Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
Last Thursday night I had the privilege of joining our Lutheran Campus Ministry in Denton on the campus of the University of North Texas. The occasion was their weekly Thursday night cookout where they cook burgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers for anyone walking by who wants one. In this way they are both visible publicly on campus as well as demonstrating Christian service and love to their neighbors. More than a few times in the evening I heard someone ask, “is this really free?” or “why are you doing this?” both providing opportunity to talk about how our faith leads us to serve. That call, to service then became central in our bible study time when we engaged Luther’s “The Freedom of a Christian.”
What also struck me was that this serving event could only happen because of partnerships. Partnerships between NT-NL congregations supporting campus ministry as well as partnership with the Wesley House (United Methodist) Campus Ministry. We do not have a facility on the campus of UNT. But the Wesley House partners with us by allowing our ministry to have space and utilize their front porch for this meal. Additionally, the Wesley House joins our LuMin as the only two explicitly open and affirming Christian campus ministries at UNT to the LGBTQ+ community. This spirit of partnership and welcome gives even greater authenticity to our witness to God’s grace given freely in Christ Jesus.
As I look towards the end of 2021 and into 2022 it is clear to me ever more our future as a church in our mission field can only take place #InMissionTogether. Through partnerships between congregations and synodical ministries and even across synodical boundaries where we recognize we are stronger together. But to have these partnerships happen we are going to be challenged to let go of some things. To come together in mission will mean recognizing the giftedness of others, to get out of our silos. To be open, as the Wesley House is, to having us utilize their space and for our ministry to recognize the giftedness of not having to maintain a facility. These types of partnership conversations are happening across NT-NL and our wider church. I pray that, focused on our Christian freedom and call to witness, we will grow in our desire to come together to strengthen our mission and welcome.
Are You a Hidden Evangelist?
Do you come home from a trip with a new best friend? Have you ever prayed with someone in line at the grocery store? Do you know the life stories of all of your Lyft drivers? Do you talk to your neighbors about Jesus? If these scenarios ring true for you, you might be a hidden evangelist. Join us for a virtual gathering and a lively conversation with people who have a similar passion for sharing Christ’s love. Join Rev. Phil Hirsch, ELCA Executive Director for Christian Community and Leadership, and Louise Johnson, ELCA Executive for Administration, on Zoom, TODAY, November 9, at 7 p.m. Central time. As the ELCA seeks to engage new people, discern how you can share your gifts of interpersonal connection to help activate your community. Register today.Does this sound like someone you know? Share this invitation with them!
Addiction and Veterans
The Center of Addiction & Faith is hosting a one-hour FREE webinar titled Addiction & Our American Soldiers – A Special Veterans Day Webinar on November 11 at 11:00 AM – 12 Noon central time with a follow-up 30 minute Zoom discussion. The featured guest will be Retired U.S Army Major John Donovan, who has 40 years of sobriety and speaks to audiences on substance use disorder and recovery.
The webinar is hosted by the Center of Addiction & Faith, Tim McMahan King, and Pastor Ed Treat.
Featured Resources for November
November is Generosity Month
This Generosity month, Tithely wants to give back by equipping you with free resources to promote generosity within your church as well as hosting weekly giveaways.
From our friends at tithe.ly:
Generosity month is a month that promotes generosity within the local church, whether through giving, time donated, etc.
This Generosity month, Tithely wants to give back by equipping you with free resources to promote generosity.
But we also want to take this opportunity to be generous ourselves, and we will be doing that by hosting weekly giveaways all November that will help your ministry.
In order to be entered for giveaways, register here to enter or text GENEROSITY to (833) 525-1404.
We look forward to partnering with your ministry this Generosity Month to make a difference in communities across the globe.
P.S. Make sure to sign up for Generosity Month to gain access to free social media images, church screens, and other resources to get your church involved.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/nt-nl-briarwood-host-elca-region-4-dems/ – published Nov. 3)
(https://www.ntnl.org/ut-longhorn-hoops-honors-tlu-coach-mike-wacker/ – published Nov. 3)
(https://www.ntnl.org/promises-of-baptism-claimed/ – published Nov. 5)
(https://www.ntnl.org/lumin-denton-cookout-and-bible-study/ – published Nov. 5)
(https://www.ntnl.org/welcome-pr-jt-miller/ – published Nov. 8)
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. Until we can assure everyone in attendance at a meeting are vaccinated, in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will continue to wear masks unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
Nov. 9: Speaker for White’s Chapel United Methodist, Southlake Men’s Group
Nov. 21: Retirement celebration for Rev. Gordon Illausky (Christ the Servant, Allen)
Nov. 28: Gloria Dei, Garland
Nov. 13-14: Lubbock for meetings at both Shepherd King and Gloria Dei
Nov. 21: Hope, Comanche
Dec. 2: Transitional/Interim Pastors meeting (Zoom)
Dec. 4: Candidacy Committee, Briarwood
Dec. 5: Christ the Servant, Allen
Nov. 9-11: ELCA Latino strategy team
Nov. 11: NT-NL Congregational Council Session
Nov. 12: NT-NL Renewal Team
Nov. 13: Latinx Conference boundaries training for PLM in Spanish, then Quinceanera (XV) at First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Nov. 14: New Start, Adviento, Arlington
Nov. 15: Faith, Fort Worth
Nov. 16: Latinx Conference gathering and Thanksgiving service, Adviento, Arlington
Nov. 18: NT-NL Congregational Council Session
Nov. 20: PLMA
Dec. 3: Dallas Catholic Dioceses Christmas reception
Dec. 4: First Sagrada Familia (Garland) wedding
Dec. 12: Community of Hope, Fort Worth
Dec. 19: Emmanuel, Granbury
Dec. 20-31: Holidays and time off
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. 11: Leading for God’s Future: Service on the Congregational Council – Session 4, Zoom
- Nov. 13: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Nov. 16-17: 2021 Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium, Online
- Nov. 18: Leading for God’s Future: Service on the Congregational Council – Session 5, Zoom
- Nov. 20: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Fall 2021, Course 3, Zoom
- Dec. 2: Transitional (Interim) Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Dec. 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.