Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
As of July 1st I began my second term as your bishop. The last six years have been incredibly eventful both for us as church and in our communities. It was just six days into my first term that five law enforcement officers were murdered in Dallas as they protected a peaceful protest. That tragic day, along with too many days of gun violence in the years that have followed, continue to challenge us to ask hard questions. Why is this our reality? And can we, in our deeply fractured political and cultural nation, come to any solutions? Can we do more than wait for the next tragedy and offer “thoughts and prayers”? In the face of this and many other adaptive leadership challenges, what do we expect of our elected leadership?
Adaptive change requires different thinking. It requires learning and being open to a solution we may not have initially desired. And frankly, adaptive change is at the core roots of our faith. Throughout scripture we see God working this sort of change in God’s people. The freed Hebrew slaves walking in the wilderness could only see a return to Egypt as a solution for their hunger. God instead provided manna that required them only to gather enough for one day. To trust that God would provide. Jonah didn’t think the people of Nineveh were worth trying to save. God, to Jonah’s frustration, thought otherwise and they repented.
Time and again God has shown us that to be faithful we must be open to being moved, changed, challenged. And God is doing that to us as a church today and like Jonah, we may not really be excited about it. We like our routines, the way things were. We pine for an idealized past that never really existed. But the realities of our time, the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, technological advancements, instant communication, will not make that possible. The church is and will continue to be changed now, and this change will come ever faster as our communities change.
All this can be frightening, but rooted in our Lutheran confessional theology this should not scare us. Our theology grounds us in God’s faithfulness. Not to an institution, human traditions, the bricks of a building, or a plot of land. But to the faithfulness of a God who creates, redeems, resurrects, and calls us to proclaim that to a dying world. In the midst of those who profit from fear, we proclaim hope and promise. God’s adaptive solution to death, new life in Jesus Christ.
So as we move into this second part of 2022, and as I as bishop lead into this second term, I call on us to seek the foundation that Luther sought when he wrote “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” To be open to new ways of being, to let go of those that keep us from following, and to seek out those who need to hear this saving Word.
In Mission Together,
MYJ2 Final Day to Register
NT-NL Multicultural Youth will be gathering at Briarwood, July 21-23, for 3 full days of fun, learning, and fellowship!
This is an event primarily for youth of color. Congregations whose youth group is made up of a majority of youth of color can register all interested youth, even if they are youth of European decent. Congregations that don’t meet this criteria can register individual members. The event is open to any youth who would have been eligible to attend the 2022 National Youth Gathering.
Each congregation must have at least 1 adult for every 8 youth attending. Adults do not need to be people of color.
Briarwood will host meals starting with lunch on Thursday through dinner on Saturday as well as overnight accommodations. Events will start around 10am on Thursday and run until 8:30pm on Saturday. If you need to arrive on Wednesday and/or stay through Sunday, Briarwood is happy to host you but no meals will be provided.
Cost per youth: $30.00
This event is subsidized by the NT-NL Youth and Young Adult Leadership Funds.
The final day to register is this Thursday, July 14!
Indicate your interest here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc1Rug5AwxDzxEocL52qF1IowHWDZ6jPcii6M246bQyQ6A8IA/viewform
Synod Assembly Closing Worship
The closing worship service from our 2022 NT-NL Synod Assembly, led by our Conferencia Latina, has been uploaded to the synod YouTube account and can be found here:
Featured Resources for July
Being Church | Courageous Leadership
Nearly 100 Recordings with Faith Leaders from Across the Church
When most of us became aware of COVID-19 in March of 2020, ELCA Coaching (including our very own synod communicator, Jason O’Neill) began hosting weekly gatherings with faith leaders (rostered and lay) from around the nation to discuss ways we could envision (and take action toward) BEING CHURCH more like Christ taught and modeled. After taking part of the summer of 2021 off to rest and listen, they began hosting these weekly gatherings again around COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP. These gatherings continue to meet weekly on Wednesdays at 1pm Central, and anyone may participate. (Login information can be found here: https://www.elcacoaching.org/events/courageous-leadership) Recordings are typically posted by the next day and often include links to additional resources: https://www.elcacoaching.org/podcasts/elca-coaching-media/series
Where in the world is?
Across a context as wide and different as NT-NL, the reality of Covid-19 is very different. As such, NT-NL synod staff are doing more in-person Sunday visits for worship and occasional meetings. However, as good stewards of time and travel dollars, we will be utilizing online meeting formats into our new hybrid future. Given the rise of breakthrough infections and in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will choose to wear masks as is deemed appropriate unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
Jul. 21-23: MYJ2 Multicultural Youth Gathering 2022, Briarwood
Jul. 24: 100th Celebration, Central, Dallas
Jul. 31: Installation of Rev. Erin Swenson-Reinhold, Preston Meadow, Plano
Aug. 5-6: ELCA Latinx Young Adult Gathering, Briarwood
Aug. 7-12: ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Columbus, OH
Jul. 12: First Call Pastors, Zoom
Jul. 17: Mt. Olive, Dallas Jul. 24: Central/Bethany Anniversary & New Beginnings celebration, Dallas Jul. 31: Installation of Pr. Erin Swenson-Reinhold, Preston Meadow, Plano
Aug. 4: Transitional/Interim pastors meeting, Zoom/Briarwood Aug. 6: ELCA Latinx Young Adults Gathering, Briarwood
Aug. 7: New Hope, Keller
Aug. 10-17: Vacation Aug. 19-20: Candidacy Meeting and retreat, Briarwood Aug. 23: First Call pastors, Zoom Aug. 27-28: Permian Basin ministry conversations, Midland/Odessa
Jul. 11-16: Vacation
Jul. 17: Central, Dallas
Jul. 18: ELCA Candidacy Working Group, and Meeting with Mission Developer
Jul. 21: ELCA CCL Staff Meeting, Online
Jul. 23: Grace, Abilene
Jul. 24: Mount Olive, Dallas
Jul. 27: VBS at Central, Dallas
Jul. 28: Meetings with Ecumenical Group and NT-NL Renewal Team
Jul. 30: First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Jul. 31: New Hope, Keller
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. 13: Courageous Leadership – ELCA Young Adults – Innovation and Equity-based Design
- Jul. 20: Courageous Leadership – Presenter and Topic TBA
- Jul. 21-23: MYJ2 Multicultural Youth Gathering 2022, Briarwood
- Jul. 27: Courageous Leadership – Nathan Swenson-Reinhold – Team Facilitation
- Aug. 3: Courageous Leadership – Choose Your Own Adventure (breakout rooms by topic)
- Aug. 4: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 5-7: ELCA Latinx Young Adults Gathering, Briarwood
- Aug. 10: Courageous Leadership – Presenter and Topic TBA
- Aug. 13: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 17: Courageous Leadership – Presenter and Topic TBA
- Aug. 24: Courageous Leadership – Presenter and Topic TBA
- Aug. 31: Courageous Leadership – Presenter and Topic TBA
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to Jason (email@example.com) for consideration for upcoming editions of our weekly news.