Lutheran-Catholic Evening of Repentance
On April 4, 2017, an "Evening of Repentance" was held in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, and the Metropolitan Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. This service, commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, was held in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral in Munhall.
Please click below to download Bishop Kurt Kusserow's sermon:
SWPA Lutheran Synod.
May, 2017 Reflections from the Bishop
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Only Luke gives us a glimpse into the remarkable visit between these two Biblical women. And what a precious glimpse it is. Two expectant women meet together, and visit together. Although their life circumstances are quite different in some ways, they are the same in this way: neither of them expected to be expectant! Elizabeth was too old to have a baby, and Mary was without a husband. Yet here they were, bearing in their own bodies the strange and miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, whom the Creed calls “the Lord, the giver of life.”
Our church commemorates this occasion on May 31, and through the selection of prayers and readings for the day, reminds us of the power of song and story to nurture faith from one generation to the next. Mary’s song, the Magnificat, is recorded here, in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke. But we find that her song is powerfully similar to the song of Hannah found in I Samuel 2, even though hundreds of years had passed between the times in which each of these women experienced the curious joy of expecting when they least expected it. Some Biblical scholars suggest that it may have been Elizabeth who taught Mary to sing Hannah’s song, and that the Magnificat is really a re-mix of an old favorite!
Through visitation, story and song nurture faith from one generation to the next. We are blessed to have a glimpse of this very thing in our synod office this month as Pastor Ed Sheehan concludes his service as Assistant to the Bishop and Pastor Peter Asplin begins to serve our synod in that capacity. Visitation is an essential part of a healthy transition in this office, and this month, on several occasions, these two servants of the Lord will visit together to share the stories of the people of God in this time and place.
It is our faith that the Lord, the giver of life is active in our days of visitation, and that the faith we have received will be handed on and remixed for a new day.
With you in Christ,
+Kurt F. Kusserow, Bishop
BELOW is the Statement on Immigration from the ELCA Conference of Bishops