Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
This week we celebrate our national day of Thanksgiving. While such a holiday was intermittently celebrated prior to 1863 it was President Lincoln who declared it should happen annually on the last Thursday of November. Worth noting is Lincoln established this day of Thanksgiving in the same month in which he delivered the Gettysburg address. In the midst of a terrible war that had split the nation, with much suffering and violence to come, Lincoln still declared that we should take time to give thanks and “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation.”
Thanksgiving 2021 comes to us in a time of great division and discord as well in our nation. We have seen and experienced conflict over pandemic response, vaccines, race, gender, gun violence, human sexuality, and many other issues. These conflicts have divided our congregations, communities, schools, workplaces and even families. The pandemic has brought economic hardship to many while also seeing others reach historical levels of wealth. Cracks that have always existed in our society have been widened and made ever more visible. We are so inundated with bad news that “doomscrolling” has become a thing.
The truth of all of this can seem overwhelming. Yet we as Lutherans are people of Law and Gospel. The law that speaks the truth about our human situation. Looking at Thanksgiving through these eyes then we acknowledge the truth. We can speak honestly about the brokenness and sin in ourselves and our society. A clear example being celebrating Thanksgiving while at the same time being honest about the systemic genocide of indigenous peoples in our nation made all the more clear though the tragedy of the boarding schools. A tragedy in which the church is complicit.
This indeed can seem overwhelming but into this truth then also comes the gospel. The “good news” which proclaims the promise that God in Christ is yet for us. That God’s abundance and provision are given to us freely as daily bread and we are to receive it with thanksgiving. That when, as we were reminded last Sunday, Christ is our King then the world and its powers are not. We can see that there is enough, cease our continual grasping after more, let go of “doomscrolling,” and remembering our baptism begin each day anew as disciples called to serve and proclaim this good news living for our neighbors. To continue to work toward Lincoln’s hope that the wounds of our nation could be healed.
This thanksgiving I pray that whether you gather at a table with many or of one you are reminded again that God is with you and for you. That God’s abundant life has been given to you in Christ Jesus and you are to receive your daily bread with thanksgiving. That when we acknowledge the wounds we have God can and will heal them. Inviting us to new ways of life, community, and hope.
Coach Yourself Through Grief Webinar
If a loved one of yours has died, then you know how painful grief can be, especially around the holidays. In the midst of this pandemic, every one of us is experiencing loss in many forms. The emotions can be overwhelming. Many feel like they are “going crazy!” Nothing helps walking the journey of grief more than having a Certified End of Life Coach by your side. But what do you do when your coach isn’t there? What happens when you forget what your Coach told you? “Coach Yourself Through Grief” is a training designed for anyone who is in the midst of grief, whether it be a death loss, or a loss from this pandemic. The goal of the training is to help individuals to learn what “normal grief” looks like, and to encourage them to mourn well.
Cost = FREE
Upcoming Four-Session Webinar Dates: Mondays at 8:00 pm ET (four one-hour classes) November 29, December 6, 13, and 20
This training will use the book Coach Yourself Through Grief: Applying Coaching Principles to your Grief Journey. Click for details and to order.
For more information about this training, or to host this training at your place of worship, contact our coach training partner Don Eisenhauer.
“Dealing Effectively with Anger” Workshop for Rostered Ministers
Many leaders have reported an increase in anger in our faith communities. Certainly, the covid issues over the past two years have made ministry more complicated: New ministry plans delayed, organizing virtual worship and meetings, complications with pastoral care, financial support declining. These problems create anxiety and anger. The anger in our churches is also a part of the anger and unrest present in our country.
I have developed a 1 hour zoom workshop for rostered ministers. It focuses on understanding the origin of anger and ways to help rostered ministers and congregations deal more effectively with anger.
There will be one session at 10am Central on Tuesday, November 30.
Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtdu2pqTMiG9YOU004MnfENeFCLVAymaMG
Barbara Keller, Misconduct Prevention, ELCA | 610-308-3428
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.
Save the Date
2021 LuMin Denton Online Trivia and Auction
Benefitting the NT-NL Campus Ministry Mission Fund
Saturday, December 4, 7-9 pm
Join us for an evening of fun and supporting the ministry of Lutheran Campus Ministry in Denton!
December 4, 7-8 pm on Zoom: Join us for a fun, free Trivia challenge. Trivia questions will be wide ranging, including Lutheranism, Denton, UNT, TWU, pop culture, and topics within LuMin students’ areas of study. You can join us on Zoom here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7635000884
December 4-5 on BidPal: Purchase Christmas gifts and support the NT-NL Campus Ministry Mission Fund through our online auction all weekend. You can access the auction here: https://one.bidpal.net/lumindenton/welcome or text “lumindenton” to 243-725.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/visit-with-dr-mitri-raheb-and-president-largen/ – published Nov. 17)
(https://www.ntnl.org/dec-12-san-gabriel-cabalgata/ – published Nov. 17)
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. 28: Gloria Dei, Garland
Dec. 4: LuMin-Denton Online Fundraiser
Dec. 5: Iglesia Santa Maria Confirmations
Dec. 12: St. Matthew Lutheran/St. Christopher Episcopal Celebration
Dec. 19: Family Sunday
Dec. 2: Transitional Pastors meeting, Zoom
Dec. 4: Candidacy Committee, Briarwood, and Campus Ministry Virtual Trivia Fundraiser
Dec. 5: Christ the Servant, Allen
Dec. 12: Covenant Anniversary Celebration, Temple
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:
- Dec. 2: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Dec. 4: 2021 LuMin Denton Online Trivia and Auction
- Dec. 11: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 6: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Jan. 8: 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.