Pastor Chris Markert
This past month I had the opportunity to be with two congregations in our synod who are mission companions with some of our new church plants.
The weekend of September 11, I worshipped with the great folks at St. John in Bellville, who were celebrating the ELCA’s Day of Service called “God’s work. Our hands.” They also presented me with a generous check to support the work of Mesa Abierta, our newest, bilingual, Latinx mission in the New Orleans area.
I also had the opportunity to meet with the global missions team from Lord of Life in The Woodlands. We discussed the future of their mission companionship with Gethsemane in Chalmette, one of our Louisiana redevelopment congregations, whose pastor, Bonnie Parker, has just concluded her call after five years of serving. Lord of Life is considering offering financial support to assist Gethsemane in recruiting a permanent worship musician, as well as assisting with some service projects and refurbishments around their campus.
I encourage each of the congregations in our synod to consider becoming a mission companion with one of our church plants or redevelopment congregations. Being a mission companion includes the following:
- Praying for your mission companion congregation/ministry on a monthly basis (at least).
- Offering financial support through a special collection, noisy offering, or through designated giving in the budget. The amount is not as important as the relationship building.
- Strengthening relationships by sending members from your congregation to worship with your mission companion, doing joint service projects, and fellowship events.
Mission companionships bolster the vitality and confidence of fledgling missional communities and redevelopment congregations.