The following message is being sent from the Synod office.Pilgrimage--an intentional time to step away. A time for rest, prayer, worship, goodness, hospitality, comfort, kindness, reflection, encouragement, learning, praise, proclamation, inspiration, and grace. A hopeful time, a time to walk with God, together.
Historically, during early January, the bishops of the ELCIC meet with our American ELCA colleagues for the Academy of Bishops--a week of fellowship, learning and inspiration. This year, our national bishop and the five synodical bishops of the ELCIC are instead making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Cathy will be traveling with me.
We will visit some of the work of the Lutheran World Federation in the region and visit some ministries of our ELCIC National partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). We will also have the great joy of participating in the ordination of the first woman pastor in the ELCJHL, Sally Azar. (Sally and I are council members of The Lutheran World Federation.) This journey will include time in Jerusalem, Galilee, Bethlehem, and a few other places deeply familiar to us through the stories of our faith.
We fly out of Toronto for Tel Aviv and God willing, we will return home late on the 25th of January. This is a wonderful opportunity for your bishops. We covet your prayers for safe travels, and inspiring days.
While I am away, Rev. Prema Samuel, Assistant to the Bishop, will serve as my commissary.
I plan on sharing via the Synod Facebook page and Twitter several times during the pilgrimage.
“The God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
In Christ Jesus –
The Rev. Dr. Larry Kochendorfer, Bishop
Synod of Alberta and the Territories
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada