Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission,
For the second time in just over a month I wish you Happy New Year! At the end of November we celebrated the Church’s new year with Advent 1 and now we celebrate the calendar new year and begin to learn to end our dates with 2022. New years are a time to reflect and also to look forward. As I reflect on the last year the realities of all the challenges we have and continue to face communally are real. So also are the amazing moments of God’s grace and abundance. Of deep faith and generosity as communities look towards their futures with boldness and hope.
This boldness and hope come in many different ways across our territory and over 100 worshipping communities. For some it is beginning a long needed building renovation and improvement. For others it is finally deciding to end Word and Sacrament ministry in one place and join together with another NT-NL congregation to enable ministry to be sustained. We have new ministries being started, and we will give thanks this weekend for the first graduates of the Secondary School of Latinx Theological Education (SSTE).
As we begin this year together. A year when we pray fervently we will be able to be in person for our assembly April 29-30th. (note location change to King of Glory, Dallas). A year when we will be challenged by our ever changing culture and world. Yet sustained by the never changing love of God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Happy New Year, I look forward to continuing our work in 2022 #InMissionTogether.
Announcements from the MEF Board
The MEF Board is grateful that the fundraising goal of $40,000 has been exceeded for the 2021 Seeds that Change campaign, Gifted and Giving. The generosity of individuals and congregations will allow the Mission Endowment Fund to award more financial support to ministries and projects across the Synod. These funds will change the lives of prisoners who are hungry to hear the Gospel, elderly men and women who receive visits and food from young people, children who have been left behind academically due to the pandemic, day workers who will start their day with a hot breakfast and a prayer, school supplies to students who cannot afford to purchase on their own, and many more services and outreach. As we begin 2022, the Board will finalize the awards for about 20 grants, 8 of which are newly developed. This is an exciting ministry for all who partner with the MEF. Thank you to all our contributors.
Additionally in 2022, Linda Ness will be retiring after the April Assembly, and the search for a new Executive Director begins now. Linda says, “Serving as Executive Director of the MEF has been tremendously gratifying for the 3 ½ year timeline that Bishop Gronberg and I negotiated back in 2018. Who knew then what opportunities the growth of the fund and the twists and turns of the pandemic would bring! What a joy it has been to work in partnership with an active Board and creative grant ministries. Moreover, I have been honored with your trust to lead this vital ministry in our Synod. I know God has a great future planned for the MEF and our Synod. As I have said many times before, thank you, Bishop Gronberg, Synod Council, MEF Board, and generous donors for allowing me to be part of this grant-giving ministry!” Information about the application process and the timeline for hiring will be communicated in upcoming newsletters.
Synod Assembly Registration Update
It was our hope to launch registration for our 2022 Synod Assembly by January 1. Due to some delays of system updates by our vendor, we are asking for your grace. We have a call scheduled with them later today to discuss options to be able to launch before the end of the month. We will post the registration link(s) on our event page as soon as it is ready: https://www.ntnl.org/event/2022-ntnl-synod-assembly/. We will also communicate that information in upcoming newsletters.
Featured Resources for January
The ELCA offers a place of welcome for all seeking a congregational home. Your congregation can extend an invitation to neighbors and the surrounding community through the use of these customizable communications tools. Download and use these free tools today.
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. 8: PLMA / SSTE Graduation, Santa Maria, Irving
Jan. 16: Bethany, Dallas – Closing Liturgy
Jan. 6: Transitional Pastors meeting, Zoom
Jan. 9: Mt. Olive, Dallas
Jan. 16: Bethany, Dallas
Jan. 22: Faithful Innovation with COW Conference congregations at Bethel, Avoca (Ericksdahl)
Jan. 23: Bethel, Avoca (Ericksdahl)
Jan. 8: PLMA / SSTE Graduation, Santa Maria, Irving
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. 6: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 8: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 8: PLMA / SSTE Graduation, Santa Maria, Irving
- Feb. 3: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Feb. 5: Synod Council and Deans meeting, Briarwood
- Feb. 11-14: ELCA Youth Ministry Network Extravaganza 2022, Minneapolis (MN) and Online
- Feb. 12: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Mar. 3: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Mar. 12: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Spring 2022, Course 1
- Mar. 12: Public Witness Team 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 editions of our weekly news.