Eκκλησίά – “ekklesia”. It’s the New Testament word translated “church”. And our word “church” comes from old German Kirche. But at root, Kirche and ekklesia don’t quite mean the same thing.
Kirche refers to a circle and the gathering of those within. But ekklesia means “called out ones”, the ones beckoned away from old broken lives into a new life with God in Christ. These connotations of ‘gathered in’ and ‘called out’ are important distinctions for the people of Springdale and West Blue Mounds Lutheran parishes as we move into a new future together.
A circle can be a border, even a division between ‘us’ and ‘them’, even as a “church” can become closed only around those with particular ways of doing things. But an ekklesia, those “called out ones” whose lives reflect God’s transformative power, do not hedge themselves against a broken world, but carry Christ’s love out into it.
This is my prayer for Springdale and West Blue Mounds as it evolves into “Two Steeples Parish”, that we see ourselves no longer as two separate circles, but as one parish “called out” with fresh visions, renewed resources and fruitful ministries to be shared with each other and carried into the community around us.
Pastor Jeff Jacobs