Advent Message from the Bishop
Bishop Gronberg posted this on his Facebook page on Sunday, November 27: facebook.com/bishopgronberg. (You can view public Facebook pages and posts without having an account.)
Advent has begun! The New Year of the Church and beginning of many rituals and traditions. Some liturgical, others cultural passed down through generations, others (elf on a shelf comes to mind) invented in recent years.
Today in your home or at worship you may have lit candles of purple, blue, or white (perhaps even with one pink/rose candle). Others prepare for Posadas with Peregrinos, shoes left for St. Nick, and Lucia’s with candled crowns. Some may be planning a homecoming trip for the holidays, or wishing they could return to homes ravaged by war. Special foods like Pazole, African rice dishes, cookies, and even Lutefisk in Bosque County are being lovingly prepared.
Each tradition holds meaning yet can also distract us from being awake and aware. Advent wreath candle color, the choice of which hymns or carols to sing, what food gets served, where and when the tree is put up, can make us into villains as bent on our own control as Darth Vader.
Advent is a time of tradition AND expectation. Our texts today proclaimed that God is doing a new thing and we are to be watching, expectant, and anxious: anxious for justice and mercy in a world of violence, expectant to be surprised by God’s grace, watching for opportunities to serve and witness to God’s good news. To be prepared to speak of God’s inclusive grace against words and actions of violence, exclusion, racism, and sexism.
This Advent I encourage you to prepare for and enjoy your traditions, and my family will also. I additionally invite and challenge you to find new ways you can share the good news of God’s incarnation in the world, the coming of Emmanuel. God coming not to places of power and privilege but into a baby born in a stable to a family forced to relocate by imperial decree.
We light candles to watch for this coming Messiah. I pray this Advent we will also, as NT-NL, be people who are awake and aware. People who celebrate who we have been, who we are, and who we will be as we continue to be formed as disciples of this baby who will be crucified so that we might have life.
A federal court in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on November 22, enjoining enforcement of the new FLSA overtime regulations. This does NOT prohibit anyone from complying with the new regulations, but does appear to mean that, for now at least, the new regulations did not take effect December 1. An appeal is likely, however, and this decision is not final, so this road still has some twists and turns left in it.
Please consult with legal counsel regarding your specific situation and whether it makes more sense in your context to start complying with the new regulations or to hold off pending further court proceedings.
(from Tom Cunniff, Associate General Counsel for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
TLU: Upcoming Speakers
Carlos Peña, former vice president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from 2003 to 2016, will be the 2016 Winter Commencement speaker at TLU’s graduation on Saturday, December 17, in Jackson Auditorium. The ceremony will be available to Livestream online. Peña is scheduled to speak at 3pm.
As part of TLU’s “500 Years of Reformation” – a year of events commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation – the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will speak in the Chapel of The Abiding Presence on Wednesday, January 25, at 10 a.m. Following the service, Bishop Eaton will remain in the chapel to speak informally with students, faculty, staff, and off-campus guests, focusing especially on the challenges churches face in the years to come. The public is invited to attend.
ELCA Good Gifts
Rethink traditional gift-giving this Christmas. ELCA Good Gifts go beyond your regular congregational offering to support the ministries of the ELCA that mean the most to you and your loved ones. SHOP NOW | FIND RESOURCES
Save the Date
(Lutheran Men in Mission)
July 21-23, 2017
Event and Hotel Registration are live.
Where in the world is?
- Dec. 6-8 – Region 4 Bishops, Omaha, NE
- Dec. 11 – St. John, Bartlett
- Dec. 11 – St. Olaf, Cranfills Gap
- Dec. 11 – Faith, Meridian
- Dec. 10: Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice monthly meeting
- Dec. 16-17: NT-NL Candidacy Committee Meeting & Retreat
- Jan. 14: Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice monthly meeting
- Jan. 23-25: Tri-Synodical Theological Conference
- Jan. 27-29: NT-NL Junior High Gathering
- Feb. 10-11: Mission / Synod Council Meeting
- Feb. 10-11: Tri-Synodical Lutheran Men in Mission Gathering
- Feb. 11: Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice monthly meeting
- Feb. 12-14: 2017 Lutheran Legislative Event
- Feb. 19-21: LSTC Seminary Sampler
- Feb. 25: North Texas Senior Fest 2017 (ALOA)
- Feb. 25: Creation Care and Climate Change (PWT)
- Mar. 3-5: NT-NL Peer Ministry Leadership Training (grades 9-12)
- Mar. 3-5: NT-NL Lenten Retreat (grades 4-6)
- Mar. 11: Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice monthly meeting
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit them to the Mission Area office (MissionOffice@ntnl.org) for consideration for our next NT-NL News. Remember to include a picture or logo.
Looking for information in past NT-NL News? Find NT-NL News archives here!