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Congregation News week of December 5


The Christmas greeting from the Office of the Bishop can be found here.

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SAVE THE DATE: SYNOD-WIDE WORSHIP Another Synod-wide Worship opportunity is happening Sunday, January 29, 2023, time to be determined. 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.


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.


Attached to this message you will find an application for Congregation Vitality and Innovation grants 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. Complete this request form:

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SNOW CAMP 2023 Snow Camp will be held January 27-29, 2023 at Camp Sequanota. For more information or to register, e-mail:

BLANKET THE CAPITOL LAWN AND BLANKET OUR NEIGHBORS WITH CARE The ELCA Witness in Society office is partnering with several synods, advocates and foundation partners to organize a Homeless Remembrance Blanket awareness event in Washington D.C. on December 21, the longest night of the year. The event, which includes invited bishops, members of Congress, Administration officials, dignitaries and nonprofit advocacy organizations, will be gathering hundreds of blankets from across the country in a symbolic art installation on the U.S. Capitol lawn near the Christmas tree. The event will bring greater attention to those of us struggling with homelessness on the coldest nights of the year. Interested advocates are welcome to participate in-person at the U.S. Capitol, or join the full-day event virtually. Blankets will be arriving from each state in the country, with letters and invitations to lawmakers to visit an agency or ministry with those experiencing homelessness in their district. Please consider donating a blanket or joining us in the nation's capital on Dec. 21 for the event, or on Jan. 4, to deliver blankets and letters to members of Congress. If you would like to connect with other Lutherans in attendance, or to help — by making a blanket, writing a letter, stitching donated squares, setting up and tearing down the art installation or delivering blankets to members of Congress in January for delivery in their districts — please email with “Blanket” in the subject line. Pastor Jaime Olson will be traveling to Washington on 12/21 and is willing to deliver blankets. If your congregation would like to send any, please deliver them to Duncansville Evangelical Lutheran Church or contact Pastor Jaime.


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:

Kindling Faith continuing education events from United Lutheran Seminary Visit Gettysburg with your church group! Our facility is a great place for a day outing or a two-day stay. We can offer Bible studies, conversations with the Admissions office, tours of the campus, library archives, and our award-winning museum ( In addition, people can take advantage of the many attractions in the greater Gettysburg community (

Preaching Perspectives from the Middle East, January 9, 2023, 9 am – 1 pm EST via zoom. Log on to meet with Pastors Imad Haddad, Ashraf Tannous, and Fursan Zumot as they discuss the RCL readings for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter from a Palestinian Christian Perspective. These pastors are pursuing their DMin degrees at ULS as part of our ongoing relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

Combating Online Harassment, January 24, 2023, at 7 pm EST via Zoom. The church has an essential role to play in offering alternatives to a toxic online environment. Presented by Lauren Krapf, Esq. of the Anti-Defamation League ( ).

Save These Dates: ULS Book Club with President Erwin, February 27th, March 27th, April 24th at 7 pm EST via zoom. Dr. Erwin discusses Flowers of the Killer Moon and his perspective on Osage culture in this novel based on true events. The film version directed by Martin Scorcese will be released in May of 2023. Nolde/Lazareth Lecture, March 20, 2023 at 7 pm on the Philadelphia campus and Livestream. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White, Dean of Union Theological Seminary discusses her new book The Psychology of Christian Nationalism.

Our American Muslim Neighbors: Christian Reflections on Islam, March 2, 9, 23, 30 (on zoom) and April 1st on the Philadelphia campus with a field trip to a local mosque with Dr. David Grafton of Hartford International University.

Spring Convocation, April 26, 2023 on the Gettysburg campus. This year’s theme, “Children of Abraham: Stewards of Creation.”


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