Dear Partners in Ministry,
This past weekend your synod council met along with conference deans and our MIssion Endowment Fund board. It was good to be together online as we looked back at the last year as well as forward into the reality of continued uncertainty. On Friday afternoon the council and deans met with the Rev. Wayne Menking who facilitated a workshop utilizing systems theory to consider why and how we and our communities react to change. Vitally important learning as we continue in a time of disruptive change in our congregations and our world.
In our time together we heard much good news about our life together. Mission and ministry continue in our congregations and institutions despite the challenges we face. Pastors and leaders finding creative ways to connect, do ministry online and as able, in person. Mission Endowment Fund grants have made a difference and in 2020 over $100,000 of grant and good faith loans were made, impacting congregations significantly. Briarwood continues to make an impact online and is prepared to welcome small groups and families for onsite activities.
Although mission support was overall predictably down over the last year, 29 congregations actually increased their mission support in 2020. We look forward to our assembly online April 24th and registration is open. Our theme will be “Entrusted,” a reminder that we have been called by God to be good stewards of the abundance God provides. That this abundance isn’t ours but is in fact God’s that we are entrusted to steward.
On February 22nd you are invited to join a webinar on “Re-imagining Church Spaces” with Foundry Commercial Real Estate. This webinar will not be a promotional presentation but will walk through case studies focusing on re-imagining church space and all the different ways to think about how real estate can assist in church use. An important part of stewardship is to consider how our assets, including real estate, can be used for mission and to impact our communities. Also beginning Tuesday Feb 23rd we invite you to join other in NT-NL for our Lenten online devotional time at 11am featuring first call pastors in our synod.
Your synod leadership is working diligently to be faithful in stewarding the resources we have been entrusted with. As we continue in this season after Epiphany we continue to be inspired by the light revealed in Christ. The light that is for all people, including you. May God bless you this week in your work and witness.