Message from Bishop Gronberg
Partners in Mission:
This past Sunday we heard the promise of Jesus that he would not leave his disciples, he would not leave us, alone. The gift of the spirit was given to both guide you and comfort you in the challenges you and your community face. And certainly in this time we face challenges. Many of our leaders have reached out to me this past week as their communities discern what to do about future gatherings. I am grateful so many of you are heeding the guidance our churchwide organization and I have given and making thoughtful and deliberate plans. If you have not watched the video webinar from the Minneapolis Area synod featuring ELCA member Dr. Mark Osterholm, I commend it to you.
On Saturday May 16th we did another new thing. Our Briarwood Gala, originally planned for March and rescheduled for May, was held as an online experience. There was much wondering about how this would go. Would donors respond as they have generously in the past? The planning team did an amazing job, the day was filled with stories and fun videos that gained significant social media traction, and the good news is the answer is yes! You have responded and given generously to this ministry in which our synod has invested so much. As of Sunday, Briarwood was within $7,000 of its goal of raising $50,000 for this ministry, and a generous match has been extended that will double your gift to sustain this ministry before the end of Monday, May 18th. Please consider a gift or sign up for a repeating monthly sustaining gift and thank you!
Another ministry we share as NT-NL is our campus ministry in Denton. This week’s interview features Pastor Jim Rowe of LCM-Denton. He gives us an update on this vital young adult outreach ministry and how our campus ministry students have gracefully handled the end of in-person classes, missed graduations, and yet stayed connected. I was blessed to lead them in bible study in April via zoom and appreciate Pastor Rowe’s commitment to these students and our work #InMissionTogether.
LCM Food & Faith 1000K
According to a 2018 study, 1 in 3 four-year university students and 1 in 2 community college students are food insecure. Since the emergence of COVID-19, the food pantry at the Denton Wesley Foundation (ministry partner for Lutheran Campus Ministry in Denton) has seen an increase in usage from college students from UNT, TWU, and NCTC. To help support this important ministry at the Wesley and to help Lutheran Campus Ministry to provide meals to students in need in the Fall, Pastor Jim Rowe is looking to raise $1,000 by the end of August by running 1,000 km virtually across the state of Tennessee. To receive updates on his progress, check out LCM Denton on Facebook or Instagram. And to make a donation to help college students in this time of need, you can donate through PayPal, or write a check to LCM Denton and mail it to Christ the Servant, Denton. (Please write “Food & Faith 1000K” on the memo line.)
United in baptism | Unidos en el bautismo
In a time of physical distancing due to the coronavirus, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that we aren’t islands—we are united in baptism. In her May column for Living Lutheran, she writes: “We don’t have to go it alone. In fact, we cannot, because, in Christ, we are knit into one body. And just as surely as Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one—this wildly mysterious community of the Trinity—so are we one.” Read her column in English: United in baptism o lee su columna en español: Unidos en el bautismo.
Featured Resources for May
May is Mental Health (Awareness) Month
There are a number of trusted organizations who have quality mental health resources:
May 6 is World Maternal Mental Health Day
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/easter-5-visiting-some-eastern-conference-congregations/ – published May 11)
(https://www.ntnl.org/may-12-update-considerations-for-in-person-worship/ – published May 12)
(https://www.ntnl.org/may-14th-letter-from-bishop-gronberg/ – published May 14)
(https://www.ntnl.org/nt-nl-racism-past-present/ – published May 17)
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:
- May 20: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- May 21: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- May 23: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 7 (Día 5 de 5), Zoom
- May 24-29: Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Intensive I, Austin, TX
- May 26: Holy Hollywood for NT-NL Young Adults, Zoom
- May 27: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders, Zoom
- May 28: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Jun. 7-11: Vital Congregations – Vital Communities: Building Leadership Capacity for Latinx Ministries, Austin, TX
- Jun. 13: Public Witness Team meeting, Arlington, TX
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.