Oct. 22 2019
Lake Weir Food Pantry Ministry of Hope Lutheran Church, The Villages
Submitted by Samia Abdulmasih

We thank God every day for the opportunity we have to serve our neighbor through the Food Pantry ministry at Hope.  

As we continued to explore ways to reach out to the surrounding communities of our Lake Weir campus, the need for what we often take for granted, food and basic necessities, was evident in our area. Over eighty percent of the students attending our nearby Lake Weir Middle School receive free or reduced lunches which speaks to the need in the Lake Weir area. Upon visiting community members and knocking on doors, it was evident that there was a need for a food pantry to serve the surrounding areas.  But our passion was to do more than just provide food. We had the desire to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus by attending to the spiritual needs of anyone and everyone who walks through our doors as well. So, we launched our food pantry not in a traditional context but as a ministry that listens, cares, comforts, and shares the hope we have in Christ, as well as do what we can to offer food and other basic necessities to those who ask for it and need it.

Emmanuel Academies: Preparing Future Church Leaders Through Innovative 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program

Before beginning Emmanuel Academies’ 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program, Frine Donadelli had been told by a number of people that she would make a great Pastor. She was very involved in her church, Emmanuel Community Church in Naples, first as a volunteer teaching Sunday Bible School and working with youth, and then joining the staff as an administrative assistant. Originally from Venezuela, Frine moved to Spain when she was 10 years old and then to the US when she was 20. After taking English classes, she wanted to continue her academic studies and prayed for direction.

It was at about the same time that Emmanuel Academies launched it’s 5-Year Pastoral Leadership Degree Program to prepare “called” youth from diverse backgrounds to become Pastors. The program had been a long-time vision of Pastor Steve Wigdahl’s as a solution to increase the number and diversity of ordained church leaders equipped within their own communities. Selected students pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Concordia University Chicago and a Master of Divinity from Sioux Falls Seminary in cooperation with Luther House of Study and Luther Seminary, as they prepare for ordination in the ELCA. In this unique program, learning is contextual, outcome-based, mentor-oriented, and affordable - with over $350,000 in scholarships available.

When Frine learned about Emmanuel Academies’ program, she believed it was part of God’s plan! In January, Frine started taking online university courses. The rigorous curriculum is fast-paced, with most classes offered and subjects mastered over 5 week blocks. This fall Frine enrolled in her first seminary class on The Reformation and it is helping her gain a new and deeper understanding of Lutheran Theology, which she applies daily in her expanding role at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Frine is excited to be a part of Emmanuel Academies and looks forward to continuing her Lutheran learning and faith formation as she answers God’s call.

To learn more about our innovative program, visit www.EmmanuelEd.Org or contact Laurie Sullivan, Recruiting Specialist, at Laurie@EmmanuelAcademies.org or 630.863.5329.
ELCA Youth Gathering 2021 Theme Announced
We are so excited to announce the theme of the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering, “ boundless: God beyond measure . ” Our primary Scripture will be Ephesians 3:19 CEV: “I want you to know all about Christ’s love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.”

We are bound. Bound by our sin, by the expectations of others, by poverty, by -isms that try to divide us, and by so much more. In a life that often feels like it has young people in a suffocating grip, we want them to imagine the boundlessness of God: boundless love, boundless mercy, boundless freedom, boundless creation, boundless strength. All offered from a gracious and loving God who knows and adores them. All so abundant and endless it cannot be measured.

Our logo is a visual representation of the theme, boundless. With letters that stretch beyond the normal limitations of the written word, the logo reminds us of the immeasurable — and sometimes unexpected — reach of God in our lives and the greater world. The textures used as design elements — from a starry night sky to boundary waters to human diversity — will reflect both Minneapolis as well as the tangible ways we can witness the boundlessness of God’s creation, love, strength and grace in our own lives.

For more information about the theme, visit our revamped website:  elca.org/gathering .
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Faith Journey Confirmation Retreats
January 17-19, 2020 New Testament Youth $173; Adults $99
March 20-22, 2020 Stewardship Youth $173; Adults $99
Bring your confirmation class to Luther Springs and let Luther Springs do the teaching. Bring youth to an occasional retreat to enhance your teaching or send youth to each of our retreats for full confirmation experience. Either way we want to join your confirmation journey!  

Luther Springs’ counselors will guide campers through the weekend including worship, Bible Study, campfires, games, canoeing, archery, swimming, hiking and more! Individual campers welcome as well as church groups. 

*$30 discount for youth registering at least 30 days prior to retreat
Rock the Universe at Universal Studios, January 24-25, 2020

Save the dates
  Friday, January 24 th and 
Saturday, January 25 th 
This will be an unforgettable weekend of faith and fun for your youth group. Youth Leaders will receive many benefits for bringing a youth group to Rock the Universe, including:
  • One FREE ticket for every 10 purchased
  • Youth Leader Lounges
  • Free Universal Express “ride access” allows youth leaders to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions
Group rates for Rock the Universe include:
  • One-Night Event ticket at $67.99+tax per person
  • Two-Night Event ticket at $105.99+tax per person
  • 3-Park Rock Your Weekend Base ticket at $117.99+tax per person
  • 3-Park Rock Your Weekend Park-to-Park ticket at $152.99+tax per person
Additional ticket products will be available.
We are excited to announce our talent lineup for Rock the Universe 2020.
  • Friday, January 24th
  • Switchfoot
  • Newboys United
  • Tenth Avenue North
  • Tauren Wells
  • Tedashii
  • The Afters
  • Saturday, January 25th
  • Chris Tomlin
  • TobyMac
  • Bethel Music
  • We Are Messengers
  • Unspoken
  • I Am They
Visit www.RockTheUniverse.com for more event details.
Also, Get Three Theme Parks for the Price of Two with a Rock Your Weekend ticket.
Also,  click here for Dropbox link  for Rock the Universe logos and images that you are welcome to use on your website, social media or print.  

Have questions? Reach out to the Rock the Universe team at 1-800-Youth15 ext. 3.
Employment Opportunities
find out more about these positions from the Employment page on the synod web site.

Apostles Lutheran Church, Brandon:
Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry
Apostles Lutheran Church has a clear mission “To be and make disciples for Christ”. An integral part of that mission is our ministry with children, youth and families.
We are seeking a person to join Apostles’ staff as Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries. This ministry’s mission prospers when staff/volunteers provide children (birth through high school) and their parents opportunities which introduce and grow faith in God. The Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries will be the lead staff person to encourage growth in discipleship in children, youth and families through engagement in Sunday school, Confirmation, and a variety of other events throughout the school year and summer. All aspects of ministry with children youth, and families seek to offer a myriad of education, social, and serving activities that serve the central mission of this congregation.  

Director of Contemporary Music Ministry
Apostles Lutheran Church seeks to engage all people in meaningful and grace-oriented worship. The Contemporary Director of Worship and Music Ministry will be the lead staff person in ensuring quality worship and music.
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Juno Beach (Holy Spirit)
  • Pomano Beach (St. Stephen)
  • Reformation Day Service, Miami-Dade Conference (Lord of Life, Miami)
  • Hope, The Villages (Boundaries Training)
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