Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!

It’s been about two months since I began serving as the Synod’s Interim Executive. I have been so inspired as I have learned about your ministries.  It is a really challenging time to be church leader right now.  As the pandemic swept over us, you’ve figured out how to be the body of Christ when we can’t physically be with those who are sick and dying. You’ve navigated Zoom, Facebook Live, Vimeo, YouTube, and conference calls. You’ve debated closings and openings, and found such creative ways to do ministry.

Then the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd brought a reckoning over racial injustice in the United States and provoked us to wrestle again with the Spirit as we recognize structural racism and personal prejudices, including, for me and my fellow white Christians, our own.  You’ve led and participated in these challenging conversations and read books and articles which stretch your faith and understanding of what it means for all to be created in God’s image. In your words and actions, you’ve proclaimed that Black lives matter to God, to the church, and to you. You’ve looked for concrete changes to make so that people of color experience the world as Jesus wants it to be.

I’m so grateful for you.

To thank you for your hard work, I’ve been busy planning the Sabbath Sunday from the Synod so that pastors and worship leaders can have a break on 6/28 or afterwards (click here for more information). Since starting I’ve also been on 103 zoom calls, had 36 informational interviews, and tilted at countless administrative windmills. I would love to hear from you about your hopes for the Synod, any advice you have for me, and how Stated Clerk Richard Rojas Banuchi, Bookkeeper Belinda King, and I can serve you.

Your partner in ministry,

Rev. Charles B Hardwick, PhD
Interim Executive