Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Ministry,
This past weekend your synod council met along with conference deans and our MIssion Endowment Fund board. It was good to be together online as we looked back at the last year as well as forward into the reality of continued uncertainty. On Friday afternoon the council and deans met with the Rev. Wayne Menking who facilitated a workshop utilizing systems theory to consider why and how we and our communities react to change. Vitally important learning as we continue in a time of disruptive change in our congregations and our world.
In our time together we heard much good news about our life together. Mission and ministry continue in our congregations and institutions despite the challenges we face. Pastors and leaders finding creative ways to connect, do ministry online and as able, in person. Mission Endowment Fund grants have made a difference and in 2020 over $100,000 of grant and good faith loans were made, impacting congregations significantly. Briarwood continues to make an impact online and is prepared to welcome small groups and families for onsite activities.
Although mission support was overall predictably down over the last year, 29 congregations actually increased their mission support in 2020. We look forward to our assembly online April 24th and registration is open. Our theme will be “Entrusted,” a reminder that we have been called by God to be good stewards of the abundance God provides. That this abundance isn’t ours but is in fact God’s that we are entrusted to steward.
On February 22nd you are invited to join a webinar on “Re-imagining Church Spaces” with Foundry Commercial Real Estate. This webinar will not be a promotional presentation but will walk through case studies focusing on re-imagining church space and all the different ways to think about how real estate can assist in church use. An important part of stewardship is to consider how our assets, including real estate, can be used for mission and to impact our communities. Also beginning Tuesday Feb 23rd we invite you to join other in NT-NL for our Lenten online devotional time at 11am featuring first call pastors in our synod.
Your synod leadership is working diligently to be faithful in stewarding the resources we have been entrusted with. As we continue in this season after Epiphany we continue to be inspired by the light revealed in Christ. The light that is for all people, including you. May God bless you this week in your work and witness.
2021 Synod Assembly Updates
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Drawing on the ELW baptismal liturgy in which the Pastor reminds the parents of their duties…
“As you bring your children to receive the gift of baptism, you are Entrusted with responsibilities:
to live with them among God’s faithful people,
bring them to the word of God and the holy supper,
teach them the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments,
to place in their hands the holy scriptures,
and nurture them in faith and prayer,
so that your children may learn to trust God,
proclaim Christ through word and deed,
care for others and the world God made,
and work for justice and peace.”
As synod in 2021 you and I have been entrusted with God’s mysteries (1 Cor. 4:1-2) and are expected then also to be trustworthy. But this expectation, this law, also comes with promise. The parents alone do not make promises in baptism. The sponsors and community also make promises to support the parents and the baptized in this work. And as you know also, God ultimately is the promise giver in baptism.
As you continue your work in 2021 know you have been Entrusted with a Word to share and a gospel to live. I give thanks to you, the leaders of NT-NL for the ways you have shown yourselves trustworthy in 2020 and look forward to being #InMissionTogether in 2021. For full context, read more in Bishop Gronberg’s blog here.
We are charging a small registration fee this year to provide resources for enhanced technology and for honorariums for presenters. Learning from our experience in 2020, we hope this Assembly experience will be enhanced and continue to grow our capacity for hosting online gatherings.
Registration for Voting Members:
Early Bird (through March 14) = $35
Regular (March 15 – April 11) = $50
Registered Voting Members will receive a Zoom Meeting login link the week of Assembly.
Registration for Sponsors:
Through April 4 = $50
Sponsors will be featured at some point throughout Assembly and included here on our event page. After you have registered, please contact email@example.com with your official logo, your website, and a short video (no longer than 3 minutes) or a PPT presentation (no longer than 3 minutes) of messaging and/or high-quality photos. To be included in our Assembly, you must submit your media by 9am Central on Monday, April 5.
Visitors will be able to participate via Facebook (no account required). Registration not required.
Details will be updated on the event page here: https://www.ntnl.org/event/2021-synod-assembly/.
Updated Stoles Celebrating Women in Ministry
This offer is open to anyone of any gender or denomination.
2 designs, with flowers or a rainbow splash, in both pastor (2 sizes) and deacon stoles:
Price: $85 each + $10 shipping = $95 total
Pastor: Regular- 47″ each side (94″ total) or Short- 44″ (88″ total)
Deacon: One Size Only: 54″ each side
Details: Wrinkle-free light-weight 100% matte polyester fabric. Design is dyed into fabric with sublimation printing.
Order deadline is Monday, March 15, at 11:55pm Central. Orders are print-on-demand. (To be good stewards of resources, we are only printing the orders we receive.) Delivery is estimated at 6-10 weeks, depending on the schedule at the printer when we submit our order.
ORDER HERE: https://tithe.ly/event-registration/#/2256975 ***
*** FOR BEST RESULTS, ACCESS THIS SITE VIA A BROWSER ON A COMPUTER. Orders are being accepted via an event registration form for ease of processing, which we know may feel odd. Completing the form via this link is not registering you for an event; you are ordering a stole. ***
Stole designs by Chris Sherrod of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Richardson, TX
Bold Women’s Day—observed annually on the fourth Sunday of February—celebrates all Lutheran women who have acted or are acting boldly on their faith in Jesus Christ. Some women are bold in their unceasing prayers. Other women are bold in their service to those in need. Still other women are bold in their advocacy or through their hospitality. Whether we live out our bold story of faith in the workplace, family home or community, our faith compels us to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s all about living out our baptismal call, about being a disciple of Christ. Click here for resources.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific. Click here for resources. #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge
Save the Date
Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation
THIS Thursday, February 11, 1:00-2:30pm Central
Virtual Keynote with Dr. Linda. A. Hill
Click here to join the webinar!
To join via phone, call: (312) 626-6799 | Webinar ID: 879 3348 5378 | Passcode: 788569
What does it take to build organizations that can innovate again and again?
The short answer: the right leadership. Utilizing findings outlined in her book “Collective Genius,” Professor Hill
will discuss how leaders at such companies as Google, HCL and Pixar developed the key capabilities to get
This session reveals how these organizations go about developing a context where people are willing and able
to do the hard work that innovative problem solving requires. They build communities with a shared purpose
and a consistent set of values and rules of engagement that allow individual slices of genius to be leveraged
into collective genius. This speech also offers insight into what organizations can do to develop leaders with
the right mindset and talents.
About Dr. Linda A. Hill
Linda Hill is the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School
(HBS (and chair of the HBS Leadership Initiative. Dr. Hill is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on
leadership. She was named by Thinkers50 as one of the top ten management thinkers in the world in 2013 and
received the Thinkers50 Innovation Award in 2015. In addition to presenting insights from her research
captured in the book Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, Dr. Hill will also discuss the
leadership imperative for innovation today published in her book Being the Boss: The Three Imperatives for
Becoming a Great Leader.
Dr. Hill is co-founder of Paradox Strategies — a leadership and consulting firm that advises organizations and
boards on innovation, leadership and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a current and past Board member
of multiple publicly traded companies and sits on numerous boards of non-profit institutions globally, including
the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Forum for the Future of Higher Education, the United Nations Institute for
Training and Research, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund USA. Hill is also a
member of the HR People + Strategy Advisory Council.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/st-john-dallas-emma-rodgers-on-nbc5/ – published Feb. 6)
(https://www.ntnl.org/nt-nl-synod-council-weekend-feb-5-6/ – published Feb. 6)
Where in the world is?
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19 across our territory since November 2020, the bishop and staff will be engaging in no non-essential travel or in-person meetings through at least the beginning of 2021. 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.
Pastor Totzke – Feb. 13: Conference Out West meeting (via Zoom), Feb. 14: Council meeting, Central Lutheran, Dallas (via Zoom)
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:
- Feb. 10: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Counterstory: The Writing and Rhetoric of Critical Race Theory with Aja Martinez (UNT), Zoom
- Feb. 11: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Feb. 11: Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation with Dr. Linda Hill, Zoom
- Feb. 13: Public Witness Team meeting, Online
- Feb. 17: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Jesus’ Message with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Feb. 18: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Feb. 22: Re-imagining Using Church Spaces, Zoom
- Feb. 23: Synod Online Devotion for Lent, Zoom or Facebook
- Feb. 24: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Untold Story: Black Lutheran History, Part 2 with Dr. Larry Clark and Dr. Richard Stewart, Zoom
- Feb. 25: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Mar. 2: Synod Online Devotion for Lent, Zoom or Facebook
- Mar. 3: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 7: Jesus’ Death and Metabolizing Ancestral Grief with Rev. Solveig Goodin-Nilsen, Zoom
- Mar. 4: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Mar. 4: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, 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.