Becoming a Sanctuary Denomination - ELCA Churchwide

In early August, the ELCA held our tri-annual Churchwide Assembly.  Much occured during that week, but one thing in particular has garnered the attention of the media, elevating the ELCA to the nightly news.  At the assembly, churchwide "approved a resolution declaring the ELCA a 'sanctuary church body,' encouraging participating in the ELCA AMMPARO initative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work."  

Now, with so much information readily avaible and numerous places for conversation, I feel compelled to share what the ELCA is saying about what this means for us as a church body, a congregation and as individuals.  Here you can find a deliniation of what becoming a "sanctuary denomination" means for us as the wider church, individual congregations and individual members of the ELCA. 

I encourage you to take time to read and absorb this information about what this is, and what this isn't.  You can also find a video on Facebook here, that also helps provide information and clarification.  It's important to know the facts and the expectations regarding what this really means for us all.  As you digest, please do not hesitate to connect with me if you have any other questions, concerns or wondergins particulalry in regards to Minneola's role and ministry.  My door is always open. 

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus


Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.


 As we enter Advent and the Christmas carols come out, I find myself humming and silently singing the words of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus.”  Now this is certainly not an all-time favorite and perhaps you don’t even know it, but this hymn sets the tone for Advent.

 In its minor sounds and slow rhythms this hymn dwells in the bitter cold that surrounds us; the life which cages us and from which we struggle to break free.  Yet in that cold isolation the hymn also reminds us of exactly where and in who we find rest, strength, comfort and hope; Jesus Christ.

 Jesus Christ IS coming and this is a present continuous kind of coming.  Meaning Christ has come, is presently coming, right now, and will continue to come long after our time on earth is over.  The prayer we sing within the lyrics of this hymn, remind us that Jesus is here, moving and shaping this world, our world right now.   We are already set free from our fears and our sins but we need to be reminded over and over and over again, which is why the church has given us four weeks of Advent. 

 May this time before Christmas, this season of Advent, be a time where you can find comfort as you recognize Jesus coming in a myriad of ways, into your life, the lives of those around you and into the world.


-         Pr. Hannah