Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Ministry:
It is hard to believe but we are already halfway through 2021. This half-way point is a good time to stop and check in with ourselves and our communities. To reflect on our goals and hopes for the year and how we have adapted to new things we did not anticipate. And to reassess our expectations for the next six months.
One of the ways your synod staff is doing this is by engaging in intentional coaching relationships. Through a grant from the Mission Endowment Fund, coaching has been made available to our synod staff. This is just one of the ways we try to support our staff as they work to serve you and the church as a whole.
Looking ahead we have several significant events on our synod time table. Please join us at Briarwood on Saturday Sept 11th from 11am-4pm as we gather for a time of fun, food, and worship. All ages are welcome, and we will have games and activities for the kids as well as great food and worship. Our Synod Leadership Convocation will be October 18-20. This will be a hybrid event with presenters both in person and online. In so doing we will model how our congregations are going to be invited into this hybrid future we are living in now.
We also must take time to acknowledge and grieve our losses. As Bishop Mike Girlinghouse reminded us at our Assembly in April, taking time to grieve is vital and important so we can move with hope into God’s future. This week we will do so for two faithful leaders in our synod. On Friday July 2nd the community of St. John, Coryell City will gather to give thanks for the life and witness of Mrs. Sarah Gohlke. Sarah was a leader in her community, the Heart of Texas Conference, and was President of our NT-NL WELCA. On Saturday July 3rd the community of Trinity, Clifton will gather to give thanks for the faithful ministry of the Rev. Allen Johannes. Blessed be the memories of Allen and Sarah. They were examples to us all of faithfully living their baptism.
We look back and forward knowing that Christ, the Alpha and Omega, is always with us.
A Song in the Midst of Suffering
Lutheran musician leads string ministry to soothe souls numb to gun violence
Black String Triage Ensemble, lead by Dayvin Hallmon, is “an all-volunteer ensemble composed of Black and Latinx string musicians who … deliver healing music shortly after a fatal shooting,” writes Erin Strybis in the January/February issue of Living Lutheran. “[They] show up alongside traditional first responders but tend to the community’s unaddressed spiritual wounds. [They] perform music by Black and Latinx composers, curated by Hallmon to speak to the five stages of grief, plus a sixth stage—faith.” As Molly Dreza, the group’s pastor, says, “Their music is not a postlude to the events of suffering but a song sung in the midst of it, bringing hope at the very moment it is most needed.” Read more about this incredible ministry here.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Proud
This Pride Month, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton gives thanks for the blessings of our LGBTQIA+ siblings and prays that we will all have a sense of pride in being part of this fearfully and wonderfully made family. This message reminds us of the beauty of God’s creation and the rich diversity of people, which strengthens our church and our world. May we see the face of Christ in people all around us.
Featured Resources for June
LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) 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!
Migrant and Refugee Sunday (pick a Sunday in June)
World Refugee Day – June 20
2021 theme: Together we heal, learn and shine
World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
World Refugee Day was held globally for the first time on June 20, 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day, before the United Nations General Assembly officially designated it as an international day in December 2000.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/first-sagrada-familia-june-26/ – published Jun. 26)
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. Until we can assure everyone in attendance at a meeting are vaccinated, in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will continue to wear masks unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
Jul. 3: Funeral for Rev. Allen Johannes
Jul. 11: St. Luke’s, Richardson, and Nicholaus Chove Ordination, Community of Hope, Fort Worth
Jul. 18-24: Family Vacation
Jul. 1: Interim/Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
Jul. 4: St. Matthew, Waco
Jul. 7: Holy Trinity, Irving
Jul. 11: Ordination of Nicholaus Chove, Community of Hope, Fort Worth
Jul. 18: Faith, Fort Worth
Jul. 25: Grace, Abilene, and Installation of Pr. Rachel Ringlaben at Emanuel, Dallas
Jul. 31: Joint Council Retreat for Central & Bethany at Central, Dallas
Jun. 29: Joy, Rockwall
Jul. 1: Latina Women Retreat planning team meeting
Jul. 4: Santa Maria in Exile, Irving
Jul. 6: DEM meeting
Jul. 7: Santa Maria McArthur, Irving
Jul. 8: Congregational Vitality Training: Redeveloping/Renewal/Revitality, and Region 4 DEM meeting
Jul. 9: Adviento, Arlington
Jul. 10: King of Glory, Ft. Worth
Jul. 11: Santa Maria in Exile, Irving, and Nicholaus Chove Ordination, Community of Hope, Fort Worth
Jul. 12-17: Vacation
Jul. 18: Santa Maria in Exile, Irving
Jul. 20: Joy, Rockwall
Jul. 21: Santa Maria MacArthur, Irving
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. 1: Transitional (Interim) Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Jul. 6: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Derrick Bell, “The Space Traders,” Zoom
- Jul. 10: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Jul. 20: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex,” Zoom
- Aug. 3: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Enrique Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity,” Zoom
- Aug. 5: Transitional (Interim) Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 14: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Aug. 17: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Vine Deloria, Jr., “A Better Day for Indians,” Zoom
- Aug. 31: White Supremacy & Racism: Facing Reality, Taking Responsibility – Ian F. Haney López, “White by Law,” Zoom
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.