Texas Ramp Project 100 Miles of Freedom
The Texas Ramp Project is celebrating construction of its 100th mile of free wheelchair ramps for low-income people with disabilities. In November and December, local volunteer teams across the state will build at least one ramp each as part of this milestone event, which they are calling “100 Miles of Freedom.” Over the years, their volunteers (which include a number of teams from NT-NL) have built nearly 20,000 ramps, enough to stretch from Dallas to Waco. We are grateful to be a part of their thousands of volunteers and donors.
This might never have happened if King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas hadn’t come forward with $1,000 when the entire project was looking to shut down. Learn more about direct NT-NL involvement here.
Build with them! The Texas Ramp Project is always looking for volunteers. No special skills are necessary, just a servant’s heart. https://www.texasramps.org/volunteer/
Bishop Gronberg’s Sermons for Christmas
Sermon for Christmas Eve / Day 2020
To download: https://vimeo.com/user118660328/download/490947835/18e3de45e7
Sermon for the First Sunday of Christmas 2020
To download: https://vimeo.com/user118660328/download/490967100/f41ada1f2f
Upbring Thank You & Church Partners Page
We are excited to share Upbring’s newest resource for Church partners: Upbring.org/ChurchPartners. The new webpage features information about Upbring, specific to each community—ways to serve, downloadable resource kits, etc.—to share with your congregation and an opportunity for you and your members to stay connected by subscribing to their email list.
As you may know, Upbring is on a mission to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families, and communities. These resources will help you and your congregation to join Upbring in serving, loving, and praying for the children and families throughout our communities.
Please contact Amanda.Angell@Upbring.org or 512-459-1000, ext. 7591 if you have any questions or would like additional information about partnering with Upbring.
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?”
2021 Tri-Theological Conference with Professor Michael DeJonge
Co-sponsored by the Southwestern Texas Synod, Gulf Coast Synod, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod, and Briarwood Leadership Center
This is an online event.
Cost: $75 ($50 early-bird special until this Friday, December 18)
Registration closes at 10am Central on January 25
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/monday-dec-14-briarwood-golf-auction/ – published Dec. 10)
(https://www.ntnl.org/500-years-of-luthers-the-freedom-of-a-christian/ – published Dec. 10)
(https://www.ntnl.org/dec-13th-new-life-in-christ-duncanville-and-santa-lucia/ – published Dec. 14)
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. 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
- Jan. 9: Public Witness Team meeting, Online
- Jan. 13: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Discipleship and Civic Engagement with Amy Reumann (ELCA National Advocacy), Zoom
- Jan. 14: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, 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.