Bishop Hutterer: Border Reflections, part 2
Bishop's Letter: Border reflections
At La Roca, the shelter I visited last week, children, women and men went to the border and stood in line. Once they received a number they could stay at La Roca while they waited for their number to be called. Cruzando Fronteras (a Lutheran-Episcopal ministry) supports this shelter.
Refugees who have been processed in the U.S. and await their court date are released. In Phoenix last week about 200 were released each day. With ICE lacking the capacity for growing asylee numbers, families have been released to churches in Phoenix for temporary and transitional shelter until they are capable of traveling to their final destination. Currently, there are not enough churches to accommodate the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers, and these families are being released on the street and at bus stations, with no means to continue their journey. Many would label this a humanitarian crisis, and as God’s people we can step in make a difference.
Bishop's Letter regarding Trustworthy Servants of the People of God document
This last Monday, I and a few others—Pastor Christine Stoxen, Pastor Miguel Gomez-Acosta, Pastor Mateo Chavez—visited the border at Nogales. The GCS and Episcopal Church share a ministry, Cruzando Fronteras. Deacon Rodger Babnew is the director. This ministry provides welcome and assistance to those seeking asylum. Here’s some of what I saw, heard, learned and experienced.
New pastors are ready to serve
Dear Church: This past weekend the ELCA Church Council met in Chicago. They decided not to consider for adoption a document entitled, “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” which had been recommended to them by the Conference of Bishops. Instead, they chose to refer this document back to the Domestic Mission Unit of the Churchwide office for further work and redrafting in alignment with the social teachings of the ELCA. In addition, the Church Council asked that a process be used by Domestic Mission which intentionally includes more diverse voices, especially those who perceive they were most harmed by the misuse of the current document, Vision and Expectations in the past.
Bishop's Letter: Who is Like God?
Did you know that after your new pastor or deacon has completed seminary and the candidacy process, they must still complete a minimum of 90 additional hours over the next three years?
Currently the Grand Canyon Synod has five participants in First Call Theological Education: Pastors Abel Arroyo–Traverso, Mateo Chavez, Kimberlee Law, Kathleen Lotz, and David Sivecz. We just completed our spring event hosted in Las Vegas at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. All together from across Region 2, 40 leaders of the church gathered to discuss Care for Creation and how we live that our in our ministry sites.
Ordination of John Barton
Mitch was at the lowest point of his life. From the age of 15, he had struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. He was involved in crime, unable to hold a job, and had reached the point that even his loyal wife had given up hope. His cycle of recovery and relapse had continued year after year to the point that he was alone.
Jennifer A. Reddall consecrated as bishop of Arizona
People of the Grand Canyon Synod are invited to the ordination of John Barton into Word and Sacrament ministry of the ELCA on Saturday, April 13, 2019, 3 pm, at University Lutheran Church, Tempe. Deacons and Pastors are invited to process. The color of the day is red.
Bishop's Letter: Come With Me
Bishop Hutterer attended the ordination and consecration of The Rev. Jennifer A. Reddall, the sixth Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Arizona. More than 1,400 people attended the historic service, as Reddall became the first woman bishop in the diocese’s 58 year history.
Save the Date: Bishop’s Fall Convocation, Oct 21-22, 2019
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.
Looking back on these memories has caused me to ponder the different ways that we invite others to come to Christ’s community.
Bishop's Letter: Losing Your Way
Bishop Hutterer invites rostered leaders to the Bishop’s Fall Convocation, Monday, Oct 21-22, 2019, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chandler.
The guest speaker on Monday will be Dr. Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory. We are working on getting a copy of this book for each active rostered leader. More information to follow.
Bishop Hutterer opens the Nevada State Assembly with prayer
I’m an avid hiker. I’ve hiked many Arizona trails, as well as a portion of the Camino de Santiago and the Dales Way in England. I have a pretty good sense of direction. But sometimes, I do get lost.
Bishop's Letter: Church and conflict
Bishop Hutterer offered the opening prayer for the Nevada State Assembly on Thursday, February 7, 2019, then spoke at a luncheon for Lutheran Engagement and Advocacy in Nevada (LEAN).
Life on the road with Bishop Hutterer
Back in 1994, before I attended seminary, I was working at a church in the Midwest as the parish life coordinator. In many ways, it was a dream job. I felt called to do this work.
Toward the end of my first year in the position, conflict began to brew. Some church leaders did not agree with how the pastor and staff (of which I was a part) were going about the work of the church and outreach efforts. It was ugly. It felt personal.
Installation of The Rev. Debbie Royals
Sometimes the office of the Bishop looks like this.
View more great photos and follow Bishop Hutterer on Instagram @bishophutterer.
Bishop's Letter: Living Your Vocation
View photos from the installation of The Rev. Debbie Royals as Vicar of St Raphael’s, Benson. She is the only native priest in the Episcopal diocese. The parish is a joint Episcopal/Lutheran congregation, and this is the first time both bishops, Bishop Hutterer and Smith, have done such an installation together. Rev. Royals made Bishop Smith’s vestments for the occasion!
Bishop's Letter: Let down your nets
What is a vocation? I used to think that a vocation was some big thing. A one true grand calling in life with which we are somehow anointed. But as I reflect on this quote from Martin Luther during this season of Epiphany, I am reminded that this is not the case.
Any work done in faith can be a vocation. We are all made holy through baptism in Christ to do holy work.
Bishop Hutterer Installation of Pastor Stephen Hilding at Tanque Verde, Tucson
I wonder what Simon, a professional fisherman, thought when he received this command from Jesus. Was he inspired and eager? Or petulant and cynical? He was probably tired from working all night. He might have been discouraged and sad that he didn’t catch anything.
How are you feeling?
Please join us and Bishop Deborah Hutterer for service on Saturday, January 19 as we install Pastor Stephen Hilding as our Associate Pastor at Tanque Verde Lutheran Church (map). The installation will be held during our regular 5 PM worship service.
Bishop's Letter: What does Christmas really mean?
Although the 12 days of Christmas are coming to a close, the gift of Christ's birth into our world is not over. God came into this world and calls us from its darkness.
Bishop's Letter: 4 Weeks of Hope
I was having coffee with a hiking friend the other morning and we were talking about Christmas. My friend recently joined an ELCA congregation after many years of questioning her faith in the Gospel.
She shared her joy at re-discovering Christ's birth this Christmas. In the midst of shopping, parties, and festivities, she has valued the quiet times and pausing to gaze upon the Christ-child in the manger.
The days are surely coming. This week we begin a season of waiting and anticipation. 4 weeks to prepare ourselves and get ready. Waiting for promises to be realized. 4 weeks of hope.
We live in a world where justice and righteousness are not always present. But hope grows in the soil of possibilities with God, not the dirt of life’s present circumstances. Hope is the deep conviction that God is working powerfully in our lives and in the world. It is not based on what we can do or see. Hope is anchored in the faithfulness of God.