God has a plan… We’re it!

2009 SEPA Synod Assembly

New horizons for the 21st Century church


Reminding the Assembly how the printing press of the 16th century made the spread of the Protestant Reformation possible, Bishop Claire Burkat asked the Assembly to reflect upon how new technologies can be examples for us today. What can the church learn from the new networks of the 21st century like Craigslist, Wikipedia, and e-Bay?

“They are all harnessing the power of human connection,” said Bishop Claire Burkat. “They are capitalizing on the desire of humans to be in communication and connection with one another.”

Like social networks, the gospel is spread and extended through relationships in which Christ meets us face-to-face and we are his face to the world. This assembly is about listening to God’s plan for us and then doing it.

Click to watch video of the Bishop’s address.

“We want to participate in God’s holy plan for this planet,” said Bishop Burkat. “The reign of God is not just an idea enfleshed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.” God invites us to participate through the gift of faith and the power of the Holy Spirit.”

God’s plan is about relationships so we can use whatever tools we need to accomplish that plan. We connect in order to be released for mission.

“Mission and ministry will happen because people at the grassroots, in our neighborhoods and in our congregations, we want it to happen and are listening to God to direct them, not because it is a synod plan,” said Bishop Burkat.

We are on our way together in Christ focusing on the four directions lifted up by the strategic planning process: Faith formation, faith in action, connecting and communicating, and equipping and developing.

“The unrealized dream of the Reformation was the Priesthood of all Believers,” said Bishop Burkat. “Could it be this is the new horizon for the 21st century church?”

“We pray that when we equip and release the people of God we exponentially increase our capacity to do God’s Work,” she added.

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