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Congregation News August 16

Lutheran Men In Mission

The Summer newsletter for Lutheran Men in Mission is below


2023 Summer Ambassador-Gram
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Resourceful Servants E-mail

You probably received an email from the ELCA concerning the Resourceful Servants Emergency Savings program. If not, here is the e-mail. Included in the message are these links for more information: Find out if you qualify for the Emergency Savings/Congregational Financial Assessment Program by visiting our website, reviewing the introductory booklet and completing the Financial Wellness Assessment. Through the website you can also register to attend an introductory webinar on Aug. 24. The due date to complete the Financial Wellness Assessment and included program application is Sept. 20.


God’s work. Our hands. Sunday

Project ideas, resources and other information can be found here.


Invitation to Ordination

You're Invited To A Service of Holy Communion with the Rite of Ordination for Laura Waltermire. Wednesday, August 23, 2023 + 5:30 pm. Messiah Lutheran Church, 144 Jubilee Street, Rockwood, PA. Clergy are invited to vest and process. The color of the day is red. If you plan to vest and process, please arrive at the church no later than 5:00 pm. Clergy will be invited forward for the laying on of hands. Laura is called to serve St. Mark, Pleasant Gap.


Administrative Opening St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Martinsburg, is seeking an Administrative Assistant who is proficient in clerical and computer skills and demonstrates professional courtesy in communication and confidentiality. Part time position: 12-15 morning hours, 4-5 days weekly. If interested, please contact PrTraciStMatthewMartinsburg@gmail.com.


Best Practices for safer online worship

A discussion is taking place within the Conference of Bishops regarding safer practices for online worship since several reports have been received from pastors who have discovered several of their services which are archived on YouTube receiving significantly higher viewership. A more detailed analysis indicated that the folks viewing them were focusing on the children's sermons, especially when the kids' underwear was showing or the kids were spreading their legs. If you are providing online worship, consider blurring the kids’ images or focusing on a different part of the sanctuary during the children’s message. At this point, we have not received any written guidance on how to prevent this, be aware that it is happening.


Lutheran Faith Community Nurse Association Education Event

In September, the Lutheran Faith Community Nurse Association will be offering a three part series entitled This is How We Die. We will couple excellent content from Barbara Karnes’s 3 DVD series This is How People Die, with dialogue and reflection. Barbara Karnes is a registered nurse and well-known hospice pioneer and advocate. The events will be held on September 11, 18, and 25 starting at 7 pm. Nursing contact hours will be provided for the sessions attended. For more information click on this link: https://lutheranfcna.org/event-5361391.


Ending With Grace from Dialog Works

Ending with Grace Begins September 19th. Closing a congregation is a complicated and often painful process. Ending with Grace guides faith leaders in navigating the process's mechanical tasks and emotional and spiritual dimensions. Attorney Murray Sagsveen and a guest student in the course said this about Ending with Grace. "The complexity of closing congregations is often underestimated and misunderstood. It can be handled well or extremely poorly. Well presented and well attended by interested students." Author and priest Gail Cafferata, in her teaching video, shared how the closing of a congregation does not necessarily mean its life is over. More information and registration can be found here


The Online "Practical Tools for the Journey" Course Begins September 21st

Dialog Works helps faith leaders with practical tools to assess their congregation's needs, explore sustainability options, and develop leadership skills to promote effective leadership within their communities. We aim to provide the necessary resources and support to help them succeed in their important work. Rev. Marie Bonnie wrote in her course evaluation: “I appreciated the videos to view in preparation for class. The spiritual practices videos from Martha were good reminders for me to engage in reflection in an intentional way. I liked having more than one voice-the newness of Peter and the familiarity of Mark. They partnered well together. Peter, Mark and Martha’s combined experience brought a richness to the class content and conversations.” For more information or to register, click here


Merry Christmas!

As many of you are now discovering, Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year. Some congregations who are not served regularly by a pastor are asking what to do concerning worship. There are some options. There are likely other options that are not listed. The strong encouragement from the Office of the Bishop for congregations who do not have a pastor is to accept an invitation to join with another congregation. Supply people will be limited this year.

  1. Celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent in your regular morning service and hold an evening celebration of Christmas Eve.

  2. Celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent AND Christmas Eve in your regular morning service and do not have an evening service (similar to Palm/Passion Sunday).

  3. Celebrate the 4th “Sunday” of Advent on Saturday evening and then celebrate Christmas Eve on Sunday morning or evening.

  4. Celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent on Sunday morning, skip an evening worship and then celebrate the Nativity of our Lord on Monday, December 25

  5. Join with a neighboring congregation(s) for an evening of Lessons and Carols on December 24 after a “regular” morning service

  6. Join with a neighboring congregation(s) for both a morning and evening service on December 24

  7. Plan a week-long celebration of the season by providing daily readings and prayers to be distributed on Sunday, the 24th in the morning.

Kindling Faith Continuing Education Events at ULS

Christian Nationalism

Blog post from LEAD written by Bishop Michael Rinehart can be found here.


HOPE: A four-week series with reflection questions from LEAD

LEAD is offering a four-week series on hope. More information can be found here

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