One of the benefits of being a part of the ELCA is the connections that offer different perspectives on ministry. Serving in a congregation like FLCC with several people on staff and in the congregation can move a pastor toward isolation. Today I met with interim pastors from around the synod at the synod office. We shared our progress and experiences from our contexts and offered insights to one another.
I learned that some congregations have struggled with the ELCA Churchwide Assembly and the decisions that resulted from that gathering. I have yet to hear of any struggles related to the Human Sexuality Statement (that doesn't mean they don't exist, but none have been brought to my attention).
I also learned a grander perspective on the unique nature of ministry at FLCC and that it will take a little longer for me to see relational patterns and congregational dynamics. In all of my other congregations it was easy to see centers of authority because each congregation organized themselves essentially the same. Not true with FLCC. I'm looking forward to learning more from the people and ministries of FLCC and during my debriefing sessions from my colleagues. Many talented pastors serve the Gospel in the Southwestern Washington Synod, and I am blessed by their wisdom and encouragement. I think the FLCC could also benefit from connections to the wider church, both teaching and learning. How that takes shape remains to be seen.