Congregation News Week of March 22
Upcoming Stewardship Webinar: Abundance over Scarcity
What does it mean to believe and trust that God has given you and your community all you need to fulfill your mission? How can we focus on the abundance around us rather than react to the fear of scarcity?
On May 15 the ELCA and the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving will host a webinar to help leaders talk openly, honestly and inspirationally about stewardship and generosity through the lens of God’s abundance, hosted by the Rev. Dr. Carlos Perkins and the Rev. Tim Brown.
Mark your calendar:
Being Equipped to Talk About Stewardship
Monday, May 15, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. Eastern time
Meeting ID: 835 7971 8246 Password: 000320
One tap mobile: +13017158592,83579718246# US (Washington DC)
Stewardship Conference: “Stewardship Kaleidoscope — Minneapolis” In partnership with the Presbyterian Foundation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the ELCA Stewardship and Generosity team is proud to present “Stewardship Kaleidoscope — Minneapolis,” a three-day conference digging deeply into stewardship and generosity, with workshops and plenaries that will highlight diverse and authoritative voices from across the PCUSA, the ELCA and partner-church bodies. “Stewardship Kaleidoscope — Minneapolis” offers real tools for real ministry and is perfect for both rostered and lay leaders. The conference organizers hope to ignite generosity, provide practical tools for cultivating congregational generosity, expand the leadership capacity of stewardship leaders, and cultivate adaptive approaches for funding Christ’s mission throughout the world. Limited partial scholarships are available; contact the Rev. Tim Brown at Tim.Brown@elca.org. For information and registration go to Annual Conference — Stewardship Kaleidoscope
If you have not yet received in the mail the announcement from ALSM, it is below.
Download PDF • 547KB
SPRING CONFERENCE MEETINGS
We will gather on the following dates for our annual Spring Conference Meetings. Please strongly encourage voting members to attend. The conference meeting is open to anyone in the conference. If your conference is conducting a Dean’s election, please encourage attendance. Synod Assembly information will be presented—including an amendment to the budget and constitution. Meetings will begin at 7:00 pm.
Bedford Conference: April 25, St. Peter’s, Osterburg
Blair-Huntingdon Conference: May 3, Lutheran Home at Hollidaysburg
Clearfield Conference: April 26, St. John, Clearfield
Johnstown Conference: April 19, Mt. Calvary, Johnstown
Laurel Highlands Conference: April 24, Friedens, Friedens
Nittany Conference: May 2, St. John, Bellefonte
In February, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took new steps toward addressing patterns of segregation and expanding fair access to housing by proposing a change in policy through a proposed rule. The “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) proposal is currently available to be commented on through April 10 by the public as it makes its way through the federal rulemaking process. The proposal would create more accurate maps of existing segregation in our communities and facilitate local plans to help proactively lower housing discrimination in our communities. Unlike most ELCA Action Alerts, you must use the federalregister.gov page to submit your public comment.
Instructions for writing a public comment: We suggest you read more about the rule, reference the talking points below, as well as reflect on your own ministry, spiritual grounding and/or experience related to how unfair access to housing and discriminatory practices in homeownership impacts your community. While your comment doesn’t need to be very long—it does need to be in your own words. Deadline: Submit your comment no later than April 10. HUD is required to review and respond to comments and take them into consideration in finalizing the rule. If you choose to upload a PDF in the comment portal, please include the docket number "[Docket No. FR–6250–P–0]” in the text of your document. Please note: your comment is entered into the public record.
General Talking Points
· Possible opening: As an active member of [your local congregation, city], I am writing in support of this proposed rule. People of faith hold profound concern over discriminatory barriers to housing and have long held accounting for diversity is beneficial for the wellbeing of our communities.
· The ELCA social statement Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture boldly states that the church should be mindful of how economic forces have worked against marginalized communities and pursue justice on matters of fair housing. As it affirms, “this church will support legislation, ordinances, and resolutions that guarantee to all persons equally… the right to rent, buy, and occupy housing in any place” (p. 7). Therefore, we are committed to public policy advocacy that seeks to eliminate housing discrimination in all its forms.
· During the Civil Rights era in the 1960’s, Lutherans were active in addressing segregation in our communities, including by advocating against segregation laws and by empowering families seeking mortgages and home ownership in their communities with financial support.
· Access to safe and affordable housing is a vital need for the wellbeing of the whole human person. Housing impacts many aspects of our lives, including hunger and nutrition, health, education, employment and more.
More About the Proposed Rule: The proposed rule would enforce a long neglected provision of the Fair Housing Act that requires the federal government to affirmatively further fair housing. The current text of the rule would help HUD build a better map of areas where segregation is still a prevalent issue in the United States. HUD would also set up a system for major recipients of federal housing funding to set up their own plans to address fair housing inequalities—plans which often include strategies like consultation with local faith leaders and other community stakeholders.
WARTBURG SEMINARY CONSIDER YOUR CALL WEEKEND
If you know anyone who is discerning a call to rostered ministry, share this link with them: Considering Your Call Weekend - 3/24/23 - 3/26/23 - Wartburg Seminary
ELCA DISABILITIES MINISTRY UPDATES: https://community.elca.org/emailviewonwebpage.aspx?erid=fe18eddd-929a-4b0c-96e7-79b29758bda6&trid=fe18eddd-929a-4b0c-96e7-79b29758bda6
SYNOD ASSEMBLY DEADLINES
Deadlines for Synod Assembly 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.
SYNOD YOUTH MISSION TRIP
Registration is open for the Youth Mission Trip in July for youth aged 14-18. Contact Pastor Drew McCaffery with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Adult supervision will be provided by trip organizers and Luther Springs staff, so please encourage youth to attend, even if your congregation does not have chaperones available. Registration Form is in last week's news.
LUTHERAN DAY AT THE CAPITOL REGISTRATION IS OPEN
Lutheran Day at the Capitol is April 27 Registration is now open. Here is the link.