E-Spirit
January 23, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
Features:
  • Installation Service Pictures
  • Stewardship Snippets
  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
  • Invite a Missionary to Visit

  Events Coming up:
  • Date correction: Ecumenical Vespers, Jacksonville (Jan. 29)
  • Lenten Visits
  • Luther Bach Worship/Education Tour
  • Transition Ministry Training

For Your Information:
  • Resource: Lenten Devotional
  • Invitation to Respond to ELCA Inter-religious Policy Declaration
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
Jan. 27 - Building an Inclusive Church Training, Spirit of Joy, Orlando
Jan. 28 - Hymn Festival, Trinity, New Smyrna Beach
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. 2-4 - Family Camp, Luther Springs
Feb. 2 - 50th Anniversary Organ Concert, Peace, Ft. Myers
Feb. 3 - Book and yard sale, Faith, Lehigh Acres
Feb. 3 - Broward Conference Chili Cook-off
Feb. 5-7 - Ignite the Church Conference, Orlando
Feb. 6 - Scholar in Residence, St. Armands Key, Sarasota
Features
Installation Service Pictures
We are still gathering all the pictures from the Installation Service. Thank you for posting them to your congregation's Facebook page and tagging the synod so we can see them! You can see pictures on the Florida-Bahamas Synod Facebook page. A highlight album will be posted on the synod web site. An official video of the installation service will also be shared soon. Pictures shared here are taken by Pr. Keith Spencer, unless otherwise noted. Thanks to videographers Erik Mathre and Zack Koczanski for their work as well.
Procession photo credit: St. Mark's, Dunedin
End of service photo credit: St. Paul, Tampa
A huge thank you to all who were able to attend and participate in this service, and to all who were holding the service in prayer! It was a great testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit in this synod.
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. 28 (4th Sunday after the Epiphany)
Psalm 111:1 – Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart!
What can we do to open the way for God to transform us into more-faithful steward disciples? Praise and thanksgiving are key! As you go through your day, keep these two phrases in your heart and on your lips: “Praise be to God!” “Thanks be to God!” Think of them and say them often. Then see what God can do with you.

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
Invite a Missionary to Visit
Is your congregation interested in having an ELCA missionary visit to preach and present about the global church? Every summer, a portion of our missionaries come back to the U.S. for a few weeks to share the story of their ministry with supportive members and congregations around the country. Hosting a missionary is a great way for your congregation to deepen its engagement and support Global Church Sponsorship. For more information about this opportunity, email globalchurch@elca.org . Host congregations contribute to the cost of travel, lodging and meals associated with missionary visits. 
Upcoming Events
The Ecumenical Vespers service in Jacksonville has been rescheduled for Jan. 29. The original date was mistakenly kept on the calendar of events. Please see the updated and accurate information HERE .
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.

Transition Ministry Training
Registration is still 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.
Hymn Festival Honoring the Spirit of the Winter Olympics, Trinity, New Smyrna Beach
A Hymn Festival honoring the spirit of the Winter Olympics will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Smyrna Beach, on Sunday, January 28 at 3:30 pm . We will sing hymns from several countries participating in the winter Olympic Games, including two hymns from South Korea. We will also sing a new English translation by Pastor Jim Swanson of the Swedish hymn most of us know as “How Great Thou Art.” His translation is titled “O Mighty God.” The Trinity Choir and Handbell Choir will participate, directed by Cantor Brian Larson. Pastor Chuck Weinrich will be the narrator. Tom Macklin from Stetson University will be guest trumpeter. A soup and bread supper will follow the hymn festival to which everyone is invited. A free-will offering as well as food donations will be accepted for Gifts of Love and Halifax Urban Ministries. This is a Thrivent Action Team Event.  
Luther Bach Worship and Education Tour
For more specific information on this tour, please contact Pr. Walter Still (pastorwalter@peaceftmyers.com)

General information also available on the Continuing Ed Events page of the synod web site.
Join us on an exciting trip to Germany from August 7-17, 2018 . As you walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther and J.S. Bach, your appreciation for these great teachers of the faith will be re-formed. Pastor Walter, along with local guides, will lead you on a pilgrimage of historical sites, worship and singing in churches. Ric Jaeggi will direct those who love to sing. Your trip will benefit from significant work that was done by the church and state for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. All members and friends of Peace, singers and non-singers alike, are welcome!

Your excursion to Luther and Bach country has been carefully planned to maximize cultural, spiritual and educational opportunities. The itinerary is structured with activities, group interests, free time and flow of tour in mind. An experienced tour escort will travel with the group to insure that all participants have an enjoyable and rewarding tour.

Tour arrangements by American Music Abroad
For Your Information
Resource: Lenten Devotional
Augsburg Fortress has released a new Lenten devotional for you and/or your congregation.

"You are the Way," by Jennifer Baker-Trinity, is a journey through the Gospel of John. "In the Gospel of John, Jesus describes himself with a series of “I am” statements: “I am the light of the world,” “I am the good shepherd,” “I AM,” and so on. This beautiful, full-color devotional explores one or more “I am” sayings of Jesus during each week in Lent. Each reading is accompanied by a photo, a quote to ponder, reflection, and prayer. The accessible and colorful format makes it easy to incorporate a simple Christian observance into your Lenten journey."

A quantity discount is available for the pocket edition , making this an affordable resource for congregations to distribute. Available in a large print edition and as an eBook .
A Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment: A Draft Policy Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Invitation to Respond
You are invited to participate in responding to the Draft ELCA policy statement, “ A Declaration of Our Inter-Religious Commitment .” The six-month comment period on the Draft is open from Friday, January 12, 2018 through Saturday, June 30, 2018.
To participate, please download the draft document  here , and respond to the online survey  here . You are welcome to participate as individuals or groups.

Find out more about this document and other ELCA inter-religious relations HERE .
Bishop's Schedule 
Jan. 23-Feb.13, 2018
  • Luther Springs (Dean's Retreat, Transition Ministry Training)
  • Good Shepherd, Boca Raton
  • Peace, Ft. Myers
  • Lutheranch, GA (Region 9 First Call Theological Education Event)
  • Austin, TX (Latino Scholars Meeting)
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660 
info@fbsynod.org