The Rebuilding of This Nation
In our minds, there are a flood of images of our U.S. Capitol and the surrounding Mall. There are poig[...]
Together and apart, we are told the Apostle Paul and company received the good news of the faith and love of the people of Thessalonica from Timothy – an ambassador and intermediary who was present on behalf of those who could not be in that city themselves. In 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 3, Paul writes:
(Timothy) has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you. For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith...
Paul then goes on to say,
How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face...
Closer to home, at the 2020 Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly last weekend, a similar sentiment of together-yet-apart hopefulness was expressed by Iringa Committee Chair, Kirsten Levorson, in the closing lines of our video report:
We trust that one day, when God wishes, we’ll all be together again, shoulder to shoulder, bumping along a dusty road, singing praise and giving thanks.
Kept physically distant by a global pandemic and a ground stop on travel, we remain united in Christ with our companions in Iringa and our neighbors closer to home. When we gather virtually in November for the annual Bega Kwa Bega Fall Festival, it too will be under the umbrella of being ‘together and apart’ and we’ll spend time exploring its multiple facets.
This year’s festival will take place in two movements and we encourage you to mark your calendar and make plans for both. The first is a live event on the morning of Saturday, November 14 that will bring us together by Zoom for a time of fellowship, prayer, and learning. The second is a set of resources and video content to be used when we are apart… in worship and other settings in your own congregation that weekend or whenever and however you see fit. It is being designed as an intentional way to share the gift of this relationship and the good news of the faithfulness of our companions in Iringa with all of the members of your community.
The planning team is hard at work and more information will be coming out soon. For now, however, know that we look forward and long to see you face to face - remotely - this fall and in person when God wishes.
All thanks be to God.
The Rev. Peter Harrits
Director of Bega Kwa Bega & Assistant to the Bishop