It is 2,990 miles from Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church in East Hartland, Connecticut to Hope Church at Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. If I were to drive to Hope Church to fellowship with their congregation, it would take me two full days, driving non-stop. When I look at the map and consider the trip, this distance is so great that I most likely will never have fellowship with their congregation in person.
But on August 14, 2019, I talked on the phone with the Church Administrator at Hope Church, Warren Hall, about inviting our Lutheran Brethren churches out west to join in praying for the Shared Ministries of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren (CLB) on Saturday, November 2. This was the first time I had ever talked with Warren. Afterward, I couldn’t help but think how this man that I never knew before was with me. Though we live on different ends of this vast continent, we were united as brothers through faith in Christ, and also united as members of the CLB. We shared the same desires for our churches, for our denomination, and its leaders. And we shared the same conviction that, to carry out our ministries, we needed to pray!
On November 2, 2019, many churches across the Lutheran Brethren, both in the US and in Canada, and even out in our mission fields in Africa, took time to pray together for our synod. I often fail to think about just what a gift this is. God invites us to pray and to seek him. He invites us to join together in one voice and ask him that he would work through us to bring him glory and to make his name known. And on that day, I couldn’t help but think that somehow, though we are separated by such great distances, through prayer we were shoulder to shoulder at the throne of God seeking him together. As Christ says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). This thought is marvelous to me: on that day, we were with him and even mysteriously with one another at his feet.
Being with one another is important, especially since we are the Church of the Lutheran Brethren. And it was encouraging that we could pray together for President Larson, the Council of Directors, the Theological Council, and all those working in the synodical offices. It was a blessing to be able to lift up our Seminary and Hillcrest Academy, and ask God for more students. It was a blessing to pray expectantly for our missionaries working in foreign mission fields and for the church plants happening in North America, that God would be glorified in those works! It was (and is) a privilege to pray with you in all these areas that God might use our small denomination to make an eternal impact.
But the work is not over! We can continue to pray with one another that God would lead us and do great things in and through us for his glory alone!
Rev. Evan Langlois is Pastor of Outreach and Discipleship at Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church in East Hartland, Connecticut.