TORRINGTON, CONN (SZS) — This fall we, in the Slovak Zion Synod, are invited to join others within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the celebration of our associations and mission in Christ’s global church. This celebration recognizes such global fall observances as the World Day of Prayer for Peace (Sept. 21), World Communion Sunday (Oct. 6), and Lutheran World Federation Sunday (Oct. 27).
The Slovak Zion Synod is one of the 65 Synods in the ELCA which comprises over 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations. As part of the ELCA, we are joined with other Lutherans globally through membership in the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), and are an active part of this global communion of Lutherans that are active in the worldwide community. The LWF is a global communion of more than 70 million Lutherans in 79 countries. As members of the ELCA, we partner with other synods in supporting 240 missionaries doing God’s work in over 40 countries around the world and have provided over 800 international leaders with scholarships to complete their studies at colleges and universities across the globe.
The Slovak Zion Synod has a long history of defining itself by global mission and has placed a strong emphasis on mission since long before the formation of the ELCA and its predecessor bodies. Each year, we respond to requests from our global companion churches for financial, in-kind, and prayerful support to expand a variety of ministries—helping to start new congregations, supporting social ministries for the elderly and others in need, extending outreach to the disenfranchised, and training pastors, evangelists, and future leaders of the church. We are a church that proclaims the love of Christ in what we do–doing God’s work with our hands.
Your congregation can participate by picking a day this fall to observe a Global Church Sunday, and announcing it within your church community. Plan out worship for that day that is inspired by the global church (Resources are available at http://www.elca.org/worship ). Share stories of faith and inspiration from the global church that you have personally seen or experienced. Some ideas include: hosting a global church themed coffee hour; sharing information with the congregation about the special global projects we support through our Synod’s international program; inviting a missionary or young adult global volunteer or teacher that you support(ed) to write a special note or greeting to the congregation; taking a special offering to support such things as: our Synod’s Central and East European seminarian trainee program, resources for our companion synod seminary in Bratislava, social ministry to those in need in our partner churches, missionaries, volunteers in global mission, or other global ministry projects. For additional ideas or guidance, you may contact the synod office.
Share how your congregation has energized itself for Global Church Sunday this year by sharing pictures and stories with the Synod Office. We’d like to hear from you! We look forward to publishing many of your activities for others in the Synod and around the world to see.