NT-NL African American History Celebration
“We’ve Come This Far By Faith!”
February 10, 11am-2pm
Community of Hope, Fort Worth
The Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod is blessed to have three congregations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that have historically served the African American community. Each community has a story to tell about its history, and this event will give them an opportunity to do so. While they will tell it best, I am going to take the liberty of giving you a teaser to perhaps encourage you to attend this event.
Mt. Olive, Dallas, which was the congregation our first bishop, the late Rev. Mark Herbener, served, was a church of German Lutheran heritage that during the civil rights era played a key role as a meeting place for activists working to combat the evil of structural racism and legalized segregation. More recently, they have partnered with other congregations for feeding ministries and preservation of their historic building. Pastor Deb McCann leads this congregation today.
St. John’s, Dallas, made the transition from a mostly Anglo congregation to a mixed race community (when you visit, check out the recordings of their choirs) to now a majority African American congregation serving the south Dallas community. Their annual fish fry is well worth the trip, and their leaders have been active in many ways in synodical life. Pastor Doris Harris leads this community.
Community of Hope, Fort Worth, is our only congregation planted in historically African-American southeast Fort Worth. An area of the city that has struggled to gain political power and notice as the city has grown. They have served faithfully their neighborhood through their pre-school and Lutheran theological witness. Most recently, they have reinvigorated themselves to care for their physical plant, adding new signage, and reaching out to their community. SAWL Nicholaus Chove leads this community.
Each of these congregations has continued to witness to Christ and serve in neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of segregation, institutional neglect, and outright racism. Many times they could have closed their doors. But instead they have found ways to partner, find leaders, and move forward.
As bishop of NT-NL I am committed to working with these communities and ensuring that we do not abandon our Lutheran witness in these neighborhoods of our cities. Since taking office in July 2016 I and my staff, particularly DEM Irma Bañales, have held numerous meetings bringing these communities together for the first time at each location and praying, eating, fellowshipping, and dreaming about how God can use these communities to share the good news.
I encourage all our congregations to share news of this event and encourage their members to attend. These congregations are a part of who we are and I see this event as an opportunity to spur interest and potential deeper collaboration between communities from different parts of our cities. An opportunity to break down barriers of freeways, economics, and race. To be church together, to be #InMissionTogether.
Assembly Request due January 31
Our theme for our 2018 NT-NL Synod Assembly is “Under Construction: Transforming in Christ.” The Heart of Texas (HOT) Conference is pleased to host this event in Temple on April 27-28. As a conference, we are well aware that God continues to transform us into a new creation. God is transforming our families and our communities and our Synod.
As a way to mark this Assembly, the planning team would like to use the image and process of quilting to do something special. Quilting has a long history in many of our congregations, particularly in the HOT Conference. Lutheran World Relief quilts are known the world over as tangible signs of God’s love.
We need your help for this project. We would like to put together a quilt with a scrap of material from every NT-NL congregation and worshipping community! These scraps will be gathered to form two quilts, one of which will be displayed at the Synod offices, and the other will be auctioned at the assembly. The money will be given to transformational ministries in our synod.
This project will require a scrap from every congregation in our synod. So we need your help to do two things:
- Please send a 12 inch square piece of scrap material of 100% cotton quilting fabric. The color scheme will be earth tones… reds, browns, creams, forest greens, etc. Not neon colors.
- Encourage your friends in sister congregations in your conference to participate.
The material should be sent to Covenant Lutheran Church, 4202 Hickory Rd, Temple TX 76502. We are asking that they be sent in by January 31, 2018. For those who are able, we would also ask a donation of $7 to cover the cost of the remaining materials for this project (this will count as a gift to the synod).
It is our prayer that all our NT-NL congregations will participate in creating this unique symbol of our unity and diversity in Christ. We look forward to having you join us at the 2018 assembly.
Assembly Nominations due February 1
Elections at the Assembly
Synod Treasurer (4 year term)
Synod Council Positions (nominees come from the related conference – 4 year term)
Heart of Texas Conference – Lay Male and Lay Female (one 35 or under, and one 36 or over)
Conference Out West – Lay Male and Lay Female (one 35 or under, and one 36 or over)
Eastern Conference – Ordained
Latin@/Hispanic – Ordained
ELCA Churchwide Voting Members
Rostered Minister of Word and Sacrament – Female
Rostered Minister of Word and Sacrament – Male
Lay Female (35 or younger)
Lay Female (36 or older)
Lay Male (35 or younger)
Lay Male (36 or older)
To be considered for the slate of nominees for the ELCA Churchwide Assembly by the Synod’s Nominating Committee, please submit your vitae by February 1, 2018. Please note the Nominating Committee will be building a slate that will hopefully represent all areas, ethnicities, and genders of the Synod. If you do not make the slate, you have the right to have your name submitted by a registered voting member of the assembly to the assembly floor, and a vitae and photo will be needed at that time.
The next ELCA Churchwide Assembly will be August 5-10, 2019, in Milwaukee, WI.
ELCA Church Council Members (nominees to be then voted on at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly)
TWO Rostered Ministers of Word and Sacrament
The NT-NL Synod is paired with the Arkansas Oklahoma (AOK) Synod in continuing resolution 19.02.C05. for the purpose of nominating two persons to the ELCA Church Council to be elected by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. The nominating committee has assigned the category of Minister of Word and Sacrament to our synod for nomination.
We are looking for people who would bring a commitment to the work of this church in all of its expressions. It is important that those nominated can work with the other members of the Church Council in assuming the governance role that has been assigned to the council.
This means that our 2018 Synod Assembly will select two persons who fit this category. These persons will then be nominated to the Churchwide Assembly, which will elect one to a six-year term on the Church Council, beginning upon the conclusion of the 2019 Assembly.
The process that our synod uses to identify and nominate these people is not described in the constitution. What is required is that the Synod Assembly nominates them. That means there will need to be a vote of the assembly to place these two people in nomination. Once these names are presented to the assembly in Milwaukee, there is not provision for nominations from the floor for this position. The two people we nominate from our 2018 Synod Assembly will be the only two on the ballot for the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.
Featured Resource for January
Congregational Communications Tools for Easter / Herramientas de comunicación congregacional para Pascua
Save the Date
10:30am – 2:00pm
Reservations are encouraged but not required. You may call 940-241-2099 or email email@example.com. Suggested donation: $15 per adult and $7.50 per child (ages 6-12).
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/official-greetings-bethlehem-tent-of-nations/ – published Jan. 15)
(https://www.ntnl.org/sunday-worship-hospitality-and-the-herodian/ – published Jan. 16)
Where in the world is?
- Jan. 28 – 100th Anniversary, St. John, Wilson
- Jan. 21-24 – Vacation
- Jan. 28 – Christ’s, Odessa
- Jan. 23 – Mission Developers meeting, St. Luke’s, Richardson
- Jan. 25 – Meeting with African American congregations, St. John, Dallas
- Jan. 26 – Prison ministry with SAWL Dan Lund
- Feb. 2-3: Synod Council Meeting
- Feb. 3: PLMA Graduation
- Feb. 10: MEF Board meeting
- Feb. 10: NT-NL African American History Celebration
- Feb. 11-13: Lutheran Legislative Event
- Feb. 24: Senior Fest 2018 (AOLA)
- Feb. 25-27: LSTC Seminary Sampler
- Feb. 26-27: ELCA Coach Training
- Mar. 2-4: Spring Retreat for 4th, 5th, & 6th graders
- Mar. 2-4: Peer Ministry (9th-12th graders)
- Mar. 9-10: The Role of the Church in Undoing Racism
- Mar. 17: PLMA Spring 2018, Course 1
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to the Synod office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration for upcoming NT-NL News.