Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
The celebration of the Feast Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec. 12) is an important festival in the life of many of our Spanish speaking communities. The day commemorates the visions Juan Diego, an indigenous American convert to Christianity, reported to have had of the Virgin Mary in 1531. In the centuries that have followed Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) has become an extremely important image and symbol in Mexico in particular.
In NT-NL, congregations commemorate this day in many ways. San Gabriel in Alvarado has a large cabalgata (parade) through the neighborhoods around the church with people on horseback, dancing, and singing. Other congregations have worship services remembering the importance of Mary in the life of the church.
This year we are especially honored that Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton will be joining us for the Dec 10/11 weekend. On December 10th a worship service will be held at Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving (2601 S MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75060) at 5:30pm. This worship will commemorate the reunion of this congregation with our Conferencia Latina and NT-NL. You are invited to join us.
On December 11th Bishop Eaton will join in the festivities at San Gabriel (4029 County Road 610. Alvarado, TX 76009). The cabalgata begins about 10am and lasts for several hours. Again, you are welcome to join in the festivities and walk in the parade if you desire.
Observing traditions from around the world enriches us and our preparations in Advent for Christmas. I encourage you to learn more about the various ways communities in our synod celebrate and honor their heritage of faith.
In Mission Together:
Online Christmas Market
The Homeless and Justice Network of the ELCA is a coalition of ministries called to serve with those on the margins who are struggling with homelessness, poverty and justice issues. This unique network is a ministry WITH, rather than FOR those experiencing poverty, homelessness and injustice. The network believes that ALL of God’s children deserve an opportunity to gather and be the church together;within the walls or outside the walls. The H&J Network gathers the pastors, mission developers, and leaders of these ministries to connect, refuel, bring new ideas to the table, share the stories that ignite passion, and equip leaders from within so as we stand on the margins with Jesus; all are included.
At the link below, you’ll see artisans and artists who are connected in various ways with the Homeless and Justice Network. They each create beautiful work, and we’re given the opportunity to support them during this Christmas season and beyond.
Grab some coffee or hot chocolate and browse through these amazing stories and gifts! There are even a couple free items!
Job Opening: PT Business Administrator
Calvary, Richland Hills, is looking for a part-time Business Administrator to start as soon as possible. Click here for a full job description.
Featured Resources for December
Our friends at Compassionate Christianity offer an extensive array of FREE resources, such as Personal Nourishment and Spiritual Practices, Family and Pastoral Resources, Compassion in Action (including a partnership with How to Heal Our Divides), and so much more:
“Inclusive, welcoming, and affirming resources, reflecting the compassion Jesus modeled for us.”
Save the Date
Women of the ELCA (WELCA) will be hosting a Blue Christmas online service on Wednesday, December 21, starting at 7pm Central:
“Our Blue Christmas Service offers a safe place to bring your grief, fear, and loss. Brief readings. Quiet and reflective music. Prayers. All are welcome. Spanish translation provided.”
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/pastor-totzke-on-sabbatical/ – published Nov. 30)
(https://www.ntnl.org/emma-rodgers-honored/ – published Dec. 1)
(https://www.ntnl.org/midland-lutheran-and-retirement-of-pastor-bob-barndt/ – published Dec. 5)
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.
Dec. 10: Conferencia Latina Celebration Service at Santa Maria, Irving
Dec. 11: Festival of the Virgin of Guadalupe, San Gabriel, Alvarado
Dec. 18: First Communions, Santa Maria, Irving
Dec. 18: Kyrie Pub Church, Fort Worth
Jan. 7: Closing Worship, King of Glory, Fort Worth
Jan. 8: Walnut Hill, Farmers Branch
Jan. 21: PLMA Graduation, Emanuel, Dallas
Jan. 24: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
Jan. 28: TLU Corporation Board
Feb. 4: Synod Council, Online
Dec. 1-Feb. 28: On Sabbatical
Dec. 6: Meeting with Mission Developer
Dec. 7: Spanish Coaching Team meeting
Dec. 9: Diocese Dallas Christmas Dinner
Dec. 10: Conferencia Latina Virgin Mary Celebration, Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving
Dec. 11: Virgin Mary Celebration, San Gabriel, Alvarado
Dec. 12: ELCA Candidacy Working Group
Dec. 14: ELCA Mission Support Strategy Team
Jan. 28: A Spiritual Feast for the Journey, Advent, Arlington
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. 7: Courageous Leadership – Coaching – Choose Your Own Adventure (breakout rooms by topic), Zoom
- Dec. 10: Conferencia Latina Celebration Service, Santa Maria, Irving
- Dec. 14: Courageous Leadership – Boundaries – Brené Brown, Zoom
- Dec. 21: Courageous Leadership – Coaching – Christmas celebration, Zoom
- Dec. 21: Blue Christmas Online Service | Servicio en línea de Navidad azul – Zoom
- Jan. 6-8: Peer Ministry Leadership Training, Fort Worth
- Jan. 14: Public Witness Team meeting, Hybrid
- Jan. 21: 2023 PLMA Graduation, Emanuel, Dallas
- Jan. 24: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
- Jan. 28: A Spiritual Feast for the Journey, Advent, Arlington
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.