Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Ministry:
During the crisis that is impacting our nation and world right now, it seems that our lives are ever shifting and changing. Things we thought we could count on, ways of thinking about the world and one another, are being challenged. And with challenge and change brings uncertainty and anxiety. Yet in the midst of all of this, I am ever more convinced God is working on us and working on God’s church.
One of the ways I am convinced of this is in encounters with individuals God has called to engage in further theological education. NT-NL has had a long standing commitment to leadership formation and education. A key goal of my work as bishop has been to build on that foundation, both in our investment in Briarwood Leadership Center, and also encouraging individuals to pursue theological higher education. 2020 has been a banner year for that work as eight individuals from NT-NL congregations completed masters level or higher theological education. On Pentecost Sunday, I was blessed to be able to sit down with them and hear their stories, and now I get to share those stories with you.
It is inspiring to see and hear from these individuals who are living into the Lutheran tradition of academic excellence and inquiry. I pray hearing from them inspires you as well. NT-NL offers many avenues for those seeing theological and leadership education. Our Parish Lay Ministry Academy is growing and becoming a model for other synods across the ELCA. We offer coaching and coach training to help guide leaders to faithful decisions. We encourage and support seminary education for both lay and ordained professionals in the church. In the midst of all the changes in our world today, this commitment — to educating and developing leaders for God’s church and world — will remain constant as long as I serve in the office of bishop.
July 12 Sermon Recording Options
Pastora Irma Bañales recorded a sermon in Spanish for July 12 using Matthew 13:1-9,18-23. We hope to add English subtitles soon.
Vimeo (download): https://vimeo.com/user118660328/download/435554985/098e1368e1
Vimeo (watch): https://vimeo.com/435554985
Thrive: Share your videos with #ELCAChurchTogether
2020 has been a challenging year so far, and it can sometimes be hard to see how congregations are thriving during a crisis. But this is also a time where we’ve seen God’s love and mercy shining through. So, we want to know how you continue to thrive! Record a video to tell a short story or provide an example of how your faith is currently thriving. When you are done, post it to social media using #ELCAChurchTogether. The ELCA may even share your videos on their social media. (Please film your videos in landscape-orientation and keep them shorter than one minute.)
Featured Resources for July
“In countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and among Tribal nations in the U.S., it is commonplace, even policy, to open events and gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of that land. While some individuals and cultural and educational institutions in the United States have adopted this custom, the vast majority have not. Together, we can spark a movement to change that.
We call on all individuals and organizations to open public events and gatherings with acknowledgment of the traditional Native inhabitants of the land.
Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth. Imagine this practice widely adopted: imagine cultural venues, classrooms, conference settings, places of worship, sports stadiums, and town halls, acknowledging traditional lands. Millions would be exposed—many for the first time—to the names of the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of the lands they are on, inspiring them to ongoing awareness and action….
Acknowledgment by itself is a small gesture. It becomes meaningful when coupled with authentic relationship and informed action. But this beginning can be an opening to greater public consciousness of Native sovereignty and cultural rights, a step toward equitable relationship and reconciliation.”
(Credit for these recommendations and resources, as a starting place, goes to Vance Blackfox, Other+Wise, and The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.)
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/online-camp-week-one-a-success/ – published Jul. 1)
Where in the world is?
Based on recommendations from public health officials, and to live out our call to love and protect “the least of these,” Bishop Gronberg, Pastor Totzke, and Pastora Bañales are suspending all congregational visits, in-person meetings, and travel until further notice. They will continue to meet with individuals and groups online. Though many buildings are closed, the church is all of us, and ministry continues.
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:
- Jul. 8: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Jul. 9: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jul. 9: Conversations at Briarwood with Carmen Lansdowne – Crossing Borders and Church-Based Action, Zoom
- Jul. 11: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Jul. 15: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Jul. 16: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jul. 16: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Jul. 22: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Jul. 23: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jul. 23: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Jul. 29: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Jul. 30: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jul. 30: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Aug. 1: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 8 (Día 1 de 5), Zoom
- Aug. 5: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Aug. 6: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Aug. 6: Conversations at Briarwood, 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 NT-NL News.