Dear NT-NL Leaders:
We have just passed the halfway point of 2021. As I remarked in our Synod News on June 29th this makes for a good time to look back and look forward. As we look back on the first six months of 2021 the major themes I see are uncertainty and yet faithfulness. Uncertainty as we have continued to navigate the challenges of ministry in a pandemic. Faithfulness in leaders and congregations navigating the challenges of regathering and stewarding resources. At Briarwood the staff has found ways to welcome groups despite the challenges of managing inconsistent cash flow and making up for years of deferred maintenance magnified by the winter storm. We continue to bring the communities of Santa Maria in Exile and those worshipping at MacArthur road back together. And across our synod baptisms, funerals, confirmations, first communions are happening. The gospel is being proclaimed.
Looking forward I see great reasons to have hope. I see this hope in congregation’s welcoming new pastors and the ordination of Nicholaus Chove this coming Sunday (July 11). Congregations are worshipping in person and also online. This hybrid style of ministry will continue in 2021 and beyond opening us to the potentiality of reaching and connecting new people with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As you look forward I also would invite you to put two dates on your calendar.
September 11, 2021 (11am-4pm): “Gathering Together” at Briarwood for food, fun, and worship. We will have activities for all ages. And close our time with worship at 3pm where we will remember the 20th Anniversary of 9/11/2001, recognize those ordained to serve NT-NL congregations in the last year, remember those who have been baptized and those who have died (please contribute names for the book of remembrance here), and enjoy the opportunity to be together again.
Monday-Wednesday October 18-20, 2021: Our Leadership Convo will be held at Briarwood Leadership Center. We will focus on living into our new hybrid future. Presenters will be announced soon but please save the date. This event is open to lay and rostered leaders.
As you look back and forward in this mid-term of 2021 know that I give thanks for your faithfulness and energy for mission. May God bless your work today and into the future.