DiscipleLife Idea Bank
Each month's edition of News Briefings highlights some of the things congregations around the NT-NL Mission Area are doing as evidence of their DiscipleLife and faithfulness. So much happens in so many places! We have reason to be pleased and proud of the way we live out our love for the Lord.
Use what follows as an Idea Bank for what your congregation could also pursue.
Have an idea you want to put in the bank? Please contact
St. Matthew, Fort Worth’s, music director, Jolene Webster, AIM, was named Teacher of the Year in the Fort Worth ISD.
Our Saviour’s Durant, hosted a Mother’s Day Tea to benefit Lutheran Social Services.
Emanuel, Dallas, recently celebrated its 35th anniversary of Hispanic Ministry.
First, Temple, is “adopting” a unit at Fort Hood.
Advent, Arlington, has a monthly coffee-house concert called Six Strings ‘n Coffee Beans.
Faith, Wichita Falls, and Trinity, Fort Worth, are hosting a visit of an ELCA missionary.
Emmanuel, Granbury, had a float in the town’s July 4th parade.
Gloria Dei, Garland, has a Bible study summer course using John Wayne movies.
Grace, Abilene, sells free trade coffee from Lutheran World Relief.
Youth from St. Paul, Crawford, have been to Florida to help in the clean up.
Youth from Grace, Carrollton, joined 500 other youth to clean and fix-up homes in Parsons, KS.
St. Matthew, Waco, started a Cancer support group.
Midland, Midland, adults studied the book Once and Future Church.
First United, Dallas, hosted a Midsummer Night Festival of art and music on June 27.
St. Paul, Crawford, participated in the third annual Festival of Faiths.
Trinity, Fort Worth, hosted a Jazz Mass.
Immanuel, Killeen, helped build a house in Juarez, Mexico.
First, Temple, has organized a Praise Band.
First, Longview, puts family devotions and the pastor’s sermons on their web site.
Calvary, Richland Hills, held a teacher appreciation luncheon.
Many congregations are encouraging tithing in their stewardship education.
Advent, Arlington, hosts a Community Garden.
Four Mile, Mabank, has put together a profile for publicity purposes.
Members of Trinity, Sherman, spend 30 minutes each day during the summer in prayer and Bible study.
Thirteen NT-NL congregations have signed the covenant to be “Book of Faith” congregations – pledging renewed efforts to reinvest in the “first language of faith” – the Bible. Resources abound for those interested in learning more about what the Scripture says and how the Scriptures have come to us. The Book of Faith web site has all the materials needed to reinvigorate your love for the Bible. Participating congregations: St. John, Bartlett; Christ the Servant, Denton; Christ the King, Fort Worth; Emmanuel, Granbury; Our Redeemer, Grand Prairie; Trinity, Haskell; Good Shepherd, Irving; Holy Trinity, Irving; Calvary, Richland Hills; Salem, Rosebud; First, Shreveport; Hope, Springtown; and Trinity, Wichita Falls.
Mission Support from congregations makes the ministry of over 200 ELCA missionaries who work in 90 different countries around the world possible. But ten of our NT-NL congregations have gone above and beyond by giving additional support to a selected missionary. Learn more about the ELCA Missionary Support Program. Participating congregations: Advent, Arlington; All Saints, Arlington; Calvary, Richland Hills; Living Word, Grapevine; Midland, Midland; Our Savior’s, Clifton/Norse; Salem, Rosebud; St. John, Bartlett; Trinity, Sherman; and Trinity, Wichita Falls.
Oak Cliff, Dallas, begins a Hispanic Ministry outreach program on April 11.
Advent, Arlington, sponsored a home-building mission trip to Acuña, Mexico, in March.
Our Saviour, Durant, provides food for about 300 needy people each month.
Rejoice, Coppell, now offers a Senior Adult Fellowship.
Grace, Abilene, participates in the work of LWR and refugee resettlement.
St. Matthew, Fort Worth, puts together care packages for its college students.
First United, Dallas, put together 97 quilts in 2009.
The Palm Sunday parade of palms at Central, Dallas, will go out into the neighborhood.
Trinity, Fort Worth's, Katie Luther Book Club on Facebook has 22 members.
New Hope, Keller, has given generous help to a family from Liberia trying to get started here in the U.S.
Holy Trinity, Shreveport, had its Annual Chili Cookoff in February.
Advent, Arlington, is planning a Mexico Mission Trip in March.
Rejoice, Coppell, took a special “noisy offering” for Campus Ministry.
A number of NT-NL congregations sponsored a Souper Bowl of Caring to raise money for the hungry.
St. Matthew, Waco, plans a special Lenten Cantata, Colors of Grace: Lessons for Lent.
King of Glory, Dallas, participates in In the City for Good – to support ministries within urban environments.
New Life in Christ, Duncanville, has a Alzheimer’s Care-givers Support Group.
Trinity, Fort Worth, offers a yearlong Bible study online.
Midland, Midland, supports Casa de Amigos, Family Promise of Midland, Dreamcatchers Ministry and ELCA World Hunger.
Covenant, Temple, promoted the ELCA Good Gifts program as well as the Heifer Project and others.
Good Shepherd, Irving has a Facebook page and daily devotional materials on their web site.
Beautiful Savior, Amarillo, took a meal to the local Another Chance House.
Trinity, Wichita Falls, has a Grab Your Hat Ministry (wearing funny hats during shut-in visits).
St. Luke’s, Richardson, is considering the possibility of a Memorial Garden with columbarium.
Rejoice, Coppell, put Faith5 on their web site (Faith Acts in the Home).
Grace, Carrollton, has a Job Transitional Support Group.
St. John, Coryell City, collects food for the Gatesville Care Center.
Several congregations have hosted a visit by Pastor Kate Warn, our Pastor in Residence in Sierra Leone and/or promoted her blog.
St. Matthew, Waco, is considering becoming a seminary internship site.
Bethel, Avoca, has a sister congregation in Sierra Leone – King of Kings.
Zion, Priddy, actively participates in the Cherish Our Children initiative.
First, Temple, helped out in the crisis at Ft. Hood (the shooting of 13 soldiers) by providing meals and hotel rooms for the families with loved ones in Scott & White Hospital.
Faith, Fort Worth, provides teddy bears for Cook Children's Medical Center.
St. John, Winters, participates in Operation Uplink (phone cards for those in the military).
Ascension, Garland, gathered Christmas gifts for an orphanage in Mexico and for ten families of Good Samaritan of Garland.
Grace, Carrollton, and St. Paul, Farmers Branch, are discussing ways to jointly pursue ministry.
Christ, Dallas, is home to a Child Development Center.
Trinity, Sherman, put together a Hunger Meal event.
"Good Gifts", (a program of the ELCA to highlight specific needs and ministries nationally and globally that need support) is promoted in a number of NT-NL congregations.
Calvary, San Angelo, has launched a Long Range Planning process.
Good Shepherd, Irving, has a Fishes and Loaves food pantry.
Advent, Arlington, hosts "Six Strings & Coffee Beans" concerts.
Faith, Fort Worth, is using Opening the Book of Faith during Advent.
First & Christ, Waco, have begun a joint effort by sharing the ministry of Pr. Paul Fiske.
Good Shepherd, Irving, launched a new web site GSLCIrving.com.
First United, Dallas, offers a class on Martin Luther: His Time and Teachings taught by Pastor Mark Herbener.
Rejoice, Coppell, had a pumpkin patch, a recyclable day, and a new outreach through Angel Food Pantry.
New Hope, Keller, collects winter clothing for Beautiful Feet Ministries.
First, Longview's Parish Nurse provides glucose checks and information on prevention measures for the H1N1 virus.
Grace, Carrollton, dedicated three stained glass windows designed by youth and went on a mission trip to Parsons, MO.
Four Mile, Mabank, (and other of our congregations) recently purchased a AED defibrillator for emergencies.
Midland, Midland, partners with 5 other congregations to provide all 500 students at the local elementary school with a year's worth of school supplies.
Immanuel, Posey, refurbished the outdoor church sign that Kinsmen, Houston, once had and placed it on Hwy 84 for all to see.
Immanuel also participates in the Foreign Exchange Youth for Understanding program to support foreign exchange students.
Faith, Wichita Falls, has begun a Parent's Day Out ministry and is already filled to capacity.
Our Savior's, Clifton, will hold its Smorgasbord on Nov. 11-12.
Pr. Craig Sturm at Trinity, Sherman, has begun a Facebook group for members.
Grace, Carrollton, is green - recent actions now save 864 lbs of carbon emissions (like driving 960 miles less).
Pastor Geoff Schmitt at First, Shreveport, is known to visit members where they work.
Pastor Celene Welch (UNT Campus Ministry, Denton) was the guest preacher at Good Shepherd, Irving.
St. John, Bartlett, sponsors a once-monthly bible study at the high school.
Members of Central, Dallas, tutor for the neighboring school.
New Hope, Keller, makes its facilities available to Open Arms - an organization for abused women and their children.
Trinity, Sherman, used its Fifth Sunday to focus on World Hunger.
The staff at Advent, Arlington, takes a day each quarter to engage in a community service project.
Gloria Dei, Garland, has a Helping Hands ministry that does small repairs for members.
Calvary, Richland Hills, supports the Presbyterian Night Shelter.
Our Saviour, Tyler, teaches Faith 5 to help parents and children talk about faith at home.
Several NT-NL congregations, including New Life in Christ, Duncanville, help support the Food Pantry at Mount Olive, Dallas.
Calvary, San Angelo, held a Rally Day Backpack Blessing.
Gloria Dei, Lubbock, is engaged in the Texas Ramp Project for area homes.
Many NT-NL congregations work with Habitat for Humanity.
Nearly 500 youth and sponsors from NT-NL attended the recent ELCA Youth Gathering, New Orleans.
Advent, Arlington, sponsored a youth mission trip to Mexico to build a house, and each Friday some members gather early in the morning to make breakfast tacos to give to day laborers that stand on nearby street corners.
Christ the Servant, Denton, has declared itself to be a Safe Haven for Children.
Covenant, Temple, sponsors a Bible study in an apartment complex.
Bethel, Avoca, prays its way through the synod's Prayer List each week.
Many NT-NL congregations are engaged in the 50 Days of Prayer for the upcoming ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
St. Matthew, Waco, is a part of the New Road Literacy Program.
St. Luke's, Richardson now hosts the Richardson Boys and Girls Club's summer and after school programs.
Gloria Dei, Lubbock, offered a community-wide workshop on Caring for God's Creation.
First United, Dallas, sponsors Reel Religion (feature films with religious content) on Wednesdays and held a Midsummer Festival of Music, Art and Worship in the German language.
Good Shepherd, Irving, participated in the city's 4th of July parade.
Our Saviour's, Tyler, has set up a medication fund for members.
Shepherd of Life, Arlington, has the Wild Bunch - a time of music, refreshments, puppets and devotions for families with small children.
Shepherd King, Lubbock, had a Blanket Sunday and raised over $1200.
Beautiful Savior, Amarillo, collects toiletries for the Domestic Violence Center.
Joy, Rockwall, made dental hygiene kits and hosted a demonstration for 150 African refugees in their area.
Trinity, Fort Worth, made 500 sandwiches for one of their outreach ministries: the Presbyterian Night Shelter.
Hope, Springtown, collected items for the Community Caring Center and Neighbor to Neighbor.
Zion, Priddy, has plans this summer for a VBS, Day Camp and the Big Country Lutheran Summer Camp.
Holy Trinity, Shreveport, joined in the NW Louisiana Food Bank Empty Bowl Fund Raiser.
Our Saviour's, Durant, hosted the Wesley Student Lunches.
Redeemer, Greenville, offers its VBS jointly with the Presbyterian church next door.
St. John, Coryell City, collects food for the local care center and tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.
Midland, Midland is opening a Community Harvest Garden
Trinity, Wichita Falls, will offer a Briarwood Day Camp thanks to a grant from the Mission Endowment Fund.
Calvary, Richland Hills, had a "Teddy Bear Sunday" and gave new ones to Children's Alliance.
Zion, Priddy & St. John, Bartlett, give scholarships to their college-bound students.
Bethel, Avoca, had a Soil Stewardship Sunday (jars of soil from members' farms were blessed).
Emmanuel, Granbury, Pastor Jane Mar was available for private confession on Holy Saturday.
Shepherd King, Lubbock, invited Pr. Steve Kanouse to lead a visioning exercise.
King of Glory, Dallas, sponsored a 1st Annual Crockpot Cookoff.
Pastor Russell Vardell, First United, Dallas, has begun an internet blog.
Living Word, Grapevine, sponsors a support/networking group called The Corporate Connection; they meet for breakfast at a local restaurant.
Grace, Abilene, is helping two refugee families, and the youth are preparing packages for our troops.
Gloria Dei, Lubbock, offers a Web of Creation emphasis noting ecological resources.
Calvary, Richland Hills, offered a Healing Prayer workshop
First, Waco, sponsored Becky Fiske's mission trip to Sierra Leone using a global map as a chart to show how far she could travel to date on the money raised.
Living Word, Grapevine, participates in community programs - GRACE and Feed Our Kids.
Trinity, Fort Worth, is involved in West Aid, Eldercare, SafeHaven and Blood Drives.
St. Matthew, Fort Worth, has an annual Wild Game Dinner as a youth fund raiser.
Holy Trinity, Shreveport, hosted a gathering of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference.
Christ, Dallas, will have mini dramas during Lent of those who were at the cross.
Hope, Cedar Hill & Shepherd King, Lubbock & St. Olaf, Cranfills Gap are all engaged in visioning processes.
Calvary, Richland Hills, was one of the congregations involved in the Souper Bowl of Caring.
Trinity, Fort Worth, had a panel discussion on God's Economy with Bishop Kanouse.
Hope, Springtown, WELCA offered a prayer/serenity garden.
Our Redeemer, Grand Prairie, began a kid's Liturgy of the Word as a breakout time during worship.
Central, Dallas is preparing layettes for Lutheran World Relief.
San Gabriel Mission, Alvarado, was the site of this year's Las Posadas, remembering the Holy Family's search for a home for the birth of their child.
The Kids of the Kingdom at Rejoice, Frisco, had a birthday party for Jesus and gave the resulting gifts to Hope's Door, a women's shelter in Plano.
Gloria Dei, Garland, has launched a small group ministry.
Faith, Wichita Falls, participated in the World Aids Day Gathering in their community.
First, Temple, is host to Thursday's Club - a respite care center for families living with Alzheimers.
St. Olaf, Cranfills Gap, hosts a community Health Initiative Clinic each month.
Oak Cliff, Dallas, has a Food Offering on the first Sunday of each month.
Central, Dallas, offers audio CDs of their morning worship.
As part of their Advent observances, Emmanuel, Granbury, hosted a LSS Christmas PartY.
Trinity, Fort Worth, undertook to Build-A-Bear for Cook's Childrens Hospital.
Youth from Gloria Dei, Garland, wrapped gifts at Barnes and Noble.
Our Redeemer, Grand Prairie, gave a community outreach party.
Youth from Hope, Springtown, hosted a Christmas Ball.
Trinity, Clovis, celebrated having paid off its mortgage.
First, Temple, is hosting both an End of Life Seminar and a marriage seminar, Twogether.
Christ, Dallas, will dedicate new facilities on January 11.
Faith, Wichita Falls, had a Silent Art and Crafts Auction for the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.
Blake Hobratschle of St. Matthew, Waco, will enter Candidacy to begin studies for the ministry.
Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson spoke at King of Glory, Dallas, on Nov. 23 as a part of their 50th Anniversary.
First, Temple, participates in Family Promise, providing food, shelter and activities for the homeless.
First United, Dallas, celebrated Reformation in German.
St. John, Bartlett, had a Polka Festival Service.
Fifteen families (42 people) joined Immanuel, Killeen, on Sept. 21.
Our Saviour's, Durant, had a Harvest Dinner & Talent Show in October.
Our Redeemer, Grand Prairie, has begun a free Youth Academy (after school program).
Covenant, Temple, publishes its own Daily Prayer calendar highlighting congregational needs.
Four churches in Ft. Worth came together for Thanksgiving worship: Faith, Grace, St. Matthew's and Trinity.
Grace, Abilene, has been a Partner in Education with Ortiz Elementary School for 12 years.
The congregation of New Hope, Keller, went camping together for a weekend.
Bethany, Dallas, shares its building with Korean Light Presbyterian Church.
Gloria Dei, Garland, has an exchange student from Gottingen, Germany.
Salem, Rosebud, hosted a seminar on Lutherans Read the Bible.
Holy Trinity, Shreveport, has a 24-hour prayer request line.
Rejoice, Coppell, has a pumpkin patch.
Sermons at Central, Dallas, are available on CD.
Gloria Dei, Lubbock, sponsored a ramp-build.
Our Saviour's, Durant, will begin the Natural Church Development process.
Bethany & Central Lutheran Churches, Dallas, held a joint VBS.
New Life in Christ, Duncanville, hosts an Alzheimer's Caregivers Support Group.
Midland, Midland, recently offered its 7th Neighborhood Unsale (clothing distribution), 72nd free Neighborhood Pancake Breakfast, and five neighbor-hood Kids Night Out fun gatherings.
Zion, McGregor, provides school supplies in Project Apple Tree.
Covenant, Temple, had a Summer Evening of Praise on the church lawn.
Shepherd King, Lubbock, has dedicated a new organ.
King of Glory, Dallas, welcomed Ms. Nancy Parker as Director of Children's Ministry.
St. John, Grand Prairie, plans to begin a Hispanic Ministry outreach.
First United, Dallas, offered a Festival of Music & Art.
A Latino Youth Retreat takes place September 19-20.
San Gabriel, Alvarado, plans to buy land for their new mission.
Spread the Spirit's Fire is at Living Word, Grapevine, Sept. 27.