E-Spirit
June 26, 2018

Bold - Passionate - Faithful
Features:
  • Summer Bible Study Series
  • Report from the Caribbean Consultation
  • God's Work Our Hands Sunday

  Events Coming up:
  • Hearts, Hands and Voices
  • Youth Gathering
  • God's Work Our Hands Work Day at Luther Springs

For Your Information:
  • Parish Paper: July and August
  • New Bible Study Resource: Parables of Jesus
  • In the news: Hoodies for Foster Kids
Click the calendar above for more information about these events
June 27-July 1 - ELCA Youth Gathering (Houston)
July 4 - HOLIDAY (Synod Office Closed)
July 30-Aug 1 - Transition Ministry Training (Luther Springs)
Aug. 11 - New Facilities Dedication, Luther Springs
Aug. 24-25 - Synod Parish Deacon Retreat
Aug. 25 - Hearts, Hands and Voices workshop, Our Savior, Vero Beach
Sept. 8 - God's Work Our Hands Work Day, Luther Springs
Sept. 9 - God's Work Our Hands Sunday
Sept. 27-30 - Practice Discipleship Retreat for Youth Workers (Luther Springs)
Features
Summer Bible Studies Series: Let Us Pray
Each year Gather (the magazine of the Women of the ELCA) makes its summer Bible study series available for free download , so that non-subscribers can get a taste of the thought-provoking studies we offer all year round.

Our summer Bible study, "Let us pray" by Anna Madsen, is now available for free download on our website. Learn more about this series and download the printable PDFs here! 
Report from the Carribean Consultation
The following report comes from the June, 2018 Global Mission Committee newsletter. For more updates from the Global Mission Committee, click HERE .
The Florida-Bahamas Synod is Companion to the Lutheran Church bodies in Cuba, Haiti, Guyana & Suriname and the seminary in Jamaica. From May 30 – June 1, the FBS Global Mission Committee hosted a gathering of representatives from all our companions, with the exception of Cuba. Paulina Dasse, Manager of Companion Relationships for Latin America and the Caribbean ELCA Global Mission – guided a review of the values and best practices of the Accompaniment model used by Companion Synods-Churches. Presentations were given to help participants understand the current context of ministry and priorities where accompaniment is desired. Commitments and plans were put to paper and will be the focus of further meetings and discussions for the next 18-24 months. “Immersion Journeys” are being planned for Jamaica and Haiti. Attendees stayed on for the Synod Assembly and several presented workshops to help us learn more about their countries and ministries.
God's Work Our Hands Sunday-Sept. 9
“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday 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.
Go to http://www.elca.org/Resources/GWOH-Sunday#Resources for a variety of resources for promoting and participating in GWOH 2018, including a tool kit, worship resources, videos, publicity graphics, and more. Register your congregation's participation with the ELCA, and share your event on social media using the hashtag #fbsynodGWOH18.
Upcoming Events
Hearts, Hands and Voices--a workshop for church musicians
Hearts, Hand and Voices A local workshop for all church musicians!  
August, 25th 2018 – 9:30 to 3:30
Our Savior Lutheran, Vero Beach, FL

Cost for all day including lunch and refreshments $45.00 (students $20.00)
Sponsored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians

The day will focus on resources and leading congregational song in smaller parishes, especially on using people of all abilities and how to foster relationships and build small programs into larger programs.

The day will use “Ted Talk” style presentations by all presenters and include hands on work and exploration of resources. Topics will include psalmody, hymnody, refreshing the liturgy (with care!), working with the older voice, intergenerational choirs, using children in worship, instruments of all kinds in worship, clergy/musician relationships, concerts series, new resources outside of the Lutheran church…… and more! All participants will be invited to submit specific questions for the closing session and be invited to share one resource with the group.

Schedule
Registration and Coffee – 9:30 – 10:00
Program 10:00 – 3:00
Closing thoughts and song: 3:00 – 3:30
Optional Evening Worship Participation at 6:00 p.m.

Presenters Include 
Ryan Hostler, Jim Rindelaub, Barbara and Brian Larson and more! 

For more information and to register visit: https://alcm.org/event/vero-beach-fl/ 
Youth Gathering: This Changes Everything
We keep the youth and adults traveling to Houston in our prayers. Whether your congregation has youth attending the Gathering or not, here are some opportunities to pray with/for and support the Youth Gathering in your local ministry context.
The ELCA Youth Gathering will be live-streaming portions of the event, including evening large-group gatherings. Follow along what's going on in Houston by keeping an eye on this link:


Join the participants in praying this prayer from the 'Getting Ready' materials.
Gracious God, we thank you for calling these young people and the adult leaders who will accompany them to the ELCA Youth Gathering. As you have shown your love by sending your Son to live among us, we pray that your Spirit help those we send also be an expression of your presence in the world. We know and we thank you that Jesus changes everything. Amen.

>>>You may also download the Litany of Sending to use with your congregation (or use for your own prayer time while the youth are in Houston)<<<

Use this blessing/sending or something like it as you pray for the youth and adults attending the Gathering. You may also choose to use this blessing/sending (or something like it) with youth who are going to camp, groups going on mission trips, or adult/youth volunteers helping with VBS or summer camp programs.

Go and Do Likewise – (Blessing and Sending)
Leader: When I say “stand up,” we all stand up. When I say “stand with,” put your arm around your neighbor’s shoulder. When I say “stand for,” mark the sign of the cross on the forehead of someone beside you. The Lord be with you.

Group: And also with you.

Leader: The early church gathered together to break bread and to share with one another. To bring the gifts of the many and support any among them as there was need. Around bread and wine, prayer and singing, love and service, we are brought together to be a unique community of the church who gathers in Jesus’ name. As a part of this community... Stand up – using your gifts to serve God. Stand for – using your talents to care for all people. Stand with – God’s creation using your passions to better God’s creation and change the world. St. Paul reminded the community of the Ephesians: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” This changes everything! Amen. Go in peace, serve the Lord.

Group: Thanks be to God.
God's Work Our Hands Work Day at
Luther Springs
Youth groups, men’s groups, women’s groups, congregations, families, individuals! Projects may include clearing trails, chopping wood, painting, cleaning, sorting and organizing or a special building project. Our main day of service will be Saturday, with lunch provided. Overnight accommodations are based on availability. There is NO COST for participating in the work day, but c all Sue Mendenhall (727) 415-9887 to register. Overnight accommodations are based on availability . Space is limited!
For Your Information
Staff will return to the Synod Office on July 5.
Parish Paper: July and August
The Parish Paper is available on the synod web site: http://fbsynod.com/for-congregations/the-parish-paper/

Through our subscription, congregations in the Florida-Bahamas Synod have permission to print and distribute the Parish Paper (when it includes the appropriate copyright information). Here are some ways to use the Parish Paper:
  • Council meeting devotions
  • Committee/Ministry Team meeting devotions
  • Adult forum resources
  • Senior High Youth/Young Adult group discussion topics
  • e-newsletter content
  • Ministry Team training resources
July: Inviting, Informing and Including Newcomers
Three complementary efforts serve the congregation’s ministry goals: inviting, informing, and including new people. Just like a three-pillared tower, without one support, the overall purpose becomes unstable.To invite is to increase the church’s visibility and relevance, to inform is to offer opportunities for connection, and to include means spiritual experiences that promote Christian maturity and growth. Which effort needs more intention and planning in your congregation?

August: How to Raise Money for Your Community Projects
A congregation’s community project often starts with someone’s idea or dream, followed by a plan designed by a core team, and then, a group of volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Yet how can this worthy work be sustained over time? Whether the project involves food, clothing, or housing assistance; counseling and job training; or organizing residents around an issue of local importance like the need for a community garden or more stop signs, at some point the program might require funding in order to continue.

New Bible Study Resource: Parables of Jesus
Watch this special message from noted New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine, your guide through the Short Stories by Jesus small-group DVD curriculum. She will help you hear and understand the parables of Jesus in the way the original audiences heard and understood them. In doing so, you will be challenged and provoked by the radical and life changing message of the brilliant storytelling power of Jesus.


Some suggestions for this resource:
  • Women's Group study
  • Men's Group study
  • Intergenerational/Congregational Adult study
  • Open study to the community
  • inter-faith dialogue/study with Jewish neighbors
  • Senior High Youth study series
In the News: Hoodies for Foster Kids
The following article was included in the Thrivent Member Network-Florida/George Region Insert of the June Thrivent Magazine.
HOODIES FOR FOSTER KIDS
TAMPA, FLORIDA—Thanks to the generosity of Grace Lutheran Church and Thrivent members Dave and Muriel Davies, area children in foster care were a little bit warmer this winter. The Davies led a Thrivent Action Team in the congregation to collect 300 hoodies for Eckerd Connects Raising Hope. The organization provides clothing and other items to kids entering the foster care system. 
Office of the Bishop
We are the Synod
In the month of June, the synod staff have been all over the synod. We've been attending congregational meetings regarding transition, coaching pastors and leaders in one-on-one conversations, attending colleague gatherings and conference meetings, preaching and presiding in worship, installing pastors and celebrating anniversaries, navigating pastoral leadership and facilitating the call process, and more. Thanks to your mission support, prayers, fellowship and encouragement, we are able to be 'Church Together' as the Florida-Bahamas Synod.
Bishop's Schedule
June 24-July 3, 2018

  • Tampa Office
  • Houston (ELCA Youth Gathering)
  • Vacation
Florida-Bahamas Synod 813-876-7660 
info@fbsynod.org