Dear Poor and Captive,

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives….to let the oppressed go free. “ Luke 4:18

When Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly resigned for health reason,who could have predicted how quickly the new Pope would move to change the perception of the Roman Catholic church, and many would say the Christian Church everywhere.

First, he chose to take on the name of Saint Francis of Assisi because of his dedication to the poor.

Second, upon his election as Pope, he paid his own hotel bill, thanked his staff, and took a bus, instead of the popemobile, back to the Vatican residence with his fellow cardinals.

Third, He decided to live in a guesthouse versus the Apostolic Palace that normally houses the pope.

Fourth, he moved out of the traditional setting ( Saint Peter's Basilica) for the Holy Week Mass and went into a youth prison to lead worship. At the correctional facility, he washed the feet of 12 young inmates.

Fifth, the Pope determined that the normal bonuses issued to cardinals would instead go to various ministries serving the poor.

Sixth, a revolutionary advisory board was established to help usher in major church reforms. High priorities for reform include overhauling the Vatican Bank and decisive action against priests who abuse children.

Let us pray for the Catholic church and all Christian Missional Communities worldwide. May our hearts be pure and true to the way of Jesus. May we grow in Christ. And let us follow the Lord in service with a renewed courage of faith. The poor are waiting to hear good news proclaimed, and the oppressed long to be free. Come Lord Jesus, come!

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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