Today was a full day across the #milesandmiles of NT-NL Synod, ELCA. The highlight being the graduation of eleven leaders from our Parish Lay Ministry Academy. This ministry of our synod has been revitalized in the last few years by our Dean, the Rev. Phil Heinze (Calvary, Richland Hills) and the technological capabilities of Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center.
Our class of 2020 included leaders from Shreveport, Abilene, Wichita Falls, South Dallas, Arlington, Sherman, Alvarado, and Farmers Branch. These lay leaders are now empowered to support their pastors and deacons in their local congregations. They have been given the gift of theological education to support our ministry and make their light shine.
Many of our PLMs have gone on to rostered leadership in the church through the TEEM process. NT-NLs PLMA is unique in that from the beginning it has always been bi-lingual. Building on this foundation our Secondary School of Theological Education (SSTE) provides a next step currently for Latinx leaders to expand their skills if they desire.
This morning I fulfilled the role many of our leaders in congregations do by volunteering at my family’s parish to raise money for the youth program. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo draws well over 100,000 people on a good weather weekend day. Trinity Lutheran Church members volunteer parking cars to raise funds for youth attending camp at Briarwood and other ministries throughout the year. My oldest and I helped in the parking lot while the younger kiddos played in the fellowship hall and made Valentine’s for their friends.
Tomorrow is annual meeting at my home parish. I pray for leaders across the NT-NL who also have meetings or have had or planning for these meetings. It is another way we empower lay leaders in our church to have a key role in decision making.