It’s an exciting time of year for those of the Lutheran faith, as the First English Lutheran Church is calling its people into action — action that requires air in the tires, gas in the tank and hopefully, a body in each available seat — en route to the annual Called Together in Mission (CTIM) conference and classes, which take place at the First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids.
Facilitated through Southeastern Iowa Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in Iowa City, several members of Centerville’s First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 410 E. Sheridan Ave., attended the even last year. So the church is once again encouraging a small caravan of carpoolers to make the journey on Saturday, March 8.
What does it mean to be “Called Together in Mission?” According to Lutheran belief, each person is an everyday evangelist called by God to boldly live out his or her faith and share Jesus’ love. At the CTIM conference, attendees will get a better understanding of this thanks to the mentoring of Peggy Hahn. Hahn is the executive director of LEAD (Living Every Day As Disciples), a Gulf Coast Synod program. She promises to inspire, share ideas and provide resources that will expand one’s thinking and deepen one’s spiritual life. This is an event for everyone in the congregation, including the entire evangelism team or council. The cost is $20 per person for three classes and lunch.
The day begins with an 8:30 a.m. registration, followed by a “Track for Hunger Leaders: Feeding the Hungry as a Faith Practice” workshop. The workshop is led by Ryan Cumming, program director for Hunger Education, ELCA World Hunger and Libby Crimmings, formerly with www.ONE.org. Members of the Southeast Iowa Synod Hunger team also assist. As a group, attendees will brainstorm ways to strengthen anti-hunger efforts in Appanoose County, reflecting on ELCA World Hunger’s work and reviewing new resources available for congregations including resources for use with youth groups. The entire session is wrapped up with a worship service from 2-3 p.m.
Then, on March 10, the Iowa State Capitol will see an influx of Lutherans from across the state for Lutheran Day on the Hill. Lutheran Day on the Hill is an event held every March that is organized in partnership with the three Iowa synods of the ELCA and Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI). The day is spent in prayer and discussion as participants learn about LSI and develop talking points to take to their legislators about critical issues facing children, families and adults living in poverty.
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