Message from Bishop Gronberg
Dear Partners in Mission:
With temperatures well above 90 degrees fall seems to be stubborn in arriving. Yet on September 22nd fall will come and across NT-NL we are experiencing many of the rhythms of fall in our communities and congregations. Education programming, youth activities, renewed music, all done in the new reality of our pandemic experience, are occurring.
In the next weeks I am looking forward to celebrating 75 years of ministry at Beautiful Savior, Amarillo, and Calvary, San Angelo. Anniversaries, as with the change in seasons, give us an opportunity to take some inventory and make future plans. To assess where we have been and vision about where we are going. We do that also often in the fall as congregations engage in stewardship emphases. Both an opportunity for financial commitment but also to ask for pledges of time and talent to serve in the coming year.
In my family’s congregation I have been serving as a member of the nominating team in preparation to elect new council leaders this weekend. This is as law and gospel an activity as any in church life. Asking people to commit time and energy can be a dreaded task that brings with it a real possibility of rejection. That is the reality of the law and something I know all too well. However, it also can be a joyful time of working with others to brainstorm about individuals in our communities and what gifts they might have. To hear a yes when a member of the community is invited, sometimes surprised to be invited, to give the gifts God has given them in service to their congregation. That is the gospel at work. An abundant yes in response to a faithful and prayerful request.
We are in a season when the world around us is constantly telling us there isn’t enough. A world of law that tells us our response to inflation, division, and scarcity (all of which are real) should be like the rich man in our gospel for this coming Sunday. To take care of our own, hoard what is “ours,” all while Lazarus lies at the gate.
In this season I pray our communities can be places where we reject that notion and recognize the gospel of God’s surprising abundance. To be generous with all that God has given us and respond to calls to serve and give. That we will see the needs in our midst, the people at our gates, and heed Moses and the prophets because we know Jesus has risen from the dead. And that is enough.
In Mission Together,
PS: If you wish to give to hurricane disaster response, please do so either with Lutheran Disaster Response or with our synod disaster response fund. As Bishop Idalia Negron of the Carribean Synod shares needs, we will respond to the requests.
Men’s Ministry Survey
Our synod, in cooperation with Lutheran Men in Mission (LMM), is exploring the status of men’s ministry within/among our congregations. Your congregation’s response would be very helpful to us…and possibly to the men in your congregation! Thank you in advance for your moments spent with this brief survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfczTJtWXSRXnMtcmw6qI5IoCWWhEfClzvS-Ww70H5_9sMrjg/viewform
TEDCourses: How to Connect in a Divided World
Online, we’re often told to “ignore the trolls.” But what if you refused to consider them trolls in the first place? Dylan Marron has had scores of one-on-one conversations with combative critics, and he’s learned a thing or two about how to connect with others across seemingly insurmountable divides. In this four-week course starting September 26 (additional start dates available), you’ll discover how to create the conditions for successful conversations online and offline, humanizing your “haters” and understanding them in different and sometimes surprising ways.
Dylan Marron moved from Venezuela to the United States when he was five years old. Since he was young he’s loved watching movies, but growing up as a “brown kid in America” he didn’t see himself and his experiences represented in film. At age 27, he created the critically acclaimed Every Single Word, a video series that edits down popular films to feature just the words spoken by people of color (spoiler alert: often, there aren’t many).
More recently, Dylan has been the host and creator of the podcast Conversations with People Who Hate Me, a social experiment connecting strangers who have exchanged negative or hateful messages on the internet. His book, also titled Conversations with People Who Hate Me, is published by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster. He described his podcast work in his 2018 TED Talk Empathy is not endorsement, which has been viewed more than 4 million times.
For full details and to register for this course: https://courses.ted.com/product/how-to-connect-in-a-divided-world
Featured Resources for September
The ELCA offers a place of welcome for all seeking a congregational home. Your congregation can extend an invitation to neighbors and the surrounding community through the use of these FREE and customizable communications tools. Download and use these free tools today:
Save the Date
Sunday, October 30, starting at 4pm
Guest Lecturer: Rev. Peter W. Marty
FREE ADMISSION: Free-will donation will cover dinner
For full details and to register: http://www.luthercenter-northtexas.org/
Recent Blog Posts
(https://www.ntnl.org/panhandle-conference-gathering/ – published Sep. 19)
(https://www.ntnl.org/sunday-in-slaton/ – published Sep. 19)
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. Given the rise of breakthrough infections and in order to protect those gathered, the synod staff will choose to wear masks as is deemed appropriate unless preaching or presiding and sufficient social distancing can be provided.
Sep. 24-25: 75th Anniversary festivities, Beautiful Savior, Amarillo
Sep. 28-Oct. 1: Conference of Bishops
Oct. 1: MEF Seeds That Change, Fort Worth and Dallas
Oct. 2: King of Glory, Dallas
Oct. 6: Lutheran Men in Mission annual board meeting, Online
Oct. 16: 75th Anniversary festivities, Calvary, San Angelo
Oct. 22: Memorial service for Dr. Peter Hendrickson, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
Nov. 5: Memorial service for former Bishop Phil Wahlburg, Gethsemane, Austin
Nov. 13: Abiding Grace, Southlake
Sep. 26-28: First Call Pastors Retreat, Lutherhill, LaGrange
Oct. 1: Conference Out West meeting, Grace, Abilene
Oct. 9: Worship and call committee orientation, Christ the Servant, Allen
Oct. 22-23: Shreveport ministry conversation, Holy Trinity
Sep. 20: Ecumenical Group meeting, then Conferencia Latina meeting, Adviento, Arlington
Sep. 21-24: ELCA Mission Developers training (English and Spanish)
Sep. 25-28: Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference, Savannah, GA
Sep. 29: NT-NL Renewal Team meeting
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. 21: Courageous Leadership – Empathy is not endorsement, Zoom
- Sep. 28: Courageous Leadership – TBA, Zoom
- Oct. 1: 2022 MEF Seeds That Change, Christ (Dallas) and Faith (Fort Worth)
- Oct. 5: Courageous Leadership – Coaching – Choose Your Own Adventure (breakout rooms by topic), Zoom
- Oct. 6: Transitional Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Oct. 7-8: 2022 NTNL-SWO Fall Retreat, St. Matthew, Waco
- Oct. 7-9: Fall 2022 LMM National Bold Gathering, Ashland, Nebraska
- Oct. 8: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Oct. 12: Courageous Leadership – TBA, Zoom
- Oct. 15: Parish Lay Ministry Academy, Fall 2022, Course 2, Hybrid
- Oct. 17: Implicit Bias Training, Online
- Oct. 18: Implicit Bias Training, Online
- Oct. 19: Courageous Leadership – TBA, Zoom
- Oct. 26: Courageous Leadership – TBA, Zoom
- Oct. 30: The Tenth Annual Herbener Lecture: Becoming More Human Through Worship, Dallas
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.