May 7, 2019
Thank you for your prayers for Bishop Suarez and Aura! Bishop is thankful for a new vehicle and the continued opportunity to be on the road throughout the synod. The new "bishop mobile" was blessed by the synod staff at a recent staff meeting. All the staff are grateful for your ongoing prayers and support!
From Synod Council to Roller Derby Official

Eva Johnson was a member of the Florida-Bahamas Synod Council as a high school student, and during her first year of college. Now, Eva is a roller derby official in Tallahassee while she studies at Florida State University. She shares a little about her journey to the roller derby, and draws some connection to her experience in the church.

I started skating in October 2014 for a school project that required seniors to learn a new skill. I had seen the movie “Whip It,” and I knew Melbourne had a derby team. So I asked to join as soon as I turned 18. I didn’t know how to roller skate, but I figured I could pick that up. I qualified for full-contact practices in the spring of my senior year, and played my first game the weekend after high school graduation. I switched to officiating the summer after my sophomore year of college at Florida State in Tallahassee. I was having a hard time attending all the practices each week, and I felt like I was letting my team down when I missed practice for school. It turns out I love facilitating this sport immensely! It helped that the Tallahassee Rollergirls (the team I had been on) never stopped loving me and treating me like a member of their team. 

I’ve started traveling to officiate across the southeast—both with and independent of my team. At the end of April I will have worked my third tournament, and my 50th game. 

One of the things I love about roller derby is the community I get to interact with. Like with the church, the people I meet are not always my age and don’t always have the same background. We all share one passion, and the rest of who we are can vary so widely.  
New Book by Pr. Dale Young
Pr. Dale Young is a retired ELCA Pastor. His new book was released on May 4. He shares a reflection in anticipation of this book release.

While browsing through my travel journals, I came upon a poem that I had written in my 26th year of life, the year I awakened to my soul journey. The book that I am about to publish: How To Take Your Spiritual Temperature, 10 Dimensions of Spirituality; from angst to joy , truly had it’s beginnings that year. In a period of nine months, I had traveled from Wisconsin to Ecuador. That adventure travel experience launched in me a spiritual transformation. That year marked a calling to explore the multi-dimensional landscape of the soul. I’m not a poet, but many of my journal entries were written in poetic form. 
Reflections of the past
A dream unfolds
Like the horizon rising.
I re-discovered the terrain,
Lonely pathways,
Familiar scenes,
De ja vu or illusion?
Emotions remembered;
Rendezvous with pain.
I walked into the present
Searching for what remains
I plunge into it.
Lukewarm will not suffice.
My soul-voice says
Who you are to become.
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For Your Information
Get Ready for Synod Assembly: Resource Swap
This year instead of displaying new resources, the Synod Resource Center is hosting a Resource Swap. If you have curriculum that is in good condition but is no longer being used, or other books, DVDs, and resources that are in good condition and no longer being used, bring them to the Connections Cafe and add them to the Resource Center table. Resources in the resource swap are free to who wants them. Those who bring resources for the swap are responsible to collect any remaining resources at the end of Assembly. Any unclaimed resources will be thrown away. Please note--resources for the resource swap should be in decent, usable condition. If you have questions about the materials available in the Resource Center, please contact Michelle Collins ( 
Tips for Starting and Managing a Worship Band
This article comes from the May, 2019 edition of the Parish Paper. You can access this and past Parish Papers from the synod web site. These articles make great council meeting conversation starters, adult education materials, personal/group devotions materials, etc.

The worship band represents a way of discovering “a new dimension” in sacred music, yet that music must be carefully shaped and the band well managed. Managing a band, and forming one in the first place, is a piece of work. Just as the church organ requires regular maintenance and the choir and soloist require ongoing rehearsal, a worship band has to come from somewhere and someone must lead it, whether it’s the church’s music director or a person specifically designated for that job. Whoever the leader is, knowing a few management tips can make the job feel much less

Bishop's Calendar
  • Advent, Melbourne (diakonia graduation)
  • St. Paul, Melbourne
  • Synod Office (Synod Assembly prep)