May 22, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
  • Testimony of Accompaniment
  • Welcome new church musicians
  • Wanted: World Hunger Advocate

  Events Coming up:
  • MissionPossible at Synod Assembly
  • Retired Rostered Leader Lunch @ Assembly
  • Fall Gathering for Women--registration Open
  • Transition Ministry Training

For Your Information:
  • Synod House Office Hours
  • Synod Assembly Service Project
  • Hurricane Season: Be Prepared

Click the calendar above for more information about these events
May 27 - Relay for Life Benefit Music Festival, All Saints, Port Orange
May 28 - Memorial Day SYNOD OFFICE CLOSED
May 30-June 1 - Caribbean Consultation
June 1-3 - Synod Assembly
June 18-21 - Interim Ministry Network event (St. Louis, MO)
June 27-July 1 - ELCA Youth Gathering (Houston)
July 30-Aug 1 - Transition Ministry Training (Luther Springs)
Coming to Synod Assembly?

Please download the Guidebook app and search for this year's Assembly Guide before getting to Assembly, to make sure it works on your device.
Testimony of Accompaniment:
Help for the Lutheran Church in Haiti
submitted by Anita Unrath, Florida-Bahamas Synod Haiti Task Force
Thanks to the generosity of congregations and individuals in the F/B Synod, two important projects are happening for the Lutheran Church in Haiti (ELH): a new church roof and a cistern to have clean drinking water.

In Oct 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated southwestern Haiti, and New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Les Cayes lost its roof. The congregation has had difficulty worshiping since due to the rain or hot sun. The Haiti Task Force recently approved sending the funds for a new tin roof that will withstand hurricanes.

Pr Livenson, President of the ELH, wrote, ”Thank you very much for your great effort to finally put up a roof on the church in Les Cayes. No words for this great effort. But only God knows the intensity of this act of kindness and wisdom from all of you. Peace, love and many blessings to you all!”

A study in Haiti found that 70% of Haitians “do not have direct access to potable water.” Water of any kind is often a far distance from home and requires that family members spend many hours each week traveling to water sources and lugging home containers of water for essential family use.

The Servant Ministry Committee of St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, in partnership with the F/B Synod Haiti Task Force, provided the funds to construct a rainwater cistern on the property of the ELH congregation in Savanne Zombie, Haiti. This cistern will hold rainwater from the church’s tin roof for use by the congregation and community of 4,000 people. Construction is underway so that the cistern can be completed before the rainy season. In 2016, SAKLC provided funds to complete a cistern on the property of the ELH congregation in Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti.

According to Pr Roger Arnholt of SAKLC, “Water is a powerful symbol – of our new life in Christ through Baptism. The water from these two cisterns is a symbol of our shared humanity with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ. And, beyond symbol, the water from these cisterns is the gift of life, the gift of time, the gift of opportunity. It is God’s work – through our hands.”

Pr Livenson, members of the Lutheran churches in Guyana and Suriname, and the President of the seminary in Jamaica are coming to the Caribbean Consultation 3 and Synod Assembly. Come meet them at the Global Mission workshops and Connection Café during breaks.
Welcome New Church Musicians!
St. Armand's Key Lutheran welcomes Michael Bodnyk as the Minister of Music.

Michael currently serves as a cantor, soloist, and choral section leader at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. He sings for morning masses broadcast on SiriusXM Radio and local cable television. With the Cathedral Choir, he has been honored to sing for Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, both in Rome and during their visits to the United States, as well as for President Bush at The White House. He also serves as the cantor and Music Associate at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

He is the Co-Executive Director and Director of Arts of Camp Rhythmo, a nonprofit organization that inspires young people to pursue healthy lifestyles, build self-confidence, and spark creativity through music, science, movement, and creative arts. Camp Rhythmo currently offers summer programming, musical theatre workshops, and after school enrichment programs in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida.
Good Shepherd, Tampa, welcomes Jacki Scott as the Director of Music.
Jacki has her MA in Music/Performing Arts, is a piano, vocal and drama instructor. She is the founding director of the Citrus Community Concert Choir, Inc. which performs several times a year.  Jacki has directed, musically directed, accompanied, and acted for many years in Community Theater. She has over 45 shows under her belt including “Music Man”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Chorus Line” and “Nunsense II.”  She was a 6 time Crystal Award winner and won a “Hami” award for Musical Direction from Stage West (Spring Hill) in 2003.
Wanted: World Hunger Advocate
The Office of the Bishop is in search of an individual interested in serving as the ELCA World Hunger Advocate. The World Hunger Advocate position is responsible for raising awareness of World Hunger issues and communicates activities within the ELCA and the synod. If you are interested in this volunteer role, please email Michele Hilton (micheleh@fbsynod.org).

The qualifications of the World Hunger Advocate are:
  • Active member of an ELCA congregation in the Florida Bahamas Synod
  • Willingness to serve as appointed by the Bishop of the Florida Bahamas Synod

The expectations of the World Hunger Advocate are:
  • Liaison between ELCA World Hunger and Synod
  • Raise awareness and promote World Hunger throughout the Synod
  • Assist congregations and Synod groups (GMC, WELCA, etc.) with coordinating education activities and refer them to appropriate resources
  • Develop and manage a World Hunger team within the Synod
  • Oversee regularly scheduled conference calls with World Hunger team
  • Promote the current World Hunger appeals and fundraising campaigns
  • Review monthly reports from ELCA World Hunger on Synod giving to World Hunger
  • Review Synod World Hunger domestic grant applications with Synod Grant Team

The World Hunger Advocate is expected to communicate about World Hunger through the following:
  • Submit articles to E-Spirit
  • Synod website updating
  • Synod Assembly as Exhibitor. Set up and manage World Hunger booth
  • Provide World Hunger booth and/or presentations as needed

Attendance required:
  • Monthly ELCA World Hunger Webinar/Call
  • Yearly ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering
  • Yearly Synod Assembly as Exhibitor
  • Regional Network events or other World Hunger gatherings as invited
  • Other duties as assigned or requested by the Synod office or staff 
Upcoming Events
Mission Possible Campaign Report at Synod Assembly

BRING IT WITH YOU AND PLAN TO WEAR IT SUNDAY MORNING, June 3, for our Mission Possible presentation. We’ll report some amazing things God has done through your faithful efforts as volunteers and donors. We’ll give God thanks for those of you who have brought us so close to our goal and give God thanks for those who come now to help soon put the campaign over the top. 

AND DON’T FORGET OUR SATURDAY NIGHT CELEBRATION, June 2, beginning about 9:00pm in Suite 102 in the Embassy Suites, following “Death by Chocolate”.  NovusWay Ministries and the ELCA Foundation invite you to end the evening with great fellowship, snacks and beverages of choice.  It’s all free! See the invitation in the Assembly Guidebook. 
Retired Rostered Leader Lunch @ Assembly
It's not too late to sign up and join us on Saturday June 2, 2018. This luncheon is open to retired rostered leaders, their spouses, and widowed spouses of retired leaders. It's a time to gather with friends for good food and great fellowship. Our invited guests include keynote speaker Rev. Dr. David Lose and ELCA churchwide representative Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman. The luncheon is hosted by ALOA - Adult Lutherans Organized for Action. Sign up online through May 25 at: https://aloaserves.org/fla/retired-rostered-leaders-luncheon/  or call 800-930-2562.
Fall Gathering for Women--Registration Open
The SWO will be sponsoring and hosting some of the games at the Assembly on Saturday night during the "Hunger for the Gospel Games." Stop by and learn more about the Fall Gathering and about the SWO.
The Florida/Bahamas Synodical Women's Organization invites all women to this year's Fall Gathering at Lake Yale Conference Center in Leesburg, Nov. 9-11, 2018. This year's theme: It's All About Love

Come and share a time of celebration and fellowship together. What about being in an uplifting environment surrounded by 250 plus Sisters of Faith, along with a Bible study, great music, fun workshops and more. Does this sound like the type of celebration you would like to attend? Well, this is your personal invitation to attend. Learn more about the Fall Gathering at http://www.flwelca.com/fall-gathering .
Transition Ministry Training
The next Transition Ministry Training will be at Luther Springs, July 30-August 1. This event is for pastors serving as Interim Pastors, pastors pondering transition in their own lives and ministries, and pastors interested in renewal and revisioning in their current context. Registration opens soon.
For Your Information
Synod Office Hours
The Synod Office will be CLOSED on Monday, May 28 for Memorial Day . The staff will be packing up the office for Assembly on Wednesday, May 30, and will be traveling to the Embassy Suites and setting up for Assembly on Thursday, May 31. Following Assembly, the office will be closed on June 4-5. The staff will be back in the office on Wednesday, June 6. Thank you for your patience as we return phone calls and emails when we can.
Synod Assembly Service Project
There is still time to collect items for this year's Assembly Service Project benefiting Harbor House, Central Florida. Learn more about the service project HERE .

A truck will be available to collect items between 11:00-2:00 pm on Friday, and from 8:00-10:00 am on Saturday. There will also be an opportunity to donate cash.
Hurricane Season: Be Prepared
Now is the time for councils and pastors to be reviewing insurance, policies and procedures in preparation for hurricane season. Michele Hilton in the Office of the Bishop can help as you have these discussions!
Hurricane Preparedness: Quick Reference Guide
If your congregation property is damaged - remember to assess, document, and report them to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Step 1: Protect property
  • Invest in and install shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind-borne debris.
  • Have the roof of your building evaluated to ensure it can withstand a storm.
  • Remove any branches or trees adjacent to your building that could potentially fall and damage it.
  • Sandbag any area that is subject to flooding.
  • Anchor and brace any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs.
  • Relocate any valuable or fragile possessions.
  • Secure all utilities including water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters and if necessary, raise them to higher locations to avoid water damage.
  • Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or Velcro; unplug if possible.

Step 2: Protect important documents and information
  • Create a list of important contacts to save that are crucial to church operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, insurance agent etc.
  • Review all member information and update as needed.
  • Review current disaster plan and update as needed.
  • Back-up documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements to avoid water damage.
  • Seal these documents in waterproof containers onsite.
  • Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location.

>>> Download the 2018 Synod Disaster Response Plan <<< (pastors, congregational presidents, and office administrators should have a copy of this plan handy) 
Office of the Bishop
Bishop's Schedule
May 22-June 5, 2018

  • Austin, TX (LSP of the Southwest Graduation)
  • Assembly Prep and new staff orientation (Tampa Office)
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660