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Congregation News week of November 28


The ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program is ready for new volunteers! This year, for the first time since early 2020, YAGM participants are walking alongside our international neighbors. Now, it’s time for the YAGM team to find the next volunteers ready to step out into the world. Do you know one of them? Applications are now open, and you can invite young adults on this journey abroad for the 2023-2024 program year. If you know young adults aged 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the deadline of Feb.1, 2023. (Priority deadline is Jan. 15, 2023.) Through YAGM, young adults will learn what it means to serve in a spirit of accompaniment as they walk alongside global church companions. They’ll become immersed in a new community and form deep relationships. And they’ll confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith. Learn more at


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


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. The application form can be found here


The ELCA offers several resources to guide our ministry with our neighbors of other faiths. "ELCA Guidelines for Ministry in a Multi-Religious World" is a helpful starting place for our inter-religious relationships. These guidelines were called for as part of "A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment," adopted at the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, and are consistent with the church's policy as expressed in the declaration.

LUTHERAN SUMMER MUSIC PROGRAM, VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY, JUNE 25–JULY 23, 2023 Lutheran Summer Music (LSM) transforms lives. Hear the impact directly from first-year students at the beginning and end of LSM 2022 as they share their experiences through personal testimonies. The primary way prospective students learn about LSM is through encouragement from someone such as you. Whether you are a church musician, pastor, teacher, relative, or friend, your connection in telling the young people in your life about LSM is what sustains the future and carries forward life-changing impact to each new student. Now is the time to invest in students and nominate them for LSM 2023. Registration is open!


On June 23-25, 2022 The Allegheny Synod in cooperation with Camp Sequanota will offer a retreat-like festival focused on faith, creation and mission. This festival is for anyone who is interested in exploring expressions of their faith and the life of the church in community with others.

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.


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:


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.


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