July 16, 2019
Synod Assembly Reports and Presentations

Scripts of reports, presentations, and other recordings from Synod Assembly have been added to the Assembly Guidebook page of the synod web site as they are available. More are also posted on the Synod's Vimeo Channel. Among the reports that are posted, there are the following:

VP Report (Recording)

Opening Worship Sermon -Pr. El-Yateem (Recording)

Closing Worship Sermon -Bishop Suarez (Recording)
VBS Children and Adults Work Together
submitted by Anne Corti, Director of Children, Youth and Families, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Seminole

This summer Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd hosted a Luther Springs day camp! During the week the kids and counselors joined members of the congregation to feed lunch to 160 homeless residents at Pinellas Hope. 

On Monday the kids picked the last of the fruits and vegetables from the community garden to be used in the lunches. On Tuesday they began preparing protein packed desserts under the direction of one of our church grandmas. And on Wednesday, along with retired church members and college students home for summer break, they prepared 320 sandwiches and filled 160 paper sacks with lunch items. Once the bags were filled one of our church families took the bags to the shelter. 

The kids were proud of the work they did! We weren’t sure if five year olds would be able to help in a meaningful way or fully comprehend the service but they did! 

Also throughout the week, our older day camp participants spent craft time helping to make a quilt with our quilting group. They were able to complete an entire quilt by the end of the week. The quilt, along with others made by our quilters throughout the year, will go to Lutheran World Relief. 

We were grateful for all the intergenerational activities throughout the week! God works through our hands – both big and small, young and young at heart!
If you have a story to share about how your congregation is connecting with God, connecting with each other, or connecting with your community, send it to michellec@fbsynod.org. Stories should be no more than 300 words, and include at least 1 picture.
A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is saddened by the all-too-frequent occurrences of gun violence in the U.S. We mourn the loss of life. We grieve for the victims and their families, who often feel silenced. And we lament for those who...

Read more
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
A Prayer for the Renewal of Mind and Body (ELW p. 80)
As you are traveling, resting, or preparing for the year ahead, may this prayer strengthen you in body, mind and spirit.

O God, we thank you for times of refreshment and peace in the course of this busy life. Grant that we may so use our leisure for the renewal of our bodies and minds that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
New books from ELCA writers. Consider these books for adult book clubs, discussion groups, or personal reading.
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S.
by Pr. Lenny Duncan

Lenny Duncan is the unlikeliest of pastors. Formerly incarcerated, he is now a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Shifting demographics and shrinking congregations make all the headlines, but Duncan sees something else at work—drawing a direct line between the church's lack of diversity and the church's lack of vitality. The problems the ELCA faces are theological, not sociological. But so are the answers.

Part manifesto, part confession, and all love letter, Dear Church offers a bold new vision for the future of Duncan's denomination and the broader mainline Christian community of faith. Dear Church rejects the narrative of church decline and calls everyone—leaders and laity alike—to the front lines of the church’s renewal through racial equality and justice.

It is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice. Duncan gives a blueprint for the way forward and urges us to follow in the revolutionary path of Jesus.

Dear Church also features a discussion guide at the back—perfect for church groups, book clubs, and other group discussion.

Love Big: the Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World,
by Rozella Haydeé White

Love has the power to transform us

In the words of Mother Teresa, "We have forgotten that we belong to each other." This lapse in memory has caused deep fractures and allowed fear, hatred, and division to infect our lives together. We've become disconnected from each other and from our very selves.

In Love Big, leadership coach Rozella Haydée White introduces readers to the power of revolutionary relationships. Modeled after the image of God as a lover, these relationships can heal the brokenness of our lives by crossing over the dividing lines of race, gender, religion, orientation, ability, identity, and class to provide relief and inspiration.

Revolutionary relationships will usher us into a reality marked by love, connection, and a belief in abundance.

Revolutionary relationships lead us to love big--to love despite hardships and fear; to love in the face of despair; to love ourselves and others deeply and passionately; to love in ways that change us all.

Bishop's Calendar
  • Region 9 Bishops' Retreat
  • Tampa
  • Emmanuel, Venice (ordination of Will Kittinger)
If this newsletter was forwarded to you and you would like to subscribe to receive it in the future, please click HERE .