Message from Bishop Gronberg
Partners in Mission,
Today, November 3rd, is election day across our nation. The deep divisions within our country and in our communities have been on full display throughout the campaign season. Record numbers of individuals have already voted. As more go to the polls today, it is important for us as people of faith to take some time to pray, reflect, and prepare ourselves for the reality of continued division in the coming days and weeks. Due to various rulings on how and when early votes and mail in votes can be tallied, it is highly unlikely election results for all races will be known quickly.
During the course of the day today, we are offering a number of resources for our communities and leaders. These are outlined in the above graphic. That Zoom login information in clickable format is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82173424295?pwd=TGVaQTVDakpWYjFnSGhnSGVMM0RLUT09 | Meeting ID: 821 7342 4295 | Passcode: 837247. Short coaching conversations for leaders are available as well as prayer, worship, and time for learning and conversation. Regardless of the outcome of these elections, the call of the church to witness to Christ and to be people who work for peace and justice continues. In our deeply divided world, we have a Word to proclaim of God’s love for all creation made manifest in Christ. Please join us for these events today and in prayer. The following prayer was provided by our ELCA Worship Staff. There are many resources at www.elca.org/Resources/Worship#Liturgy
Everlasting God, source of all liberty, before whom every earthly ruler must bow and bend the knee, we lay our nation before you as we prepare for an election. Breathe upon us your Spirit of wisdom and discernment. Grant all who seek public office the mind of Christ, who came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life for the freedom of the oppressed. Hold before us those who face uncertain futures, or who have no voice in our political process. Uphold and safeguard poll workers and election officials in their work. Spare us from the crushing weight of cynicism. Give us grace to speak courageously, but with love, without which our words are noise and we are nothing. Gather us together under the cross, where, in all of our difference, we can stand as one people, redeemed in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
DEM Irma Bañales
Our Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM), The Rev. Irma Bañales, was invited by the Women of the ELCA to be the featured guest blogger to celebrate the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15): Even Virtually, We Are Better Together! Pastora Bañales was also included in a highlight video of Latina leaders in the ELCA!
Pastora Bañales will be leading the Thanksoffering Service on Sunday, November 8, at 10:30am at St. Stephen, Shreveport. You can catch that online here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/189976971033787
Creative Worship & Practical Resources for a Season of Stewardship
We all have a money story, whether we recognize it or not. Our Money Story: Creative Worship & Practical Resources for a Season of Stewardship is a practical resource that invites us to discover and tell our money stories in light of God’s money story of liberation and love. The series encourages us to transform our stewardship practices into fuller expressions of who we are and what we believe.
Featured Resources for November
“As the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis is revealed, religious leaders—at every level, national to local—will be challenged to respond to the needs of their communities and society at large. The magnitude and scope of this disaster will fundamentally challenge American society, shaping the callings and responsibilities of all pastors, priests, imams, and rabbis….
My fellow faith leaders, the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis is expanding our vocation. We are called to look outward for the benefit not just of our own communities, but for the good of society itself as we seek to promote the flourishing of human communities. This developing tragedy is also a time of potentially tremendous remaking.
What do you perceive is needed in such a time as this?
What global and communal wisdom can we draw upon for responding to this axial moment?”
“…The US has not had any direct, long-term experience with national trauma and loss.
Societally minded leadership among persons of faith (lay, rostered, and ordained) will be necessary for helping persons and communities name the losses they have experienced, the grief they carry, and the resources already in their possession for rebuilding life on all levels. The skillsets of ‘societal chaplaincy’ can be of direct assistance….”
This session hosted by ELCA Coaching explored the concept of “societal chaplaincy” in order to provide tools for responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. This global crisis is producing layers of grief and trauma beyond what most people are anticipating. Religiously informed leaders have particular callings to respond not just to their defined communities, but to society as a whole, helping others name their grief while pointing to paths forward. The insights of social analysis, grief coaching, and chaplaincy each have contributions to make as we move forward together.
“…[Don Eisenhauer] named that COVID-19 is causing all of us to experience not just a public health crisis, but a ‘pandemic of grief.’ In that context, he warned us against cutting grief short. Loss and grief need to be named, worked with, lived with.
There are many reasons to cut grief short. We do not like to admit weakness and the feeling of being out of control. We are surrounded by people made uncomfortable by loss and grief, who would rather we put it away instead of working through a process.
Although religious systems are often at their best when staring death in the face, when they speak a word of hope and truth in a moment like this. But often, religious people are the absolute worst at accompanying people through the experience of death and other forms of loss….”
Where in the world is?
The bishop and staff have resumed limited in-person travel for special events or to tape or livestream worship. The staff will wear masks for all services and anytime they are near people, either inside or outside a facility. All synod business will continue to be conducted online.
- (No visits planned this week)
- (No visits planned this week)
- Nov. 8: St. Stephen, Shreveport
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:
- Nov. 4: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief: Finding the Courage to Do the Thing You Think You Cannot Do with Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, Zoom
- Nov. 5: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Nov. 5: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Nov. 11: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Improv (aka Adaptive Leadership) Techniques to Face the Unknown with Rev. Mike Weaver, Zoom
- Nov. 12: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Nov. 14: PLMA, Fall 2020, Course 3, Online
- Nov. 14: Public Witness Team monthly meeting, Online
- Nov. 18: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Keychain Leadership with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Nov. 19: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Nov. 25: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA with Jory Mickelson, Zoom
- Nov. 26: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Dec. 2: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 4: TBA with Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, 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.