Message from Bishop Gronberg
Christ is Risen!!! Christ is Risen Indeed!!! Alleluia, Alleluia!!!
I pray you are all enjoying and celebrating the 50 days of the Easter festival. So often I worry our focus on Lent and the importance of that season that we forget to live fully into the Easter season. This “week of weeks” is to be a time when we proclaim the good news that God has conquered the grave. Death has no dominion over us and as the church then we are sent into the world as Easter people.
In our readings from Acts throughout the Easter season we hear how the early church endeavored to respond to this good news and live as Easter people. It is interesting to note the clear direction in these readings, the outward and inclusive movement of the Gospel gains momentum each week. The church witnesses publicly, the sick are healed, an Ethiopian eunuch is baptized, water is not withheld even from the uncircumcised…all building to the rush of the Spirit at Pentecost. The Gospel cannot be contained.
As we see anger and frustration spill out in Minneapolis and around our country and nation it can seem our world is only becoming more divided, more broken. It is into this reality that our Easter proclamation is all the more important. This gospel is for the world and if we are to proclaim it we must be people of justice, breaking down barriers that separate, systems that value some more than others based on skin color, gender, sexuality, wealth, social position. The momentum of this gospel moving out proclaims God is for you and your neighbor. Particularly those, like the Ethiopian eunuch, who had historically been excluded.
So what does this mean for you this Easter? How are you and your community living and proclaiming this inclusive, outwardly moving Gospel? When we are so deeply divided how do you respond?
These are challenging times to follow Jesus and lead. Know that as you do so we do so together. In the midst of it all, may God bless you with Easter joy.
Racial Justice Resources
Explore and download a variety of resources designed to help congregations confront racism and move toward justice in church and society:
FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Beginning April 12, FEMA will open the application process for funeral assistance for COVID related deaths. This will be provided under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. FEMA will provide financial assistance for related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. Basically – eligible for up to $9,000 in benefits, can apply for more than one covered death up to $35,500 which is the FEMA maximum grant allowance in this category. Documentation required (see links below), benefits cannot be duplicated (i.e., burial insurance, other financial assistance from government or voluntary agencies for burial expenses); however, life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication, so if someone used life insurance proceeds for burial expenses they could possibly receive assistance. Applications will only be accepted through the hotline. There will not be an online application process; however, once you apply by phone and receive your application number you will provide supporting documentation through your online account at www.disasterassistance.gov, fax or mail. There is not currently a deadline for applications and some of this may change or adjust as the program rolls out.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number
Applications begin April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central Time
- COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Info: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance
- Funeral Assistance FAQ: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq
- FEMA Policy COVID-19 Funeral Assistance: https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_policy_covid-19_funeral_assistance-updated.pdf
Featured Resources for April
Registration Open Through May 5
NOTE: Applicants must be registered in ELCA GrantMaker to access the application. Allow up to two weeks for registration approval. If you have not registered by May 5, you will not be able to start a new application. If you have already registered in ELCA GrantMaker, you do not need to register again. Starting April 19, 2021, you can log in directly at elca.fluxx.io using the Google Chrome browser to start your application.
Application Open April 19 – May 21
Full details can be found here: https://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/ELCA-World-Hunger/Get-Involved/Domestic-Hunger-Grants
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/nt-nl-synod-staff-learn-from-lirs/ – published Apr. 7)
Where in the world is?
Across a context as wide and different as NT-NL, the reality of Covid-19 is very different. As such, NT-NL synod staff are doing more in-person Sunday visits for worship and occasional meetings. However, as good stewards of time and travel dollars, we will be utilizing online meeting formats into our new hybrid future. Until we can assure everyone in attendance at a meeting are vaccinated, in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will continue to wear masks unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
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 moved online, postponed, or cancelled:
- Apr. 14: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Eisenhower Matrix (Urgent-Important Matrix) with Rev. Dana Peterson, Zoom
- Apr. 15: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Apr. 17: PLMA, Spring 2021, Course 2, Online
- Apr. 18: EcoFaith Summit 2021, Zoom
- Apr. 21: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Prioritize Young People (and Families) Everywhere with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Apr. 22: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Apr. 23: Synod Council and Deans Meeting, Online
- Apr. 24: 2021 Synod Assembly, Online
- Apr. 28: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA, Zoom
- Apr. 29: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- May 6: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- May 6: Transitional (Interim) Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- May 8: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to Jason (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration for upcoming NT-NL News.