Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
Sunday November 28th we began the season of Advent once more. The first Sunday of Advent is New Years day for the church. A celebration that begins a time also of preparation. It was not that long ago that Advent was intended to be a penitential season. A time, like Lent, to take seriously our sin and brokenness, our separation from God. To repent and prepare for the coming salvation brought to us in the Christ Child. Because of this history when I served in the parish Advent was a time we brought back the rite of corporate confession of sin and absolution for the beginning of worship.
The reality is after the years we have just spent I doubt any of us need too many reminders of our brokenness and sin. Our civil society and its division demonstrate that daily. And the onset of the “omicron” variant of Covid-19 comes as news that seemed almost inevitable just as my youngest children receive vaccinations. And so in this Advent I am choosing to focus on seeking Joy. Taking time daily to lift up my head as Jesus counseled us in Luke’s gospel this past week. Challenges will come but in that time we are told to “stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
So take time to seek Joy this Advent. Knowing our redemption is drawing near. Joy that God’s abundance is for us yet again. As we give thanks for successful fall stewardship campaigns, for generosity in difficult times, for the ability to be in worship together safely or new connections that come by connecting online, there is Joy to be found because God is faithful to God’s promises. So this Advent I pray that you might lift up your heads, light a candle, and remember we wait for the Messiah.
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.
New Study Guide Now Available
Dear siblings in Christ,
I am excited to announce that the ELCA churchwide organization is releasing the study guide for this church’s newest social statement, Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action. The new study guide features six flexible sessions that can be customized for in-person gatherings, virtual discussions or interactive virtual meetings. Each session incorporates prayers, videos, engaging activities, Scripture study and invitations to live out the social statement’s call to gender justice in the world.
The study guide supports individuals, congregations, students, organizations and faith leaders as they explore gender justice to pursue equity for women and girls. “Because we rely on God as a God of promise, this church speaks about sexism and the harm it causes for all people,” reads the statement’s introduction. “Those who support gender justice are intent on righting gender-based wrongs that prevent the abundant and flourishing life God intends” (Faith, Sexism, and Justice, p. 14).
As Lutherans, we are called to serve the neighbor and affirm the diversity of God’s creation. Grounded in faith and love, we work for a gender justice that flows from the heart of Lutheran theology and cultivates abundant life for all people.
I encourage you to learn more about this vital new resource by reading the leader’s welcome in it. I’ve created a video welcome to the study guide that you can share with others. If you have questions, please write to email@example.com.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
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
Congregational Council Series Will Resume
Thursdays, December 2 and 9, 7:00-8:30pm
Leadership for God’s Future: Service on the Congregational Council will resume this week.
Thanks to everyone who has participated in the latest series of events hosted by Briarwood Leadership Center. Given some technical and scheduling issues, we’ve needed to reschedule some sessions.
Our conversation on Thursday, December 2, will feature Jerry Gray, longtime member of Faith Lutheran Church in Flower Mound. Our closing session will be on Thursday, December 9.
Local congregations are the foundation of Lutheran church life. Effective congregational councils can achieve great things in the service of God’s mission in our life together as the Body of Christ.
This series of conversations and trainings is designed to build capacities for current and future members of ELCA congregational councils. Come to learn new techniques and skills while celebrating the good things the Holy Spirit is doing in our communities.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/advent-1-gloria-dei-garland/ – published Nov. 28)
(https://www.ntnl.org/new-life-in-christ-duncanville-2/ – published Nov. 28)
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.
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. 2: Leading for God’s Future: Service on the Congregational Council – Session 6, Zoom
- Dec. 4: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Dec. 4: 2021 LuMin Denton Online Trivia and Auction
- Dec. 9: Leading for God’s Future: Service on the Congregational Council – Session 7, 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.