Oct. 2, 2018
Latino Women's Retreat Draws Many Together
Submitted by Aura Suárez, ELCA Deacon

On September 21-22, 2018 Forty Latino women from different churches in the Florida Bahamas Synod and even Wisconsin and Chicago came to the Latino Women’s retreat Talitha Cumi. We gathered at Duncan Conference Center, Delray Beach, Florida. Talitha Cumi is a network of Lutheran and Episcopal women dedicated to inspired and empower Latino women regarding their vocation and daily life. The theme of the retreat was Wake up Deborah! What does feminine leadership look like? We talked about what it means to be a healthy and balanced leader in our own life, in our family, in our church and in our community. Participants learned about different leadership styles, key characteristics of a leader and about the structure of the ELCA. Read more...(article in Spanish as well)
Youth Ministry in Collaboration

Several conferences throughout the synod have been finding ways to come together around faith formation and youth ministry. This is a great way to strengthen relationships, create the necessary 'critical mass' for events, and support youth ministry in various congregations. Below are two stories of collaborative youth ministry. If your congregation would like to find ways to collaborate and connect with others, please contact Sue Mendenhall (suem@fbsynod.org).  
from Rich Langston, Mandarin, Jacksonville (First Coast Conference)
Since 2009, all of the churches from the First Coast Conference have traveled to the Youth Gathering together on buses. Typically, we have taken around 5 churches and about 45 people. For the 2018 "This Changes Everything" Gathering in Houston, we almost doubled those in attendance to 80 people representing 8 churches. We participated in activities outside of the Gathering together, got First Coast Conference t-shirts we all wore one day together, and most importantly, our relationships grew exponentially together. We've even had a "Re-Gathering" already for all those that went to Houston to continue to process that experience and bring it in to our daily lives. We'll be flying to Minneapolis in 2021 and maybe we might not all be on the same flights. However, we know we will continue to plan and experience that next Gathering together as our relationships continue to grow."
from Jill Lawniczak, Grace Lutheran, Carrolwood (Tampa Bay area)
We had a lock-in for high school and middle school youth from six churches across the Tampa Bay area on Fri/Sat, Sept. 21-22. The churches in attendance were: Christ our Redeemer, Temple Terrace; Grace Lutheran, Tampa; Hope, St. Petersburg; Living Lord, Bradenton; Lutheran Church of the Cross, St. Petersburg; Good Shepherd, Seminole; and Price of Peace, Largo. We had an awesome time!
Parish Nursing

submitted by Nancy Roberts, Manager Parish Nurse Program

Florida Bahamas Synod: Call for Parish Nurses
Do you have a Parish Nurse Ministry in your congregation? We are trying to build an ELCA FB Synod Parish Nurse Network to help encourage and empower registered nurses to accept a call to serve. 

Parish Nurses are RNs licensed to practice in the state, have completed a foundations course and who feel a “call to serve” a congregation as a health advocate and promote wellness of mind, body and spirit. Parish Nurses do not provide skilled care, but rather serve on the ministerial staff at the direction of their church leadership. More general information about Parish Nursing may be found on web site: www.elpna.org  
Please respond: 
Yes I have a Parish Nurse at (Congregation) ______________________________
Location of Congregation ___________________________________________
Name of Parish Nurse ______________________________________________

No, I do not have a Parish Nurse and would like to learn more, please contact me.
Email contact:

Send Response to either: 
 Nancy Roberts, Region 9 Director Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association
Email:  nkrnurse@embarqmail.com or call

Marilyn Kranich, Region 9 Director Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association
Global Mission Sunday is Oct. 7

Bishop Suarez has declared Oct. 7 as "FBSynod Global Mission Sunday." This is an invitation for congregations to take a special offering or do a specific awareness event to support the work of the Florida-Bahamas Synod Global Mission Committee and our Global Church partners. Bulletin inserts, and other ideas and resources for Global Church Sunday are available on the  Global Mission page  of the synod web site.

Congregations can choose a different Sunday to take an offering, but please consider including a prayer for our global church partners in worship on Oct. 7. Please send gifts for Global Mission to the synod office.
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
RSVP/Register for these events!
Guidelines for submitting an event to the synod calendar:

  • Please send event information to Michelle Collins (michellec@fbsynod.org)
  • Please allow for at least 2 weeks from when you send in an event announcement before it may be publicized.
  • Please also send your event announcement to your conference dean to be distributed to local congregations.
  • Flyers, brochures, and more information about events will be included on the calendar page of the synod web site.
  • Events that are selected for a feature article will be based on the scope and focus of the event and available E-Spirit space, with priority given to events that are a result of partnerships or part of a synod committee, synod-wide event, or synod-wide/churchwide initiative.
Oct. 6 - Heart of Florida Conference Gathering (8:30-12:00), Epiphany, Oveido
Oct. 6 - Installation of Pr. Ken Albright, St. Thomas, Palmetto Bay (3:00)
Oct. 6 - Blessing of the Animals, Faith, Lehigh Acres (10:30 a.m.)
Oct. 9 -  Boundaries Workshop, Cross+Road, Fleming Island
Oct. 14 -  Installation of Pr. Bob Schaefer, St. Stephen, Pompano Beach (3:30 pm)
Oct. 20 -  Retreat on Prayer, Mandarin, Jacksonville
Oct. 21 -  Installation of Pr. Deborah Geweke, Christ, Ft. Lauderdale (10:00 am)
Oct. 21 - Installation of Pr. Sandy Hutchens, Redeemer, Bradenton (3:00)
Oct. 23 - Installation Pr. Rani Abdulmasih, Hope, The Villages (3:00 pm)
Oct. 26 - Trunk or Treat, Faith, Lehigh Acres (6 pm)
Oct. 27 -  Installation of Pr. Steve Winsor, Nativity, Palm Beach Gardens (11:00 am)
Oct. 27 - Oktoberfest, Christ Our Redeemer, Temple Terrace
Oct. 28 -  Installation of Pr. Richard Leseganich, Messiah, Cape Coral (3:00 pm)
Oct. 28 -  Castle Church Brewery Blessing (4:00-7:30 pm)
For Your Information
Religion-less Christianity and Renewing the Church! New Publication!
Pastor Johan Bergh (St. Philip, Mt. Dora) just published mini-book Religion-less Christianity and Renewing the Church: On Being a Follower of Jesus in God, for God, without God.  The way forward in renewing a faith that has honesty, integrity, authenticity and relevance is not to take a church style and change it but rather take a way of thinking about God (theology) and re-make it. Bergh uses 20th century pastor, teacher, author and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer's thinking on a "religion-less Christianity" applied to today's church to offer the framework for renewing the 21st century church.
Available at Amazon.com in E-book (Kindle) or hard copy. 
Fresh Ideas for Stewardship--webinar
This webinar comes from an ecumenical perspective, and has many helpful insights for stewardship.
A lively conversation with fresh ideas for the upcoming stewardship season. Our presenters, Sandra Montes and Becky Zartman, covered a range of topics, including how to help people begin on the journey of giving, planned gifts, and connecting discipleship with stewardship. The webinar was hosted by Sarah Stonesifer and sponsored by Building Faith (buildfaith.org) and Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary (vtslifelong.org).
"It's really important to focus on a cause, not an institution"

"It's not about keeping the lights on, it's about the message being proclaimed to other people."

"Tell a story about why it matters."
Stories of Faith in Action (SOFIA)
This publication from the ELCA office in Chicago is a great tool to use to share the stories of being church together, and give a witness to the impact of our mission support to the ELCA. This edition includes a devotion that can be used by synod councils, small groups, or personal devotions. Deacon Ryan Hostler, Minister of Word and Service for Worship and Music at Our Savior, Vero Beach, is featured in one story.
The newest edition of Stories of Faith in Action is out—and it’s packed with vibrant photos and stories to encourage giving! Mailed to ELCA congregations, synods and leaders in early September, this annual publication highlights the impact of Mission Support and the ministries it funds.
Included in this edition of Stories of Faith in Action is a new devotional you can use to spark discussion and creativity in your ministry.

Visit ELCA.org/SOFIA now to:
  • Order free print copies (all you cover is shipping).
  • Download an electronic copy.
  • View video stories, bulletin inserts and other resources.

Here is a download of '4 ways to use Stories of Faith in Action'
Bishop's Calendar
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico (Bishop Idalia's Installation)
  • Boundaries Workshop, Jacksonville
  • Bushnell (Diocese of SW FL Convention)
  • St. Stephen, Pompano Beach (Installation of Pr. Bob Schaefer)
  • Vacation