Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
This past weekend I was honored to be at the retirement celebration for the Rev. Deborah Leone from Redeemer, Greenville. Pastor Leone has faithfully served this community for over a decade and so it was right that we gathered together to give thanks for this ministry they shared during this season of both her life and that of the life of the church. We live through many seasons in our lives and in the vocational life we share. Wherever God has planted us as Lutherans we understand our vocation is to glorify God in the work that we do. We also understand that in different seasons of our lives we will have different roles to play.
The last 18 months have been a season of great challenge for our congregations and communities. The Covid-19 pandemic, civil and political unrest, difficult conversations and confrontations about issues of race and nationalism, economic hardship in many places; have buffeted us from all sides. And it has been a season that has continued. Just a month ago it appeared that at least the Covid-19 pandemic was receding but now the “Delta Variant” has caused case numbers to rise again. While we give thanks that deaths have not followed linearly along, hospitalizations are up and our communities are again having to make difficult choices about gathering together.
In this season I urge you all to continue to follow our commandment from Jesus Christ to love our neighbor. To not exercise our freedom in such a way that potentially endangers those in our midst. To look to serve the least among us, particularly protecting our children who are still unvaccinated. My prayer is that this season will be short-lived, that continued vaccinations and wise practices will help cases decline soon.
Seasons come and go. But the calling we have received from God to serve remains. For all our pastors, lay leaders, and community members I give thanks for your faithfulness and pray for you again patience and fortitude. To know the bread of life that is Jesus Christ who is amongst us and walks with us through all the seasons of our lives.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Response to DACA Ruling
7/30/2021 10:10:00 AM
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
Jesus taught us that when we welcome the stranger as a person made in God’s image, we also welcome God. Our lives, ministries and congregations have been blessed by many immigrants and refugees over the years — from many of our ancestors to those we welcome among us today. Our faithful witness as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is enriched by people who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Earlier this month, a U.S. district judge ruled to end the DACA program on July 19. Finding it unlawful, the judge’s order suspends the acceptance of any new applications while keeping intact the protections for current DACA recipients. The long-awaited decision strikes a blow against the 2012 program, which has provided relief from deportation and the opportunity to pursue an education and start careers for thousands of young people whose remarkable contributions benefit our children, our families, our communities and our church. While these important protections may continue for current recipients, this is little solace to those who may not be able to receive DACA status in the future. We lament the anxiety and turmoil this ruling is causing in our communities. We pray for all who may suffer due to the end of this program. We grieve this potential loss to our church and to the communities in which we serve.
Featured Resources for August
Congregational Communications Tools
The ELCA offers a place of welcome for all seeking a congregational home. Your congregations can extend an invitation to neighbors and the surrounding community through the use of these customizable communications tools. Download and use these free tools today.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/july-work-continues-update-on-covid-19/ – published Jul. 30)
(https://www.ntnl.org/transition-to-august-marking-milestones/ – published Aug. 2)
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.
Aug. 1: Redeemer, Greenville
Aug. 22: King of Glory, Dallas
Aug. 29: Mt. Olive, Dallas
Sep. 11: Re-gathering worship at Briarwood
Sep. 12: Holy Trinity, Irving
Sep. 19: Festival Worship at Santa Maria, Irving
Sep. 26: Trinity, Fort Worth, with TLU President Debbie Cottrell
Sep. 29-Oct. 2: Conference of Bishops, Chicago, IL
Aug. 5: Transitional/Interim Pastors meeting via Zoom
Aug. 7: Installation of Pr. Leah Lawson, Beautiful Savior, Amarillo
Aug. 8: Gloria Dei, Lubbock
Aug. 21: Candidacy Committee, Briarwood
Aug. 23-25: Leadership for Faithful Innovation (LFI) conference, Stillwater, MN
Aug. 26-30: Vacation
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:
- Aug. 3: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Enrique Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity,” Zoom
- Aug. 5: Transitional (Interim) Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 14: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 17: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Vine Deloria, Jr., “A Better Day for Indians,” Zoom
- Aug. 31: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Ian F. Haney López, “White by Law,” Zoom
- Sep. 2: Transitional (Interim) Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Sep. 11: Synod Council meeting, Briarwood
- Sep. 11: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Sep. 11: Gathering Together, Briarwood
- Sep. 12: “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday
- Sep. 14: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Karen Brodkin Sacks, “How Did Jews Become White Folks?”, Zoom
- Sep. 18: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Fall 2021, Course 1, Zoom
- Sep. 28: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Susannah Heschel, “The Slippery Yet Tenacious Nature of Racism”, Zoom
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 editions of our weekly news.