Questions have been raised regarding the situation on the Texas-Mexico border. We have encouraged, and continue to encourage, support of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), Refugee Services of Texas, and The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). Please also be aware of the resources through the ELCA AMMPARO strategy, included in our Resources for July section below. Links to all these have been, and will continue to be, in our synod news.
We are also working with Bishop Briner in the Southwestern Texas Synod to coordinate a response and potentially a staff person. That is in process, and a coordination conversation is being held the last weekend of July. If folks want to give financial gifts to any of these listed ministries/organizations or to our response and ministries through NT-NL, they can do so and specify Border Response.
For those wishing to give in kind donations, Eagle Pass Frontera Ministries is providing support at one of our ELCA congregations on the border, Iglesia Luterana San Lucas in Eagle Pass. Daily they welcome up to 20 documented asylum seekers on their way to relatives in the USA. They hold a service of thanksgiving for safe arrival; provide dinner, breakfast, a bed to sleep in, a change of clothes, hygiene kit, towel, backpack, and reusable water bottle; and prior to departure they hold a service of Godspeed to send them on their way. You can help provide basic supplies they need each day…
Paper goods for meals: paper plates, plastic silverware packets; backpacks; reusable water bottles; bath towels; hygiene kits or supplies: shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb/brush, razor, or sanitary pads. All supplies can be delivered to the NT-NL office, and we will coordinate delivery.
Finding a bright path through chaos
Crisis and urgency bordering on chaos are common themes of most news outlets’ headlines. Violence, climate change, hunger, migration… Are we faced with hopeless situations as the headlines seem to indicate? Absolutely not. Hope lies in and with our God not of disorder but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33), and the peace of Christ can rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15)….
The Talanoa Dialogue process was introduced to the world stage in 2017 by the leaders of Fiji during a climate change conference in Bonn, Germany. The process lays a foundation for bringing diverse parties together to talk, take stock of a current situation, and help devise and implement solutions. It embraces mutual respect. Ideas and experiences are shared through storytelling while fostering inclusiveness and building trust through the advancement of knowledge with empathy and understanding. There is no blaming. Solutions for the most challenging problems surface on this bright path.
Features of process implementation are available in a resource from ELCA Advocacy. The ELCA social statement, The Church in Society: A Lutheran Perspective, says, “This church has a responsibility to mediate conflict and to advocate just and peaceful resolutions to the world’s divisions” (page 3). Consider using the Talanoa Dialogue process in your congregations and communities as we engage our responsibility.
Appeal for Redeemer, Greenville
Redeemer, Greenville, continues to work through the damage to their property. As happens in natural disaster assessments, the initial damage reports often lead to more and different realities as time goes on. We encourage congregations and individuals, particularly those whose lives have been touched by this ministry or served by this congregation, to give generously.
See our July 1 news article, Ministries Affected by Storm Damage, for full details. You can also read more in Bishop Gronberg’s June 20 blog: June Storms bring Damage to NT-NL Congregations.
Featured Resources for July
In a holistic, whole church commitment by the ELCA, as a church in the world, AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities) was envisioned to accompany children today and in the future who are forced to flee their communities because of complex and interrelated reasons, including chronic violence, poverty, environmental displacement and lack of opportunities.
The ELCA’s 1995 social statement, For Peace in God’s World, states:
Care for the Uprooted. Tens of millions are refugees in foreign lands. At least as many are internally displaced. In unprecedented numbers people have had to flee their homes because of persecution or general violence. We support compassionate survival assistance for refugees and vigorous international protection for them. The world community has a responsibility to aid nations that receive refugees and to help change the situations from which they have fled. In our own country, we support a generous policy of welcome for refugees and immigrants. We pledge to continue our church’s historic leadership in caring for refugees and immigrants.
Because we understand each person to be made in God’s image – without distinction based on race, ethnicity, gender, economic class or country of origin – and have heard God’s call to serve the needs of our neighbor wherever they may be, we recognize ourselves to be in mission and ministry together for the benefit of all God’s people. (See also Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture, 1993).
Save the Date
Celebrating 54 Years of African American Ministry in the Oak Cliff Community
Saturday, August 3, 5-8pm – Community Fish Fry
Suggested donation = $10 per adult, $5 per child (12 and under)
Sunday, August 4, 10:30am – Worship Service
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/remembering-the-rev-john-squire-of-the-elcsl/ – published Jul. 15)
Social Statement on Women and Justice to be considered at Churchwide Assembly August 6-10
(https://www.ntnl.org/social-statement-on-women-and-justice-to-be-considered-at-churchwide-assembly-august-6-10/ – published Jul. 17)
(https://www.ntnl.org/blog-post-on-spirituality-of-fatherhood/ – published Jul. 20)
(https://www.ntnl.org/holden-village-continuing-education/ – published Jul. 21)
(https://www.ntnl.org/first-in-waco/ – published Jul. 18)
Where in the world is?
- Jul. 18-28: Continuing Education
- Jul. 22: Meeting with East Dallas congregations, Central, Dallas
- Jul. 28: Abiding Grace, Southlake
- Jul. 28: Chuck Hubbard’s retirement celebration, Garland
- Jul. 22-26: Vacation
- Aug. 3-4: Celebrating 54 Years of African American Ministry in the Oak Cliff Community, Dallas, TX
- Aug. 5-10: ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Milwaukee, WI
- Aug. 8-11: Via de Cristo weekend, Argyle, TX
- Aug. 10: Public Witness Team monthly meeting, Arlington, TX
- Aug. 17: WELCA Annual Women’s/Girl’s Retreat, Grand Prairie, TX
- Aug. 17: TUNE UP Worship Band Gathering, Sugar Land, TX
- Aug. 31: ELCA Generosity Project workshop, Keller, TX
- Sep. 8: “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday
- Sep. 9: The Church of the Damascus Road Golf Outing, Fort Worth, TX
- Sep. 13: Briarwood Golf Outing, TBA
- Sep. 14: PLMA, Fall 2019, Course 1, Argyle, TX
- Sep. 14: Public Witness Team monthly meeting, Arlington, TX
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.