Message from Bishop Gronberg
Last week in our NT-NL Leader news, I blogged about the concept of religious freedom in America and the various ways in which that has been understood historically and currently. And I reminded those on that list that our 2020 Leadership Convocation is coming soon (Oct 19-20) and relates to that very topic. Most of us have been taught at some point that the Puritans came to North America in significant part to be able to worship as their conscious desired. However, this understanding of religious liberty was not necessarily extended to others and their conscious. Within just a couple decades of establishing their first colony an issue of religious liberty arose in the case of Roger Williams. Williams was expelled by the Puritan leaders from Massachusettsvfor spreading “new and dangerous ideas”, including a clear understanding of the separation of church and state. In1636 he founded Providence, Rhode Island as a refuge, and in 1638 founded the First Baptist Church in America.
The question of what this little history lesson has to do with us today is a good one. Is this relevant to our lives as church leaders in 2020? Given the current discourse in our nation related to issues of religious freedom I would argue it is essential that we as church leaders know some of this history better and how it influences the world we live in today. Debates over an individuals right to serve or not serve someone based on who that person is do not exist in a vacuum and church leaders, lay and ordained, can learn a great deal from this history. Understanding the history we then can look forward towards the future and how these concepts of religious liberty play out in interfaith and ecumenical conversations. Once again it is a way that we care for our neighbors. So I hope you will take advantage of this online opportunity offered to any in our synod who desire to participate.
Join Us This Saturday
GATHER IN THANKFULNESS – 2020 SEEDS THAT CHANGE
Seeds that Change: “… only God makes it grow.” I Cor. 3:7
An Online Worship Event premiering on Saturday, October 17, at 10:00am on the NT-NL Facebook page
Strengthen Relationships by Staying Connected
October 15, 12noon ET
During the pandemic, limited face-to-face visits and not being together to recognize life’s milestones has taken its toll. Debbie Streicher of Milestones Ministry will address ways we can be creative during these times and reach out to one another to reinforce existing relationships and build new ones through faith-related connections. Register here.
Featured Resources for October
Clergy Appreciation Day is always the second Sunday in October, and all of October is celebrated as Clergy Appreciation Month. The celebration was established in 1992 with a mission of uplifting and affirming pastors and religious workers, so we encourage you to consider including deacons, staff, and volunteers.
Some congregations take up a special offering on this day to bless our ministers. Others use the entire month of October to find different means to bless leaders with meals, gifts, and even paid time off. As an individual, there are several ways to show appreciation:
- Tell others. Tell them how much your church leaders do for the congregation – and let your leaders overhear you.
- Volunteer. Churches offer more opportunities for volunteering than just about anywhere. Don’t wait to be voluntold.
- Pray for your clergy. It should probably be in the first slot, but it seemed so obvious.
- Write a note. Thank your minister for being an excellent leader, for their compassion, or even something specific.
- Ask. Find out where you can help. Some clergy don’t delegate enough or (see volunteer) so few people volunteer, they’ve taken all the burdens upon themselves.
Join your congregation in celebrating your clergy. Recognize them for their leadership, compassion, stewardship, and faith.
Save the Date
Public Faith: Evangelicals, Mainline Christians, and the 2020 US Elections
October 22 and 29, 7pm
How can politics be faithful? Christians in the United States are of many different minds. Sometimes, church can feel hyper-partisan. Other church folk want to disengage from politics. Are there really only two sides to community issues, and do we always have to disagree? How do faith and fear shape our response to the world as we seek to live in love as followers of Jesus? How can our participation in civic life be grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
As the US approaches “Election Day” in the election season already underway, these upcoming “Conversations at Briarwood” with prominent Evangelical leaders Hunter Baker and Shane Claiborne will help us explore these questions together. The divide between evangelical and mainline Christians in the US can sometimes seem like we’re the Republican and Democratic parties at prayer. How can we get beyond partisanship to the task of crafting new forms of public faith?
Conversations will be online, using Zoom. Sign-up information and more details about our speakers will be shared via the links above (in the online synod calendar) closer to date.
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/four-mile-in-mabank/ – published Oct. 10)
(https://www.ntnl.org/welcome-the-rev-joel-hicks/ – published Oct. 10)
(https://www.ntnl.org/welcome-the-rev-remy-remmers/ – published Oct. 10)
(https://www.ntnl.org/abiding-grace-southlake/ – published Oct. 11)
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.
- Oct 17: MEF “Gather in Thankfulness” Worship Service, Online
- Oct. 19-20: Leadership Convo at Briarwood, Online
- Oct 19-20: Leadership Convo at Briarwood, Online
- Oct. 19-20: Leadership Convo at Briarwood, Online
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:
- Oct. 14: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Leaning In: Subversion and Proximity with Shane Claiborne (Red Letter Christians), Zoom
- Oct. 15: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 17: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 3 de 5), Zoom
- Oct. 17: PLMA, Fall 2020, Course 2, Zoom
- Oct. 17: Mission Endowment Fund (MEF) Campaign and Worship Service, Online
- Oct. 19-20: 2020 Leadership Convocation, Zoom
- Oct. 21: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Be the Best Neighbor with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Oct. 22: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 22: Public Faith: Evangelicals, Mainline Christians, and the 2020 US Elections, with Hunter Baker, Conversations at Briarwood via Zoom
- Oct. 24: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 4 de 5), Zoom
- Oct. 24: Living Connected: Creation’s Gift of Material Goods, Online
- Oct. 24: LCM Denton Presents: Social Distant Oktoberfest, Online
- Oct. 27: Living Connected: Creation’s Gift of Material Goods, Online
- Oct. 28: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Preaching in a Polarized Space with Rev. Bridget Jones, Zoom
- Oct. 29: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 29: Public Faith: Evangelicals, Mainline Christians, and the 2020 US Elections, with Shane Claiborne, Conversations at Briarwood via Zoom
- Oct. 31: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 5 de 5), Zoom
- Nov. 4: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 3: TBA 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
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.