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Congregation News Week of January 11


St. Mark Lutheran Church in Snydertown (Nittany Conference) will begin a viewing and discussion of The Chosen, the multi-season program that looks at the life and ministry of Jesus, His followers, and those He met. Both an in-person gathering as well as a Zoom offering will be offered to watch and discuss the show. The study begins at 11:00 am Wednesday, January 18 with an in-person viewing of Season One, Episode One, “I Have Called You By Name,” in St. Mark’s Fellowship Room. The Zoom viewing and discussion of the same episode will be 6:30 pm Thursday, January 19. This is for anyone to join whether part of St. Mark or not! Zoom info will be sent for anyone who is interested. In-person meetings will be 11:00 am Wednesdays each week, with Zoom gatherings happening at 6:30 pm Thursdays for most weeks (when council has its monthly meeting on the second Thursday of each month, the Zoom meeting will be on Wednesday of that week).

Here is the upcoming schedule for the first few episodes of Season One (subject to change):

Episode One: “I Have Called You By Name”

Wednesday, January 18 (11am in Fellowship Room)

Thursday, January 19 (6:30pm Zoom)

Episode Two: “Shabbat”

Wednesday, January 25 (11am in Fellowship Room)

Thursday, January 26 (6:30pm Zoom)

Episode Three: “Jesus Loves The Little Children”

Wednesday, February 1 (11am in Fellowship Room)

Thursday, February 2 (6:30pm Zoom)

Episode Four: “The Rock On Which It Is Built”

Wednesday, February 8 (11am in Fellowship Room)

Wednesday, February 8 (6:30pm Zoom)


Thanks to all who submitted applications for the Congregational Vitality and Innovation Grants. Due to the volume of applications we received, the recipients will be announced later in January. We look forward to hearing about the ministry that comes from this initiative.


Marie Cameron, whose poetry book I Have No Name, was nominated for Pulitzer Prize for poetry, will be at St. Mark Lutheran, 850 Snydertown Rd., Howard PA at 10am Saturday, January 28 for a talk and discussion. I Have No Name was a compilation of Holocaust stories survivors told Cameron, who survived the Holocaust herself having lived in Nazi Germany. Her latest book, I Have No Name — Threads — L’Chaim (To Life), is “the final comprehensive collection of her poetry,” and in it “she explores being an observer in this rapidly changing world.” She says she will request those attending to choose particular decades, and she will read poetry from that period. She will bring copies of her book to purchase and for her to sign.

updates and announcements regarding the annual congregation report process.

  • As in previous years, all ELCA congregations, synod authorized worshiping communities (SAWCs), and new starts will receive an annual congregation report packet through the mail. This packet should arrive during the second week of January. It will contain paper copies of Form A and Form C, instructional documents on how to complete these forms, and the password that congregations or communities will use to file their reports online. The online system for Congregation Report Forms A & C for 2022, accessible at, will open during the second week of January.

  • New this year will be the addition of email communication with ELCA congregations and worshiping communities. On December 13, the ELCA churchwide organization will send out an email describing the annual congregation report process and key dates for the new data year. The email will also provide a link to generic versions of Form A and Form C, so congregations that wish to begin compiling their data can do so. This email will not contain the password for the online system.

  • If any congregations still wish to file 2021 reports, they must do so before the online system for filing Form A and Form C for 2021 shuts down on Wednesday, December 21. By way of reminder, synods are responsible for keeping copies of 2021 reports. Please print or save any remaining 2021 reports now as they will not be accessible after the shutdown.

  • As in previous years, the Office of the Secretary will send the passwords to you as synod statisticians. This information will be distributed following the closure of the online system for 2021 data.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out at or 773-380-2445.


A festival-like event building on mission and community titled Well will be held June 22-25 at Camp Sequanota. More information will follow. Make plans to take part in this event and hear from speakers, musicians, artists and others about faith.


Youth and adults from our Synod are planning a mission trip to Florida in July to assist with hurricane clean-up. The Synod Council has provided some initial help with funding, but the group is seeking support from the whole synod. Donations can be made on the Allegheny Synod website. Click the donate button and then choose Youth Mission Trip. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.


Gather on the 4th Sunday each month at 4 pm at Pine Grove Hall for Hymns and Hops with St Paul Lutheran, Pine Grove Mills (Nittany Conference).


January 23 (grades 6 – 12) and February 20 (grades 2-5) 9 am – 1 pm at St Mark Lutheran, Snydertown.

JAM sessions helping young people build self-confidence and develop healthy relationships through the use of creative expression


The first mailing for the Synod Assembly is being finalized. Please secure voting members and ask them to register online. Deadlines for material are as follows:

Reports for the Bulletin of Reports are due no later than March 27. Resolutions or Memorials are due no later than March 27. Nominations for Synod Council and Synod Committees are due no later than April 24. The nomination form can be found on the Allegheny Synod website in the Synod Assembly tab. Event, meal and childcare registration are due no later than May 17. If you wish to provide information for the information table, 75 copies of the information should be brought to the Allegheny Synod office no later than May 17.

YOUNG ADULTS IN GLOBAL MISSION (YAGM) PRIORITY DEADLINE APPROACHING The priority deadline to apply for Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) is one week away, on Jan. 15, 2023. The final application deadline is Feb. 1, 2023. This is your last chance to encourage young adults to apply! Now even more communities are ready to welcome you. The YAGM team recently announced that the Mexico and Central Europe country programs will be reopening in 2023. Volunteers will have the opportunity to serve there and in the four other country programs that reopened in 2022. Learn more at . Do you know a young adult who is ready for a transformative journey of service and fellowship? Tell them about YAGM today!


How are we being called to be church together in the public square?

Every two years, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (LAMPa) surveys ELCA members and ministries about where they are being led to serve and seek justice as the church together in Pennsylvania. LAMPa's policy council meets later this month to establish policy agenda priorities as the Commonwealth welcomes a new Administration and General Assembly. Help inform their work by completing this survey, if you have not already done so, by January 20.YOU

LAMPa JOB OPPORTUNITY LAMPa is seeking a communications and advocacy engagement manager to create and implement communications strategies for supporting productive relationships with internal and external partners as well as effective advocacy with policymakers. The manager will equip Lutherans for public witness and advocacy campaigns that include voices from and encourage accompaniment of communities and individuals who are most affected by public policies, yet often neglected in policy formation.

This full-time position has responsibilities that will require being in the capital area (Harrisburg) on a weekly basis. This could mean 1-2 days most weeks and possibly more, as events require. This person would serve within the ELCA Service and Justice unit. Learn more and apply.

Through the Service and Justice unit, the ELCA Churchwide Organization fosters and facilitates this church’s engagement in service and promotes efforts to call and act for justice. Its work includes engaging in mission, service, and justice in accompaniment with churches and organizations in other countries [serving as the means through which churches in other countries engage in mission to this church and society]; engaging with communities, coalitions and networks, congregations, and synods in service and justice work within the territorial jurisdiction of this church; and providing guidance to members on matters of social justice. Witness in Society encompasses some of the work and ministry the ELCA does in the public sphere, advancing justice and shining a light on peace and dignity. Witness in Society equips advocates across the ecology of the ELCA and engages them in advocacy activity coordinated from the ELCA’s federal hub in Washington, D.C. alongside the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations in New York City; Lutheran state public policy offices (SPPOs) in California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; and more than 15 directly affiliated locations serving even more states; and through the ELCA Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.


Lent in a Box resource from Church Anew: Lent in a Box Event 2023 — Church Anew


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