Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
“But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand.” Psalm 31:14-15
This line, from the psalm appointed for the liturgy of the passion, struck me deeply last Sunday. “My times are in your hand.” The last 365+ days have been a year in which you and I have thought a lot about time. You have counted days/weeks in quarantine after being exposed to Covid-19 or had a positive test. You marked time since we saw a loved one, went to worship in person, or had a job. You recall how much time it has been since a dear one died, whether from this disease or another cause, and how much time til you can properly honor their loss together with other loved ones.
The psalmists proclaims that all these times are in God’s hands. A proclamation and reminder in the midst of a psalm fraught with grief and anxiety that you are God’s and your trust in God is not misplaced.
This Holy Week, as you recall the story of the passion, participate in the ancient rituals of our faith, take seriously sin and death, and finally wake to Easter joy, I pray for you all that the Holy Spirit will bring you this comfort and peace. To know that you can entrust yourself, all that you are,all of your times, to a God who does not let the powers of this world, even death, have the final word. And then that you are Entrusted with this story to proclaim, God’s mysteries to steward, and your neighbor to invite to know this truth and with it, share our joy.
Holy Week is a busy time in our lives even in “normal years.” So may God bless you all in this Holy Week time. To our pastors, deacons, worship and administrative staffs, cleaning crews, digital ministry teams, lay volunteers, everyone who makes the liturgies and opportunities of this week happen, you are daily in my prayers.
A blessed Holy Week,
Gone to the Dogs… and Cats
It all started in 2008 when Dolly, a 4 pound long-haired Chihuahua, and her Handler/Mom became a Registered Pet Partners Team. Pet Partners is an organization dedicated to improving people’s health through positive interactions with therapy animals.
The church home for this team is Gloria Dei in Garland.
When the member told her Pastor about the new team, he said that we should do something special to recognize her pending journey to share God’s love. From that point, as they say, the rest is history.
Thus was born the Commissioning, which is similar to Confirmation of our young adults.
Fathering in 15
Do you have 15 minutes to refine your fathering skills? Along with the National Fatherhood Initiative and Lutheran Men in Mission, Project Twelve is offering 15 sessions of information, questions, and video. Each is about 15 minutes long and designed to help you manage your life and build (a) healthy relationship(s) with your child(ren) and their mother(s).
There will be a new topic each week leading up to Father’s Day. The topics will cover health, achieving family / work balance, fathering skills, dealing with grief and loss, child development, discipline, and more.
Featured Resources for March
Race and Christianity in the United States
A VIDEO SERIES EXPLORING RACE AND RELIGION IN THE UNITED STATES
Offered at NO COST to NT-NL Leaders and Worshiping Communities
ABOUT THE SERIES
Talking about race in the United States is challenging, complicated, and fraught. Even as so much of our lives are affected by race—from where we live to how we vote—we disagree about how big a problem racism is and even how to define it.
This video series provides one lens through which to explore race in the United States. Focusing on the history of black/white relations in the U.S., it considers how race and Christianity have interacted, for good and for ill. It offers a narrative that helps to answer the question “how did we get here?” I hope that by offering a look at our racial past, we will better understand ourselves and be better able to have those challenging, complicated, and fraught conversations our churches and our country need. – Sarah Ruble
ABOUT SARAH RUBLE
I am an associate professor of religion at Gustavus Adolphus College. In addition to teaching (some of the world’s most wonderful) undergraduate students, I lecture in churches and to life-long learning groups. All of that means that I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make the past accessible without making it simplistic. As both a Christian and a historian, I’m always learning, trying to figure out how to make sense of our past and what it means for us today.
Sample Curriculum: Race and Christianity Leaders Guide Introduction with Early Sessions
The full curriculum consists of eight YouTube videos that are 20 to 25 minutes each, as well as a print component that includes questions for discussions and some suggestions about other resources to consult for further exploration. The videos and downloadable curriculum are available on Sarah’s website: sarahruble.com
Here’s the direct link to the series: http://sarahruble.com/episodes/
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/learning-digital-ministry/ – published Mar. 29)
Where in the world is?
As we continue to navigate the changing realities of Covid-19 and guidelines regarding masking and other restrictions, synod staff will be resuming some in-person events. For those, synod staff will wear masks, and we encourage all in attendance to do so as well.
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:
- Mar. 31: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA with Rev. CeCee Mills, Zoom
- Apr. 1: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Apr. 1: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Apr. 7: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA, Zoom
- Apr. 8: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Apr. 10: Public Witness Team meeting, Online
- Apr. 11: LAST DAY TO REGISTER FOR SYNOD ASSEMBLY
- Apr. 14: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Eisenhower Matrix (Urgent-Important Matrix) with Rev. Dana Peterson, Zoom
- Apr. 15: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Apr. 17: PLMA, Spring 2021, Course 2, Online
- Apr. 18: EcoFaith Summit 2021, Zoom
- Apr. 21: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Prioritize Young People (and Families) Everywhere with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Apr. 22: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Apr. 23: Synod Council and Deans Meeting, Online
- Apr. 24: 2021 Synod Assembly, Online
- Apr. 28: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA, Zoom
- Apr. 29: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, 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.