April 24, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
  • Youth Gathering Scholarship Update
  • Synod Assembly: Saturday Only Option

  Events Coming up:
  • Mental Health First Aid Training (various dates and locations)
  • ALOA Annual Meeting
  • Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Training
  • Conference Spring Gathering Dates

For Your Information:
  • Rachel's Day: A Resource from the Women of the ELCA
  • "How to Balance Hospitality and Church Security"
  • Residential Repair and Rehabilitation Program (Tampa Bay Area)
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
April 24 - Boundaries Workshop, Emmanuel, Naples
April 27-29 - God's Spa for Women, Luther Springs
May 5 - Heart of Florida Conference Spring Gathering
May 10 - Caloosa Conference Spring Gathering
May 19 - Caloosa Conference Golf Outing
May 19 - Tampa Conference Spring Gathering
May 19 - Pinelands Conference Spring Gathering
May 27 - Relay for Life Benefit Music Festival, All Saints, Port Orange
As of April 23:
370 people registered for Assembly

Online Registration closes on May 1
Youth Gathering Scholarship Update
an update from Chris Dickman, FBSynod Gathering Coordinator (fbsgathering@gmail.com)
First off, I’d like to lift up and thank all of the generous and incredible people who have donated to the Gathering Scholarship fund. As I write this, we have received well over $10,000 in donations! This will greatly help us live in to our proclamation that ANY student who wants to attend WILL attend and that money will not be what gets in the way! It costs at least $1200 to fully fund one youth to go so every penny is important and put to great use. We have set a goal of collecting $12,000 in scholarship funds. I personally can’t thank you enough for the outpouring of support that has shown up in recent months!

Second, we already have more youth registered to go than attended the last Gathering in Detroit!!! But keep in mind that the deadline for the Gathering’s Registration quickly approaches and is less than a month away. All youth planning to attend must be registered by May 15th, 2018. If any congregation or individual still needs to register and needs help please feel free to contact me at fbsgathering@gmail.com for assistance.

Lastly, if you are attending and haven’t already signed up to be a part of our Facebook page I highly recommend you do so! There are a lot of last minute updates as well as helpful information that gets posted in here to help make your Gathering experience a little easier! Simply search for FBSynod Goes to Houston 2018 and join our group!

We are approaching the home stretch and starting to gear up for our trip! I’d again like to thank all of those who aren’t going for their continued support and prayers. For all that are going…this will be an incredible opportunity to be a part of not only the ELCA, but also a chance for us to grow together as a synod and as individuals serving, praying, and sharing fellowship together in Houston! 

God Bless!
Chris Dickman
Florida Bahamas Synod Gathering Coordinator

***Synod Day t-shirts will be available to be picked up at Synod Assembly. Please make sure your registration information is up-to-date, as the sizes will be ordered based on your registration information.****
Synod Assembly:
Saturday Only Option
Synod Assembly FAQs for attendees
Synod Assembly Info from the perspective of "A Day in the Life of Bishop Suarez"
These two videos give more information and reminders about the Synod Assembly.

Please note that you are able to attend the workshops on Saturday without attending the full assembly. Registration for Saturday only is $25, and allows you to participate in workshops, listen to the keynote presentations, and stick around for the fun fellowship events in the evening ("Hunger for the Gospel" games and "Death by Chocolate!"). Register for Saturday through the same link as the main assembly registration.

>>> click here for a current schedule (As of 4/3/2018)<<<

Upcoming Events
Mental Health First Aid Training
THE NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION is collaborating with the Florida VOAD Emotional and Spiritual Care Committee to provide their Mental Health First Aid Course at six locations in Florida. The instructor is Judy Johnson, an authorized Mental Health First Aid instructor. The course is 8 hours long with a lunch break on your own.  

Mental Health First Aid is a training program that teaches members of the public how to help a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. Like traditional first aid, Mental Health First Aid does not teach people to treat or diagnose mental health or substance use conditions. Instead, the training teaches people how to offer initial support until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves. While first aid for physical health crises is a familiar notion in developed countries, conventional first aid training has not generally incorporated mental health problems.
There is no registration fee for the course. This course will be particularly helpful to Case Managers, ESC Caregivers, ESC Committee members and many others. The dates and locations are:
  • April 26 – Recover Pinellas – 10750 Ulmerton Road, Largo
  • April 27 – Lee County ESCC – Fort Myers UCC, 8210 College Parkway, Fort Myers
  • April 28 – Collier County ESCC (Naples) – location will be announced soon.
  • May 22 – Monroe County LTRO (Keys) - location will be announced soon.
  • May 23 – Miami-Dade County - location will be announced soon.
  • May 25– NEFL LTRO – 40 E Adams Street, Jacksonville

TO REGISTER: Send an email to CWWealand@gmail.com, stating your name, email address, phone number, your organization and the date/location of the course you will attend. On the “Subject” line please type “MHFA Course Registration.” Each course offering is limited to 30 participants.

ALOA Annual Meeting
Join us Monday, April 30, 2018
1:00 - 3:00 pm
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
501 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

  • Hear about recent events & programs
  • See what we're planning for 2018 and beyond
  • Learn about a new congregational initiative and new partnerships
Special presentation on a current study in gerontology and resident communities
Questions? Contact us at aloaflorida@gmail.com or call 800-930-2562
Spanish Language and Hispanic Ministry Immersion
WHERE?  On the campus of the Seminary of the Southwest, 501 E. 32nd St., Austin, TX 78705. 
WHEN?  Beginning Sunday evening May 27, 2018 at 5 p.m. and ending Friday, June 1, 2018 at noon. 

Speakers and presentations will cover topics like:
  • Border crossing in history and scripture
  • Español Litúrgico in the songs of the people
  • Reaching the multi-generational Latinx community
  • Transgender border crossing
  • And more

HOW?  Contact Consuelo E. Reid at lsps@lsps.edu or register online at   www.lsps.edu/programs/hispanicminintensive
Conference Spring Gatherings
Attention Deans and Conference Chairs: if your conference is gathering for a spring conference gathering, please email Sr. Michelle Collins (michellec@fbsynod.org) with your conference gathering date and location for the synod calendar. Thank you! The dates below are what the office is currently aware of. Please let Sr. Michelle know if this information is not accurate.
Pinelands Conference --May 19 (location: St. Matthew, Ocala)
Heart of Florida Conference --May 5 (Salem, Orlando)
Tampa Conference --May 19 (St. Paul, Tampa)
Caloosa Conference --May 10
For Your Information
Rachel's Day: A Resource from Women of the ELCA
The Women of the ELCA provide a free resource to equip congregations to observe "Rachel's Day," an intentional day of awareness and advocacy for victims of gun violence. Learn more about this resource and day (often observed the first Sunday in May) through the Women of the ELCA blog post below.
How can we keep our children safe? - Women of the ELCA

I love the phrase "while it was still dark" in John's gospel (John 20:1-9) describing the predicament the women found themselves in on the way to the tomb. Yet, without an answer to the question, "who will move the enormous stone" the women kept...

Read more
Parish Paper:
"How to Balance Hospitality and Church Security"
The Florida-Bahama’s purchase of a subscription to The Parish Paper INCLUDES
  1. Permission to provide copies to our staff and to the congregations within The Florida-Bahamas Synod in any of the following ways: E-mail, Postal, newspaper, newsletter, meetings, training events, and our Web site.
  2. Permission for each congregation within the Florida-Bahamas Synod to (a) photocopy or electronically distribute for local use as many copies as it needs, (b) post them on its Web site, and (c) quote sentences and paragraphs.

Congregations within the Florida-Bahamas Synod do NOT have permission (a) to delete the copyright notice, (b) to re-write, paraphrase, or change the wording of sentences and paragraphs, or (c) to give ANY THIRD PARTY—other than staff and constituents—permission to photocopy or reprint (in any quantity, no matter how small, whether for free distribution or for sale).
The following is an excerpt from the May, 2018 Parish Paper:
"Churches live on the frontier of hospitality. They see their building and spaces as safe places to worship, grow in faith, and serve others. Churches wish to offer comfort and support to those who come in for any number of reasons... Nevertheless, some persons may pose a threat because they are desperate or have mental health issues that distort their view of the church, its staff, and its members. And unfortunately, sometimes people precipitate an emergency (illness, violence) in the church because they abuse the mission of hospitality. Even with this knowledge, leaders do not make emergency plans, believing “it couldn’t happen here.” But preparation not only enhances hospitality by constructing a safe environment, it can also help avoid crisis situations."

Residential Repair and Rehabilitation Program
This is some basic information for residents of the Tampa Bay area who need assistance with home repairs. If it would benefit those in your congregation, please share. If your community offers services you think others would benefit from hearing about, please send information to michellec@fbsynod.org, who will include the information in E-Spirit as space permits. For more information about this program, contact RTTB directly.
Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay (RTTB) offers no-cost home repairs and rehab services to eligible homeowners with a disabled person living in the home. This program is part of RTTB’s mission to preserve and revitalize houses and communities in the Tampa Bay area. This is a county program which requires placement of a forgivable lien.  
If you have questions, please contact Andres at 813-878-9000 ext. 7, or learn more at www.rttb.org .
Office of the Bishop
Bishop's Schedule
April 24-May 8, 2018

  • Emmanuel, Naples
  • Tampa Office
  • St. John, Winter Park
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660