E-Spirit
January 30, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
Features:
  • Installation Service Recording
  • ELCA Worship News
  • A Call to Advocacy Action
  • Parish Paper Subscription

  Events Coming up:
  • Lenten Visits
  • Tampa Bay Beer and Hymns
  • Save the Date--GWOH Sunday

For Your Information:
  • Parish Paper Subscription
  • Invitation to Review Insurance--for pastors and councils
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
Jan. 29-31 - Transition Ministry Training, Luther Springs
Jan. 30-Feb. 1 - Stetson University Pastor's School
Feb. 2-4 - Family Camp, Luther Springs
Feb. 3 - Book and Yard Sale, Faith, Lehigh Acres
Feb. 3 - Broward Conference Chili Cook-off
Feb. 5-7 - Ignite the Church Event, Orlando
Feb. 6 - Scholar in Residence, St. Armands Key Lutheran, Sarasota
Feb. 11 - Messiah Music Series Concert, Messiah, Ft. Myers
Feb. 11 - Redhead Express Concert, Grace, Carrolwood
Feb. 13 - Scholar in Residence, St. Armands Key Lutheran, Sarasota
Feb. 23-25 - Masters Builder Retreat, Luther Springs
Features
Installation Service Recording
The full recording of the Installation Service on Jan. 20 is now available. The full recording is 1 hr. 51 mins long. Presiding Bishop Eaton's sermon begins at minute 29:52. The Rite of Installation begins at minute 55:20. Thanks to Erik Mathre (Prince of Peace, Largo) for this recording.
ELCA Worship News
The ELCA Worship office sends out a regular newsletter with information and updates related to worship. Here is an article from the January newsletter regarding the season of Lent.
Greetings in the name of Christ,
Sometimes the irony of our calendars helps us reconsider how our different ways of keeping time intersect. You’ve likely noticed that in 2018, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 14. I’ve already seen some Facebook chatter about what a downer this is. How can we feast on chocolate hearts and go out to Valentine’s Day dinner while also being reminded that we are dust and to dust we shall return? Yet is not that cross a symbol of love, a sign of our baptism as beloved children of God? Can we use the opportunity to talk about the new hearts created in us, hearts turned toward telling the truth of the limits of human love and relationships?

Then, as the season of Lent comes to a close, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord on April Fool’s Day (April 1). Though not a public holiday laden with the commercial and cultural weight of Valentine’s Day, it’s still a bit ironic that Jesus surprises us on this day associated with foolishness. What we think is foolishness is indeed the greatest wisdom of all: Christ’s life springing from death; Christ’s undying love abounding for the whole creation.

We are likely filling up our calendars for this calendar year. As we do so, let us remember that God’s time is not our time, that the gift of the liturgical year is to root us in kairos, biblical time, rather than chronos, or clock time. In “A Three-Year Banquet,” Gail Ramshaw reminds us that “as Christians, we hold to the counter-cultural idea that our years, like our lives, revolve around the mystery of Christ and find joy in the Spirit their most profound significance. Each week begins in the joy of the resurrection. Each year is renewed by Christ at Easter” (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2004).
 
Blessings in your planning and in your weekly worship. Remember that the worship staff here at the ELCA can offer guidance and support. And in all times, may you be surprised by the unending love of God in Christ.
In Christ’s peace,
Deacon Jennifer Baker-Trinity
Program Director, Resource Development

A Call to Advocacy Action
Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer serves this synod as the Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches and is involved in a variety of advocacy actions. Occasionally we are made aware of an opportunity for our response and action on behalf of a piece of legislation that affects our communities. The following information comes to us from the Florida Council of Churches. Please contact your representatives with your feedback on this bill.
Coming before the Florida Senate is a bill that would require local law enforcement to perform federal duties. That means our officers will expand their precious time safeguarding our communities for fulfilling a political agenda. Your state senator needs to hear your voice regarding this bill and its impact on our communities.

HB9/SB308 is called the Anti-Sanctuary Bill. It aims to force local police to act like federal immigration officers and thus prevent "sanctuary cities." This is a misnomer. There are no cities that can provide sanctuary and prevent federal law enforcement from doing their jobs. The bill would wrongfully penalize cities if they decline to engage in unconstitutional practices. The bill is already generating fears of reprisals among immigrant communities, leading them to avoid reporting crimes and cooperating with local police.

The bill would circumvent the power and authority of local governments to protect the civil rights of its residents. It would force local governments and officials to hold individuals in jail without a proper warrant issued by a judge. Courts have ruled this is inappropriate and found local sheriffs liable for improper arrest. The bill would grant authority to suspend or remove an elected official from office even when they prudently decide not to act unconstitutionally. Other penalties include: allowing civilians to sue state and local entities and law enforcement agencies; stripping state grant funding for a period of 5 years for localities in noncompliance; penalties up to $5,000 per day to non-compliant localities. Political leaders have even called for investigating mayors for saying they will follow court decisions rather than political bullying.

Please register your response to HB9/SB308 by contacting your state senator ( http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find ).

The Florida Council of Churches is collecting signatures in a letter opposing it at  https://floridachurches.org/sign-letter-oppose-forcing-police-act-like-ice .

For more information, contact Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer at info@floridachurches.org or Margarita Romo at  romo1936@gmail.com (Executive Director, Farmworkers Self-Help, Inc).
Upcoming Events
Lenten Visits
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.

Tampa Bay Beer and Hymns--Feb. 6
Mark your calendars and plan to attend this great event! It's time for the February “Bridging the Bay Beer and Hymns” ... our interactive and fun hymn sing that is attended by local churches, but it’s not just for “church people.” We've merged Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties for this wonderful event! Enjoy great food, cold beer and super drinks, and amazing fellowship! Then when the time is right, feel free to join in and sing along, enjoy some of our guest vocalists and performers, or just listen to some songs of faith, inspiration, and joy! It's fun, it's friendly, and true fellowship at its best!

We'll be at the Beach Bar and Restaurant, located at the Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas (formerly the Bay Harbor Hotel) in Rocky Point, Tampa, Florida. The address is 7700 W Courtney Campbell Highway. We start at 6PM. From 4PM - 7PM, enjoy happy hour specials that include price-reduced appetizers, beer, wines and well drinks.
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, February 6th at 6PM. All are welcome to attend, enjoy, and experience some of the best fellowship in Tampa Bay! All are welcome and onsite childcare is provided by the amazing staff from the Good Shepherd Day School.
God's Work Our Hands Sunday--Sept. 9, 2018
Save the date! “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday will be Sunday, September 9, 2018. This day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

Service activities offer an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: that all of life in Jesus Christ – every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life – flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

You work every day to make your community a better place. Let us continue doing this work together in 2018! View the video and access resources to guide your congregation’s planning, promotion and more.
For Your Information
Giving Calendar for Lent
Lent is a great time to experiment with spiritual practices that may be unfamiliar. Lent is a great time to engage multiple generations and households in spiritual practices, spiritual reflection, and spiritual conversations. Lent is also often a season for intentional generosity.

One resource for families looking for tools for increasing their commitment to and practice of generosity is through a Giving Calendar. Many examples of Giving Calendars exist, but here's one that is easy to download and use with children or with people of any age.

The ELCA World Hunger site is another site full of resources for growing in generosity during Lent.
Parish Paper Subscription
The Synod office pays for a subscription to the Parish Paper . The Parish Paper publishes articles on a variety of topics related to congregational life every 2 months. The synod's subscription allows congregations to print and distribute these articles free of charge. If your congregation uses the Parish Paper regularly, and would be negatively affected if this subscription was cancelled, PLEASE EMAIL SISTER MICHELLE COLLINS (michellec@fbsynod.org) and let her know. Congregations can also pay for their own subscription, so we are evaluating whether a synod subscription is worthwhile. The Parish Paper is available on the synod web site and mentioned in the E-Spirit when new articles are posted.
Bishop's Schedule 

Jan. 30 - Feb 6, 2018

  • Transition Ministry Training, Luther Springs
  • Synod Office
  • Peace, Ft. Myers - building dedication
  • Region 9 First-Call Theological Education Event, Georgia
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660 
info@fbsynod.org