Some Queensland Lutherans would know at least a little about new LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith, who served as their district bishop between 2015 and 2021. But many in our church may not have heard the incredible and inspiring story behind the faith journey of our sixth churchwide leader.
The 20th General Synod elected Pastor Paul Smith as the LCANZ’s next bishop and Pastor Neville Otto as the assistant bishop. Delegates also elected the General Church Board to serve the LCANZ for the 2021-24 synodical term.
It’s nearly time for our church to gather as a synod once again, as we do every three years. The synod includes all our congregations and parishes across Australia and New Zealand, and representatives from various ministries, such as Lutheran schools.
When speaking to the recent online General Pastors Conference, I described the church as the ‘beachhead’ of heaven on earth. If we pay close attention, we will hear the distant surf crashing on its beaches and see the glow of the rising sun on the far horizon heralding the new era of justice, peace.
The first letter of Peter in the New Testament is addressed to Christians scattered across Asia Minor in the first century after Christ. It is a practical manual on how to survive persecution. We live very different lives to believers back then, but we, too, could soon face more active opposition.