Briarwood Facilities and Summer Update
Bishop Gronberg communicated this to the Synod Council earlier this month:
The re-construction of facilities at Briarwood continues to be in its final stages. This has been, as it has in many congregations, a very frustrating process. The construction firm has been excellent but our insurance was inexcusably slow in providing assistance. I know this is not news to any of you who had damage claims as well. The good news is that facilities are being repaired and because of good leadership, difficult cost-cutting moves, and the willingness of Robert Smith to serve as bridge pastor for Central/Bethany (Dallas), Briarwood is in decent financial shape. The challenge will be in 2022 of assessing demand for and then scaling for activities including summer camp.
To this end we are very interested to know how many young people are active in NT-NL congregations so we can prepare for onsite activities. Briarwood has prepared a survey to gauge youth participation across our synod. Please pass along the survey (linked here) to the leaders in your congregations who have that information. This also would be very useful for us in planning synodical youth activities.
The cross is the true gift of Christmas | La cruz es el verdadero regalo de la Navidad
The cross on Christmas? In her December column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that the cross is the true gift of Christmas: “All of our Christmas glorias are realized in Jesus’ glorification on the cross. We have peace. We have hope. We are loved. And not just at Christmas.” Read her column in English (The cross is the true gift of Christmas) o en español (La cruz es el verdadero regalo de la Navidad).
Featured Resources for December
Called to Lead: A galactic-themed journey of discovery for youth and young adults
While watching galactic science fiction films, we might feel the urge to grab a laser sword and join the universal battle, fighting evil and standing for all that is good. These stories resonate strongly because they tap into our desire to rise above what we know and challenge us to become more than we think we can be. For young people who love science fiction and pop culture but struggle to talk about God and the Bible, the new, interactive “Called to Lead” guide offers young people a starting place for discussion of their inner selves, their vocation and their call to lead.
The “Called to Lead” spiritual gifts interactive activity was first offered at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, Texas. Participants traveled to a distant galaxy where they identified their specific leadership gifts and abilities. Then they were sent to planets that offered them specialized training — so they could become the best protectors of the universe they could be!Now “Called to Lead” has been adapted into a set of downloadable resources that can be used in person or online. The materials include a five-part Bible study guide as well as instructions and supplies for leading the spiritual gifts interactive activity in a variety of contexts. These resources were designed for middle school and high school youth, but they can be adapted for use with young adults. Our church needs leaders of all kinds as we look toward the future. The “Called to Lead” guide will give youth and young adults a new way to explore their baptism, spiritual gifts and call to lead.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/advent-4-in-sierra-leone-jubilee-center-worship/ – published Dec. 21)
(https://www.ntnl.org/las-posadas-2021/ – published Dec. 23)
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. Given the rise of breakthrough infections and in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will choose to wear masks as is deemed appropriate unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
Jan. 8: PLMA / SSTE Graduation, Santa Maria, Irving
Jan. 16: Bethany, Dallas – Closing Liturgy
Jan. 2: Immanuel, Killeen
Jan. 6: Transitional Pastors meeting, Zoom
Jan. 9: Mt. Olive, Dallas
Jan. 16: Bethany, Dallas
Jan. 22: Faithful Innovation with COW Conference congregations at Bethel, Avoca (Ericksdahl)
Jan. 23: Bethel, Avoca (Ericksdahl)
Dec. 20-31: Holidays and time off
Jan. 8: PLMA / SSTE Graduation, Santa Maria, Irving
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:
- Jan. 6: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 8: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 8: PLMA / SSTE Graduation, Santa Maria, Irving
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.