Dear Friends in Christ,
Recently, in late October, the NT-NL synod hosted ELCA churchwide staff as well as Bishops and staff from five synods across our denomination. We gathered for shared learning around leading transitions in congregations. We shared best practices, programmatic options, used technology to hear from practitioners, and spent time in study of scripture, fellowship, and worship. (Read more at ntnl.org/partnered-synods-meet-at-briarwood.)
Time and again throughout the event our guests commented on how impressed they were with the Leadership Center and Briarwood as a whole. They raved about the quality of the meeting and worship spaces, lodging, staff and food service as well as the proximity to DFW airport.
During our closing worship, I had a moment to reflect on their responses and how often I think we as synod, myself included, take Briarwood for granted. We take for granted having a space we own for our synod leaders to gather for convocation with lodging available on site. That we have both modern spaces and natural, secluded retreats for meeting and worship, all easily accessible from a major international airport. Where children from Lewisville ISD can do environmental education while local mayors meet with law enforcement leaders. Because it is ours and many of us have been there so many times it is easy to forget what a resource this is that we are called to steward and how many thousands across our territory are impacted by it.
2019 has been a year of transitions, growth, and increasing impact in programming at Briarwood as well as in NT-NL. Hard decisions about property, programs, and staff have been made to continue to work towards the sustainability of this ministry. The results have been significant and positive. We continue to live into the vision our synod invested in of a Leadership Center developing leaders of all ages for the church and world in a retreat setting.
As we come to the end of 2019, I encourage you to consider how much you value this ministry as well. To think about how we might take for granted all that we have received and all that we, as synod, have invested in. In so doing, I invite you to consider a gift to Briarwood before the end of the year. You may do so by mail (Briarwood Leadership Center, 670 Copper Canyon Rd, Argyle, TX 76226), calling Briarwood (940-241-2099), or online via Briarwood’s new simplified web address: bwtx.org.
In this time of Thanksgiving, it is indeed good to give thanks for all the resources, including Briarwood, God has entrusted to us for raising up leaders for God’s world. I pray you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving and thank you for supporting Briarwood and all the ministries of NT-NL.
Bishop Erik K.J. Gronberg, PhD