It has been a busy week at NT-NL Synod, ELCA and Briarwood Leadership Center. After many months of negotiations and frankly frustrations the funds have begun to be distributed from our insurance agency to repair the damage from the February winter storm. Certainly Briarwood and NT-NL are not alone in the challenges of repairing damage and dealing with insurance. It further keeps us connected to the realities of our congregations and individuals.
Despite these challenges Briarwood continues to welcome small groups and other organizations as it can. Today I had the privilege of addressing a group of 6-12th grade youth from Preston Meadow Lutheran Church in Plano who were spending a “camp” day at Briarwood. They had devotions, rode the zip line, swam, did archery, ate Chef Carlos’ amazing food, and closed it out with campfire and smores. I got to be a part of welcoming them and an open question time in which I was asked “what or who created God?” A great question that got us thinking and talking. Appreciate our Lutheran tradition inviting questions.
Also this week I met with Pastor Edy Santos of Iglesia Luterana Adviento who is in Columbia currently due to immigration issues. He has continued his ministry online with the community and we connected about this and other opportunities. Pastor Santos has pioneered our NT-NL Secondary School of Theological Education. A competency based model of theological education that has caught the attention of other institutions in our church. One more way that NT-NL is leading in innovation and empowering lay leadership.
We also care deeply for youth and young adults. And so I was pleased to meet online with Intern Cecie from LuMin Austin who is doing a project to collect information and names of graduating seniors from the three synods of Texas to share with our campus ministry organizations. Grateful that our 2021 synod assembly voted to approve funding for this internship with LuMin Austin and we have learned a great deal to be shared in another post.
This week I also was grateful to send thank you letters to congregations in Dallas that partnered with Mount Olive Lutheran Church – Dallas to repair their roof. This was a project I lifted up in my synod assembly report and three congregations in Dallas stepped up to assist Mt. Olive and the synod in getting this work down. We are grateful for the financial support of King of Glory Lutheran Church, First United Lutheran Church, and Christ Lutheran Church and Preschool. This support signifies a deeper commitment I pray to continuing the historic mission of Mt. Olive in the Fair Park neighborhood of Dallas.
Finally, the leadership center at Briarwood continues to serve. On Friday it will be the site of jury selection and deliberation for the Town of Copper Canyon in which we are located. Not something that we envisioned the center serving. Yet it is available and we are grateful for the connection to the local community in which our ministry is located. We are connected and connecting #InMissionTogether