Oct. 01 2019
Messiah Lutheran Church, Panama City, Now Able to Host Volunteers

As a result of the partnership between Lutheran Disaster Response and Florida-Bahamas Synod, Messiah Lutheran Church in Panama City is now set up to host volunteers who want to come to the area to help with the ongoing relief work from Hurricane Michael. Thanks to the leadership of Pr. Stan Wickett, who served as the initial Disaster Response Coordinator, for the important work that is now being done by Kim Hopkins, who is also working as the Construction Manager Panama City. Based at Messiah Lutheran Church, Panama City, Kim also serves as the committee chair for the construction committee of Rebuild Bay County, Inc, (RBCI) the long-term recovery group that has been formed in response to Hurricane Michael. In this role she takes in clients and cases, coordinates/identifies storm damage, coordinates funding and prioritizes the work that needs to be done.

Construction Manager Kim Hopkins stands with a group of volunteers.
Container of Tools Delivered to Panama

A 40 ft. container full of disaster recovery related equipment and tools was delivered recently to the Messiah Lutheran Church, Panama City, to be used for the recovery effort in Bay County. John Biggs, the Disaster Chairman of the Southeastern Synod, raised enough donations to ship the container to Panama City. The container has been donated for us to use from Camp Victor Ministries. It is an old shipping container that can simply be moved to the next location when no longer needed here. 
Pill Packing for Belize--a GWOH Testimony
Story submitted by Sharon Koelsch, Paradise Lutheran Church, Treasure Island

Members of Paradise Lutheran Church, Treasure Island, gathered on Sept. 7 for a God's Work Our Hands work project that involved pill packing for the Nokumbaya Medical Mission to Belize. One of the members at Paradise lives part of the year in Belize and has been taking volunteers (some from Paradise L.C. and some from elsewhere) into the mountains near her home to provide medical services.
Boundaries Training Workshop Rescheduled

The Boundaries Training workshop that was going to be incorporated into this year's Conference on Ministry is being rescheduled for a different date, time and location.

The boundaries training will instead be offered on Oct. 29, from 9:00-4:00, at Hope Lutheran Church, The Villages . Leaders can RSVP for this training HERE . This training is recommended for rostered ministers (once every 3 years), congregational staff and volunteer ministry leaders. Questions can be sent to Ileana Sardinas (Ileanas@fbsynod.org).
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Save the Date for Synod Assembly 2020

June 5-7, 2020
NEW LOCATION: Caribe Royale, Orlando

This all-suite hotel is Family Friendly, Pet Friendly, and ‘Green’ conscious. With several pools, a fitness room, and several restaurants, this hotel is set up for your whole family.

NEW IN 2020: childcare will be available for infants and toddlers, and LutherSprings staff will be offering a daycamp experience for elementary and middle-school children/youth. High school youth are welcome to attend all workshops. More information coming. With an emphasis on workshops, we want this assembly to be uniquely set-up for multi-age and family learning. Registration for childcare and daycamp will be part of assembly registration.**

RESERVE HOTEL ROOMS SOON. At this hotel, in addition to King-size and Queen-size single rooms, there are s everal 2 bedroom villas (separate bedrooms with their own baths , an eat-in kitchen and living room) available. These 2-bedroom villas have a master bedroom with a King-size bed, and a second room with 2 queen-size beds. With the full-size pullout couch, these villas can sleep up to 8 people comfortably. The Florida-Bahamas synod is receiving an incredible deal on these rooms, offering a saving of about $45 per night over the cost of 2 separate rooms. There are also a selection of rooms that are pet-friendly.

Visit www.cariberoyale.com to take a virtual tour.

You can reserve your hotel room anytime between now and the Assembly.

To make reservations:

*This link does not require a group or attendee code to book. Just click on the dates and you will receive the contracted group rates  
Stewardship for All Seasons Testimony
Has your congregation heard about the value of Stewardship for All Seasons? Here's a brief testimony from Peace, Ft. Myers on the impact of that program. If you want to learn more about this program or other stewardship resources, contact Tom O'Reilly.
NovusWay Calls new Vice President for Development
NovusWay Ministries, Inc. (Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luthersprings & Lutheranch) calls Deacon Mitzie Schafer to serve as the new Vice President for Development.  

“As we look to the future of the ministry, our goals are building a strong, sustainable annual fund and legacy giving program,” said Boyd W. (Bo) Harris IV, Executive Director/CEO for NovusWay. “Deacon Schafer comes to NovusWay with more than 10 years of successful non-profit, executive management experience, and we are thrilled to have someone of her caliber join our team,” continued Harris. Schafer served as the Executive Vice President of Epworth Children’s Home, a 120-year-old Methodist organization in Columbia, SC. While there, she built a donor focused infrastructure to increase annual giving from $1.4 million to $2.6 million in three years. At her most recent call to the ELCA Foundation as the Regional Gift Planner for the Carolinas, she walked with donors to secure more than $1 million in planned gifts for NovusWay in 24 months and $24 million in planned gifts for other organizations that benefit the work of the greater church. She brings the core values of transformational storytelling, invitation and gratitude to her work. 

While her work is evidence of the gifts she brings to NovusWay, she also brings her passion and firsthand love for the life changing work of NovusWay. She served as senior staff at Lutheridge for three summers. During graduate school she served year-round as the guest services coordinator and has volunteered for C3ARE and other programs throughout the last 20 years. During internship, she and her husband, Pastor Jason Schafer took children to Luthersprings for summer camp. She identifies her time at Lutheridge as a key factor in her call to ministry and the decision to attend the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary where she received a Master of Art in Religion.  

“NovusWay provides a critical and foundational ministry for the church and the world,” said Deacon Schafer. “The world and the church are better because of the leadership training, the life training, the community training that happens at these amazing camps. I am better because of my time at each site. I am grateful for an opportunity to tell the story and invite others to experience these amazing places apart.” 

Deacon Schafer began on August 12, 2019. She resides in Prosperity, SC with her husband and two children, Ella Grace and Micah. She is available at mschafer@novusway.org or 803-413-7827. 

Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Atlanta (Installation of Bishop Kevin Strickland)
  • Rock of Ages, Wildwood (dedication of new worship space)
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