Rev. David Rommereim
Each June, the community of Good Shepherd assembles to share the stories of the past year's ministry. As the pastor of this congregation, I am so very pleased with this expansive ministry. You are far reaching! In the annual report, you will see that we continue to provide the three ingredients of Christian ministry.
First, we respond to crisis through simple and life changing efforts in ministry such as: Hurricane Sandy relief and rebuilding and our public vigil toward a just and humane comprehensive immigration reform. Additionally we continue efforts in strong advocacy toward a health care system that includes our Safety Net hospital system of Lutheran Health Care and our partner Lutheran Augustana Center for Rehabilitation.
Second, we provide a safety net for many in our community needing a safe place to raise children, access supportive services, and offer discussion for many who are increasingly becoming biblically literate in the calling of our faith as a prophetic witness to the healing of creation. Having an office that is open full-time, a hospitable climate, and a hopeful exchange brings in people longing for strength, vitality, and a healthy communal life.
Third, we stand up when our public policies need the heart and soul of the faith community to lead them in justice. We seek to prayerfully walk that thin line between "church and state." We seek to bring our faith into the dialogue and action needed with our secular world to make the world a better place for our children their children, and their children's children.
This Thursday evening, in a large Church in Elmhurst, Queens it will be a privilege to stand with over 1,000 other faithful members of churches, synagogues and temples. Leaders from Faith in New York will square off with our top mayoral candidates and ask them what their agenda will be, if elected mayor, to restore the integrity of the middle class and pay attention to a growing number of poor, marginalized families in NYC.
Many of us learned, through the salt of Hurricane Sandy, that economic disparity is growing in our city. Government is being bought and paid for by large conglomerates. It is becoming increasingly difficult to insure domestic tranquility among citizens and to promote the common welfare. Faith in New York will demand that these candidates are vigilant in that effort of economic well-being, or tell us why they disagree.
I say all this because I am so pleased that we have opened our doors, to not only this ministry of response, safety, and truth telling, but also as a place for individuals to feel safe in their own spiritual journey. I say thank you to our fine Leadership Council for their service to this mission, and celebrate the new council leaders.
The gift of this ministry is the treasures of these earthen vessels that continue to care and to share the joy of a safe community for Christian ministry.