ACTS of the MNO Synod
Discerning Your ACTS of the MNO Synod
For the period 2016-2018, the MNO Synod, like each of the Synods in ELCIC, has been gifted $200,000 from the National Church CECF fund, to use in ways that are unique in each congregation from anything ever tried there before, in order to explore what it means to participate in God’s mission in our changing world today.
There are many spiritual gifts amongst our congregation members, including dreams and ideas that when expressed through voice and acted upon, are signs of God’s unconditional love for his people. These expressions encourage, uplift and unify.
These are The ACTS of the MNO Synod
The book of ACTS, specifically in Acts 16:6-10 tells how Paul was guided in his steps by the Holy Spirit. Today the Spirit continues to move in mysterious and surprising ways, just as it did in Paul’s days. How exciting for God’s people. Let us experiment as Paul did, in faith and trust that our actions are guided by the same Spirit in our particular context.
We invite you to dream and vision right where you are. Are there opportunities that come to you or others in your community, in conversation and prayer…do you ever imagine being able to try these things out? Imagine what you might try if you had some dollars to fund it and people to provide their gifts, to give life and bring to light how you are being nudged, or pushed by the Spirit.
There’s no better way to feel inspired by the Holy Spirit, feed your imagination for God’s mission today, and fuel a vision of the reality of the risen Lord Jesus in our world than to enter the Bible.
So why not start your ACTS of MNO Synod by getting together with others and spending some time Dwelling in the Word.
Dwelling in the Word
(Council, ministry group, 2 or 3 individuals together)
ACTS 16:6-10: Paul’s Vision of the Macedonian Man 16:6 They (i.e., Paul, Silas, and Timothy) went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia. 16:7 When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this, 16:8 so they passed through Mysia and went down to Troas. 16:9 A vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there urging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 16:10 After Paul saw the vision; we attempted immediately to go over to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. –The NET Bible
While the particular geographic places are interesting, the real point of this passage is that twice the plans of Paul and his companions are blown away by a strange and higher power outside themselves, namely, the “Holy Spirit”, the “Spirit of Jesus”. The really important thing Luke is telling us today is that while the acts of the apostles 2,000 years ago didn’t necessarily establish what they started out to accomplish, Jesus was still alive and leading them in new directions to do God’s work.
ACTS of the MNO Synod: Our Vision of God’s Guidance Today
Where do we find ourselves in this story – Right at the end – in the “we” of verse 10, that’s where! For when we read that “we”, it draws us into not only that old story of mission in the early church, but into our own stories of Jesus calling and the Holy Spirit leading us in strange and mysterious ways. NOW might just be the time that God is calling you and/or your congregation into a new venture of faith.
Remember: it was God’s mysterious, miraculous intervention and guidance that irresistibly called Paul toward Macedonia…. which somehow, could not be refused.
- So, where do you see a “Macedonian” man, woman, or child on your turf?
- How does this passage move you to ACT? Share what you hear within the group.
- What will be the contemporary bible story that flows from your vision? Talk about the signs you see that says that your vision has life and energy to make a plan. (Ask yourselves what, where, when, how, why)
Still excited and energized?
Applications will be considered in a timely fashion after being received by the ACTS of the MNO committee. Please submit applications to the MNO Synod Mission Consultant via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Be prepared to share the steps you took and what happened along the way, just as Paul did.