Visioning for Mission

We, as the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, see our mission established in scripture: making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has commanded. All the baptized are called to discipleship. This shared mission, given by our Lord Jesus Christ, is primarily directed to those who do not yet know Christ. Seeing ourselves as entrusted with the Gospel, we pray to be trustworthy servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. We see God’s mission being exercised among us interdependently for the sake of equipping the saints and mutual upbuilding, so that we are effective witnesses in proclaiming Jesus Christ to the world.

This mission is lived in our context as Lutheran Christians in south central Pennsylvania, which is changing from an agrarian and light industrial region to one that is increasingly urbanized and suburbanized. We live as part of a population that is becoming more and more diverse ethnically, culturally and religiously. Congregations continue to decline in terms of worship attendance and fiscal resources; some have settled into a “maintenance mode”.

New and exciting opportunities for mission exist that call for courage to face risk and openness to new form and vision. All the baptized are equipped to strengthen and advance the mission of the church. People are needed to lead beyond our fears into this vision for mission.

Goals and Strategies

  1. Live into our baptism. Cherish believers, for they are God’s beloved children. Make more disciples.
    • Develop congregational and conference processes for adult formation in the Christian faith as understood or defined by Lutheran theology and practice.
    • Provide opportunity and environment for spiritual inquiry.
    • Equip members for one-on-one relationships with inquiring people and new Christians.
    • Develop the abilities of congregations in their specific context to nurture new Christians.
  2. Develop a culture of prayer, expecting God to hear and answer. Cherish this time, for it is a holy time.
    • Teach the faith practice of prayer.
    • Interweave Bible reading, prayer and conversation into all gatherings.
    • Cultivate use of the prayer offices of the church.
  3. Practice hospitality. Cherish one another, for we are holy creatures.
    • Be invitational.
    • Expect, accept and welcome others.
    • Develop creative ways of building and maintaining relationships with guests.
    • Encourage the practice of care for one another.
  4. Identify and support new mission opportunities. Cherish this work, for God is calling us to it.
    • Explore, establish and nurture relationships with Hispanic, Asian, African descent and culturally diverse communities within this synod.
    • Identify tools for conferences and congregations to discern and respond to potential mission opportunities.
    • Expand Deaf ministry in this synod by enhancing current resources and developing partnerships.
    • Encourage and support non-congregational Word and Sacrament and service ministries.
  5. Identify and build partnerships as arenas for discipleship. Cherish this work, for it is God’s gift.
    • Expect congregations to work together, within and across conferences and with ecumenical partners.
    • Increase involvement with the ministries of agencies and institutions of the church.

ONE LORD, ONE BAPTISM, ONE MISSION, MANY SERVANTS OF CHRIST

Adopted by the Synod Council of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA
20 November, 2010

Amended by the Mission Committee
18 April 2012

Adopted by the Synod Council of the Lower Susquehanna Synod,
ELCA, as amended
31 May 2012

Thomas E. McKee, synod secretary