E-Spirit
February 27, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
Features:
  • Lent 3 devotions: "But We Proclaim Christ Crucified"
  • ELCA Campaign: Leadership Initiative
  • Lenten Visits Start Strong
  • Synod Staff Positions Posted

  Events Coming up:
  • ELCA Vice President Bill Horne presenting at St. Philip, Mt. Dora
  • Date Change for Organ Concert, Advent, Melbourne
  • Wittenberg Choir Tour

For Your Information:
  • "Can We Afford a Pastor," a new book by Pr. Dell and Diane Shiell
  • Free VBS Curriculum from ELCA World Hunger
  • Easter Communication Tools
  • Grief Support Blog and Training
More information on this year's Lenten Visits, along with an opportunity to RSVP, is now available. These events are free and open to all.

Click the calendar above for more information about these events
March 3 - Annual Fundraiser/Auction, Faith, Lehigh Acres
March 3 - Wittenberg Choir, St. John's, Winter Park
March 4 - Wittenberg Choir, Lutheran Church of the Cross, St. Petersburg
March 5 - Wittenberg Choir, St. Paul, Sarasota
March 10 - Lenten Visit, Salem, Orlando
March 10 - Installation, John David Bryant at Joy, Palm Bay (4:00)
March 11 - Messiah Music Series, Messiah, Ft. Myers
March 11 - ELCA Vice President Bill Horne presents at St. Philip, Mt. Dora
March 17 - Lenten Visit, St. Michael's, Wellington
March 24 - Lenten Visit, Messiah, Panama City
March 27 - Scholar in Residence, St. Armands Key, Sarasota
March 30 - GOOD FRIDAY--OFFICE CLOSED
Where, oh where are those Parochial Reports?

The synod office has received 55% of the synod's parochial reports. Thank you to all who have submitted their reports!! It's not too late to help us reach our goal of 100% of reports submitted! Submit your Parochial Reports HERE . (if you need your password, call the synod office: 813-876-7660)
Features
Lent 3 Devotion:
“But We Proclaim Christ Crucified”
Devotions shared during Lent come from the resource " Set Free by Truth ," created by ELCA Presiding Bishop Eaton and bishops of ecumenical partner churches.
READ: EXODUS 20:1-17 PSALM 19 1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-25 JOHN 2:13-22

REFLECT: Some things just don’t make much sense. Water doesn’t become wine, bread and fish do not suddenly multiply, the lame do not jump up and walk. And most certainly, dead people stay dead, especially those who experience the horrific death of crucifixion! And yet, where Jesus is involved, all kinds of things that don’t make much sense...happen. In those earliest years of the Jesus Movement, his followers didn’t wear crosses around their necks or hang them in the homes in which they worshipped. They had other symbols, certainly, but not crosses. Crucifixion was not a historical curiosity, but a still-present reality, and an agonizing and shameful one at that. To be crucified was to be executed as a common criminal. Worse, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, cursed was one who hung on a tree, on the wood of a cross. So to speak of “Christ crucified” didn’t make sense to many. It was a stumbling block, something foolish or offensive. But Paul said otherwise. Yes, Jesus could have avoided the cross, found some other way around it. But instead he faced the worst the world could throw at him, and then broke through death itself, and left an empty cross behind as witness to his astonishing victory. Some things don’t make much sense. The cross is one of them. But it stands now and forever as our rallying cry that God—not injustice, not suffering, not even death—has the final, victorious word.

PRAY: “ Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace.”

Devotion by: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, The Episcopal Church 
ELCA Campaign Focus: Leadership
The offerings from the last several Lenten Visits, synod assemblies and Conference on Ministry have been directed towards the ELCA Campaign. This highlight video from the ELCA gives a snapshot of the impact of the campaign so far.
This year's ELCA Campaign focus is leadership, and the ELCA Seminaries are beginning an initiative to raise awareness of the possibilities for leadership through seminary education. Watch and share the first of a series of videos that will be released as a part of this initiative. If you have questions about seminary, candidacy, or leadership in the ELCA, contact the synod office. We'd love to have conversation with you!
March 8: International Women's Day
Find out more about International Women's Day and how you can support women in leadership around the world by clicking HERE .
Around the world, women are not afforded the same access to education due to social and political structures. You can change that. Join us this International Women’s Day, March 8, as we boldly invest in the education of women and the future of communities around the world through the ELCA’s International Women Leaders initiative.

Pray for an awakening to the power and capacity our sisters have in transforming the world.

Share the difference education has made in your life on Facebook.com/Lutherans or Twitter.com/ELCA using #ELCAWomen.

Give to invest in the education of women.
 
Lenten Visits Start Strong
The Bishop's Lenten Visits kicked off with a positive visit at Peace, Ft. Myers. Rostered ministers and others gathered together for a lively discussion with Bishop Suarez, followed by a moving worship service. Thanks to Pr. Walter Still and the community of Peace for hosting this first Lenten Visit.

There are 3 more opportunities to meet with and hear from Bishop Suarez, to gather with other leaders and members of the community, and be nourished by worship, fellowship and friendship. RSVP at http://fbsynod.com/lenten-visits/ to help with planning.
Upcoming Events
ELCA Vice President Bill Horne Speaking on "Ministry in Daily Life"
at St. Philip, Mt. Dora
We are delighted and privileged to have ELCA VP Bill Horne speaking at St. Philip, Mt. Dora.   

Sunday, March 11, 11am, “Ministry in Daily Life,” Special Guest Speaker Mr. Bill Horne, Vice-President of the ELCA, City Manager of Clearwater, FL., member of St. Paul Lutheran Church Clearwater, FL. This presentation is part of St. Philip's Renewal/Sabbatical 2018 events. Bill will be Assisting Minister in the 9:30 service. All are invited to both the 9:30 service and the 11:00 presentation with Bill Horne.

At St. Philip Family Life Center, 1050 Boyd Dr. Mt. Dora, 32757. Refreshments Served! For more info: call 352-383-5402
Date Change for Advent Organ Concert
Due to illness, the Rising Star Concert at Advent, Melbourne, has been rescheduled. Please see the updated information below.
Rising Star Concert, Monica Czausz
Sunday, April 15, 3:00 p.m.

Advent Lutheran Church
7550 N. Wickham Rd
Melbourne, FL

For more information: www.adventbrevard.org


Wittenberg Choir Tour
The Wittenberg Choir will be touring through Florida. Catch them at one of their upcoming concerts. 

St. John, Winter Park: March 3, 7:00 pm

Lutheran Church of the Cross, St. Petersburg: March 4, 6:00 pm

St. Paul, Sarasota: March 5, 7:00 pm

For Your Information
"Can We Afford a Pastor"
A new book by Pr. Dell and Diane Shiell
I remember a church council member saying, “You’re a pastor. Of course, you don’t understand finances.” I had to admit my seminary training didn’t equip me to read a balance sheet or understand finances. So, twenty years ago, I corrected the situation and became a CFP® professional. Now, when I look at church financial reports, I understand why so many churches are asking, “Can We Afford A Pastor?”

For my wife, Diane, and me, this question is important. To help others answer this question, we wrote a book, Can We Afford A Pastor? (A Step-By-Step Handbook With Ten Key Indicators Of Your Church’s Ability To Afford A Full-Time Pastor).

We are convinced you don’t need an advanced degree in order to grasp your church’s financial position. You need accurate financial records and worship attendance records—and you need to know how to interpret them.

Free VBS Curriculum from ELCA World Hunger
"God's Good Creation" is a vacation Bible school study that helps children learn about hunger, hope and the work to which God calls us in the world. The five-day program highlights the work of ELCA World Hunger and includes a schedule, educational activities, skits, snack and craft ideas.

Easter Communication Tools
The ELCA web site has a variety of communication tools to help your congregation publicize and promote your Easter activities. These resources include social media templates (facebook covers, facebook posts, etc) and print communication templates (flyers, posters, door hangers, etc). Choose the theme and resource that best fits your congregation's context.

>>> Available here <<<
Grief Support Blog
Pr. Dale Young, interim pastor at St. Andrew's, Homestead, offers the following blog as resource for those affected by violence and grief.
Douglas High School grief recovery will be complicated...

by Pr. Dale Young Seventeen killed at Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida. Fifteen wounded. Seventeen grieving families. Seventeen funerals. Hundreds of mourners. Anger and outrage abound. A city, county, state and nation in grief....

Read more
www.globalgriefsupport.org
Bishop's Schedule 
Feb. 27-March 13, 2018

  • Chicago (Conference of Bishops)
  • Tampa Office
  • Salem, Orlando (Lenten Visit)
  • Joy, Palm Bay (Installation of Pr. John David Bryant)
  • Atlanta (Region 9 Council meeting)
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660 
info@fbsynod.org