A message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed church and society in ways we still don’t fully understand. As we consider our future ministry plans, some of us may be feeling anxious. We might be wondering how the church will survive this new wilderness into which we’ve been thrust.
Our ancestors in faith, the Israelites, faced similar challenges. Exiled in the desert, they struggled with thirst and hunger. They questioned whether Moses had led them to the wilderness to perish. But time and again, God provided.
God purified bitter water and made it sweet. God rained down sweet manna from heaven. God brought them out of exile to the promised land.
For us too, God not only fulfills our needs but provides relief.
I see it in these stories of faith in action that you made possible through your generous gifts of Mission Support:
I see God providing through ADORE LA, a digital ELCA faith community where Ed Ramirez found a church home that offered complete acceptance (page 12).
I see God providing through the 1,100 leaders formed in service through the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program over its 20 years of ministry (page 20).
I see God providing in the courageous ministry of ELCA Chaplain Anthony Stephens, whose call brought him to the front lines of the pandemic in New York City (page 18).
There are countless other inspiring faith stories. Many bear witness to God’s provision during the pandemic:
When we couldn’t gather in person, we did it digitally, ministering to long-standing members and engaging new people through online worship, Bible studies and more.
Though economic disparities have increased, ELCA members are seeing needs and meeting them. One bishop described it as “people holding a cross in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other.”
Beyond regular giving, people donated to the COVID-19 Response Fund, equipping the churchwide organization and associated ministries to serve those affected by this new disease.
I see God providing in a church that continues to show up for its neighbors. For giving generously of your time, talents and treasures, thank you.
We are living in uncertain times, but this has always been true. What’s certain is that God is near, and God continues to provide sweet relief in the life, death and resurrection of his son, Jesus, the bread of life.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
“I see God providing in a church that continues to show up for its neighbors. For giving generously of your time, talents and treasures, thank you.”