January 9, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
  • 8 Tips for Annual Meeting Presenters
  • Resource: Annual Report Covers
  • Talking about Offering and Mission Support
  • Stewardship Snippets

  Events Coming up:
  • Rundmans in Florida
  • "Building an Inclusive Church" Training
  • Transition Ministry Training
  • Ignite the Church Conference

For Your Information:
  • Electronic Giving
  • Annual Reports
  • Save the Dates--Lenten Visits
Reminders regarding the upcoming Installation service:
  • Rostered Ministers are invited to vest and process (red is the color). Please arrive early enough to receive instructions.
  • Bishop's preference is that rostered ministers AND synod parish deacons NOT wear crosses or crucifixes
  • Please RSVP if you plan to stay for the reception
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
Jan. 13-15 - Confirmation Camp, Luther Springs
Jan. 14 - Installation of Pr. Ashley Nicolls, St. Paul, Sarasota (3:00 pm)
Jan. 14 - Messiah Music Series
Jan. 14 - Installation of Pr. Daniel Locke, St. Mark's, Jacksonville (5:00)
Jan. 18-25 - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Jan. 20 - Installation of Bishop Pedro Suarez
Jan. 20-21 - Jonathan Rundman @ Our Savior, Vero Beach
Jan. 27 - Building an Inclusive Church Training, Spirit of Joy, Orlando
Jan. 29 - Ecumenical Vespers for Northeast Florida, Jacksonville
Jan. 29-31 - Transition Ministry Training, Luther Springs
Jan. 30-Feb. 1 - Stetson University Pastor's School
Feb. 1-3 - Family Camp at Luther Springs
Feb. 3 - Broward Conference Chili Cook-off
Feb. 5-7 - Ignite the Church Conference, Orlando
Please RSVP if you intend to attend the Jan. 20 Installation Service for Bishop Suarez! This helps the synod office in planning and preparing.
Annual Meeting/Stewardship Resources
8 tips to pass on to annual meeting presenters

Many churches are preparing for their annual meetings taking place the end of January. How might you make these events a time of celebration and a time for inspiring people about what's next as you live into God's intentions for your church?

Read more
Resource: Annual Report Cover
Each year the ELCA office in Chicago releases an Annual Report Cover that can be used at your congregation's annual meeting. This report cover includes a message from Bishop Eaton, some general updates and statistics from the churchwide office, and an opening devotional to frame your conversation together.

The report cover is available for free download and print on the synod web site , or ordered from the ELCA office .
Mission Support and Offering
As you are preparing your personal and congregational budgets for 2018, these resources may be helpful in understanding the impact of your offering to your congregation, to the synod, and to the ELCA.
This graphic describes how offering given to the congregation gets shared with both the synod and the churchwide organization. It is a simple way to discuss the benefit of a regular habit of giving.

Here are some ways your family or congregation might use this graphic:
  • discuss what ministries you are aware of in your congregation, synod and national/global church that are a result of your personal/congregation's generosity;
  • learn about ministries supported by synod or churchwide funds that you are not yet aware of;
  • Set yourself a 'stretch goal' of supporting one special appeal/campaign this year beyond your regular giving
The "Where does My Offering Go" poster gives more detail on where offering goes when congregations share mission support. This graphic is available as 8.5X11 posters for free in packages of 50 from the ELCA, by ordering HERE .

Here are some ways your congregation might consider using these posters:

  • pass posters out at your congregation's annual meeting;

  • use information from posters in discussion with Confirmation students, high school students or adults as you discuss stewardship, the work of the church, the benefits/challenges of being part of an organized denomination, etc;

  • as a prayer/devotion guide at the beginning of Council meetings. Choose one of the statistics each meeting and discuss and pray;

  • information poster posted on a bulletin board to celebrate generosity and connection with the larger church

  • guide for prayer petitions;

  • content for a stewardship celebration
"Where Does My Offering Go" Video
This short (less than 5 minute) video adds even more depth to the graphics, with more explanation about where offering goes. You might show this video during the offering portion of your service, share it at the beginning of a council/finance committee meeting, or share it with Sunday School/Confirmation/Youth groups for discussion. It is available online HERE .
Stewardship Snippets
Rev. Rob Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop for the Lower Susquehanna Synod, puts together a helpful set of resources for congregations to use to strengthen their understanding of and conversations around stewardship. Check out the LSS web site for more from Pr. Blezard, but this month we'll be sharing the 'stewardship snippets' he developed. Put a “Stewardship Snippet” every week in your Sunday bulletin! It’s a quote from the week’s Revised Common Lectionary lessons, followed by a brief reflection. Just cut and paste! The monthly 'Stewardship Toolkit' also includes articles that can be copied and pasted into monthly newsletters and links to additional stewardship resources.
Jan. 14 (2nd Sunday after the Epiphany)
1 Samuel 3:10 –Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."
God calls us all – all of us, without exception. The question is, are we paying attention, able to hear God’s voice amid the clamoring din of the world’s many competing voices. In order to be a good steward, servant, or disciple, we have to be paying attention so that when God calls us we can reply, as Samuel did, “Speak, for your servant is listening!”

Upcoming Events
Rundmans in Florida
Jonathan and Dawn Rundman will be visiting Lutheran Church of the Cross in St. Petersburg, Jan. 13-14, 2018.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, join Dawn for a "Meet, Greet and Chat" conversation about faith formation and families, how to engage families with children, and so much more. 9:00-10:00 at LCC. All are welcome.

On Sunday, Jan. 14, Jonathan Rundman will be a guest musician in the 9:30 morning worship service. All are welcome.

Find out more about Dawn and Jonathan Rundman or listen to the podcast they host together.

The following weekend, the Rundmans will be in Vero Beach, where Jonathan will be a guest musician in worship at Our Savior Lutheran on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 20-21, and will give a free concert on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 21.
"Building an Inclusive Church" Training
Jan. 27 at Spirit of Joy, Orlando, A team from the Central Florida Chapter of ReconcilingWorks will present a slightly abbreviated version of the full training, meeting from 9 am to about 2:30 p.m., including lunch.
All who are interested in this training may register with Spirit of Joy and attend.
This training is intended to help a congregation or group of congregations learn what the R.I.C. (Reconciled in Christ) program entails, practice how to be welcoming, and decide whether to go forward with their own study to decide whether to become R.I.C. The training does NOT make a congregation R.I.C.--that decision is entirely up to the congregation itself.
Transition Ministry Training
Registration is now open for the Transition Ministry Training January 29-31 at Luther Springs.

There are many factors that come into play when a congregation is in transition. Whether that congregation has just received an interim pastor, or has just received a newly called pastor, or is seeking new direction into God’s future, it is a time of transition from something that was to something that is yet to be. The Transition Training event will help attendees focus on what it is that properly motivates ministry so that the “yet to be” is fully in the hands of God, and God’s people are themselves renewed and ready for the ministry.

Who should attend: Interim Pastors, First Call and New Call Pastors and pastors in congregations needing new direction.
Ignite the Church Conference
Pastors and Other Church Leaders:
Are you looking for a continuing ed event to inspire, encourage & challenge your ministry leadership?

Beth Lewis, Richard Rouse, Johan Bergh, Bob and Aaron Schmalzle, Jose Aenlle, & Jeff and Josh Linman are looking forward to pouring themselves and their passions into the participants attending this year's Ignite the Church Conference in Orlando February 5-7 .

Learn more at  Ignitethechurch.net
For Your Information
Electronic Giving
A recent study reports that "Churchgoers' overall preference for e-Giving showed a two-point increase from 2015, and remains strong across all age groups, with significant growth among older adults."*

The synod office continues to try to make electronic giving accessible and easy for individuals and congregations. As the Florida-Bahamas Synod prepares for a new year, it is important to know what support we can depend on from our congregations. By knowing what you are willing to commit financially, we are able to better plan for the future. Please consider setting up a recurring giving plan. Automating your financial commitments means your contributions will be received on a steady, uninterrupted basis.

To set up a recurring giving schedule, visit us online at www.fbsynod.com , locate the "Give Now" button and set up your recurring giving schedule. The first time you give, you will select a password that will enable you to log in at any time and make changes to your giving or view your complete online giving history. 

*Vanco Payment Solutions, "Churchgoer Giving Study: Comparison of preferences and trends for 2015-2017 (c) 2017
Annual Reports
Rostered Ministers Annual Reports are available from the ELCA web site HERE . All active, retired, and on-leave-from-call rostered leaders are expected to submit an annual report. You can also find the link for this report on the synod web site (resources>for leaders). These reports are submitted to Ileanas@fbsynod.org.

Parochial Reports to be submitted by congregations will be available soon. You can find the link for this report on the synod web site HERE (resources>for congregations).

Mission Support Covenants to the synod office are available HERE (on the synod web site: resources>forms).
Lenten Visits
Bishop Suarez will be hosting 4 visits with rostered ministers and congregational leaders/members throughout the synod during Lent. These visits will include time for discussion, a eucharistic service involving a re-affirmation of vows for rostered ministers, and the blessing of the chrism oil. More information is coming, but save these dates and plan on attending the visit nearest you:

2/24 - Peace, Ft. Myers
3/10 - Salem, Orlando
3/17 - St. Michael's, Wellington
3/24 - Messiah, Panama City
Bishop's Schedule 
Jan. 9-Jan. 23, 2018
  • Tampa Office
  • Immanuel and Living Faith, Tradition
  • Village on the Isle
  • St. Paul's Sarasota (Installation of Pr. Ashley Nicolls)
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660