Exciting MEF Updates
NT-NL Mission Endowment Board is in (EXCITING!) Mission Together!
The NT-NL Mission Endowment Fund Board has much to celebrate this year! WHAT? Though 2020 has NOT been a normal or expected year, MEF has been working diligently to serve our Synod. Just as the congregations in our Synod have experienced challenges and changes, so has MEF also faced modifications and unanticipated altered directions this year. While the Board continues its objective to manage the investments and to select deserving ministries for the annual grants, this has been a year of re-routing and overcoming challenges caused by the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities include awarding grants of $82,000 to 28 ministries for 2020, organizing a COVID-19 Relief Fund/Good Faith Loan Program, adapting the Seeds That Change FUNd-raiser, and managing an ever-changing year of intended grant cancellations and reapplications. And most exciting of all, the MEF will celebrate 25 years of ministry to our Synod!
Awarding financial grants to NT-NL congregations and organizations for specific ministries or community service that are underfunded is the primary function of the MEF. Who could have predicted the state of our congregations in October 2019, when applications for Grants were submitted? We are not the Synod today as we were in 2019! With months of health issues, social restrictions, the absence of in person worship, and important cultural concerns, some of the intended ministries were cancelled, thus resulting in a re-allocation of funds to different ministry needs arising after COVID-19. Also, several of the planned ministries had to pivot quite creatively by restructuring and revising the original plans. The Board has worked closely to help grant recipients work through a creative process to further their missions. The new resourcefulness is exciting!
The 25 years of financial assistance to our congregations can be illustrated best by showing HOW these funds have supported the NT-NL The original vision was to help finance start-up ministries and the largest portion of funding over the years continues to be awarded in that direction.
Continue reading about the exciting updates with our Mission Endowment Fund.
Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders
Being Church in Times of Crisis
Wednesdays, 1PM Central
We welcome back Dr. Martin Lohrmann on June 24. He is the Associate Professor of Lutheran Confessions and Heritage at Wartburg Theological Seminary. Among other works, he is the author of Book of Harmony: Spirit and Service in the Lutheran Confessions (Fortress, 2016) and the forthcoming Stories from Global Lutheranism: A Historical Introduction (Fortress, expected summer 2020).
Using the 1966 documentary A Time for Burning as a starting point, participants will learn about and discuss the ways that racism has impacted the witness and ministry of white Lutheran congregations in the United States. The session will also discuss antiracist values and strategies that people can use in daily life.
If you missed Dr. Lohrmann’s April 15 presentation “Hope and Lutheran History,” you can watch that recording and find supporting documents here: https://www.
Hosted by ELCA Coaching. You are invited to join this weekly gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church in times of crisis, as well as an opportunity to be in small group discussions with an ELCA group coach facilitating the conversation. All of this is designed to help us process our feelings in this strange and fearful time and to create a space where we can each name our next most faithful step forward in our unique context. You are welcome to share this invitation with any other ELCA leader, rostered or lay. #ELCAChurchTogether
For recordings and supporting documents from previous weeks, go to: https://www.elcacoaching.org/podcasts/media.
Addiction in an Age of Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is making the addiction crisis worse — addiction overdoses are spiking ever higher.
Is your church ready to meet this growing urgent need?
Thursday, Jun 25, 2020
11 am Central
A webinar for understanding the sharp increase in addiction issues due to Covid-19. Learn practical information for how pastors and ministry leaders can effectively address addiction in their congregations and communities.
Speakers: Rev. Dr. Sonia Waters, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Seminary; Timothy McMahan King, Author of Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals about Us, Rev. Ed Treat, Director at Center for Addiction and Faith
Featured Resources for June
World Refugee Day is June 20
On June 20, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees. Around the world more than 50 million people have fled their homes. Each day, thousands more follow.
2020 Theme: #StepWithRefugees – Take A Step on World Refugee Day
Around the world, communities, schools, businesses, faith groups, and people from all walks of life are taking big and small steps in solidarity with refugees. This World Refugee Day, we challenge everyone to join together and take a step with refugees. Join the movement. You can learn more here.
Migrant and Refugee Sunday can be observed on any Sunday
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) invites you and your congregation to infuse new meaning into the phrase welcome the stranger. Join us in celebrating the resilience and courage of refugees and migrants in America and in your own community!
Click here for a special message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and LIRS President and CEO Krish Vignarajah.
Download “An Immigration Catechism” — an educational resource examining current realities and policies relating to refugee resettlement and asylum process, and prompting participants to reflect and discuss the classic catechetical question, “What does this mean?” It comes as a PowerPoint presentation with notes for leading participants through both the information and the faith-based reflection. It is well-suited for use in adult forum, Bible study class, women’s circles, or other group study and discussion settings. Biblical and theological framework and reflection questions are embedded in the presentation. The study can be completed as one session; but also has breakpoints built in for spreading it across several sessions.
Save the Date
Living Connected: The Spiritual Discipline of Creation Care
The NT-NL Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice is hosting an online series of workshops that explore our use of the gifts of creation. Through small group activities and short presentations, you will discover how daily use of the gifts connect us and will reflect on using the gifts in ways that love God and neighbor. By doing so, your daily actions can become spiritual practices, leading to wholeness of life for us and all of creation.
The series is offered on Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings. Each session stands alone. You can take part in one or as many as you want.
Saturdays, 10:00 – 11:30 am | Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
June 27 – Food | June 30 – Food
July 25 – Water | July 28 – Water
August 22 – Material Goods | August 25 – Material Goods
September 26 – Waste | September 29 – Waste
October 24 – Land | October 27 – Land
November 21 – Energy | November 24 – Energy
The workshop presenter is Katrina Martich, a Lutheran deaconess and environmental engineer. She currently serves as a green shepherd for Lutherans Restoring Creation and on the ELCA Sustainability Table. For more information about Living Connected and the workshops, email Katrina at email@example.com. RSVP here for any or all workshops.
Click here for a bulletin insert.
Recent Blog Posts
Appeal to the Powerful: White American Christians and Racial Injustice
(https://www.ntnl.org/appeal-powerful/ – published Jun. 21)
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:
- Jun. 24: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Jun. 25: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jun. 25: Conversations at Briarwood with Ulysses W. Burley, III, MD – COVID-19 and Black America, Zoom
- Jun. 27: Living Connected: The Spiritual Discipline of Creation Care (Food)
- Jun. 30: Living Connected: The Spiritual Discipline of Creation Care (Food)
- Jul. 1: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- Jul. 2: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jul. 2: Conversations at Briarwood with Vance Blackfox – American Indian Memory and Resistance, Zoom
- Jul. 2: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- 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, Arlington, TX
- 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
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.