Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
Over the last week the entire territory of NT-NL has endured cold temperatures and frozen precipitation at levels and for periods of time that have not been seen in years. In addition the infrastructure intended to provide heat, water, and power failed in many areas. This has had dire consequences and cost human lives. It has taken a toll on facilities including homes, businesses, and churches.
My staff and I have been connecting with leaders across the synod checking in and assessing the damage this storm caused. And the damage is significant. Indeed lives have been lost or injuries sustained. Individuals have lost homes and apartments, possessions destroyed by water damage or fire. As of my writing this I am aware of 10 NT-NL congregational facilities that have sustained damage of varying levels. Some damaged to the point that it will take much time to repair them for occupancy. We are available and offering assistance to those communities as appropriate.
Briarwood did experience broken water pipes as well when power failed. However, the onsite crew was prepared and has worked diligently to mitigate damage and already begin repairs. Additionally, the insurance adjuster commended both the staff and the design and construction of the Christ Leadership Center. Had staff acted less quickly and/or the building been designed less well he believed the sprinkler system might have failed and the building completely flooded. So we give thanks for the foresight of those who planned and executed that construction.
Buildings can be rebuilt. More important always are the lives impacted, neighbors are served. In these check-ins I have heard stories of families opening their doors to one another, food and water being shared abundantly, firewood delivered to chilly apartments, donations being made to our synod disaster fund, new connections between congregations fostered as pastors and lay leaders check on their congregation members as well as those of other congregations, literally saving lives.
This is the work of Christian love and service. To love and care for our neighbor in all times, but particularly in time of trouble. We stand together in our work and our mission and that work will continue as lives are rebuilt and communities sustained. Across our territory opportunities to be generous abound and we will be collecting and sharing those as we are made aware of them.
God’s peace be with you all in this challenging time. We grieve our losses, including now over 500,000 lives lost to Covid-19, and yet we give thanks for the ways in which we are able to share and receive God’s abundance. May you continue to have a blessed and holy Lent.
Synod Online Devotions
Tuesdays in Lent, 11:00-11:20am Central
February 23 – March 23
A time for leaders to take a moment to center ourselves in this Holy Season.
We will begin with a litany, special music, then read the gospel for the coming Sunday and have a short reflection.
We will close with prayer (prayer requests taken in the chat).
Bishop Gronberg will lead the liturgy; NT-NL first call pastors will bring the reflection.
Join us live on Zoom or watch on Facebook.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 945 5397 7437
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Meeting ID: 945 5397 7437
Lenten Journey: Landscapes of Our Soul
Wednesdays in Lent, 7pm Central
February 24 – March 24
With Biblical and landscape artist Sara Novenson, and spiritual director and pastor, the Rev. Linda Anderson-Little, we will use Sara’s nature paintings as a visual tool for prayer (visio divina) and the Psalms for reflection and renewal. Art helps open up the creative side of our heart where prayer and faith reside, as we experience our inner spiritual landscape and explore deeper ways of connecting with God. FREE and OPEN TO ALL through a Mission Endowment Fund (MEF) Grant of the NT-NL Synod. Register here, and the Zoom Link and Passcode will be emailed to you.
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
Sunday, March 14, 4pm Central
Join singers of the National Lutheran Choir and guest artists, the Keith Hampton Singers & Friends, for a FREE online hymn festival. We will sing well-known hymns that highlight the joy of an ever-growing hope, and new hymns that speak to our time, inviting all people to sing in joy together “…as all the world in wonder echoes shalom.”
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/2021-synod-lenten-devotions-tuesdays-at-11am/ – published Feb. 22)
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. 28 – Council retreat, St. Matthew, Waco (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. 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. 24: Lenten Journey: Landscapes of Our Soul, 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. 3: Lenten Journey: Landscapes of Our Soul, Zoom
- Mar. 4: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Mar. 4: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Mar. 9: Synod Online Devotion for Lent, Zoom or Facebook
- Mar. 10: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA, Zoom
- Mar. 10: Lenten Journey: Landscapes of Our Soul, Zoom
- Mar. 11: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Mar. 13: Discovering Hope Conference: Building Vitality in Your Congregation, Online
- Mar. 13: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Spring 2021, Course 1, Online
- Mar. 13: Public Witness Team meeting, Online
- Mar. 16: Synod Online Devotion for Lent, Zoom or Facebook
- Mar. 17: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Jesus’ Message with Rachel Alley, Zoom
- Mar. 17: Lenten Journey: Landscapes of Our Soul, Zoom
- Mar. 18: 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.