Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
Last Saturday afternoon I began to receive text messages wondering if I had heard the news of yet another mass shooting in our area. This time at a regional mall in Allen, TX, a large suburb north of Dallas where Christ the Servant Lutheran Church is located. Tragically this is not the first but one of several such mass shootings on the territory of NT-NL since I took office as bishop July 1, 2016.
I am deeply grateful for the swift action of the public safety officer who no doubt prevented greater loss of life. We give thanks for all who put themselves in harms way to protect their neighbor. We also grieve the lives lost that day. And we must address the root causes of gun violence.
The reality is gun violence is an epidemic and a public health concern. This is not a new revelation. The Allen shooting was the 199th mass casualty gun violence event already in 2023. Violence, particularly gun violence, is plaguing our communities and has for many years. Almost 30 years ago the ELCA published a social teaching on community violence. In that teaching the church is called, in the face of sin and death, to not only proclaim the hope we have in the gospel of Jesus Christ but also advocate. To work for social action that addresses the roots of this violence including racism and race-based hate.
While we are continuing to learn more about the perpetrator of this horrific act, what we are learning is it is likely he had links or at least was sympathetic to far-right hate groups. We can as a church in no uncertain terms reject and condemn race based hate and particularly the evil that is white supremacy. We also, as I have consistently stated each time such an event is perpetrated, have the right to expect those elected to public office to both pray for the victims of violence and also take substantive steps to preventing future violence. Working for the good of all those they serve is their sworn duty as elected officials and something you are empowered and encouraged to address with your elected officials.
So we pray for the families of those who lost loved ones last Saturday. We also are called to speak to our neighbors about how we as community can take on this challenge and end this plague. God’s peace, that peace that passes all human understanding, be with us all.
In Christ’s peace,
2024 NT-NL Synod Assembly
Save the Date!
Our next NT-NL Synod Assembly will be hosted by the NT-NL Conferencia Latina and held April 19-20, 2024, at Iglesia Luterana Santa Maria, 2601 S MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75060.
Please make note of the updated dates from what was announced at our 2023 NT-NL Synod Assembly.
Lutheran Men in Mission Updates
The latest Lutheran Men in Mission Ambassador-Gram has been shared: https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Spring-2023-Ambassador-Gram.html?soid=1120043891748&aid=TKBHYZW7qh8
Featured Resources for May
All congregations are encouraged to choose any Sunday in May to share the truths about the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women using the resources provided here (scroll down to Resources). In addition, worship resources will be available for use in services on each congregation’s #MMIW Sunday. We know it will be the first time many congregation members have heard about this crisis, and we hope these resources continue to inspire conversation and learning in ministries and communities across our church. ELCA #MMIW Sunday is also a day to encourage members and guests of your congregation to wear red to bring greater awareness to MMIW. Remember to post a photo on your post social media channels using the hashtags #MMIW and #ELCA.
The National Partners Work Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the MMIW Family Advisors are organizing a national week of action May 1-7 to call the nation and the world to action in the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. To join in the week’s activities and raise awareness with a social media tool kit, visit the events webpage.
Wear red and post. On May 5, we encourage you to join Native people across the United States in wearing red to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Post a selfie or group picture on your social media channels using the hashtags #MMIW and #ELCA. To learn more about the National Day of Awareness and more ways to get involved, read this article from We R Native. More resources can be found on the ELCA MMIW page.
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 1-15, synod staff will be moving the offices to our new location at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2620 W Grauwyler Rd, Irving TX, 75061. If you have an emergency, please call our cell numbers. There will likely be a delay in response to emails during this timeframe. ***
May 20: Ordination of Sean McConathy, Trinity, Fort Worth
May 27: Primeras Comuniones en First Sagrada Familia, Garland (11am) y en Adviento, Arlington (3pm)
May 5-9: Vacation
May 14: Immanuel, Killeen
May 18: Youth Leaders lunch, Rejoice, Coppell
May 20: Candidacy committee meeting, Good Shepherd, Irving, then Ordination of Sean McConathy, Trinity, Fort Worth
May 23: First Call Pastors check-in, Zoom
May 28: Good Shepherd, Irving
May 11: Adviento, Arlington
May 15-19: Mission Developers one-on-one meetings
May 21: St Matthew’s, Fort Worth
May 23: Region 9 Boundaries Basic Planning training
May 25: Spanish Coaching
May 30: Quarterly Ministry Review, 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 10: Courageous Leadership – Mark Molter – Empathy and the Enneagram – Zoom
- May 13: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Spring 1, Course 3, Hybrid
- May 13: Public Witness Team meeting, Hybrid
- May 17: Courageous Leadership – Justin Grimm – Resiliency in Leadership – Zoom
- May 23: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
- May 24: Courageous Leadership – Anna Gordy – Neurodivergent Spectrum – Zoom
- May 25: Cultivating Compassion Session 5: The Righteous Mind, Online
- May 31: Courageous Leadership – Jill Beverlin & Jason O’Neill – Stories from the Veil – 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.