Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
Even though we have yet to begin Lent we are already fast approaching the end of the second month of 2022 and with it the 2 year mark of the Covid-19 pandemic directly impacting our lives. As has been well noted this pandemic has widened cracks in our society and caused great hardship. First and foremost we mourn the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the disease, with thousands of lives still daily being lost, but we also mourn and grieve so much else we have lost.
Last Sunday our epistle text was from 1 Corinthians 15. Paul writing to those asking for details about the resurrection of the dead says “But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.”
Essentially Paul is calling out all those who think resurrection will simply be a return to what was before. No, he says. That cannot be because what was before has died. Something new will take place that is God’s doing. I reflected on that text with the leaders I was meeting with on Sunday and I think it is worth our reflection as well. I believe the church has been fundamentally been changed in the last two years. Many things have died. We grieve those things. But their is resurrection for us in Christ. It just won’t be a return to what was. There is no going back to February 22, 2020.
While that may seem like bad news it is also good news. While we have lost we have also gained in this time. We have new skills, new priorities, new focus. Many things that may have been extraneous to the mission of the church, to proclaim the gospel in word and deed, have had to be cut. They need not necessarily return. Something new will take their place and we continue to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in discerning what that will be.
May God be with you in this time of grief and also resurrection. Know your synod staff is here to support your congregation as you seek to be faithful to your mission. Please get your voting members registered for our in-person synod assembly April 29-30th. And most of all I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit we will have the faith to see God’s new things happening in our midst.
Deadline for Parochial Reports
The deadline for turning in parochial reports is rapidly approaching. It is one week from today: March 1, 2022!
MEF Executive Director Job Posting
Excellent communicator. Loves the ministries of this synod. Able administrator. Self-starter.
If this is you (or someone you know), consider applying (or encourage them to apply) to be the next Executive Director of the Mission Endowment Fund. Click here for the complete description for this part-time job, including how to apply. Applications are due by March 9, 2022.
Featured Resources for February
Bold Women’s Day (fourth Sunday of February)
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. Click here for resources to celebrate bold women who are living out their baptismal call.
International Women’s Day (March 8)
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. Click here for full details and resources.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/souper-sunday-at-new-life-in-christ/ – published Feb. 15)
(https://www.ntnl.org/discerning-the-future-for-lsps/ – published Feb. 15)
(https://www.ntnl.org/feb-18th-luthers-death-date/ – published Feb. 18)
(https://www.ntnl.org/nt-nl-youth-excel/ – published Feb. 19)
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.
Mar. 2-5: Conference of Bishops, Chicago, IL
Mar. 6: Central, Dallas
Mar. 20: Immanuel, Killeen
Mar. 24: Texas Lutheran University Choir, Trinity, Fort Worth
Feb. 24: Candidacy training, Zoom
Mar. 3: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
Mar. 5: Lubbock area council retreat (tentative)
Mar. 6: Trinity, Lockney
Mar. 26: Shreveport combined councils retreat (tentative)
Mar. 27: Worship with one or both Shreveport congregations (tentative)
Mar. 29-Apr. 1: Leadership Edge Training Phase 2, Zoom
Feb. 26: XV at First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Feb. 27: Grace, Ft. Worth
Mar. 1: ELCA DEM’s & Deans of Latinx Communities conversation
Mar. 2: Ash Wednesday service, First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Mar. 3: Ecumenical Gathering, Catholic Charities Dallas Central services
Mar. 4-6: Latina Women Gathering, Galveston
Mar. 7: NT-NL Renewal Team meeting
Mar. 9: Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving
Mar. 10: Walnut Hill, Farmers Branch
Mar. 12: Spanish Parish Lay Ministry Academy
Mar. 13: Grace, Ft. Worth
Mar. 14-20: Vacation
Mar. 27: Immanuel, Killeen
Mar. 29-31: ELCA Candidacy Task Force, Chicago, IL
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:
- Mar. 3: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Mar. 4-6: Together We Welcome: A National Faith Gathering to Strengthen Support for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants, Online
- Mar. 12: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Spring 2022, Course 1
- Mar. 12: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Mar. 18: LAST DAY to register with REDUCED PRICING for Synod Assembly (April 29-30)
- Apr. 2: Dallas Area Metroplex North Conference Retreat, Plano
- Apr. 7: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Apr. 9: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Spring 2022, Course 2
- Apr. 9: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Apr. 17: LAST DAY to register online for Synod Assembly (April 29-30)
- Apr. 29: Synod Council Meeting, Dallas
- Apr. 29-30: 2022 NT-NL Synod Assembly, Dallas
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.