Pastoral Message for Lent

Date posted: Thursday 11 February 2016

“Come, Lord Jesus, be Thou our guest …” began the prayer my family shared on Sundays, supplanting the simpler prayer we used throughout the week. This Lent, I have resolved to use the fancy prayer every day and at every meal. Why? Quite simply because it reminds me that Jesus is a guest in every place where hunger is satisfied by food.

 

These days it is as common to take on a faith practice during Lent as it was once common to give up something or to fast during these 40 days. Whether you give up or take on, I invite you to join me in focusing on the needs of the hungry during these sacred weeks. Many resources are available for you to use within your congregation and those can be found at www.ELCA.org/hunger.

 

Across this synod, we are embracing the challenge of raising $100,000 for the ELCA’s Hunger Appeal during Lent. Several congregations have already stepped forward with leadership gifts for this 2016 focus of the ELCA’s Anniversary Campaign. The overall goal is to raise $24 million this year to support local, national, and global efforts to eliminate hunger and to build sustainable food supplies for all. I have written a check and invite you as faith leaders to do the same. Congregations can forward their contributions to the Saint Paul Area Synod, noting in the memo that it is for the ELCA Hunger Appeal. As Lent unfolds we will share updates on our progress towards the shared $100,000 goal.

 

Our work to ensure that there are no more hungry neighbors will continue all through 2016. The Rev. Margaret Kelly, pastor developer for Shobi’s Table, has been named as our synod ambassador for this fund-raising campaign. She is available to preach or speak to congregations about the ministry of Shobi’s Table, one of our synod’s innovative mission developments, which builds community through the outreach efforts of a food truck on the eastside of Saint Paul, as well as our common work through the ELCA Hunger Appeal. She can be contacted at shobistable@gmail.com.

 

Thank you for connecting prayers, actions, and advocacy to reduce hunger everywhere during this Lenten Season. May the Lord, who is both host and guest, be with you in all your efforts, small and grand.

 

Yours in God’s service ---

Patricia J. Lull, Bishop

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