May 7, 2019
Interfaith Prayer Vigil-Hope Lutheran Church, The Villages
Sunday, April 28th, 6:30 pm
Contributed by Pr. Rani Abdulmasih

People of various faith traditions have come together at Hope Lutheran Church in the Villages to express their solidarity with all those who continue to suffer in the painful aftermath of such horrific recent acts of violence against communities of faith in our nation and around the world. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and members of the Baha’i faith were among those who have gathered, Sunday April 28th, at Hope to remember the innocent lives lost in Sri Lank, New Zealand, and Pittsburg, PA. On the eve of this gathering, yet another shooting took place in a Poway Synagogue in CA bringing fear and terror to a worshiping community on the last day of the Jewish Passover.  

As some 150 community members gathered for this Interfaith Prayer Vigil, leaders from various faith traditions shared a word of comfort, healing, and inspiration while lighting a candle in remembrance of those whose lives were lost. “Every Human Life Matters!” was the theme of this gathering as leaders continued to address the need for our various communities of faith to coexist, and to stand together regardless of their faith tradition. Fr. Leo from a nearby Catholic church was born and raised in Sri Lanka and shared a prayer in his native language as more than three hundred precious lives were lost in recent attacks on churches in Sri Lanka during their Easter services.  

May God continue to grant healing, hope, and comfort to all who suffer.
Synod -Wide Service Project--Community of Hope Center
We encourage each congregation to gather items listed below (by conference) and bring them to the synod assembly in June. Congregations may also wish to donate Wal-Mart gift cards. We will also be accepting loose change that will go towards 2 new large screen TVs, scanner, and projector. Be creative! Be generous! Be the blessing for this ministry that will change lives for the working poor here in Central Florida! And know you are going to make a huge difference in the lives of people who really need to see what the love of Jesus is all about.  Thank you in advance for your gifts!

We have taken the needs expressed by the Community Hope Center and divided them among each of our conferences . Please refer to the donation list below to find out what your conference is being asked to collect. When donating food items, please write the expiration date on the top of the box/can and cross out the bar code. Sterilite 56 quart storage bins with the blue lid are in big demand. It would be great if you would use this bin as your collection area, bring your items to synod assembly in this bin, and then the bin is also part of your donation to Community Hope Center. Win-Win!!
Miami-Dade & Panhandle        
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Soups
  • Canned Protein (chicken, tuna, Vienna Sausage, ham, etc)
Tradewinds & Mid-Gulf           
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • White Rice
  • Pasta (all kinds)
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Large Zip-Lock Bags
Heart of Florida & Gulf Coast        
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Regular size shampoo/conditioner
  • Shaving Cream/razors
  • Regular size body lotion/wash
  • Deodorant (men & women)
Space Coast & Tampa          
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Baby & Adult wipes
  • Baby shampoo & lotion
  • Diapers – sizes 4, 5, & 6
  • Feminine pads, liners
Pinelands & Lake
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Cereal & shelf stable milk
  • Granolas (all kinds)
  • Sunscreen (lips, too!)
  • Large Zip-lock bags
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Dish Soup
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Individual packets - cookies
  • Large Zip-Lock bags

First Coast & Caloosa         
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Q-Tips
  • Toothbrushes/tooth paste/mouthwash
  • Individual packets – goldfish
  • Individual packets – fruit roll ups
Flagler/Volusia & Sun Coast        
  • Sterilite 56 qt storage bin w/ blue lid
  • Individual packets – juice boxes
  • Individual packets – animal crackers
  • Toilet Paper
  • Reams of white paper
Want to make your efforts stretch even further? Do this as a THRIVENT ACTION TEAM! If you are collecting items, open it up to the congregation to give, and then use Thrivent Action Team monies to purchase additional items.  Be creative! Contact your own Thrivent Community Engagement Leader, or contact Kathy Emanuelson with Thrivent at 727-733-3911.


Whether you utilize a Thrivent Action Team or not, please keep track of how many people participated and how many hours were used to complete your congregational project. Last year, 1,335 people participated. Our goal this year is 1,500 people.

TAKE PICTURES of your project and bring a couple of them with you to put on our Participation Board.

We also have a way to be engaged in this service project while on site at the Synod Assembly. There will be an area in the Connection Café for people to make cards and write encouraging notes for those who are engaged with the ministry of Community Hope Center of Osceola County. We will also be putting together “kids’ bags” in this area, so stop on by when you have the chance. Finally, we will have on hand people from Community Hope Center to answer any questions you may have or if you want to learn more about this ministry here in Central Florida.

Thank you in advance for your prayers and support!

Rev. Julie Frank & Rev. Melinda Plumley, 2019 Synod Assembly Service Project Coordinators
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
A Letter from Pastors for Florida Children
 This letter is a result of work being done by Pr. Russell Meyer (Florida Council of Churches), and includes the signature of Bishop Suarez
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

To Florida’s Elected Officials:
We the undersigned are united in our belief that public education is an essential institution contributing to the common good in a democratic society. We believe government should be measured in part by its commitment to equip all children to be effective citizens capable of living full and meaningful lives and contributing to their society.

Get Ready for Synod Assembly: Photo Directory Update
ATTENTION ALL ROSTERED MINISTERS with a Call or in Interim Ministry:

As you know, the Florida-Bahamas Synod has provided annual Photo Directories for the last 4 years. We hope this is a useful tool for our leaders – a way to put a name with a face...a way to see who is serving where ...and a way to circulate current contact information.

Each photo in the directory has a ‘year’ in the top left hand corner (or no date).
  • If your picture year is 2016, 2017 or 2018 – you are all set.
  • If your picture is not in the directory, and you have a Call (either in specialized or parochial ministry) or you are active in Interim Ministry….please plan to have your picture taken at this year’s Assembly.
  • If your picture is dated 2015….or there is no date… will need to sit for a new picture for the 2019 Directory. (or not be listed in the 2019 Directory)
Bring your smile!
Employment Opportunities

Emmaus, Orange City
Emmaus Lutheran Church is now accepting résumés for a Part-Time Handbell Choir Director for the Jubilate Ringers Choir using Four (4) octaves of Malmark Bells and three (3) octaves of Malmark Chimes. This position requires approximately one (1) to three (3) hours per week from September to May and does not include benefits, rehearsals held on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. (Lent 5:45 p.m.). Pay is per rehearsal and/or performance event.

Qualifications are music background (music degree preferred, but not required); skills playing in and directing a handbell choir; strong leadership and communication skills, enthusiasm and the ability to inspire; strong skills in recruiting and developing volunteer bell ringers; ability to set realistic goals and a good sense of humor.  
For additional information contact the Church Office (1-386-775-9676).
Résumé may be submitted by Fax (1-386-775-6956) or e-mail (
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Advent, Melbourne (diakonia graduation)
  • St. Paul, Melbourne
  • Assembly prep
If this newsletter was forwarded to you and you would like to subscribe to receive it in the future, please click HERE .