Aug. 20 2019
Testimony to the Power of Being Church Together

The following story was shared via a Facebook post on Aug. 11. Pr. Brenda Martin is the pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Greenville, PA. She attended the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, where she met Pr. Khader El-Yateem to thank him for pastoral presence offered during a tragedy.

From FB August 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm, by Pr. Brenda Martin

So Churchwide Assembly 2019 in Milwaukee was wonderful and the work was important and the worship was joyful and beginning the celebration of the 50th anniversary of ordination for Lutheran women in America was awesome and spending time with the peeps from NWPA was cool. But this God Moment I experienced was the most amazing and will maybe be the most memorable. When my goddaughter Maggie Murray was in a terrible boating accident on Sept. 29, 2018 in Florida--far away from her family--through the magic of an ELCA clergy Facebook group, we found two Florida pastors, Pr. Ashley Nicolls (St. Paul, Sarasota) and Pr. Khader El-Yateem, who were willing to go the hospital and be with her. They were with her when she died on Sept. 30, 2018 at 12:19 a.m. They loved her and helped lift her into the new life she was promised in baptism.

I realized on Thursday that Khader El-Yateem was present in Milwaukee, and we had the opportunity to meet so that I could thank him for his presence with Maggie and the gift he gave to Maggie's family when they were an entire country away and couldn't be with her. I will never have the language to express to the two of them what their presence meant to those of us who love Maggie. But I give thanks to God for the opportunity to meet one of them in person to try. 

The Florida-Bahamas Synod Global Mission Committee invites you to set a Sunday apart to lift up this synod's global mission partners.

Global Mission Fund-Day Ideas

  • Have Sunday School, Bible study class, or Youth Group do display on one or more of our companions – Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana and Suriname
  • Include music from our companion countries (or other countries) in worship service
  • Lift up our companions and the Synod Global Mission committee in the prayer of the church
  • Have a luncheon or social hour following worship to include foods from our companion countries
  • Apply for Thrivent Action Team project and get $250 to buy foods for a luncheon or social hour and have people donate money that would go to Global Mission Special Projects Fund
  • Take up a special collection for Global Mission Special Projects, or a companion project (please contact PJ May for ideas)
  • Invite a former YAGM to do a presentation

Speak with your pastor, church council, worship & music committee or others to start planning now for your congregation and/or conference to increase awareness of our Global Mission partners and keep Global Mission ALIVE!
Conference on Ministry

Rostered Ministers are invited to this fall's Conference on Ministry, an annual gathering and chance to connect, be refreshed, and be nourished by fellowship, learning and worship. This year's COM will include more workshops and space for collaboration and connection around contextual realities. REGISTER HERE.

Dates: Oct. 14-16 (New to Synod and Conference Deans arrive Oct. 13)
Location: Life Enrichment Center, Leesburg
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Our Common Witness

In her August column for  Living Lutheran,  ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the Lutheran movement. As we move forward as a church, she wonders: “What will our Lutheran identity be in the ELCA?” 

>>> Read her column in English <<<  
>>> and in Spanish <<<
Follow up Information from Churchwide Assembly
Following the Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee, the ELCA churchwide office has put together a document with additional notes on the decision to become a sanctuary denomination. You may use this Talking Points document for conversation and reflection within your congregation, or to share with those who have questions about this decision.

>>>find the direct language of the motion and background here<<<
>>>find more information about AMMPARO here<<<
>>>find more information about Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Seervices here<<<
Migrant and Refugee Sunday Resources

LIRS invites you and your congregation to infuse new meaning into the phrase  welcome the stranger . Join us in celebrating the resilience and courage of refugees and migrants in America — and in your own community!

Upcoming Events from Florida Council of Churches

The Florida-Bahamas Synod Advocacy Table invites you to consider the following events being sponsored/supported by congregations, leaders, and the Florida Council of Churches. Please share these events with those in your networks who might be interested in participating.

Creation Justice training at St. Armands Lutheran Church 
We're looking for two dozen emergent faith leaders to develop a strong climate & ocean agenda in Florida. Aug. 29, 12 pm-7 pm
State Clergy Convening 
For pastors across the state, includes a free night at the Florida Mall, to learn about key issues coming up in the Florida legislature. Sept. 12-13
Dreaming God's Dream Retreat (before CoM) 
We're looking for another two dozen pastors from across the state and faith traditions who will help develop faith-rooted organizing "un-network". Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra will lead the retreat Oct. 13-14.
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Vacation
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