Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
This past week I had the privilege of attending the fall Conference of Bishop’s meeting in Chicago. This was the first time since Spring 2020 when all 65 bishops were able to be in attendance. No Covid related absences or other obligations pulled us away. And it was remarkable to observe the changes in the conference since I was elected in 2016. Most notably the conference is now majority bishops who identify as female. And the number of bishops who are people of color is at its highest level ever in the life of our church. These outward signs of increasing diversity also bring with it different perspectives and experiences. All of which enrich our conversation and life together.
A main conversation point at the conference was updates about the work of the Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church (CRLC). This commission was authorized by our 2022 Churchwide Assembly in response to memorials from synods (including NT-NL). One key point that was made time and again was that the purpose of this commission was NOT to make dramatic changes to our structure but to study and recommend to the 2025 churchwide assembly whether calling a re-constituting convention would be productive and help us move forward in mission. That is an important distinction. We often I believe think we are smaller than we actually are. But moving an institution with over 9,000 congregations and 3 Million members takes time and must be done thoughtfully.
We in NT-NL are blessed to have a member of the CRLC from our synod. Anthony Ormsbee-Hale is a member of Messiah-Weatherford. He has already been meeting with synod leaders and will be holding other listening opportunities as we move forward. I am grateful for his willingness to serve.
Finally, I want to lift up our partners in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone. They are gathering in assembly this week in Freetown at the Jubilee Center. At this assembly they will ordain 10 new pastors for service in the ELCSL. That is an incredible testament to the leadership of Bishop Momoh and the ELCSL education teams. We celebrate with them while also recognizing their need as they move forward. The water bagging/bottling campaign has proved successful and profitable enterprise. They continue to seek other ways to make their church sustainable financially. Bishop has communicated to me that they are going to lease their church headquarters property in the Aberdeen neighborhood of Freetown and relocate operations to the Jubilee Center. As you may remember this facility was a vision that was never fully completed. But Bishop Momoh believes it is the time to ensure the facility does not fall into ruin. To ensure this he has worked tirelessly to gain clear title to the property (this was an issue previously) and engineering design to ensure the building is stable. To finish out the first floor so they can use it for offices will require some capital investment. More information about this will be coming, but I am grateful for your generosity to the NT-NL and ELCSL that enables us to be partners with Bishop and the church in this work.
A blessed October to you all. Fall is here. May the temperatures follow.
Mission Endowment Fund 2024 Grant Award Application Window Now Open!
NTNL’s Mission Endowment Fund began accepting applications on October 1, 2023 for its grant award program.
Since 1996, this annual program funds mission projects solely in the North Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA. During the last 27 years, MEF has awarded more than $1 million to ministries that might otherwise not receive funding or that reap outsized benefits from a modest investment from MEF, one that enables them to sustain their ongoing work. The many ministries receiving financial support from the Mission Endowment Fund include food pantries, creative children and youth programs, prison ministries, music programs, community outreach, online worship programming and retreats that strengthen our diverse congregations.
The application is online at: https://www.ntnl.org/ministries/mef/grant-application/
The deadline is October 31, 2023, at which time the MEF grant committee will begin evaluating the applications. Awards will be announced in early 2024.
Please direct any questions to Executive Director Jennifer Hachmeister at email@example.com. Note that we are especially attentive to emails during grant application season.
St. Matthew’s, Fort Worth 70th Anniversary Choir
St. Matthew’s, Fort Worth will be celebrating 70 years of ministry on All Saints Sunday, the 5th of November. To celebrate this milestone their director of music, Adam Frame, is putting together a synod-wide choir. On Saturday, November 4th they will be performing John Rutter’s Requiem. Rehearsal will start at 9am and call time for the performance is at 3pm. Singers are invited to stay through Sunday to perform a movement of the piece for the anthem at their 70th anniversary service. St. Matthew’s choir loft can fit 60 singers, if you are interested in singing please sing up here.
The Requiem presentation will be at 4pm for those interested in attending in the pews.
If you have any questions please reach out to Adam Frame directly by email or phone (469) 328-1650.
Featured Resources for October
Clergy Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the second Sunday in October (October 8 this year).
Clergy Appreciation Month is celebrated annually in October.
How might you honor the faith leaders in your community to show your gratitude for their faithful leadership, especially in these times? When was the last time your community encouraged and supported your faith leaders in observing a regular Sabbath? How might that support be sustained going forward?
Where in the world is?
NT-NL synod staff are excited to engage in-person on Sundays for worship. As good stewards of time and travel dollars, we will be utilizing online meeting formats in our new hybrid reality when possible. If you would like to schedule a meeting with the bishop or Synod staff please contact them directly.
Oct 8: Guest Confirmation Instructor, Trinity, Fort Worth
Oct 12-14: Wartburg Theological Seminary Board Meeting, Dubuque, IA
Oct 15: Abiding Grace, Southlake
Oct 22: St. Matthew, Waco
Oct 27-28: Bishop Eaton’s Advisory Council, St. Paul, MN
Oct 29: Midland Lutheran, Midland
Oct 5: Interim/Transitional Pastors meeting & MSP Training, Zoom
Oct 8: First, Temple
Oct 13: WELCA Conference, Grace, Carrolton
Oct 14: PLMA
Oct 15: Trinity, Sherman
Oct 15: Installation of Pastor Cheryl Herreid, Christ the Servant, Allen
Oct 24: First Call Pastors Check-In, Zoom
Oct 29: Trinity, Sherman
Oct 4: First Sagrada Familia, Garland
Oct 9-14: Director for Evangelical Mission Gathering and Mission Developers & Redevelopers Training, Chicago, IL
Oct 16-20: Meetings with Mission Developers & Redevelopers
Oct 21: PLMA, Spanish Course
Oct 22: Emmanuel, Granbury
Oct 26-Nov 3: Immersion Trip, Chiapas, Mexico
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 5: Transitional Pastors Meeting, Zoom
- Oct 7: Seeds That Change, Calvary, Richland Hills
- Oct 13-14: WELCA Conference, Grace, Carrolton
- Oct 14: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Fall 2023, Course 2, Zoom
- Oct 14: Public Witness Team Meeting, Zoom
- Oct 24: First Call Pastors Check-in, Zoom
- Oct 26: Cultivating Compassion Session 10: A People’s History of the United States, Online
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration for upcoming editions of our weekly news.