirus, most of us are staying at home behind closed doors, and if we have to get out to go to the store we wear a mask to protect us and those with whom we come in contact. We try to maintain at least six feet of distance between us and those we meet. We do what we can to prevent the disease. We may be fearful of or respectful of this dread disease, but we do not need to let it cripple our witness of the peace that Christ has breathed into us in our baptism.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples who were meeting behind closed and barred doors because of their fear, he did not need a key. He walked right through the locked doors into the room where they were meeting in fear of the authorities. When fear has you in its grip you take every precaution to stay in control of your life. Now we are taking whatever precautions we can to stay safe in the midst of this dreaded disease. That is the kind of fear that made them bar the doors of their meeting room.
Then Jesus breaks through their locked doors, through the fear that gripped them, and gave them his peace. He breathed His Holy Spirit into them. The breath of His Spirit brought the peace of Christ into them internally. The first fruit of the Holy Spirit that the disciples received that day was the peace that only Jesus can give. It was a peace that helped them live with the possibility of being imprisoned or crucified. He quieted their hearts in the face of their adversity. He made sure that they knew that His Spirit was in them so that they would be able to face anything that came their way. He went on to tell them that just as he had been sent to them by His Father, so He was sending them into the world to teach others how God so loved them through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus comes to us this day through the locked doors of our fear, bringing his peace to us. This is the true peace that satisfies and quiets our hearts in the midst of fear, adversity, and this wild and mad disease that is killing people by the thousands. Sickness may afflict us or even kill our bodies, but the peace that Jesus has breathed into us at our baptism transcends all of our adversaries, even death. All of the adversities that we might face will still be there, but the power of His peace strengthen us in faith and joy in the midst of them. If we look to Christ, believing on him, no evil is so great that it causes us to despair. His spirit of peace goes with us in the midst of all adversities. We can and should take all necessary precautions to prevent getting this disease, but we can and must rely on the peace of Christ to see us through all adversities that come our way.
Questions:
  1. Where do you experience the peace of Christ in your life today?
  2. How can you be a bearer of the peace of Christ to others in their illness, or adversity?
  3. How does the peace of Christ play a part in forgiving of those who have wronged you?

Walking With Jesus to the Cross

Walking With Jesus to the Cross

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31 is a song of lament, yet this last verse of Psalm 31 is a word filled with encouragement, a word of faith and hope. Lament does two things simultaneously. It deals with anguish and at the same time it expresses hope. We often think that these two things cannot coexist. Most of the time we feel in the dark places of life that is all there is.. If we have hope, then we shouldn’t feel anguish. If we feel anguish we will have no hope. Yet the psalmist tells us that in the very depth of our anguish, our darkest times, we can also have hope.

That is what we can hold onto in these times of the Coronavirus pandemic. I am not saying that we don’t continue to fear the dreaded disease that surrounds us, but that in the midst of our fear and lament, in the midst of our tears and sorrow for those who are ill and those who are dying, we can also have hope in God and take courage that this time of anguish will pass as we wait for the Lord. And, while we wait we follow the cleanliness instructions we have been given by health officials to do our part in fighting the disease.

In this time we have a challenge and a choice. The challenge is to place all our hope with God. The choice is for disappointment or faith. Many times we pray for deliverance. Save us, Lord, from this predicament. Many times, God answers that prayer, with an inner strength to carry on through the darkness and the battle. In either case, the challenge and the choice are the same. Come closer to the Lord; and choose faith over despair.

In his final moments on the cross, Jesus reflected on his challenge and choice. It was there that Jesus prayed scripture, “Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit. You redeem me, O Lord, faithful God.” (Luke 23:46). On the cross, Jesus reminded his enemies of his faith in God, by reciting Psalm 31:5. Here he gave us  an example of how anguish and hope can coexist. In our prayers this week let us thank God for giving the strength needed for others and for ourselves as we endure the fears and uncertainties with this pandemic.

Questions:

  1. As you pray this week will you remember to include a prayer of thanksgiving to God for strengthening you each day to face whatever comes with courage.
  2. Will you give praise and thanks to God for all those who are working night and day to save those who are ill, and all those who are seeking ways to provide a vaccine against the Corona virus?

 

Walking With Jesus – Holy Week

Walking with Jesus

Holy Week

“I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for Him; in His Word is my hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130: 4-5

We, who live in a fast past world are learning a bit about waiting these days.  I am learning a bit more about waiting, and it is not easy.  My family does my grocery shopping when they can go to the grocery after work.  I could go during the day when I would like to go, but no, I must wait until they can go for me during this concern over exposure to Covid 19,since I am more at risk than they are for coronavirus. All of our world has slowed down since stores and restaurants are closed for in-house business.  Waiting is something we must relearn.

I remember as a teenager thinking that I would never be old enough to drive.  It was a long wait.  I had to wait until I was sixteen before I could date.  That was another long wait.  Then I got my driver’s license, and the big waiting period of my teen years were over.  Freedom at last!  I thought I could pretty well go when I pleased (of course at my parent’s discretion), and somewhere along the way I ceased to have patience because I did not have to wait for too many things. So maybe it is true that as we age we must relearning how to wait.  If anything good comes from this pandemic it will be that it is teaching me again the value of waiting.

Part of our Christian maturity involves learning to wait. We ought to be confident not so much about our chances for a rosy outcome, or about exactly where, when and how God will act, but confident that He will act in God’s time. We wait in hope even while we “cry out of the depths” to God. The alternative to waiting on God is to lose hope and to spiral into despair.  Winter will not last forever; spring is coming. Lenten darkness, repentance and sorrow have their rightful place with us, but Easter resurrection is our destiny. However painful our current circumstances, and however agonizing our honest questions—why we must endure pandemics like the corona virus, a job loss, wayward children, financial disaster, chronic sickness—

As we learn to wait our Christian faith teaches us that God in Christ will conquer and transform even the ultimate enemy death. For now, we must wait, and confidently “cast every anxiety upon him, because he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).

Questions:

  1. Is waiting difficult for you? In what ways are you learning to wait on God.
  2. What other lessons of value can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  3. Where else do we see God teaching people in the Bible to wait?

 

 

 

Walking with Jesus #57

Walking With Jesus 

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31 is a song of lament, yet this last verse is a word of encouragement, a word of faith and hope.  It is saying to us that lament is not the end of the story.  It is saying that even in the midst of our fear and sorrow, and our uncertainties in life, we can have confidence and look toward the future.  These are not cliché statements like we might hear when someone says “It’s going to be okay” or “Everything happens for a reason.”  No these words in the Psalm are words of trust in the very source of life itself, God, our creator and redeemer.

Lament does two things simultaneously.  It deals with anguish and expresses hope.  We often think that these two things cannot coexist.  Most of the time we feel we only can be in the dark places of life as either one or the other.  If we have hope, then we shouldn’t feel anguish.  If we feel anguish we will have no hope. Yet the psalmist tells us that in the very depth of our anguish, our darkest times, we can also have hope.

That is what we can hold onto in these times of the Coronavirus pandemic.  I am not saying that we don’t continue to fear the dreaded disease that surrounds us, but that in the midst of our fear and lament, in the midst of our tears and sorrow for those who are ill and those who are dying, we can also have hope in God and take courage that this time of anguish will pass as we wait for the Lord. And, while we wait we follow the cleanliness instructions we have been given by health officials to do our part in fighting the disease.

Bad times present us with a challenge and a choice. The challenge is a closer walk with God. The choice is for disappointment or faith. Many times we pray for deliverance. Save us, Lord, from this predicament. Many times, God answers that prayer, with an inner strength to carry on through the darkness and the battle. In either case, the challenge and the choice are the same. Come closer to the Lord; and choose faith over despair.

In his final moments on the cross, Jesus reflected on his challenge and choice. It was there that Jesus prayed scripture, “Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit. You redeem me, O Lord, faithful God.” (Luke 23:46). On the cross, Jesus reminded his enemies of his faith in God, by reciting Psalm 31:5.  Here he gave us an example of how anguish and hope can coexist. In our prayers this week let us thank God for giving the strength needed for others and for ourselves as we endure the fears and uncertainties with this pandemic.

Questions:

  1. As you pray this week will you remember to include a prayer of thanksgiving to God for strengthening you each day to face whatever comes with courage?
  2. Can you give praise and thanks to God for all those who are working night and day to save those who are ill and all those who are seeking ways to provide a vaccination against the Corona virus?

National VdC ANNOUNCEMENT

Greetings to the Via de Cristo 4th Day Community.

After much consideration and prayer, the NLS Executive Board has made the unanimous decision to cancel the upcoming face-to-face 2020 Annual Gathering in St. Paul, Minnesota, July 29-August 2.   With the state of our world and the Coronavirus rapidly spreading, we felt compelled to take action and relieve the VdC Community from wondering whether the Annual Gathering will be held or not.

Note that, because of the National Lutheran Secretariat Constitution, we MUST hold an Annual Meeting of Delegates.   The details will follow.

For several weeks now, we have been compiling a Plan B for the Annual Gathering/Meeting.  We will send all the information you need to participate virtually as a family of God.

In the following weeks, you will receive instructions/directions on how the virtual business meeting will be conducted and how to access the webinars.   We will plan, research and try to make the whole process as easy as possible.  Please bear with us as we travel through this unknown territory.

The elected leadership of each Secretariat should designate their delegate/delegates and Clergy delegate by May 1.  Jeanne Gaston, NLS Secretary, needs to have those names and emails by May 15.  Her email is Secretary@viadecristo.org.  If you are unsure how many delegates your Secretariat is allotted, please contact Jeanne.

Items on the Business Meeting Agenda, that require voting by the delegates, will be sent out to the entire community prior to June 1— so that each community member can review, discuss and then officially provide their delegate/s with feedback.

We trust that God leads us through this challenging time in history and that each of you and your families will be safe in His peace.

Our hope is in the Lord.

Wendy Showalter, President    Debbie Klatt, Vice President of Administration

Lindsay Daughtery, Vice President of Outreach    Pastor Sue Beall, Spiritual Director

Jeanne Gaston, Secretary    Jim Ryan, Treasurer