New Year’s Resolutions
I hesitate to even begin my letter to you this month with such a title.  New Year’s resolutions rarely inspire confidence in those who make them.  I know of many more New Year’s resolutions broken than those kept.  Ideally, we should be always resolving to be better, always striving toward godliness, always coming to Jesus for forgiveness, always confident in salvation through Him. But, for some reason, come January 1, we feel it’s time for a new start.  We reflect on a year lived and the life to come.

Bethel‘s Resolve
As I look through a year lived at Bethel, I see a church of resolve.  There is no need to resolve to be faithful to the scriptures, for that is our constant resolve.  There is no need to resolve to be passionate about reaching out with the Gospel of Jesus, for that is our constant resolve.  There is no need to resolve to be a community of mutual love, for that is our constant resolve.  I will admit that perfection has not been accomplished in any of these areas, but our constant push to be faithful, evangelical and loving is nothing short of inspiring.

Bethel‘s Resolution
However, let me suggest a resolution for Bethel in the year 2008.  Bethel is at the forefront of a new mission organization in the Twin Cities named LINC (Lutheran Inter-City Network Coalition).  I surveyed the principles of the organization during our Advent Midweek services: Indigenous/Missional Leadership, Community Development, and Church Multiplication.  I truly believe that these principles can revolutionize how we function as a church and as a church body in the city.  I am also convinced that if these principles can work anywhere, they can work here.  We already have a great start!  Take a look!

  • Leaders are being raised up within our church and mentored into positions of mission and vision.  We can do this so much more!
  • We have ministries of compassion that touch so many people.  How can we extend that love and care to those in our own neighborhood?
  • We have the very real possibility of mothering one or more new mission starts in the coming years.  How can we nurture these new starts into maturity?

My prayer for Bethel this year is that our resolve may extend into these areas.  My prayer is that our resolve may “LINC” us to other congregations whose resolve is moving in the same direction.  My prayer is that this new resolve may cause many to hear of Jesus’ love for them and be saved.

…we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power…  2 Thess. 1:11

Happy New Year!

Pastor Seabaugh

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