Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
For the past several weeks the lectionary texts have focused in on the “bread discourse” of John Chapter 6. Coming on the heels of John’s accounting of the miracle of loaves and fishes in this series of readings Jesus is trying to shift his followers vision. They are amazed by the amount of food produced by the miracle, Jesus is desiring they see the miracle right in front of them, the incarnation of God. And through this discourse we see the difficulty they have of catching that vision, focused as they are on satisfied stomachs.
Reading this text on the happy side of Easter it is easy to critique those who just couldn’t catch Jesus’ vision. Yet it is clear to me that time and again we ourselves fail to catch Jesus’ vision. A vision about real food for real stomachs yet comes with a bigger vision of God’s provision. When we are in a difficult season as we are and have been for some time now our focus can, for good reason, become very small. In a season where we have many things to be anxious about just making it through the day becomes a significant challenge and victory. And that is why we need to hear Jesus’ words again. “I am the bread of life.” Life abundantly given so that in the midst of challenge we know that God has given us enough.
One of my great laments in this time is that we have not been able to gather as synod for worship together. To be fed at the table of grace and hear the Word proclaimed. To be together in community to remind us in this time we are not alone and to expand our vision again of who and what the church is. So we have planned to gather together, on September 11, 2021. That day was chosen as our synod council and Mission Endowment Fund board were already scheduled to meet then. It is also a complicated day for us as we will recall the events 20 years ago on September 11, 2001. But the reality is when we gather in community it is always a bit complicated. We all come with our own stories of joy and lament, and yet we gather to receive the same thing, the bread of life.
We will continue to be aware of the reality of Covid-19 across our territory. The events of this day are scheduled to be outside and as such as safe as possible. Masks will be encouraged at all times and required to enter any building. I hope that you will plan to join us as we gather as synod for the first time since April 2019. To be encouraged by community, and fed by the bread of life.
Rescheduled Memorial Service for Peter Steinke
The Pete Steinke memorial service has been rescheduled because of Covid concerns to a new date: Sunday, November 21, at 3:00 p.m.
The service will be at Shepherd of the Hills in Austin, as previously planned.
LFSW Director of Legacy Planning
Deacon John Dellis has been named director of legacy planning and Southwestern Texas Synod gift planner for Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest. The appointment was made by foundation executive director Mark Armstrong, effective August 1.
Dellis will manage and advise the gift planners for the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana and Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synods while continuing to serve as the gift planner for the Southwestern Texas Synod.
He has served as the Southwestern Texas Synod gift planner since October 2016. Ordained in 1987, he serves as chair of the candidacy committee of the Southwestern Texas Synod and is a member of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in San Antonio.
He was baptized and confirmed at Four Mile Lutheran Church in Mabank and was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Waco while completing degrees at Baylor University and Trinity Lutheran Seminary.
Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest provides legacy gift planning services for the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Southwestern Texas, and Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synods. The mission of the foundation is to recognize, inspire, facilitate, and teach legacy stewardship. It serves in partnership with the ELCA Foundation. Other sponsoring organizations include Cross Trails Ministry, Lutheran Sunset Ministries, Texas Lutheran University, and Upbring.
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.
Save the Date
Saturday, October 16
Theme: Gifted and Giving… How Grace Works
Starting time: 10:00am Central
More details will be posted on the event webpage: https://www.ntnl.org/event/2021-mef-seeds-that-change/
The exciting 2021 NT-NL Mission Endowment Fund Seeds that Change Campaign will feature the talent and the generosity of individuals and congregations all across our Synod. We want to tell your stories about the gift of talent and creativity God has given you and share your stories how being generous has shown God’s grace at work. Will you help us create this online event?
Some ideas for creating a short 3-minute video are listed below. We will help you create and edit your video story. Contact Linda Ness at 682-429-3446 or MEF@ntnl.org for more information.
Examples of Art, Talent, Skills, Ideas that be told as your story: Painting, Sculpture, Weaving, Knitting, Sewing, Quilting, Flower Arrangement, Gardening, Jewelry Making, Poetry, Storytelling, Devotional Writing, Musical Performance, Choir, Ensemble, Solo, Voice, Composing, or Instrumentalist, Photography, Drawing, Pottery, any Media, Dance, Rodeo, Riding Skills, Carpentry, Pottery, Ironwork, or any other skill or talent that you would like to share.
DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS SEPTEMBER 15 TO MEF@NTNL.ORG
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/mourning-the-death-of-elca-vp-bill-horne/ – published Aug. 15)
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. 22: King of Glory, Dallas
Aug. 29: Mt. Olive, Dallas
Sep. 11: Synod Council meeting, Briarwood
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. 21: Candidacy Committee, Briarwood
Aug. 22: Emmanuel, Granbury
Aug. 23-25: Leadership for Faithful Innovation (LFI) conference, Stillwater, MN
Aug. 26-30: Vacation
Sep. 2: Transitional pastors meeting, Zoom
Sep. 11: Synod Council meeting, Briarwood
Sep. 11: Synod Re-gathering worship at Briarwood
Sep.12: Resurrection, Plano
Sep. 18: Faithful Innovation training, Abilene
Sep. 19: Redeemer, Greenville
Sep. 26: Holy Trinity, Irving
Sep. 27-30: Tri-synodical First Call Pastors retreat, Briarwood
Aug. 18: SSTE advisory Board meeting, Santa Maria, McArthur Irving
Aug. 19: ELCA Christian Community & Leadership all staff meeting, Online
Aug. 20: ELCA DEM’s Deans Meeting, Online
Aug. 22: Community of Hope, Fort Worth
Aug. 23: Meetings with ELCA Mission Support Strategy Team and ELCA Hunger Grants
Aug. 24: DEM’s meeting, Class the Book of Ephesians, and Latinx Conference
Aug. 25: Santa Maria, McArthur Irving
Aug. 26: Kin-dom Community team meeting
Aug. 28: Council Retreat, Christ Lutheran Church, Dallas
Aug. 29: Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Granbury
Aug. 31: Meetings with NTNL Stewardship Team and DEM’s
Sep. 1: First Sagrada Familia, rehearsal XV, and 50th wedding anniversary
Sep. 2: “Closing Congregations” with Bishop Sue Briner
Sep. 3-4: Latina Women Retreat, Monserrat Retreat Center, and First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Sep. 7: DEM’s meeting, Online
Sep. 11: Synod Council meeting, Briarwood
Sep. 11: Synod Worship at Briarwood
Sep. 12: Steering Committee Adviento, Arlington
Sep. 13-15: NTNL Stewardship team and Kaleidoscope Conference
Sep. 19: First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Sep. 21: DEM’s meeting, Online
Sep. 22: NTNL Mission Developer & Redevelopers Gathering, Synod office
Sep. 23: ELCA Generosity Project Spanish team
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. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration for upcoming editions of our weekly news.