E-Spirit
January 2, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
Features:
  • Stewardship Snippets
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • ELCA Resources

  Events Coming up:
  • 'Building an Inclusive Church' training
  • Ignite the Church Conference
  • Broward-Bahamas Conference Chili Cook-off

For Your Information:
  • Congregations Priority Flyer
  • Preparing for a New Calendar Year
  • Invitation to Review Insurance--for pastors and councils
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
Jan. 6 - Installation of Pr. Kirstin Tannas, Christ, Englewood (3:00)
Jan. 13-15 - Confirmation Camp, Luther Springs
Jan. 14 - Installation of Pr. Ashley Nicolls, St. Paul, Sarasota (3:00)
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 (noon)
Jan. 22 - Ecumenical Vespers, Jacksonville
Jan. 27 - Building an Inclusive Church Training, Spirit of Joy, Orlando
Jan. 29-31 - Transition Ministry Training, Luther Springs
Jan. 30-Feb. 1 - Stetson University Pastor's School
Please RSVP if you intend to attend the Jan. 20 Installation Service for Bishop Suarez! This helps the synod office in planning and preparing.
Features
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. 7 (Baptism of the Lord)
Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”
Where do we come from? For that matter, where did anything come from? These first two verses of the whole Bible remind us that God created all that was, all that is, and all that will be. God made it all, even us, and everything belongs to God. That’s the first rule of stewardship.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - World Council of...

Traditionally celebrated between 18-25 January (in the northern hemisphere) or at Pentecost (in the southern hemisphere), the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity enters into congregations and parishes all over the world. Pulpits are exchanged, and ...

Read more
www.oikoumene.org
ELCA Resource Store
The ELCA web site has a resource catalog that describes a great variety of resources individuals or congregations can order from the churchwide office. Some of these resources are free, others are available at a small price. Resources include Bible studies, social statements, and resources on a variety of topics. From discipleship to mission, from stewardship to governance, children to adults--this resource site has something to support life and ministry. Browse the catalog HERE .

A few titles available from this site:
  • Take it to Heart: This resource is designed to be a road map for evaluating and enriching your congregation's ministry with children, youth, and families. Renew your vision and establish priorities for programming through a workshop model that will allow leaders to gain perspective on current ministries, affirm the strengths, identify potential, and develop an action plan for implementation. ($5)

  • Food for Life: Recipes & Stories: Use this collection of recipes, stories, and table blessings to prepare global dishes for your family and congregation, and to highlight The Lutheran World Federation and ELCA World Hunger Appeal. The global recipes, adapted for North American cooks, are categorized by the agricultural cycle (dishes for growing, planting, harvesting, and "hungry" seasons); the religious cycle (dishes for religious celebrations and observances); the life cycle (dishes for important days like birthdays, weddings, and funerals); and daily life (breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks). Coproduced by the LWF, the ELCA, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. ($14)


  • Dones de Gracia: Este recurso es para congregaciones que desean establecer un énfasis ministerial que se enfoca en los dones de miembros. Esta guía presenta una introducción, trasfondo y sugerencias para desarrollar este énfasis. Gifts of Grace: Action Guide for Congregations: This action guide is for congregations wanting to learn more about an asset-based approach to stewardship. This easy-to-read 140-page guide includes theological background, case studies and how-tos for congregational leaders, all directed toward an asset-based approach to congregational life. ($4.50)
Upcoming Events
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.
Ignite the Church Conference
REGISTER SOON...
 
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 ourselves and our passions into the participants attending this year's Ignite the Church Conference in Orlando February 5-7.

The $99 Early Bird registration rate includes 2 meals and snacks when you register by December 31 with all proceeds donated to the ELCA Fund for Leaders.

Learn more at  Ignitethechurch.net
Broward-Bahamas Conference Chili Cook-off
Get ready for the 2nd Annual Broward-Bahamas Conference Chili Cook-off, being held on Feb 3 at 4:00 pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Boca Raton.

Please confirm your participation as soon as possible by emailing the church (work.gslc@bellsouth.net) or calling 561-393-7007. Include your name, your congregation's name, your contact information and the name of the chili you will be submitting.
For Your Information
Time to Submit Annual Reports!
Time to submit annual reports for congregation and rostered ministers!

Time to submit Mission Support Covenants to the Synod Office!

Please submit by Feb. 15.
Congregational Meeting Resource:
Congregations Priority Flyer
As you prepare for your congregational meeting, consider ordering and sharing this resource from the ELCA: The Congregation Priority Flyer . This one-page flier gives an overview of the Congregations Priority of The Campaign for the ELCA, including ELCA New Congregations, Renewing Congregations and Disability Ministries. The flier includes an overview of each ministry, as well as information on how to make a gift to the campaign and/or one of the Congregations Priority ministries.

Whether or not your congregation is connecting with the ELCA Campaign, these flyers include helpful information about the various priorities of the ELCA Campaign, which create a good overview of the work of the church. This resource is free, and comes bundled in packs of 10.

Preparing for a New Calendar Year
Coach and faith formation ministry and leadership consultant, Jim LaDoux, offers the following wisdom to leaders preparing for a new year.

Many of my recent coaching sessions have focused on ending the year well while preparing for the new year. Here are a few thoughts on ways you can prepare for making the coming year even better than the present one:
  1. Set staff and congregational Goals. Leading well is about doing the right things, the right way at the right time. Spending time writing and sharing goals among leaders now will enhance the budgeting process, increase collaboration and help give people permission to say “no” to what’s been done in the past.
  2. Assess current strategies. Leaders pay attention to results and if the results they’re getting aren’t what they anticipated, then it may be time to step back, discern what’s working and what’s not working, and to wonder if the current assumptions we hold are valid. Leaders are charged with living into God’s mission but that doesn’t mean they can’t change the models and strategies for getting there. You may find that you get better results and can move forward faster by letting go of what’s been done in the past and piloting something new.
  3. Review your congregation’s spending plan.  Identify where you’re seeing the greatest impact for the dollars invested. Consider ways to redirect dollars from maintenance to mission. Review all existing leases and contracts. You may find that you can save substantial funds by shopping around every year.

Speaking of preparing...
Bishop's Schedule 
Jan. 2-Jan. 16, 2018
  • Vancouver, B.C. (Bishop's Academy)
  • 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 
info@fbsynod.org