Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
In conversations with you throughout this year I have heard clearly the challenges that 2020 has brought. In those same conversations you have also expressed a multitude of creative and new ways you have found to do ministry and mission. As people of Law and Gospel it is important that we be honest with how hard this year has been for us, our griefs and losses, future stories cancelled, but also know the gospel that God is still faithful and in change new life comes. During Advent we wait upon the greatest change God has ever brought to the world. Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, Immanuel, God with us.
During this busy season I know you have much to do to prepare for a Christmas in the time of Covid-19. As you look forward please be aware of a few opportunities/resources we want to be sure you are aware of…
- NT-NL Synod Longest Night/Blue Christmas Service Dec. 21st at 7pm. (Livestreamed from Calvary, Richland Hills, and shared on our NT-NL Facebook page)
- Briarwood Online Golf Auction Monday Dec 14th from 10am-7pm. Make a hole in one by giving a gift to Briarwood and bid on a gift for a loved one (or yourself). https://one.bidpal.net/bwgolfauction/welcome
- Sermon recordings for Christmas Eve/Day and the 1st Sunday of Christmas will be posted to the NT-NL Youtube Channel.
- Guidance for remote/online meetings as you look towards annual meetings in January.
As always there are a multitude of resources for you on our Covid-19 webpage. Connecting and providing these resources in this time is another way that we live #InMissionTogether. I am grateful for you all, your work and witness, and know that as we wait for the coming of God’s great change, you are daily in my prayers.
In Advent Hope,
MEF Campaign Update & Thank You
We are incredibly grateful for a generous donation of $110,000 from the members of Ascension, Garland, who have entrusted the MEF Board to continue this congregation’s legacy through our grant-giving ministry.
We are pleased to announce that we have exceeded our bold fundraising goal of $50,000 in the 2020 Seeds that Change campaign. The MEF Board is humbled and grateful for the generosity of our Synod. Our donors are honored on here.
In Memoriam: Eleanor Adix
Eleanor Joanne Hieronymus Adix (Sept 11, 1934-Nov 27, 2020)
Eleanor, the wife of the late Pastor Bob Adix, died Sunday, November 27, 2020. Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, at Reflections at Rest Haven Funeral Home – Rockwall Location. The Rev. John Schelter (Our Saviors, Mesquite) presiding.
Featured Resources for December
The Need for Stress and Conflict (Alban)
“Despite the ideal image of the loving, peaceful congregation in which everyone is happy—an image deeply ingrained in most all of us—leaders at times need to encourage conflict. They need to act in ways that make conflict inevitable. They need to enhance, not reduce, conflict. Doing these things is difficult. Few of us enjoy conflict. For many of us, taking deliberate actions that will lead to conflict runs counter to both personal desire and our image of our role in the congregation. The very thought of it may make our stomachs tighten, our hearts pound, and our palms sweat. And yet, at times inciting conflict is what effective and faithful leadership demands.”
What’s a church to do? Dealing with conflict during a pandemic (Faith & Leadership)
“Conflict is a normal part of church life, but it’s rarely easy to deal with. And disagreements in our faith communities feel especially fraught at the moment.
A recent survey found that 27% of evangelical and mainline pastors cited addressing conflict and maintaining unity in their congregations as primary sources of stress — up from just 8% in April.
This isn’t really surprising, given the enormous strain churches are under. But it raises a question: How can congregations handle conflict amid so much uncertainty, especially when most still cannot safely meet in person?”
This signature event gathers ELCA World Hunger’s leaders for a time of networking, idea sharing, learning and planning for our shared ministry to address hunger and its root causes in our local and global communities. Next year’s event, January 20 through 23, we will center on John 6:11-12 and the theme “And All Were Satisfied.” For the first time in the event’s history, we will gather virtually!
We celebrate the new opportunities this gathering brings, including the chance to welcome more participants than ever before. As we look forward, we know that our future church is younger and more diverse; who do you want to invite to be part of the conversation and our ministry together?
Register here: https://community.elca.org/online-registration/2021-elca-world-hunger-leadership-gathering-january. The event fee is $20, with sponsorship opportunities available to those for whom the cost would be a barrier to attending. Once you register, you will receive the information needed to join in the event.
Let us know if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-380-1749.
Until all are fed,
Juliana Glassco and the ELCA World Hunger Team
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/zooming-for-ministry/ – published Dec. 4)
(https://www.ntnl.org/st-nicks-day-worship-and-ordination-of-nick-schmidlin/ – published Dec. 6)
(https://www.ntnl.org/welcome-to-the-rev-nick-schmidlin/ – published Dec. 7)
Where in the world is?
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 across our territory in November 2020, the bishop and staff will be engaging in no non-essential travel or in-person meetings through the remainder of 2020. For previously scheduled and essential meetings, the staff will wear masks anytime they are near people, either inside or outside a facility. All synod business will continue to be conducted online.
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:
- Dec. 9: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Holding Space with Jill Beverlin and Jason O’Neill, Zoom
- Dec. 9: Stars and Promises Christmas concert featuring Peter Mayer, lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett, benefitting ELCA World Hunger, Facebook
- Dec. 10: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Dec. 12: Public Witness Team meeting, Online
- Dec. 16: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Empathy with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Dec. 17: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Dec. 21: Longest Night / Blue Christmas Service, Online
- Dec. 23: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Holding Space with Jill Beverlin and Jason O’Neill, Zoom
- Dec. 30: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Holding Space with Jill Beverlin and Jason O’Neill, Zoom
- Jan. 6: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 5: TBA with Rev. Solveig Goodin-Nilsen, Zoom
- Jan. 7: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jan. 7: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 7: Systems Theory and Anxiety workshop, 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 NT-NL News.