The of July 29th I was traveling with family visiting friends and sites in Pennsylvania. My daughter did a school project on Pennsylvania this past year so we thought it would be good to see some of the sites.
While in Pittsburgh we were able to also visit with colleagues in Southwestern Penn Synod including Bishop Kurt Kussarow. SW Penn is our domestic partner synod (as we are partnered internationallywe are also partnered globally). But he and I both lament little has been done to connect us intentionally. We plan to change that.
One way we are going to work on this is connecting clergy and youth. To this end I visited with the Rev. Tara Lynn who is a parish pastor and also works on their synod level with youth and young adult ministry (She also interned in NT-NL at Calvary, Richland Hills) . We discussed doing youth exchange education programs in the fall and I took the opportunity to promote Briarwood Retreat Centerand particularly the “Mission DFW” program. Hopefully next summer youth from SWPenn will come to visit our folks and we the same.
She also presented me with a 6 pack of 95 Thesis lager. Brewed especially for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and the synod. We discussed plans to connect rostered and lay leadership through their synods “BeerAdvent Calendar” program. Where folks share their favorite brews along with devotionals. Look for information about that soon forNT-NL Synod, ELCA.
I gave Bishop Kussarow a jar of “Texas Champagne” hot sauce to spice up his day. It is good to build these connections.
Was also grateful to have the chance to have lunch with a seminary classmate who is rostered in the SW Penn synod but currently is called to serve the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. We caught up as well as talked about lay school education programs. Good to hear what she and her team are doing and how we might learn from each other. Building up our NT-NL Parish Lay Ministry Academy.