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scripture, prayer, and creative response with communion



Worship each Sunday @ 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009


FLORIDA-BAHAMAS SYNOD
BISHOP ED BENOWAY
PRAISES FLORIDA CONGREGATIONS
ATTENDING THE
NATIONAL YOUTH GATHERING

Dear Friends in Christ,

“Wow!” If I heard that word once, I heard it a thousand times while in New Orleans. “Wow! Can you believe it?”

Wow! Can you believe our gatherings in the Superdome? It’s difficult to find words to describe the electric atmosphere that was filled with enthusiasm and eagerness to share ourselves with others.
Wow! The energy in our singing, dancing, worship and testimonies!
Wow! I can’t believe the visual witness to God’s love that I witnessed from my room on the 20th floor of the Marriott as I watched 37,000 Lutheran youth and their advisors in brightly colored t-shirts filling the sidewalks in literally every direction sharing the joy of being God’s people.

Wow! Over 12,000 youth eagerly boarding buses each of three days to move out into every corner of New Orleans to bring healing, hope and love through hands-on service projects. Even amidst the groans and fatigue at the end of those days, can you believe the excitement of sharing with one another, our stories and adventures of meeting the people of New Orleans?
Wow! Can you believe Presiding Bishop Hanson’s motorized bathtub? I need to get one of those.

Wow! The incredible opportunities for interaction, learning, Bible study, recreation and browsing in the convention hall. That is one long building!
Wow! The worship experiences connected our hearts and lives to Jesus! The risen Lord was truly present in the Word, the sacrament and this gathered community, even as He promises.
Wow! Was I ever so proud of the over 500 youth and adults from the Florida-Bahamas Synod! I had opportunity to be with and talk with many of you. I certainly wish now that we had planned to gather in one place to celebrate and introduce ourselves to one another. I hope that many of you will participate in our post-Jesus-Justice-Jazz gatherings in mission districts that Amy Santoriello will be coordinating.

Wow! I am still reading the local stories in the papers of New Orleans expressing their gratitude and appreciation for all that you did while visiting their homes, schools, communities and city. The thanksgiving goes both ways… “Thanks for coming,” “Thanks for letting us come!”
Wow! It is a joy to recognize and celebrate your example and leadership within our church! May we find ways together to ensure that our partnerships in sharing God’s love continue to grow and develop within this synod.

“Wow!” That word sums up my great admiration, appreciation and respect for all that you are, and all that you do, in the name of our Lord! You are vital and critical to our mission as God’s people.

In Christ and His Love,
+Bishop Ed Benoway

Edward R. Benoway, Bishop
Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA

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