Oct. 29 2019
Witnessing to the Presence of the Holy Spirit throughout the Synod

Strengthened and sustained by your prayers, support, and partnership, the synod staff have been busy witnessing to the many ways the Holy Spirit is at work in the life and ministry of the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Here are just a few snap shots of where the staff have come alongside congregations and leaders for the sake of the Gospel in the last month. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

We thank our God every time we remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of our prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. (Phil. 1:3-4)
We see the Holy Spirit at work in and through the life of the church as we:
  • Commemorate the Reformation and celebrate congregational anniversaries; 
  • Commission call committees, and celebrate retirements;
  • Lead Vitality Training Retreats in conferences throughout the synod;
  • Guide congregational retreats around articulating core values and ministry vision;
  • Gather with youth leaders, youth, and others for retreats and formation;
  • Answer emails and phone calls as we engage in holy conversations;
  • Strengthen and support partnerships with global mission partners and others;
  • and so much more!!!

A prayer for you and your congregation from the Office of the Bishop (adapted from ELW p. 73-74):

Ever-living God, strengthen and sustain the congregations of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, that with patience and understanding they may love and care for your people. Grant that together they may follow in the way of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. With your Holy Spirit empower them in their calling, sustain them with a living hope--especially in the time of despair. Grant them joy and a spirit of bold trust, that their work may stir up a life of fruitful service; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Word of Thanks for Abundant Generosity
A note from Bishop Suarez and Michele Hilton

Whew! We don’t think we have written our names as many times as we did recently in personally signing over 200 – that’s right! – over 200 thank yous to people who sent donations for the Hurricane Dorian Disaster in the month of September! And donations are still coming in!

Not only do we have almost 100 % participation from the congregations of the synod, but many people in Florida who aren't connected to any congregation also sent in donations. We also received financial gifts from Arizona, California, Connecticut, DC, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, New jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming!

Many congregations sent specific supplies to Holy Spirit, Juno Beach or to the Synod House--like the handmade quilts from Apostles in Brandon and the health kits that Luther Springs will be collecting.

We thank God for all of the resources shared to assist in the recovery in the Bahamas.

Most recoveries take 3–5 years (no, that’s not a typo), and we know it will be a longer road in Freeport. Please know your gifts will continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus for the congregation of Our Savior Lutheran and the community it serves.

The Recovery Team will be planning our long term strategy in the days and weeks ahead. Look for more stories. And please–keep the Recovery Teams and the people of the Bahamas in your prayers.
Ignite the Church Conference, Feb. 11-13, 2020
Get inspired, encouraged, challenged and warmed up at the Ignite the Church Conference in Orlando, Florida, February 11-13. In addition to large group gatherings on Congregational Vitality, there will be electives on Reaching Younger Generations, Expanding Kingdom Impact, Church Renewal and Discipleship, Renewing Music, Vitality through Mission, Engaging Your Neighborhood, Evangelism, Social Justice, and Raising Up Leaders along with a visit to Orlando’s Castle Church Brewing Community.
A $99 discounted rate, including 2 meals and snacks, is available until November 30th.
All proceeds benefit the ELCA Fund for Leaders. For more information go to www.IgniteTheChurch.net . We hope to see you there! #ignitethechurch
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Updated Forms on the Synod Web Site
The updated synod constitution and the updated 2020 compensation guidelines and worksheet have been added to the web site. These resources can be found from the Resources for Congregations page .
ELCA Primary Health Plan Wellness Dollars:
Plan members have until Nov. 30 to earn up to $400 wellness dollars that can be used for medical expenses. If your spouse is also on the health plan, they can, too. If you have already started earning, don’t forget to complete your activities. If you haven’t yet started, now is the time to begin. Click here to learn more. 
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.
Stewardship Resource: Generosity Project
This article is from the Oct. 2019 edition of Seeds Monthly , an electronic resource for congregations from the ELCA

The Generosity Project is a new stewardship resource for ELCA congregations that uses innovative approaches to promote generosity across generations and in households. The goal of the program is not to increase giving by a certain percentage but to change the culture of how a congregation views and understands generosity and stewardship. The curriculum is available as a digital download for $39. Resources, including a welcome packet, a sample and an introductory workshop, are available. Learn more about The Generosity Project
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Jacksonville (Spirit of Life)
  • Indian Harbour Beach (Ascension)
  • Chicago (ELCA Church Council)
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