Interim Pastor – Vladimir Poveda
In October I was able to attend a worship service at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, and a book reading later that evening with the author of the book DEAR CHURCH: A LOVE LETTER FROM A BLACK PREACHER TO THE WHITEST DENOMINATION IN THE U.S., by Pastor Lenny Duncan. It was amazing to see the different focus and message geared towards two different groups, yet about the same topic. The mourning and cry of sadness, anger, frustration and unconditional love for this ELCA church, that we call our mother church.
As Pastor Lenny led the worship service, his sermon focused on the fact that church leaders have focused for years on personal, institutional or corporate interests. It is this narrative that has created a sense of “a dying church”, dying at the hands that are supposed to love it and protect it like Lenny tried to protect his mother from his abusive father.
Later on during the evening to a packed house, the focus was more on Lenny’s life and calling. He spoke about the passion and determination that towers our church, the ELCA, and the need to do something.
The challenge I found in this experience is hearing the issues and being inspired, but now the question is, “how do we heal our community?”