April 18, 2017
Bold - Passionate - Faithful
  • Conference Gatherings, shared ministry and discernment
  • 500 Years of Reformation--500 Trees in Wittenberg
  • Youth Gathering 2018 resources and info

 Events Coming up:

  • Grands Week at Luther Springs, June 4-7
  • Common Prayer Service, Orlando, June 6
  • 2017 Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary, April 25-27
For Your Information:
  • Update your Congregation's Constitution!
  • Featured Product: Discipleship Resources from the ELCA
  • Online sermon/podcast resource page
April 18-20 - Respite in the Wilderness, Luther Springs (rostered ministers and church professionals)
April 21-23 - God's Spa for Women, Luther Springs
April 23 - First Coast Conference Spring Gathering
April 25 - Caloosa Conference Spring Gathering
April 29 - Sun Coast Conference Spring Gathering
April 29 - Installation, Rev. Peter Morey (St. Stephen, Longwood, 6:00 pm)
May 6 - Pinelands Conference Spring Gathering; Heart of Florida Conference Spring Gathering;
May 6 - Ordination of Leah Lawson, Advent (Suntree Campus), Melbourne (2 pm)
May 13 - Space Coast Conference Spring Gathering; Panhandle Conference Spring Gathering

Conference Gatherings, shared ministry and discernment

Conference Gatherings are an important way for groups of congregations to come together for the sake of shared ministry. They can be times for focused learning and visioning, a time to do some planning about shared ministry, and a time to support one another’s ministry in vital ways. This year, Conference Gatherings will provide great space for important conversations around discernment as we approach electing a bishop at the Synod Assembly.  The synod council/synod office will provide Conference Deans and Conference Chairs with resources to foster these discernment conversations.  These resources may include a Bible study to frame your time together, some questions to consider in large and small group conversation, and some tips for pastors to inform their own discernment.

This year, please consider attending your Conference Gathering.  These are times for pastors, deacons, synod parish deacons, congregational council members and all members of congregations to gather for prayer, discussion, worship and fellowship.  To find out what conference your congregation is part of, and who your conference dean is, click here.


The dates for upcoming Spring Conference Gatherings are:

April 23—First Coast Conference (St. Andrews by the Sea, Jacksonville Beach, 4 pm)

April 25—Caloosa Conference (Peace Lutheran, Ft. Myers, 6:30-8:30 pm)

April 29—Sun Coast Conference (Good Shepherd, Seminole, 9 am-1 pm)

May 6—Pinelands Conference (Joy Lutheran, Ocala, 9:30-1 pm); Heart of Florida Conference (Redeemer, Winter Park, 10:00-12:30 pm)

May 13—Space Coast Conference (Advent, Melbourne (Suntree Campus), 10:00-12:00 pm); Panhandle Conference (Messiah, Panama City, 11:00-1 pm)

500 Years of Reformation--500 Trees in Wittenberg

The June 6 service of Common Prayer will include a dedication and planting of a tree at Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando, while sponsoring one of these 500 memorial trees to be planted in Wittenberg.

Read more
This memorial tree being planted in the Luthergarten for the June 6 joint commemoration prayer service joins other trees already planted by this synod, including a tree planted by Rev. Robert Zimmer on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 who planted a Thuringian Ash Tree (Sorbus thuringiaca ‚Fastigiata‘) on behalf of the Florida-Bahamas Synod (Nr. 189). On July 30th, 2015, Rev. Dr. Walter C. Still planted a Silver Linden Tree (Tilia tomentosa ‘Brabant’) on behalf of the Peace Lutheran Church in Ft. Myers, Florida (Nr. 316). You can find out more about these trees (including pictures) by going to the Luthergarten web site and searching the List of All Trees.
2018 ELCA Youth Gathering Update

If your congregation will be taking youth to Houston in 2018 for the Youth Gathering, make sure you are signed up for these updates.

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Florida-Bahamas Synod Gathering Coordinator, Chris Dickman, will be sending out communication directly to pastors and youth leaders/volunteers who will be taking groups to Houston.  His contact information has changed, so please email Chris at fbsgathering@gmail.com with questions about the 2018 Youth Gathering in Houston.  Chris will be sharing some information via upcoming webinars and Zoom meetings over the next few months, and will be at this fall's Practice Discipleship Retreat and the Synod Assembly to answer questions about the Gathering.  Chris is also available to come to your area to share more directly with youth, youth leaders, parents and pastors. Please contact him.

The application for adults who want to be volunteers at the Youth Gathering in Houston opens on May 15.  Adults (minimum age at least one year out of high school) help support the Gathering in a variety of ways, including helping with Community Life, being part of the Gathering Volunteer Corps, and serving as Servant Companions.  To learn more about volunteering at the Gathering, click here.
Upcoming Events
Grands Week at Luther Springs

June 4-7, 2017
GRANDPARENTS & GRANDKIDS Join us for a Grand Week at camp! Enjoy four days and three nights of spiritual growth, bonding, and fun. Children may stay with their grandparent(s) in motel-style rooms in the Kuehner Center or in Morgan Village Cabins with a Luther Springs counselor. Each cabin is carpeted, heated/air-conditioned, and has its own restroom.

  • Family Bible Study
  • Family Creative Time
  • Make Pizzas together
  • Sharing stories
  • Camp activities led by counselors - Grandparents welcome to join or enjoy some quiet time

Cost per family unit:
1 Adult/1 Child  $295
1 Adult/2 Children $330
1 Adult/3 Children $375

2 Adults/1 Child $380
2 Adults/2 Children $420
2 Adults/3 Children $465

Each additional child is $45; Each additional Adult $75

>>>To register or for more information<<<

Lutheran-Catholic Common Prayer, June 6
Please use the image above to promote the June 6 Common Prayer service.  If you click on the image, you will go to a PDF file that can also be printed and distributed in your publicity.  For more information about the location of this service (Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine, Orlando), click here.
Continuing Ed Opportunity for Youth Ministry Leaders and Volunteers
2017 Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry

The Forum (April 25-28) is an uncommon blend of theological and practical exploration of ministry with young people. The theme for this year's Forum is "Declare!" We will explore the prophetic voice vital to the church's work with young people.

Read more

>>>Share this flyer with youth leaders in your community (ecumenical partners)<<<

>>>download the picture and share it via social media so others can hear about this event<<<

>>>Encourage your children/youth leaders and volunteers to register for this year's Practice Discipleship Retreat at Luther Springs (Sept. 28-Oct 1), where Andrew Root will be speaking (more info on that coming soon)<<<
For Your Information
Congregation Constitution Update


Did you know? 

If the date of your last Congregation Constitution update was before September, 2016…

           It needs be updated again….

Here are the links that you need (also available on the synod web site).

>>>rationale for 2016 Constitutional Amendments<<< 

>>>model constitution for congregations<<<

>>>2016 amendments to the Model Constitution for Congregations<<<

>>>2016 Enmiendas a la Constitución Modelo para Congregaciones<<<

Best practice is to send a draft of your revised constitution to Michele Hilton for review before presenting it to your congregation for approval.  Please contact Michele Hilton, Assistant to the Bishop for Administration (micheleh@fbsynod.org), with questions.

Discipleship and Bible Study Resources from the ELCA

Daily Discipleship and Daily Faith Practices, available on the ELCA web site, are online downloadable Bible studies based on the lectionary used at Sunday worship. Use these Bible Studies for small group discussions, personal devotions, or sermon preparation. These two-page Bible Studies connect the Word of God with daily life experiences and strengthen faith practices in everyday living.  

Daily Faith PracticesA Bible Study based on the Second Lesson and the Five Gifts of Discipleship

Daily Faith Practices
Written by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
Copyright © 2014 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
May be reproduced for local, non-sale use provided the above copyright notice is included.

Daily DiscipleshipA Bible Study based on the Gospel Lesson

Daily Discipleship
Written by John and Robin McCullough-Bade
Copyright © 2008 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
May be reproduced for local, non-sale use provided the above copyright notice is included.

These resources may be used for
  • a men's or women's Bible study
  • an adult small group or Bible study
  • a family devotion practice,
  • a senior high youth Bible study/discussion group,
  • a college campus Bible study
  • a discipleship resource for new members
  • personal devotions
  • Summer faith formation material
  • devotions to do while on vacation
  • a lunch-time or breakfast discussion tool for a small group at work

Online Sermon resource page

A new page has been added to the synod web site, called "Podcasts."  This page is located on the main menu as an extension of the Resource Center.  On the Podcast page, you can find audio recordings of keynote presentations at the 2016 Conference on Ministry (Father John Dear and Bishop Elizabeth Eaton), and a list of links to congregations that post their weekly sermons/services online.  If your congregation posts sermons (video, audio or blog) online, please let Sr. Michelle know (michellec@fbsynod.org) so these links can be added to this page.  

This is a page you may visit to hear sermons or read blog posts from pastors and other ministry leaders around the synod.

Bishop's Schedule 
April 18-25

  • Luther Springs
  • Tampa office
  • Freeport, Bahamas

Florida-Bahamas Synod  813-876-7660