“I’m a Lutheran” Nominations
Do you know an ELCA member who has a unique story to tell? Nominate them for Living Lutheran’s monthly “I’m a Lutheran” feature. Past features have included people with interesting vocations, impressive accomplishments, or exciting experiences. We’re looking for people who are passionately living and showing their faith in their everyday life and are comfortable talking about it. Send the name and contact information for your nominee, as well as a little bit about why you think they’d be a great candidate, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Re-Imagining Prison Ministry
Visiting those in prison is one of the fundamental calls in the gospel, but within that call lies an invitation to relationship. The Rev. Fred Nelson from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Ill., is founder and executive director of Inside Out Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping connect people inside prisons with those beyond the walls in meaningful ways. Pastor Nelson is joined by Aneel Trivedi, associate director of Inside Out, to share with Three Sides Podcast about this prison ministry. Listen at LivingLutheran.org/podcast.
Making a Difference
The ministry of mission interpretation
A freak flash flood had affected sections of a city, including homes. Friends, work colleagues, and church family members were coming to M’s house to provide moral and physical support. They sorted through undamaged, salvageable, and unsalvageable items, packing items to be taken to a storage unit while the house was restored to a livable condition. As people worked, they engaged in casual conversation. One young adult woman, D, was overheard saying in response to a question, “I belong to R Lutheran church; however, I have been attending C church recently. They have service project Saturdays. Each Saturday a mix of people (singles, couples, families) gather and do service projects together. After a stressful or frustrating week of work it is nice to go and do something for a few hours that you know is making a difference in someone’s life. Isn’t that what we are here for, to make a difference?” Later she left and two other people from D’s church arrived. As they worked and talked, one mentioned having not seen D at church recently. The other responded, “Oh, she’s going to C church, I heard. They have a contemporary service, so I’m sure that is why she is going there.” If they had heard the earlier conversation, they would have known that at C church D felt as if she was making a difference. Even though she belonged to R church, she was not hearing the stories of how that congregation was making a difference at the local homeless shelter and with other ministries. R church was practicing “do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing” too well. Members were not being updated about mission activities and encouraged to participate. The task of telling mission stories for the local congregation may seem overwhelming; however, mission interpreters can help.
Mission interpreters are intentional about raising up and telling the stories of how our combined resources in the congregation, synod, and churchwide organization are making a difference in people’s lives. A mission interpreter in your congregation shares your stories with the greater church and shares the mission and ministry stories of your synod and the greater church. If you want to learn more about how mission interpreters can help your congregation share how lives are changed, contact ELCA Mission Interpreter Ministry Coordinator Karen Kaufman (email@example.com, 330-929-9020).
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
Saturday, August 17
Sugar Land (Houston area), Texas
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/walnut-hill-farmers-branch/– published Jul. 6)
(https://www.ntnl.org/our-saviors-norse/ – published Jul. 1)
Where in the world is?
- Jul. 8-13: Vacation
- Jul. 14: First, Waco
- Jul. 1-6: Vacation
- Jul. 7: Emanuel, Dallas
- Jul. 8: Adviento, Arlington, and Our Redeemer/Nuestro Redentor, Grand Prairie
- Jul. 9-11: Team Spanish Generosity Project, Chicago, IL
- Jul. 12: Good Shepherd, Marshall
- Jul. 13: Public Witness Team monthly meeting, Arlington, TX
- Jul. 14-18: Hymn Festivals, Dallas and Plano (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. 12-15: Intentional Interim Training, Argyle, 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
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.