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Congregation News Week of December 12

ITEMS FROM GRACE, STOYSTOWN Grace, Stoystown has a number of items to donate that may be helpful for Christmas or other times of the year. You can view the items here: If interested, please contact Becky Whipkey at or (home ) 814-445-3414 or (cell) 814-483-6431

SAVE THE DATE: SYNOD-WIDE WORSHIP Another Synod-wide Worship opportunity is happening Sunday, January 29, 2023, 4:00 pm. There will be one worship service in two different places that day: at St. David’s in Davidsville and Trinity in State College. If there is concern about the weather that day, the worship service will move online. Please mark your calendars and spread the word in your congregations.


I am sure we all thought we were getting past new CDC guidelines; we aren’t. Last week the rise in flu, RSV and Covid cases that require hospitalization is on the rise. As you prepare to gather with friends and family and more people in the pews, the CDC recommends masking indoors. We would add: wash your hands more than you think you need to and stay hydrated.

SYNOD ASSEMBLY DEADLINES The following are deadlines for material for the Allegheny Synod Assembly. The first mailing for registration and other information will be sent in January. Deadline for Reports: March 27, 2023. Nomination Deadline: April 24, 2023 Bulletin of Reports published: May 15, 2023 All-Synod Worship: Sunday, June 11, 2023. 4:00 pm, Location to be determined Synod Assembly Online Bible Study: June 13 and June 15. 6:00 pm via Zoom

CONGREGATIONAL GRANTS AVAILABLE Congregation Vitality and Innovation grants are being offered by the Allegheny Synod. Grants of $250-$1000 will be awarded. A Vitality Grant will be used to expand or enhance an existing ministry. An Innovation Grant will be used to try a completely new ministry project. If you have questions, please contact either Pastor Kevin or Bishop Paula.

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Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) is asking people to fill out the Health Equity Survey for the region in which you reside. The link can be shared with any resident of the Commonwealth. See the information that follows and click on the link for your region.

SW region: Cambria, Somerset:

SC region: Bedford, Blair, Huntingdon:

Pennsylvania's regional health equity action teams have developed surveys that are open until Dec. 31 to identify and prioritize the most severe health issues experienced in your communities, such as; chronic disease, environmental hazards, community violence, substance use disorder, and mental health. The survey includes questions related to the barriers people face when trying to access health resources. The results of these surveys will help the Commonwealth work toward better health for all people statewide. We invite you to take the survey at the link below and to share with all in your community. Learn more about this effort here.

NEW BIBLE DISCUSSION PODCAST AVAILABLE tend: a bible podcast is a new project of the Allegheny Synod and Sequanota Camp and Conference Center intended to invite all people into discussion with scripture. Each week, Pastors Nathan Pile and Kevin Shock ask three questions about a text and discuss. The podcast can be used as a tool for personal reflection or for group discussion in congregations or elsewhere. The podcast can also be accessed on these platforms: Apple listeners: Spotify listeners: Website listeners:


Grant applications will be received Dec. 12 and will officially close the application process on Feb. 15, 2023. Consideration will be given to the first 30 grant applications received through the application process in GrantMaker. Once that number is met, correspondence will be sent out through ELCA Disabilities Ministry newsletter and blog. Please note that this may happen before the Feb. 15 deadline. Of those 30 received, the review team will approve up to five grants of up to $10,000 for projects. Applicants for this grant can be congregations, synods or other ELCA organizations. To be eligible for a grant, your project and proposal must reflect at least two of the three commitments of ELCA Disability Ministry: Preparing leaders for serving people with disabilities, raising up people with disabilities for leadership positions, and encouraging the participation of those with disabilities in the wider church; Equipping our synods, congregations and members with relevant and practical information that enables them to welcome and support individuals with disabilities so that they might participate fully in the life of the congregation and that, together, all might experience being the body of Christ; Gathering and connecting those with disabilities and various groups within the church so that they might help us become an inclusive, supportive and whole community of faith. A successful grant proposal must supply the following pieces of information, which will be put together in the application on the ELCA GrantMaker system: Project leader information; a detailed summary plan that includes your project’s name, location, timeline, targeted audience, etc.; Goals and objectives; budget and budget narrative detailing how the grant funding will be spent; Synod support (letter and/or financial); proof of other funding sources outside the grant. The ELCA Grants Management Team has made a tool to help grantees with the registration process on GrantMaker. You can find it here. The team has also included a document to help you navigate the tool: Managing the Grantee Tool. For more information, you can email or the director at


A Christmas message from Presiding Bishop Eaton can be found here.


The ELCA Global Links newsletter can be found here.


The Christmas greeting from the Office of the Bishop:

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