On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg. He never meant to start the movement that followed, but his words and ideas spread—thanks in great part to the cutting-edge technology of the day, the printing press—and, well, almost 500 years later, here we are.
We don’t nail things to church doors anymore, but we do post on “walls” an awful lot these days. And we tweet. And we share selfies, and sunsets, and cat videos, and memes.
Sometimes what we post is inconsequential; sometimes that photo of the tiny kitten cuddled up with the huge Rottweiler, or the video of your toddler singing (and doing all the choreography) to “Let It Go” are just what your friend needed, to make them smile in the middle of a crummy day full of stress, bad news, and a migraine. Sometimes a Twitter rant will start a conversation, and become a place where victims and survivors of domestic abuse can share their experiences of #WhyIStayed or #WhyILeft, tell their stories, help them heal, and empower other victims to speak up and seek help.
The Internet and social media, the “printing press” of our day, are what we make of them. Let’s make something good.
500 Likes by Reformation Day
The NT-NL Mission Area Facebook Page currently has 417 “likes.” I challenge you to bring that number up to 500 by Reformation Day, October 31. For every new “like” on our page from today until October 31st, I will donate $10 to Ebola relief. Share the page (share & like our posts, leave comments), invite your friends, talk about it with your congregation… let’s get to 500!
We want to see your smiling faces! Take a “selfie” (a photo of yourself—can be a solo or group shot!) at church on Sunday, post to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and tag it with the hashtag #SundaySelfieNTNL! Pastors and SAWLs, share a pulpit selfie, then turn around and take an “otherie”—show us your view on Sunday mornings!
(PS: did you know your phone probably has a front camera, so you can see the selfie you’re about to take? Ask a young whippersnapper in the congregation to show you!)
Do you tweet your lightbulb-moments and other gems from the sermon? Is your congregation or small group doing something cool? Do you want to share your progress on a quilt or prayer shawl, or show off how sweaty you got working on that Habitat for Humanity home? Is there a certain spot, artwork, sign, cross in your church you absolutely love? Do you see examples of living out our DiscipleLife that you want to share (or “(humbly) brag” about)? Tag your photos and posts with the hashtag #NTNLife!
Want to see what others in the NT-NL Mission Area are up to? Search the #NTNLife tag!
Oportunidades para Hispanohablantes:
Retiro Espiritual: Festival de los Regalos de Dios
Acompáñenos en este Retiro Espiritual: Festival de los Regalos de Dios, presentado por el Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, el 31 de octubre-1° de noviembre en el Campamento Lutherhill en La Grange.
Venga con su familia a disfrutar un lugar de esparcimiento físico y espiritual con gente que le quiere. La colaboración sugerida es $10 por individual o $20 por familia que incluye alojamiento y comidas. Por favor, inscríbase en línea. El último día para inscribirse es el viernes 17 de octubre.
Entrenamiento con la Academia
La Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo ofrece esta oportunidad de entrenamiento de facilitadoras y facilitadores el 24-25 de octubre en Houston.
Los participantes podrán familiarizarse con los cursos, el procedimiento, aclarar dudas, e interactuar con colegas facilitadoras y facilitadores.
El costo del entrenamiento es $55 por persona; cada participante es responsable por sus arreglos de hotel, comida, y viaje. Para más informatción, vea la página de eventos de Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod. Por favor, inscríbase en línea.
West Africa Ebola Crisis: Donations Still Being Collected
There is still so much to be done to help our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone and west Africa. Please visit ntnl.org/ebola-crisis for updates.
Please consider making a donation or taking a special offering in your congregation, and also sharing that link with friends and family.
Donations can be made through PayPal or by mail: NT-NL Mission Office, P.O. Box 560587, Dallas TX 75356-0587.
The Board of the Directors of the Mission Endowment Fund and the Executive Director invite you to attend the
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Christ Lutheran Church, Dallas
Volunteer Days at Briarwood: October 20-31
We will need volunteers to assist with painting starting Monday, Oct. 20 and continuing until Oct. 31.
The actual painting will be done by our two favorite handymen, Bruce Oslie and Buck Parker, who were invaluable in the completion of the Trail’s End cabin and have graciously agreed to share their spray-gun gifts to paint the Leadership Center. Volunteers will be needed to help with hoses and moving things around to assist Bruce and Buck.
If you are available to help any weekday from Monday, Oct. 20-Friday, Oct. 31, please call Jean at 940.241.2099 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of your availability.
Turning Preaching Inside Out:
Preaching & Worship as Faith Formation
Guest Speaker Dr. Rolf Jacobson
2014 Convocation Brochure Registration packet with mail-in registration available here.
(Please note: we were not able to set up online registration this year. Please register by mail. Thank you!)
Mission Endowment Fund Grant Application Now Available!
The deadline for MEF grants is October 31. Please complete the application (save the fillable PDF to your computer, then open your local copy) and submit to Hattie Hammer at email@example.com.
Please find the complete grant application guidelines and application forms at ntnl.org/mef-grants.
November 2 • 2:00-6:00
Join us for a fun-filled family day at Briarwood! There will be a games, treats, face painting, raffles, tours of the Streng and Trester Centers, and Briarwood’s Annual Meeting.
There will be a delicious cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers from 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. plus cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, and sodas throughout the afternoon.
The Annual Advisory Board meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. Please see briarwoodretreat.org for more information.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The ELCA Church Council has authorized a social message on gender-based violence. Messages are adopted by the Church Council as a means to encourage learning and moral discourse. The tentative timeline calls for a message, or messages, to be considered by the Church Council in April of 2015.
A Draft of a Social Message on Gender-based Violence is available for public comment and response. Please use this online feedback form. The comment period runs through November 26th, and you are invited to participate by sending your feedback by email.
Please take a moment to read through some of the domestic violence resources available here. Consider including victims and survivors of domestic abuse, as well as their abusers, in your prayers during worship.
Help us shatter the silence and break the cycle of abuse by encouraging victims and survivors to talk about their experiences. Contact your local domestic violence shelter for resources, fliers, and other information you can have available in the restrooms in your church building (and elsewhere!)
The month of October also contains Reformation Sunday (October 26) which is important in our faith tradition as we allow God’s Spirit to continually reform and renew ourselves and our ministry from the inside out.
We have provided to our RIC communities prayer petitions which are rooted in that week’s readings and reflect the respective Spirit Month celebration on our web page: www.RWKS.org/Spirit
Check with the worship planner(s) in your congregation to see if they would like to add these four prayer petitions to the liturgy. A bulletin insert is also available for use.
Lutheran Men in Mission
The TX-LA Gulf Coast Synod will be hosting the 2014 Lutheran Men in Mission Leadership Summit on Saturday, October 18, at the Holiday Inn Express in Pearland.
Registration is $69. Deadline is October 10. Register by mail using this form.
Briarwood Retreat Center
The NT-NL Lutheran Youth Organization leaders are collecting preliminary information from congregations planning on attending the Gathering in Detroit. Please fill out this quick form to let us know your plans!
Peer Ministry Leadership Event (youth in grades 9-12)
Briarwood Retreat Center
Questions? Call Janelle Miller at 817-726-7031 or email NTNLYouthLeaders@yahoo.com.
Upcoming Events in the NT-NL Mission Area and Beyond:
- Oct. 10-12: NT-NL Synodical Women’s Organization Convention (Abilene, TX)
- Oct. 11: MEF’s Seeds that Change Dinner
- Oct. 16-17: Peer Ministry Adult Facilitator Training
- Oct. 18: LMM Leadership Summit (Pearland, TX)
- Oct. 24-25: Entrenamiento con la Academia Ecuménica de Liderazgo
- Oct. 24-26: Lutheran Men in Mission’s “One Year to Live” Retreat
- Oct. 27-29: Bishop’s Convocation: Turning Preaching Inside Out
- Oct. 31-Nov. 1: Retiro Espiritual: Festival de los Regalos de Dios
- Nov. 2: Briarwood’s Fall Festival
- Nov. 9: Lutheran Campus Ministries Trivia Night
- Nov. 14-16: Junior High Youth Gathering
- Dec. 7: Briarwood’s Christmas Brunch
- Dec. 13-14: Advent Retreat at Briarwood
- Jan 16-18: High School Extravaganza
- Jan. 24-25: Lumberjack Retreat at Briarwood
- Jan. 26-28, 2015: Tri-Synodical Theological Conference
- Feb. 20-22: Peer Ministry (for youth in grades 9-12)
- Apr. 21-May 8, 2015: In Search of Paul: An Aegean Odyssey A LEAD pilgrimage for rostered leaders and church professionals
- Apr. 24-26, 2015: NT-NL Mission Assembly
- May 24-29, 2015: LSPS’s Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Intensive
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit them to Criss Forshay (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration for our next Briefings. Don’t forget to include a picture or logo!