The situation: Hurricane Laura, a powerful Category 4 storm, has hit Louisiana and parts of Texas with devastating force, causing at least three deaths, major damage and leaving hundreds of thousands without power. With extremely dangerous storm surge and winds of at least 150 mph, it’s one of the most powerful storms to hit the area in a century, and it left widespread destruction in its wake. Before the storm arrived, thousands had to evacuate. Given the complexities caused by COVID-19, sheltering those impacted will be a challenge.
Our response: Lutheran Disaster Response is engaging with Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response (Upbring) and the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Southwestern Texas synods, which are assessing the immediate needs and initiating a response. While the extent of the damage is not yet known, we will accompany devastated communities from immediate relief through long-term recovery. This is our commitment as a church.
What you can do:
Pray: Please pray for people who have been affected by hurricanes. May God’s healing presence give them peace and hope in their time of need.
Give: Your gifts designated for “Hurricane Response” will be used entirely (100%) for direct response until it is complete. Together, we can help provide immediate and long-lasting support for those whose lives have been impacted by hurricanes.
Connect: To learn more about the situation and the ELCA’s response:
Video Editing Basics: Resource from Briarwood and NT-NL
This summer our Briarwood summer staff pivoted and went online in a way that was incredibly adaptive and impressive. They learned a great many things and created content that is available for your congregations now and into the future. Bible studies, devotionals, and silly songs all to help your community connect in this time. In addition, Kaity Swecker (Trinity, Miles) created this resource as a basic tutorial for video editing. It is an amazing resource that we are pleased to be able to share with you. Thank you Kaity for this and for Briarwood providing the context for her growth and development as a leader in our church.
Growing Generosity Through Legacy Planning
Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest (LFSW) will offer “Growing in Generosity–Legacies That Last,” a webinar on legacy planning for family and ministry. The webinar will be offered at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on two Wednesdays – Sept. 9 and Sept. 23 – and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13. Please sign up for the one that works best for you using this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FAnTBa1rRyaP-E6ZSGT4Cw
This webinar is open to all congregational members to learn more about the foundation’s comprehensive legacy planning services for family and ministry. The foundation is a partner ministry of the three ELCA synods in Texas and offers its services at no cost and no obligation.
A congregation member may say, “I like the idea of leaving a gift to my church when I pass away, but I’d like to know more about how to create a plan for family and ministry.” The church has a dedicated ministry for just this kind of support through LFSW. A gift planner is available in each synod that can guide you to clarify your goals and objectives in planning. Any congregation member can establish a robust personal legacy plan with the guidance of the synod gift planner. Those with existing plans should consider reviewing their plans to make sure they continue to meet their goals for family and ministry.
All members of ELCA congregations are invited to participate in these webinars. Those who may have additional questions or need assistance with registration are invited to contact our NT-NL gift planner, Morgan Schmidlin, at email@example.com or 440-785-3363.
Featured Resources for September
Nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.
September is National Suicide Prevention (Awareness) Month.
National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day, this year September 6-12.
World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 as an International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) initiative.
From the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life. Use #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree on social media.
The Jason Foundation has a set of resources around the theme of #IWONTBESILENT.
More resources can be found on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention‘s website.
Save the Date
Monday, September 14
The Church of the Damascus Road is a ministry that assists those people that are imprisoned, as well as those that are out and trying to start over. This Ministry is in the need of funds to continue to provide services to the members of the church and to grow the ministry to help those struggling. We hope that you will join us in a day of golf and support of the important work being done!
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/video-editing-basics-resource-from-briarwood-and-nt-nl/ – published Aug. 24)
(https://www.ntnl.org/prayers-and-appeal-from-siblings-in-the-holy-land/ – published Aug. 26)
(https://www.ntnl.org/hurricane-prayers-and-hope/ – published Aug. 27)
(https://www.ntnl.org/hurricane-response-briarwood-conversations-ordination-anniversary/ – published Aug. 28)
(https://www.ntnl.org/retirement-of-pastor-janet-kraatz/ – published Aug. 30)
Where in the world is?
The bishop and staff have resumed limited in-person travel for special events or to tape or live-stream 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 by Zoom, including our synod council meetings and online assembly on September 26.
- (No visits planned this week)
- Sep. 2-5: Vacation
- (No visits planned this week)
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:
- Sep. 2: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 1: Rituals of Renewal with Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, Zoom
- Sep. 3: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Sep. 9: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – What If I Said Yes? The House That Love Built with Sarah Jackson from Casa de Paz, Zoom
- Sep. 10: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Sep. 10: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Sep. 12: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Fall 2020, Course 1, Zoom
- Sep. 12: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Sep. 13: “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday
- Sep. 14: The Church of the Damascus Road Golf Outing and Fundraiser, Fort Worth, TX
- Sep. 16: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young with Rev. Dr. Phil Hirsch, Zoom
- Sep. 17: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Sep. 17: Workshop for NT-NL Leaders who are Women, Zoom
- Sep. 22: Orientation for Online Synod Assembly, Zoom
- Sep. 23: Orientation for Online Synod Assembly, Zoom
- Sep. 23: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Untold Story: Black Lutheran History, Part 2 with Dr. Richard Stewart and Dr. Larry Clark, Zoom
- Sep. 24: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Sep. 25-26: Synod Council meetings with Deans, Assistant Deans, and MEF, Zoom
- Sep. 26: Online 2020 Synod Assembly, Zoom (Voting Members) and Livestream (Everyone else)
- Sep. 30: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – TBA, Zoom
- Oct. 1: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 1: Interim Pastors monthly 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 NT-NL News.