[Editor’s note: This is an edited version of Egland’s report to the April WordAlone convention April 25-26 in Roseville, Minn.]
I have been given time to report on what our Network’s been up to. Much has been accomplished!
Or—what’s been accomplished? A lot has been happening! Or—is anything happening? It depends on whom you are talking with or listening to.
The Network and my second finger have a lot in common.
I crushed the joint of my second finger way back on the 31st of January. Since then it’s been splinted, cut up and had four pieces of metal inserted in it from every direction. Months of not being free to move—stiff, rigid, held in place—not free. It will take a long time after the metal is removed before it will be able to function.
The Network is an ever expanding number of Lutheran believers—members of congregations and chapters—all of whom have experienced being splintered, pinned, unable to move and having to function within an ever increasingly rigid institutional church. Once freed, it will take a long time and lots of exercise and effort for it to function fully again.
The WordAlone Network is your community—your gathering place to celebrate your freedom in Jesus Christ.
WordAlone’s mission is: “We are a grassroots network of individuals and congregations committed to the authority of the Word as manifested in Jesus the Christ, advocating reform and renewal of the church, witnessing to the authority of the Word and working for representative governance, theological integrity and freedom from a mandated historic episcopate.”
The Network is not two full-time and three part-time employees in an office in Minnesota. The Network is not 12 members of a board of directors.
The WordAlone Network is you. That is not the lip service from an institutional church that allows no representation. This is the reality of who we are. We are congregations, we are chapters and we are individuals in need of renewal.
We are in a constant state of Renewal:
We are the Reformed ones – in a constant state of Reform:
We press on as those who Reflect theologically—in a constant state of Reflection:
We are the WordAlone Network—working together for Renewal, Reform and deeper theological Reflection within the ELCA—and throughout the Lutheran confessional church.
We are finally in the black in these fragile economic times.
But we are lighthouses within our communities—introducing the world to the Light of the World—one person at a time!
This is renewal. This is reform. This is worthy of our reflection.
Working. Working. Working. [moving her hand and splinted finger as she was speaking]
Finally free to do all this and more . . .
We are Free—to Be!