In her December column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the mystery of the season: the expectation and longing of Advent and the true gifts of Christmas—“the helpless baby in a wooden manger, a broken man on a cross.” Read her column in English: Midnight stillness o lee su columna en español: Quietud de medianoche.
Christmas Message from Bishop Eaton
Featured MEF Grant Recipient in 2019
The Mission Endowment Fund of NT-NL granted $80,000 in 2019 to underfunded or start up ministries in our Synod. New grants in the amount of $82,000 will be awarded in February 2020. Contact Linda Ness, email@example.com with questions.
This is the story of one of the ministries funded in 2019:
2019 MEF Grant Recipient – Public Witness Team
Did you know that a past study by the ELCA found 16 percent of male clergy and 24 percent of female clergy to be suffering from depression? Statistics for the general public/Lutheran parishioners are also staggering. Sharing personal struggles or setting things in motion to stop the stigma around suicidal thoughts and mental disability or illness can help congregations become involved in Mental Health Awareness. To help promote mental wellness, the Mission Endowment Fund Board awarded the NT-NL Synod Public Witness Team a grant in 2019 to develop programs to foster this health issue within our Synod. This is an exciting opportunity for Pubic Witness to bring resources to our Church-body. Continue reading.
Featured Resources for December
Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust expresses ELCA teaching on human sexuality. The statement is grounded in the biblical witness to the relationship God establishes with creation as a model for relationships between human beings. God is absolutely trustworthy and faithful, and, therefore, with regard to sexuality, both human behavior and social structures are considered in relation to how they foster trust, commitment and protection for the flourishing and well-being of all people. In light of human sexuality as a gift and a trust, the statement considers the ways social structures and institutions shelter, sustain and protect personal, family and social relationships of love and trustworthiness.
With that as our context, we want to make you aware of these helpful resources from our full communion partners with the United Church of Christ (UCC):
Our Whole Lives, together with Sexuality and Our Faith, helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior in the context of their faith. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and understand the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of sexuality.
Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education programs for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, Young Adults and Adults. The resources are written by professional sexuality educators and provide accurate information for parents, teachers and pastors to be used in the affirming and supportive setting of our churches.
Sexuality and our Faith is written by United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist Association members and is the accompanying resource used for each of the grade groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12, Young Adults and Adults in the church setting.
Save the Date
(formerly called the Lumberjack Retreat)
January 18-19, 2020
The theme for 2020 is “Behold the Lamb of God” based on the assigned Gospel for January 19, John 1:29-42. We will reflect on the story of John the Baptist and his call to proclaim Jesus as the light of the world. Bishop Gronberg will lead our devotions and bible study. Dan Lund, the leader of NT-NL’s prison ministry, Church of the Damascus Road, will be with us throughout the weekend to speak about this important work and how in this ministry we bring light to those incarcerated.
A service project (including some “Lumberjack” type activities to provide firewood) will be a focus of the weekend. There will be activities for all physical abilities, so please indicate your needs on the registration form (to be linked soon here: https://www.ntnl.org/event/2020-briarwood-mens-service-retreat/).
Where in the world is?
- Dec. 25-Jan. 1: Synod Office Closed
- Dec. 23-27: Vacation
- Dec. 23-Jan. 3: Vacation
- Jan. 11: Public Witness Team meeting, Arlington, TX
- Jan. 18-19: NT-NL High School Gathering, Dallas, TX
- Jan. 18-19: 2020 Briarwood Men’s Service Retreat, Argyle, TX
- Jan. 19: Dr. Martin Luther King commemoration, Dallas, TX
- Jan. 25: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 6 (Día 1 de 5), Argyle, TX
- Jan. 25: PLMA Graduation, Arlington, TX
- Jan. 31-Feb. 1: Synod Council meeting, including Deans, Assistant Deans, MEF Board, Argyle, TX
- Feb. 8: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 6 (Día 2 de 5), Argyle, TX
- Feb. 11-13: Ignite the Church Conference, Orlando, FL
- Feb. 15: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 6 (Día 3 de 5), Argyle, TX
- Feb. 16-18: Texas Interfaith Advocacy Days, Austin, TX
- Feb. 22: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 6 (Día 4 de 5), Argyle, TX
- Feb. 22: Discovering Hope: Building Vitality in Your Congregation, Lubbock, TX
- Feb. 22: Public Witness Team meeting, Arlington, TX
- Feb. 28-Mar. 1: NT-NL Peer Ministry Leadership Training, TBA
- Feb. 29: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 6 (Día 5 de 5), Argyle, TX
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.