METROLINES   Summer 2017 (7/19/17)
News for our congregations, leaders and friends
sharing what's happening in local ministry together.

Synod Focus

PLANNING FOR NEW CONNECTIONS 
A New Connections E-vent is planned for Sat. Sept. 16 from 10 a.m.-noon at Christ the King Lutheran in Great Falls, Virg. How to reach out, welcome in and hang on to new people is the theme. Registration is already open from http://tinyurl.com/DCConnectEvent .

PUT LOCAL REFORMATION OBSERVANCES ON YOUR CALENDAR
Mark your calendars with spirit-lifting opportunities to observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in our synod including: a chance to hear the National Lutheran Choir (64 voices plus brass!) in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (if you've never been inside this domed architectural wonder, this is a great chance) singing a commissioned work, the "Holy Spirit Mass" on Sun. Oct. 22 (7 p.m.); and of course the annual Reformation Sunday Worship service at Washington National Cathedral, this year with the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, bringing the message and Roanoke Choir singing on Sun. Oct. 29 (4 p.m.). Worshiping shoulder to shoulder in that inspiring space should equip us to continue on the path in this marker year! More at https://metrodcelca.org/events/reformation-500/ /
Local Info

WEBSITES FOR SYNOD LAUNCHES
Both New Connections and MetroDCCoaches, which were featured during the 2017 Synod Assembly, have launched websites and social media as their presence develops. New Connections Campaign aims to connect 3,000 new people-a 10% growth across our synod-to engage in the ministry in our existing congregations. Developing lay and rostered leadership, revitalizing existing congregations, engaging one another, establishing new ministries and tithing to the ELCA to extend our missional reach are all part of the effort. In the Metro D.C. Synod, MetroDCCoaches is "powered by" New Connections and exists to empower pastors, congregational leaders and congregations to greater and more effective mission, congregational vitality and growth. Learn more at www.newconnectionsmetrodc.com/ and www.metrodccoaches.com/ .

UNITED LUTHERAN SEMINARY FORMS
At the stroke of midnight, July 1, 2017, Gettysburg Seminary and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) formed United Lutheran Seminary on two campuses in Gettysburg and Philadelphia. Both schools bring distinctive gifts to the united school, with Philadelphia offering a specialized and broadly ecumenical Urban Theological Institute, and a large commuting population in the metropolitan area and Gettysburg contributing strong community life of residential learning and a commitment to green practices. President Theresa F. Latini will begin mid-summer and be inaugurated on Nov. 2. July 1 also marks the retirement of Gettysburg Seminary President Michael Cooper-White. President David Lose of LTSP begins a new call as senior pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM GIFTS OF HOPE
Three news items from Gifts of Hope (GOH). 1) During Advent 2016, GOH raised $104,337 from 45 congregations in our synod and via the GOH website. 2) GOH is celebrating 25 years in our synod, having raised more than $3,337,000 for beneficiaries, supporting their work in our metro D.C. area and abroad. 3) GOH is adding another organization: our area Lutheran Campus Ministries. Select one of 40 gifts year-round from the http://www.giftsofhopedc.org/ catalog and receive an all-purpose card to present to your honored loved one. "Your support provides hope for today and hope for tomorrow," says Carolyn Sowinski, director.

OFFER TO CO-HOST A LUTHER MOVIE NIGHT FROM LLF
If there is enough interest, Lutheran Lay Fellowship (LLF) is interested in arranging screenings of "Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World," a feature-length film about Martin Luther and the Reformation. "I'm looking for feedback from leadership, and based on that, LLF will select locations around the Beltway," says LLF contact person Dave Lambert. "We need around six weeks to make arrangements and advertise." More about the film at http://www.lutheranlayfellowship.org/info/2017/2017-05-30_LLF_Luther-POster-Info.pdf (pdf file). Contact Lambert to explore the possibility of a showing in the D.C. area facilitated with LLF at info@LutheranLayFellowship.org .

GIFT TO LSS/NCA
During evening worship at the 2017 Metro D.C. Synod Assembly, $2,371.75 was shared by our offering with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area as they observe their 100th anniversary.

RAPID RESPONSE WHEN FAITH COMMUNITIES ATTACKED
As announced by Rabbi Gerry Serotta, Executive Director of InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC), Washington Interfaith Response and Outreach Coalition (WIROC) is a new initiative aimed at providing grassroots, public demonstrations of support by and for individuals and communities throughout the greater DC area. The WIROC of IFC, of which the Metro D.C. Synod is a member faith community, is a rapid response team to respond in person to acts of targeted vandalism, hateful speech and other types of emotional and physical attacks on faith communities and individuals throughout the area. Contact Symi Rom-Rymer to learn more at symirr@ifcmw.org or 202-234-6301, ext. 105.
Resource Alert

PUBLIC SYNOD DIRECTORY UPDATED
Not only is an updated Synod Directory posted to metrodcelca.org (under "For Congregations") tab, Katharyn Wheeler of the synod staff reworked it in Google doc format making it instantly updatable. Bookmark the page or download the document, knowing the next time you visit the URL it will contain current information.

GRANT FROM NLCS - AUGUST 15 DEADLINE
National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) awards grants to organizations that share in the same passion of serving seniors. Grant proposals for the 2018 period must be submitted on or before August 15, 2017. NLCS strongly believes that its mission extends beyond the physical boundaries of its residential communities and service offerings. With funds solely from investment earnings, we are committed to supporting the work of other non-profit organizations, including congregations and community-based programs that address the critical needs of seniors who are aging-in-place. For info visit www.nationallutheran.org/impactgrants/ .

EMERGING LEADER AWARD - AUGUST 1 DEADLINE
Do you know someone making a difference in lives and communities affected by poverty? Someone who, motivated by Christ, is responding to the needs of a community and confronting the systems that perpetuate the underlying problems? Wheat Ridge Ministries is looking for these inspired Christian leaders to apply for the Richard E. Heran Emerging Leader Award by August 1, 2017. Emerging Leader must be 18-35 years old. Learn more at https://www.wheatridge.org/news-events/emerging-leader-award/ .

CONNECT TO LUTHERAN CAMPUS MINISTRY NATIONWIDE
If you are a young adult going to school, or if you know of a young adult student who is looking for a community of friends and a way to express faith, consider campus ministries. Visit the LuMin Lutheran Campus Ministry Network website to learn more about Lutheran Campus ministry and use the referral tool to find a ministry near you. Start from http://lumin-networkreferral.org/student-referrals/ .

CONGREGATION SHARES TOPNOTCH TALK
When Father John O'Malley, S.J. discussed "Vatican II and You: 500 Years after 1517" at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Md., the congregation was honored to hear from a knowledgeable and respected guest lecturer. Hear for yourself from the GSLC recording of the guest lecture at https://youtu.be/IZVqS7DWNX4 .

JOIN THE FUN WITH LOCAL COUNTDOWN TO REFORMATION POSTS
Only 14 weeks before Reformation Sunday! Get primed - with enthusiasm and facts - using our countdown social media posts and bulletin inserts. It's easy! On Wed., visit the synod Facebook and Twitter accounts then repost the graphic to your congregation or personal feed. Any time before Sunday, print a synched bulletin insert from https://metrodcelca.org/2017/03/reformation-500-countdown-bulletin-inserts/ to share.
Announced Churchwide

SEASON OF PRAYER, FASTING AND ADVOCACY SUGGESTED
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, and the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, have issued a joint statement calling for prayer, fasting and advocacy addressing cuts to public programs that are vital to hungry people who are living in poverty. The statement "For Such a Time as This" calls for fasting on the 21st of each month through December 2018, at which time the 115th Congress will conclude. The 21st of each month is targeted because by that day about 90% of Supplemental Nutrition Benefits Program (SNAP) benefits have bene used. More at https://www.elca.org/prayfastact .
Blog Post Reprise
Staff Insights 
 
Forum 
 
Your church looks cute in that
"[In) today's image-driven culture, a photograph might be what brings visitors to your church," the article says of photos on your website, Facebook and more. Scan this list of tips then get out the camera.  
 Read more... 
From the Bishop's Desk: Deepening Lutheran-Jewish relationships  
A resource document to help people ponder Lutheran-Jewish relationships and prepare for fruitful conversations has been prepared with leadership from the synod's 500th anniversary group. Have you met neighboring rabbis or leaders yet? 
 Read more...  
  
Forum 
 
Forum
 
Serving the neighbor in charged times
"Both church and state are good gifts from God and have been established for specific purposes," the ELCA presiding bishop reminds us in this reprinted column. "Active participation in public life and the duty of government to care for its people, especially the most vulnerable, have been part of the Lutheran movement from its beginning." 
Read more...  
 
Spiritual calling of SDGs 
From our guest blogger's perspective as a retired activist, professor and pastor, the Church and churches can contribute to beneficial, increased awareness of the U.N.'s Sustained Development Goals, more hopeful discourse and more broadly targeted service and advocacy. 
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Staff insights 
 
Forum 
 
Prepared to be the renewal
"I think that we are being prepared to have some fun, and to suffer, and to find out again what the power of God can do," said Bishop Graham in greetings to the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church.
 Read more...  
 
From the Bishop's Desk: What's local on the 500th anniversary? 
Here are some plans in our synod for using the 500th Reformation anniversary to share our faith, ponder our heritage and have a good time with our friends. 
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Staff insights 
 
Forum 
 
Splash pages can be life savers  
The synod would like for every congregation to have a policy in place for computer and internet use. Consider the splash page...   
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Laborers into the harvest  
"Will you join us in prayer asking the Lord of the harvest to raise up and send out laborers into the harvest?" asks Bishop Graham. "And will you consider becoming an answer to that prayer by inviting someone who seems to have the appropriate gifts to consider becoming a pastor or deacon, or by prayerfully considering that call yourself?"
 Read more...  
  
Share your news! Contact the Editor, Karen Krueger, at kkrueger@metrodcelca.org.
More at www.metrodcelca.org or call us at 202-417-3678.