Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
What a powerful assembly we had together this past weekend. The worship, learning, and time together was a gift after three years being online but not physically present in assembly.
I am humbled and affirmed by the assembly’s call that was extended to me for another term as bishop. Thank you for this trust.
As I stated in my report there are many great things happening in NT-NL. We are raising up new leaders, starting new ministries, and leading nationally with our lay education programs. We are also caring for and stewarding ministries as they make decisions about merger and sometimes closure. This is holy stewardship work and is an essential part of what we do together.
We also have significant challenges and as people of Law and Gospel we must be honest about the truth of where we stand. For more than two decades NT-NL congregations, along with the vast majority of Christian communities in American, have as a whole been in decline. We have half the membership today that we had when constituted in 1987. As the chart I shared demonstrated Baptisms, Worship Attendance, and Confirmations have been in steady decline for decades. So I affirm the assembly’s decision to forward the memorial to churchwide calling for a process to led to a reconstitution of the ELCA governance structure. We need, as was pointed out, architecture that fits our current reality both nationally and locally. Also we affirmed the LFI and LEAD programs, Coaching, and other ways that we are empowering congregations to be intentional in their lives together.
The reality is though that no structure or program is going to lead us into reversing this generational decline. What can make a difference as leaders, lay and ordained, who are passionate about sharing and inviting others to hear that God is for them. To know that while the law, the truth, is that we are alienated from God because of sin, God has taken the step across that divide and given Christ for us so that in the gospel we know we are claimed. And that we are called by the Holy Spirit to share that message of hope and transformation one person at a time.
As we move into 2022 and beyond I encourage you to take on that challenge personally and as a congregation. Who do you know who needs to hear that God is for them? One person at a time, one conversation at a time, we can and will fulfill our calling to share this good news. And we do so still…
LIRS Webinar TODAY
From our partners at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS):
On the heels of President Biden’s announcement of his plan to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians to the United States, LIRS and our partners present Ukraine Crisis Update: Welcoming Our Ukrainian Neighbors on Tuesday, May 3, at 3 p.m. ET.
This webinar will provide an update on the current situation and the latest pathways to safety for those fleeing Russian aggression. Join us to learn more about what you can do to support Ukrainians seeking safety, our Stand Up, Speak Up program, and how communities like yours can prepare to welcome our newest neighbors.
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO, LIRS
Olga Kvashenko, Caseworker, Ascentria Care Alliance
Chelsey Johnson, Network Organizer, LIRS
Megan Bracy, Director of Resettlement and Integration Services, LIRS
Can’t make it? Sign up to receive a recording of the event.
Featured Resources for May
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, we join the national movement to raise awareness about mental health.
Resources from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
Resources from Mental Health America (MHA):
Resources from American Hospital Association (AHA):
May 4 is World Maternal Mental Health (Awareness) Day
Women of every culture, age, income level, and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Symptoms can appear any time during pregnancy and the first 12 months after childbirth.
Resources from Postpartum Support International (PSI):
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.
May 13-14: Lutheran Men in Mission Board Meeting
May 15: “Getting to Know the MEF” Sunday
May 22: Hope, Springtown 40th Anniversary
May 5: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
May 6-11: Vacation
May 15: Our Savior’s (Norse), Clifton
May 21: Candidacy Committee, Briarwood
May 1: Adviento, Arlington
May 2: #1 Secondary School of Theological Education Facilitators training
May 3: Ecumenical New Ministry Kin-dom Community
May 4: Leadership workshop, Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Irving
May 5: Ecumenical meeting (Presbyterian, Catholic, United Methodist, Episcopalian, ELCA), then International Chapel Umoja, Fort Worth
May 8: St Paul, Levelland, and Trinity, Clovis
May 9: #2 Secondary School of Theological Education Facilitators training
May 13: Latinx Young Adult Planning team May 14: PLMA teaching May 15: Emmanuel, Granbury May 16: Judicatory Leaders Luncheon, Grace Presbyterian Mission Center, Irving TXMay 16: #3 Secondary School of Theological Education Facilitators training
May 17: Region 4 DEM’s gathering
May 19: NT-NL Renewal Team
May 22: Santa Maria, Irving, and First Sagrada Familia, Garland
May 23: #4 Secondary School of Theological Education Facilitators training
May 24: Conversation Brazilian Evangelical Church
May 26: DEM’s planning team
May 27: ELCA candidacy working group
May 28: First Sagrada Familia, Garland
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 5: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- May 14: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Spring 2022, Course 3, Zoom
- May 14: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- May 15: “Getting to Know the MEF” Sunday
- May 19-21: 21st Annual Bonhoeffer Lectures in Public Ethics: Everyday Ethics for Exceptional Times, Various locations
- Jun. 2: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Jun. 11: Public Witness Team meeting, 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 editions of our weekly news.