As cooler breezes began to blow in from the north we are busy and engaged here at NT-NL Synod, ELCA and Briarwood Leadership Center. I was pleased to have some time to meet with Veronika Czutor this morning. Veronika is an NT-NL candidate for ordination to Word and Sacrament ministry, vicar at Christ Lutheran in Dallas, and has helped coordinate NT-NL Young Adult activities. She will be up for approval next year (if all goes as planned) and so we were discussing options for her and discernment.
In the midst of the process unfortunately our internet service provider has had some hiccups. So we have had those service techs and our synod technology provider on site as well. In the midst of the repairs they discovered our internet box was actually hit by lightning! Thanks to Jeanne Heggen of our staff for taking on the role of ensuring our service is restored promptly.
Finally, today a small group of young men from Dallas Jesuit High School are utilizing the leadership center and some of the grounds for training for their PALS (Peer Assistance Leadership and Service) program. As you know Briarwood has continued to host some small groups onsite as it is able during the pandemic and continued challenges from the winter storm damage. Due to the absence of revenue from the normal retreat functions the financial situation is difficult and staff have been reduced to essential functions. Bishop’s Associate and Director of Briarwood Dr. Robert Smith has take on a role as bridge pastor for Central, Dallas and Bethany, Dallas to offset his salary and prioritize maintenance and small retreats. As they are able and demand for retreats increases (still low due to Covid) they will ramp up staffing as appropriate.
Despite these challenges I am glad these young men could have that experience today. Also looking forward to our 2021 Leadership Convocation to be offered both onsite and online October 18-20th. Also be on the lookout for an online Church Council Training program Dr. Smith is developing for later this fall. We continue the work of developing leaders through NT-NL and Briarwood. #NTNL #BWTX #InMissionTogether