Christmas Message from TLU President Debbie Cottrell
Changes in Pulpit Supply Rates
The rates for pulpit supply have not been changed in years, so we are updating the requirements starting January 1, 2023.
The policy of the Synod Council for Sunday pulpit supply requires remuneration of no less than:
- $200 for single service
- $300 for two services
- $400 for three services
Travel expenses are to be reimbursed at the current IRS mileage rate.
If the preaching engagement requires overnight lodging, the congregation is expected to cover that as well.
Refugee Services of Texas Call for Volunteers
From our partners at Refugee Services of Texas:
We continue to have ongoing needs for volunteers at RST!Sign up for a volunteer event here!Attend our next Volunteer Orientation! We are hosting two orientations in January. Sign up to attend an orientation on Zoom on Wednesday, January 4th, at 12pm or Thursday, January 19th, at 5:30pm! Sign up here!Are you a registered volunteer looking to get re-involved? Join us for a one-hour Zoom call to hear exciting RST updates, new volunteer opportunities, and unique ways you can be involved in RST! Our staff will share success stories, RST needs, and share our goals for our new year! Open to all volunteers, whether you serve with us weekly or have never done an event but are looking to be involved after completing orientation! Sign up for Volunteer Refresh on Saturday, January 14th, here!We are thrilled to be accepting new Welcome Teams to complete apartment setups! Welcome Teams gather furniture, clothes, groceries, and household items to make an apartment an home for a refugee family! We also have Mini Welcome Teams, who gather essential items for apartments and help provide setups for smaller families, or families who do not need a full setup. We are also accepting new Co-Sponsorship Groups! These are groups of 6-10 individuals who commit to being paired with a family during their first 90 days in the United States and completing 8 core services with the family, including an apartment setup and school enrollment. Are you interested in forming a Welcome Team or Co-Sponsorship Group? Email Madison at email@example.com to get started!Are you an existing volunteer?
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
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18-25 with the theme “Do good; seek justice” from Isaiah 1:17
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18-25) has been observed for more than 100 years, during which Christians around the world have prayed for visible Christian unity, striving to move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).
The theme for 2023 comes from Isaiah 1:17 – “Do good; seek justice.” The entire scriptural passage for the theme is Isaiah 1:12-18, which laments a lack of justice among the people of God and calls for God’s people to “learn to do good.”
The 2023 theme was developed with the assistance of a group of Christians in Minnesota, convened by the Minnesota Council of Churches. Minneapolis became a flashpoint for calls for racial justice and equity following the murder of George Floyd.
Like the religious people so fiercely denounced by the biblical prophets, some Christian believers have been or continue to be complicit in supporting or perpetuating prejudice and oppression and fostering division. History shows that, rather than recognizing the dignity of every human being made in the image of God, Christians have too often involved themselves in structures of sin such as slavery, colonization, segregation and apartheid, which have stripped others of their dignity. Even within our churches, Christians have failed to recognize the dignity of all the baptized and have belittled the dignity of their siblings in Christ.
Isaiah challenged God’s people in his day to learn to do good together, to seek justice together, to rescue the oppressed together, to defend the orphan and plead for the widow together. The prophet’s challenge applies equally to us today.
The North Texas Conference of the UMC will host an Ecumenical Worship Service at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19 at Custer Road UMC, 6601 Custer Road, Plano, TX 75023. The NTC will gather with its Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Catholic siblings to worship God together. Please RSVP to Rev. Jessica Wright: WRIGHT@NTCUMC.ORG
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/theological-reflection-on-hybrid-worship/ – published Dec. 20)
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. 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
Jan. 3: Walnut Hill, Farmers Branch
Jan. 4: Santa Maria, Irving
Jan. 7: Closing Service, King of Glory, Fort Worth
Jan. 8: Closing Service, Walnut Hill, Farmers Branch
Jan. 9: Latinx Young Adults, Online
Jan. 10: Central, Dallas, followed by NT-NL Renewal Team meeting
Jan. 12-15: ELCA Spanish Coach Training, San Diego, CA / Tijuana, Mexico
Jan. 19: Christian Unity Ecumenical Worship Service, Custer Road UMC, Plano
Jan. 21: Visioning Retreat, Central, Dallas, followed by PLMA Graduation, Emanuel, Dallas
Jan. 24: Transformational Border Ministry
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:
- Jan. 4: Courageous Leadership – Coaching – Choose Your Own Adventure (breakout rooms by topic), Zoom
- Jan. 6-8: Peer Ministry Leadership Training, Fort Worth
- Jan. 11: Courageous Leadership – Karen Kretschmann & Nick Kiger – Story Telling Engagement, Zoom
- Jan. 14: Public Witness Team meeting, Hybrid
- Jan. 18-25: 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Global
- Jan. 18: Courageous Leadership – Deb Squires – Family & Friends Gathering, Zoom
- Jan. 19: Christian Unity Ecumenical Worship Service, Custer Road UMC, Plano
- Jan. 21: 2023 PLMA Graduation, Emanuel, Dallas
- Jan. 24: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
- Jan. 25: Courageous Leadership – Bishop Mike Girlinghouse – Grief in Faith Communities, 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.