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A pastoral message from Bishop David Zellmer

By South Dakota Synod | Posted 8/16/17 at 4:25pm |
Category: Synod News

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

With the events that have unfolded with ever-increasing public displays of fascism and anti-Semitism, culminating in the violence and deaths in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend; it is now more important than ever that each of us live lives that reflect our calling to follow Jesus.

We, as Lutherans, need to stand against all forms of hatred and discrimination. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America believes that all cultural, ethnic and racial differences should be seen and celebrated as what God intends them to be—blessings rather than the focus of oppression and discrimination (see the ELCA’s social statement “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture”).

I have strived to live a life that is reflective of this prayer and I share it with you today. Sisters and brothers, this is the time we stand together with our neighbors and let our lives resonate with these words:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Prayer attributed to St. Francis

May the peace of Christ be with you all,

Bishop David B. Zellmer
South Dakota Synod, ELCA

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  • Bonnie  |  Posted 8.16.17 at 5:13 PM   

    I hope and pray that every day we all would show love and compassion towards all humankind. Jesus Christ as our example of love to all……we are no better than those of different colored skin. Let us show love and acceptance. Amen!

  • Marilyn Gunnare  |  Posted 8.16.17 at 9:12 PM   

    We remember the Zelmers from when they lived in Mitchell. I thought I would take the opportunity to say hello.
    Marilyn and Larry Gunnare

  • Karen K Rang  |  Posted 8.17.17 at 4:21 PM   

    620 E 2nd Ave

    We all need to remember that we are created in God’s image and that God loves each of us unconditionally. So should we, as Christians, reflect the same love and humanity as our Lord. We all should pray unceasingly for peace and love between all peoples. I am so blessed to have Christ in my life. Thank you Bishop Zellmer for your message.

  • Lerri Round Cooper  |  Posted 8.17.17 at 6:22 PM   

    Thank you, David! Well said!

  • Mike Hanson  |  Posted 8.17.17 at 8:24 PM   

    Nice posting! Thanks from Willmar!

  • Joyce Jindra  |  Posted 8.18.17 at 8:58 AM   

    No better words (advice) than that Dave…May God give us the strength,courage and desire to follow.!
    Thanks for sharing.

  • deann arneson  |  Posted 8.28.17 at 10:28 AM   

    Good morning Bishop! I need help in understanding what I find to be a mixed message from the Synod. You are encouraging us to live lives that reflect our calling to follow Jesus. I pray the Holy Spirit guides me in doing so. But I find that in conflict with the Synod’s social statement supporting abortions in some cases and providing insurance to pay for abortions in some situations. Please enlighten me how ECLA and the Synod’s support of abortion in any fashion is living a life that follows Jesus? I can’t find in scripture where Jesus would support killing a life. Thank you for enlightening me. Deann Arneson

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