Dear NT-NL Leaders:
September is upon us and we look towards a fall unlike any we have previously seen. Across our territory the situation is different but we continue to see how leadership, clarity of communication, and openness to learning are critical. I have been grateful as I have observed the vast majority of our communities navigate this time wisely. We do not all agree on what is the next best step. So we must work together with our leaders, honoring each other, listening closely, to discern what is the best way for us, as the church, to witness to love of neighbor and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As we look forward to fall I want to highlight some ways our staff in the synod office and at Briarwood Leadership Center are equipping and connecting with you…
- Our 2020 online Synod Assembly Sept 26th will highlight the anniversary of the ordination of pastors who are women (and a sermon from Bishop Tracie Bartholomew, Chair of the ELCA Conference of Bishops) as well as our ELCA Federal Chaplaincy programs. Remember voting members MUST REGISTER BY SEPT 18th.
- There are a multitude of resources for online video creation and online bible studies and kids activities from Briarwood
- Support our NT-NL Prison Ministry through the Church of Damascus Road Golf Outing September 14th.
- The NT-NL Mission Endowment Fund Seeds that Change Online celebration and worship will be held October 17th. I will be providing a video sermon for this event using the Reformation Sunday texts.
- Our Fall Leadership Convocation (Oct 19-20 online) will focus on a critical theme of Religious Freedom in America. Register now! Open to lay and ordained.
- Resources for gathering, education, and leadership continue to grow at ntnl.org
As we find ways to come together it is also important we remember our primary purpose is to be sent out into the world. Just as the apostles were sent so we also now are being sent. Our 2020 assembly verse reminds us “The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.” Psalm 126:3. This verse was chosen by our partners in Sierra Leone (ELCSL) for their 30th anniversary in 2018 and I thought it appropriate for us in 2020. Little did we know when this verse was chosen that 2020 would turn out to be the year it has been. Yet as we are challenged to lead, as we support those dealing with the outcomes of Hurricanes, Pandemic, confront realities of systemic racism and look upon a nation deeply divided, we can remember that God has and does great things for us. You, our NT-NL leaders, inspired by the Holy Spirit are doing great things in this time and I believe we, as Lutheran Christians, have an important word of Law and Gospel in this time. Reliant on God’s grace we can and will move forward #InMissionTogether.