Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
It has now been three months since we should have been gathered at Paul Quinn College for our annual NT-NL assembly. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we postponed with hope for a fall in-person gathering. Due to continued high rates of infection and hospitalizations, an in-person gathering even this fall is looking unlikely. As such, we are announcing today our first ever NT-NL online assembly to be held September 26, 2020 from 1-4:30pm. More information about registration and agenda will be forthcoming. I am excited for this opportunity in which we can utilize the resources of the Leadership Center at Briarwood. It will be a learning experience for us all, a hallmark of adaptive leadership.
Learning has been a hallmark of this time for us all. You have learned and adapted and brought new ways to connect into our life together. I am excited by the ways in which the many ministries of NT-NL have stepped up and adapted. This includes your ministry at Briarwood and the amazing talented staff.
While some camps have done a week or two of online content, your summer staff at Briarwood have produced amazing new content for you each week of the last six weeks including interactive worship (including Wednesday July 29th at 6:30pm) and game times (Tuesday July 28th at 11am). This content will also be available for your sunday schools and youth groups into the fall as a package to assist your congregation as we continue to learn to do church online and as able, in person. Please invite Avery Hawley (email@example.com), summer program coordinator and community engagement manager, to join your youth online.
Continuing in this spirit of innovation, our Conferencia Latina will be hosting a Bilingual VBS@home the first two weeks of August. I believe this is the first such VBS of its kind ever in the ELCA. So grateful for how our leaders in the Conferencia Latina have come together to adapt and learn and provide resources for our communities. This is work #EnMisionJuntos #InMissionTogether.
MLK Speaking at the ALC Luther League Convention in 1961
ELCA Archives image: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. answering questions at The American Lutheran Church Luther League convention, Miami Beach, Florida, 1961.
The first triennial convention of the Luther League of The American Lutheran Church was held in Miami Beach, Fla., from Aug. 15-20, 1961. Dr. King addressed the leaguers on Wednesday, August 16, during the “Christ Lives in the World” hour. He spoke of need for “agape” (God-like love in face of rejection), asked Leaguers to be “proudly maladjusted” toward a society which permits injustice. At the feature interest group that afternoon, Dr. King answered questions from an audience of several hundred. On the panel with him were (L-R) Don Luther, Pastor Robert Graetz, Dr. Carl Reuss, and (not pictured) Pastor Ewald Bash, Assistant Director of Youth for the ALC.”
The transcript can be found here: https://www.ntnl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/ALC-LL-1961-MLK-Jr-transcript.pdf.
You can read more in this blog by Bishop Gronberg: https://www.ntnl.org/mlk-luther-league-convo-1961-thinking-about-2021/.
Lutherans and Netflix
The ELCA has found itself in the Netflix spotlight recently. The Netflix series Sweet Magnolias, written by ELCA member Sheryl Anderson, began streaming May 19 and features a fictional ELCA congregation. The main characters turn to their church for the community, grace and support that Lutherans can count on.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Noah Hepler of Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement appeared on season 5 of Queer Eye, with his congregation and his mindset getting a makeover from the Fab Five. Give these great Lutheran-featuring shows a watch!
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.)
Save the Date
You are invited to “Faith in Democracy: Lifting Dallas Voices for Justice” Sunday, August 23 at 2:00pm for a faith and community leader panel, insider insights into the 2021 Texas Legislature, and panels with nuts and bolts strategies to promote safe, fair elections in 2020.
Registration is free but necessary to receive the links.
2:00pm Faith Leader Panel
- Rev. Sheron Patterson, Hamilton Park United Methodist Church
- Dr. Omar Suleiman, Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research
- Bishop Gronberg, Northern-Texas Northern Louisiana Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Faith Commons
Moderated by Scott Atnip, Texas Impact Outreach Director
3:15pm Recruiting Election Workers Panel
4:15pm Mail in Voting Strategies Panel
5:15pm Insider Insights:Texas Impact’s 2021 Legislative Preview
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/young-adults-leading/ – published Jul. 20)
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. 29: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Embodying Nehemiah: Organizing for Community Justice (Sister Kelly Marciales), Zoom
- Jul. 30: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Aug. 1: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 8 (Día 1 de 5), Zoom
- Aug. 5: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Expressing and Mourning our Grief (Pastora Irma Bañales), Zoom
- Aug. 6: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Aug. 6: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Aug. 8: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 8 (Día 2 de 5), Zoom
- Aug. 8: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 12: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Aug. 13: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Aug. 13: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 13: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Aug. 15: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 8 (Día 3 de 5), Zoom
- Aug. 19: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Aug. 20: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Aug. 20: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Aug. 22: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 8 (Día 4 de 5), Zoom
- Aug. 22: Living Connected: The Spiritual Discipline of Creation Care (The Gift of Water), Zoom
- Aug. 25: Living Connected: The Spiritual Discipline of Creation Care (The Gift of Water), Zoom
- Aug. 26: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Aug. 27: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Aug. 27: Conversations at Briarwood, Zoom
- Aug. 29: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 8 (Día 5 de 5), 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.