Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
April 6th is a day when the church commemorates three artists pivotal in the time of the reformation. Albrecht Dürer (died 1528), Matthias Grünewald (died 1529), and Lucas Cranach (died 1553) used the power of images to supplement what the reformers were communicating in their words.
“The Crucifixion” Lucas Cranach the Elder
That we commemorate these leaders at the beginning of Holy Week is rightly appropriate. This week is full of rich images and story. The passion takes up a significant portion of each of the gospel narratives. As Lutherans, theologians of the cross, this narrative is central to our understanding of God’s grace poured out for the life of the world. God on the cross: in solidarity with human suffering, dying so we might live.
Holy Week 2020 will be unlike any we have ever experienced. A week typically full of communal gatherings will be one in which we continue to serve our neighbor by keeping appropriate physical distance. This is our calling now and in a recent blog post our Briarwood Leadership Center director Dr. Robert Smith outlines why it is so vital for us, in this pandemic, to love our neighbor by staying home as much as possible. https://www.ntnl.org/for-the-love-of-god-and-neighbor-dont-gather-for-worship/
However, that does not mean that the community will not gather. Instead we will continue to be in social solidarity with one another as we gather through prayer and worship through the many and various means our creative and adaptive leaders have found to keep community in this time. Continue reading this latest blog from Bishop Gronberg – April 6: Monday of Holy Week.
April 8 Virtual Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Being Church in the Time of COVID-19
ELCA Coaching Ministry – Here to Serve
Wednesday, April 8, 1pm Central
ELCA’s Coaching Ministry continues to offer a safe and brave space for congregational leaders across the country to gather for topical presentations, followed by a time of sharing in small groups. Please join us Wednesday of Holy Week, April 8, as we welcome Rev. Dr. Phil Hirsch, Executive Director of the Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA, as our guest presenter. He will speak to us on the topic of “Hope and Holy Week.”
Phil was elected by the ELCA Church Council at its November 2018 meeting and started his role February 1, 2019. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, in 1986 and his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1990. The seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries. Phil earned his Doctor of Ministry in homiletics from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, in 1997. Prior to serving on the Churchwide staff, he served as a congregational pastor in Virginia and New Jersey and also as the Director of Evangelical Mission for the Metro D.C. Synod. At the beginning of his ministry with the national office, Phil said:
“I am grateful for this opportunity to help serve and lead the church in its mission in the United States. I believe that Jesus Christ is the light of the world and the hope for our broken humanity. I am confident because I know the Holy Spirit always gives us wisdom, power and love far greater than the challenges we face.”
We look forward to hearing an inspirational message from Phil, followed by breaking into small groups for each of us to share and discover our next faithful step in our own contexts, as we navigate together finding Hope in the midst of a Holy Week shaped by the reality of COVID-19.
ELCA Coaching is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Being Church in the Time of COVID-19 – Weekly Meeting for ELCA Leaders
Time: Apr 8, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
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Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Easter Weekend Messages from ELCA Bishops
You can find messages from the ELCA Bishops of Texas and Louisiana for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday — in video and printed formats — here:
ELCA World Hunger’s Daily Bread Matching Grants support congregations and their partners as they work toward a just world where all are fed. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations with feeding ministries are eligible to participate. Apply today!
As part of the ELCA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 200 grants will be available to eligible ministries on a first-come, first-served basis.
Once your application has been approved, you will be able to invite your congregation, networks and friends to donate. To kickstart your campaign, the funds you raise will be matched by ELCA World Hunger with a grant of $500.
We are church together, working toward a just world where all are fed.
ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, clean water, housing, job readiness, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger — for good. Learn how to register and apply. (due before June 1)
Recent Blog Posts
April 1 Leader News Update: Assembly, CARES Act Resources, Triduum Sermons
(https://www.ntnl.org/april-1-leader-news-update-assembly-cares-act-resources-triduum-sermons/ – published Mar. 31)
(https://www.ntnl.org/triduum-resources-from-texas-louisiana-bishops/ – published Apr. 3)
(https://www.ntnl.org/cares-act-provisions-guidance-for-congregations-and-schools/ – published Apr. 3)
For the Love of God (and Neighbor), Don’t Gather for Worship
(https://www.ntnl.org/for-the-love-of-god-and-neighbor-dont-gather-for-worship/ – published Apr. 2)
(https://www.ntnl.org/societal-chaplaincy-preparing-for-the-storm-to-come/ – published Apr. 4)
Where in the world is?
Based on recommendations from public health officials, and to live out our call to love and protect “the least of these,” Bishop Gronberg, Pastor Totzke, and Pastora Bañales are suspending all congregational visits, in-person meetings, and travel until further notice. They will continue to meet with individuals and groups virtually. Though many buildings are closed, the church is all of us, and ministry continues.
With the ever-changing guidelines and recommendations in our world right now, as we maintain physical distance in social solidarity, please keep in mind these events may be postponed or cancelled:
- Apr. 11: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 7 (Día 2 de 5), Zoom
- Apr. 11: Public Witness Team meeting, Arlington, TX
- Apr. 18: PLMA, Spring 2020, Course 2, Zoom
- Apr. 19-24: Ministerial Flourishing: Exploring the Meaning, Means and Practices, Navasota, TX
- May 2: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 7 (Día 3 de 5), Argyle, TX
- May 9: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 7 (Día 4 de 5), Argyle, TX
- May 9: Public Witness Team meeting, Arlington, TX
- May 16: PLMA, Spring 2020, Course 3, Argyle, TX
- May 16: Briarwood 2020 Gala: Adventure Awaits, Argyle, TX
- May 23: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 7 (Día 5 de 5), Argyle, TX
- May 24-29: Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Intensive I, Austin, TX
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to Jason (email@example.com) for consideration for upcoming NT-NL News.