Bishop's Letter: Come With Me

One of my favorite Lenten memories is as a little girl growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota. My congregation, Arlington Hills, hosted a weekly 6:30 a.m. breakfast and bible study to nourish body and soul. On Friday mornings, I would walk to my friends homes to pick them up. I had to waken one friend by throwing stones at her bedroom window and then wait for her to get ready. I don’t know what I enjoyed more – the pride of walking with my friends across the neighborhood to church, or enjoying good food and hospitality at the place that I felt welcome.  


Looking back on these memories has caused me to ponder the different ways that we invite others to come to Christ’s community. As a child, I didn’t fret too much about how my invitation would be extended and received. I just didn’t want my friends to miss out!

Are there people around you that are missing out on all the good things your community has to offer this Lent? When was the last time you invited them in, and encouraged others to do the same?

Sometimes, it is a simple invitation to join. Other times, the invitation might look much different. How can you invite God’s presence into your everyday day interactions and relationships? Is God asking you to express this good news using your unique gifts and talents? 

Lent is a time to draw into a deeper relationship with God. I pray it can also be a time of deeper relationship with neighbor. While attendance at churches across the country may be decreasing, I deeply believe that longing for God is alive. How this looks different and requires us to act differently is something that we must all search for. 

Kind and merciful God, hold us, and use us. Transform our words and actions in a way that causes others to feel your presence through us. May our exuberance cause others to discover you and follow you too. 

Grateful for you,


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA