This week we pray for:
St. Paul in Crawford (Pr. Thomas Beers)
Finnish Chapel in Coppell (Pr. Jarmo Tarkki)
Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest
Ash Wednesday is this week, marking the beginning of Lent.
During Lent, it is popular (especially noted in Facebook statuses) to “give up” something—chocolate, sodas/coffee, or social media seem to be the most popular items. But is that what this time is about?
How about observing the time of Lent not by “giving up” something, but by giving thanks for something?
Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing for the forty days of Lent, each square on the Lenten calendar 2015 (based on one developed by Rhonda Kindig of St. John Lutheran Church in Abingdon, Virginia) gives a chance to give thanks for something in our lives we may take for granted (“How many sinks are in your home? Give thanks for fresh water!”)
As you count, place an equal number of coins in a bank, as part of your Lenten offering.
Bishop Kanouse has asked that congregations consider dedicating their Lenten offerings for Ebola relief in Sierra Leone, to help with feeding programs and other needs as the country continues to struggle with the disease and tries to rebuild in the wake of the epidemic.
Thanks to Abiding Grace (Southlake) for the Lenten calendar and the coin bank idea!
We are only five months away from the 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering! In this issue of gNews, get to know an entrepreneur who’s making a difference in Detroit and learn some important tips.
Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Lesson Two of the Getting Ready Materials and look for Lesson Three later this month!
Bishop Kanouse announces his intent to retire June 2016
Please visit ntnl.org/bishopelection to read Bishop Kanouse’s letter announcing his intent to retire as Bishop of NT-NL in June 2016. This page will be updated as the bishop election process develops.
2% Health Contribution Discount = $31,000
Portico Benefit Services is again offering us the opportunity to earn a 2% discount on ELCA health contributions this year if 65% of our eligible ELCA-Primary health plan members and eligible spouses complete the confidential Mayo Clinic Health Assessment between now and April 30.
If you have ELCA-Primary health benefits, we need your help! Take this year’s Mayo Clinic Health Assessment before April 30. You will earn a $150 credit to your wellness account to offset out-of-pocket medical costs, and will help us earn a 2% discount on the cost of your health coverage.
If your spouse has ELCA-Primary health benefits and completes the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment, too, you’ll receive another $150 wellness dollars into your wellness account, and will help us earn our synod-wide 2% discount on health contributions.
New this year: To take the Mayo Clinic Health Assessment, access Mayo Clinic’s Healthy Living online directly through myPortico—no separate Mayo Clinic ID and password necessary. Go to PorticoBenefits.org/HealthyLiving for details.
Tuesday, February 24
The Streng Center
at the Mission Center at Briarwood
How do congregations thrive and grow? How do pastors and lay leaders experience the on-going presence of the Holy Spirit in ways that renew them personally while giving them vision for the future?
Join the Rev. Dr. Michael Foss as he leads conversations on these topics, focusing on leadership, partnerships, and building a culture of energy, focus, and momentum.
Register here. Registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 20.
Cost is $12 for lunch, payable to Briarwood the day of the event.
The webinar will be lead by Dr. Ed Kruse, Founder of HealthierChurch.org and the former National Director for Stewardship at Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ed’s newest book, Wake-Up, Church! is a timely response to the life-threatening confluence of mistrust, economic crisis and failure to adjust to clear warning signs of impending collapse that congregations face today.
Learn to enjoy Stewardship!
Thursday, February 19, 2015 – 10 AM • Register Now! for FREE!
Thursday, February 19, 2015 – 6 PM • Register Now! for FREE!
Ventures in Growing Stewards is a four‑part workshop series that develops a vision and plan for growing stewards through a year round stewardship ministry. The process is organic in that each congregation develops an approach to fit their context and culture.
With a trained leader provided by the synod, a cluster of six to eight congregations journey together for ten months. Each congregation has a team of four to six people. Eight different annual financial response alternatives are provided. The results have included spiritual renewal, developing a team-based approach to ministry, increases in regular giving, and growth in mission interpretation and support.
For more information about this opportunity, please contact Pr. Steve Kanouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-241-2099.
Deadline for registration is February 23. Financial assistance is available for interested participants.
Grant opportunity through Wheat Ridge Ministries
Wheat Ridge’s Burst Grant Program exists to support young leaders as they plan and implement a ministry or program that brings health and hope to their community.
Burst Grants are one-time grants of up to $5,000 for a health or human care ministry project designed and led by young adult leaders between the ages of 20-35 in the Lutheran community.
Contact email@example.com for assistance in developing a proposal or questions about eligibility. For general eligibility info, check Wheat Ridge’s website here., Assistant Director for Ministry Programs, at
Be sure to share this message with the young adults in your network!
Transforming Congregations Through Spiritual Practice: Creating a Discipleship Community
The North American Association for the Catechumenate’s 2015 Annual Gathering
July 30-Aug. 1, 2015 • Baltimore, MD
The conference is for pastors, seminarians, musicians, and lay leaders who wish to gather for stellar worship, stimulating lectures on spiritual practice, workshops on various aspects of the Catechumenate, and a chance to network with ministry practitioners from all denominations across North America.
For more information and to register, please visit NAAC’s website.
Please go to ntnl.org/2015assemblyregistration to register for the ¡SINAI!, the 2015 NT-NL Mission Assembly, April 24-26 in Lewisville.
You will need to create an account by entering your email address and a password.
The same weekend as the assembly, Briarwood will be hosting a Family Retreat: Mountains & Valleys. The retreat and assembly are two separate events, though we will come together on Saturday, April 25, for the Dedication of the new Center for Mission at Briarwood.
The family retreat will be a time for families to explore together how they can support each other in their faith formation. The retreat will focus on Rich Melheim’s FAITH5 (Faith Action In The Home), and how those tools can help families as they embark on their faith journeys together.
Registration for the family retreat will open later this month. For more information, contact Briarwood Program Director Aaron Colwick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click image for more information on the 34th Annual Rural Ministry Conference
Lutheran Campus Ministries
Do you know any Lutheran students at the University of Texas at Austin, or who plan to start in the fall?
Tell them the Kohn-Hutter Scholarship provides about $40,000 annually for Lutheran UT students: the application deadline is March 31, 2015. Apply on LCM’s website: www.lcmaustin.org. The Leon G. Bohls Family Scholarship also provides support for UT students active in LCM.
Lutheran Campus Ministries nationwide create community in Christ. We pray for and invite students to join us around the Table, for both physical and spiritual nourishment.
Please refer students to campus ministries at: www.namegatheringproject.org. Don’t forget to begin asking graduating high school seniors where they’ll go to college!
Churchwide Assembly Voting Members
NT-NL will send seven voting members to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly. If you are interested in being a voting member, find more information, and the vita form, here. Nominees will be voted on at the 2015 Assembly.
The new address for all mail is:
680 Copper Canyon Rd.
Argyle, TX 76226
Please note we will also be discontinuing the use of the P.O. Box; all mail will need to come directly to the above address.
There are still giving opportunities available to finish out the landscaping around the building and to furnish the Streng Leadership Center.
Please visit NTNL.org/donate-now for more information on the new special gifting and naming opportunities for the Center for Mission at Briarwood.
NT-NL Synodical Women’s Organization
Have you seen the new NT-NL Women of the ELCA website? Check it out at ntnllutheranwomen.com!
Keep up with news and events from the NT-NL SWO by subscribing to The Tapestry, their online newsletter. If you or anyone you know who would like to get a copy, please send an email request to email@example.com with the subject line “Subscribe Tapestry”. In the body of the email, include your name and the name of your congregation and city. You will be added to the mailing list.
Submit items to be included in future issues of the Tapestry to Marie Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tapestry is published bi-monthly with the March/April issue being released March 1st. Articles should be sent to Marie by February 22, 2015.
Upcoming Events in the NT-NL Mission Area and Beyond:
- Feb. 20-22: Peer Ministry (for youth in grades 9-12)
- Feb. 21: Mosaic in Dallas’s 18th Annual Heart & Soul Gala
- Feb. 21-22: Lenten Retreat at Briarwood
- Feb 24: Table Talk: Reviving the Congregation with Pastor Michael Foss
- Feb. 24-25: DO WHAT MATTERS! Faith Formation for a New Age
- Feb. 28: Eighth Annual North Texas Senior Fest
- Mar. 7: Lutheran Men in Mission Annual Assembly
- Mar. 22: Brunch at Briarwood
- Mar. 27-29: Into The Wilderness: Men’s Family Retreat at Briarwood
- Apr. 7-9: Senior Citizen’s Retreat
- Apr. 21-May 8: In Search of Paul: An Aegean Odyssey A LEAD pilgrimage for rostered leaders and church professionals
- Apr. 24-26: NT-NL Mission Assembly
- Apr. 24-26: ¡SINAI! Family Retreat: Mountains & Valleys at Briarwood
- May 2: Briarwood Gala
- May 24-29: LSPS’s Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Intensive
- Jul. 15-19: 2015 ELCA Youth Gathering: Rise Up Together!
- Sep. 13: “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday
- Sep. 15: Table Talk: The Use of the Means of Grace with Pastor Kevin Strickland
- Oct. 17: MEF “Seeds that Change” Dinner
- Oct. 26-28: 2015 Bishop’s Convocation with special guest Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton!
- Nov. 2: Portico Pre-Retirement Seminar
- Nov. 3: Portico Early/Mid-Career Financial Wellness Seminar
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit them to Criss Forshay (email@example.com) for consideration for our next Briefings. Don’t forget to include a picture or logo!