Oct. 9, 2018
Earthquake in Haiti
Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake over the weekend. Pr. Livenson Livanus, President of the ELH, has been in touch with the Global Mission Committee about the impact of this earthquake on our partners, sending some pictures of the damage. At least one pastor's house has been damaged. They are asking for our prayers as they continue to recover from overwhelming natural disasters. As more information is available about how best we can walk with and support these siblings in Christ, the synod office will share that information. As soon as Lutheran Disaster Response shares information about the nature of the need, we will share that information as well. You can stay connected to the ongoing work LDR is doing to provide relief and support for this and several other natural disasters around the world by going to the LDR web site, or by following their Facebook page.

We share our mutual woes,
our mutual burdens bear,
and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds, v. 3 (ELW 656)
Reflection from Seminary: small gifts for the journey
Deborah Gelerter is a student at Luther Seminary, St. Paul. She is a candidate for rostered ministry through the Florida-Bahamas Synod, discerning a call to be a pastor. Deborah's home congregation is St. Timothy, Tarpon Springs. She offers this reflection on this season of formation and learning.
After serving as Assisting Minister this morning, I stood in the doorway to greet the congregation. I should note that after a year, as nearly a hundred parishoners file past and offer warm hand shakes, I am greeted by at least 5 hugs. I suppress a chuckle as I remember the exuberance and hugs of St. Timothy's (Tarpon Springs,) which would no doubt startle most local MN Lutherans. 

One member stood beaming before me. Her eyes flashed and a dimple I'd never noticed before appeared in her cheek. I surveyed the adult version of what I've witnessed with some children, so excited they appear to be on tip toe and bouncing in joy. Yes, she looked like that. She leaned closer and said...

>>>>Please keep Deborah and all the other candidates in your prayers<<<

>>>>Are you interested in learning more about leadership development and rostered ministry in the ELCA as a pastor or deacon? Do you know someone with gifts for leadership in the church? To learn more about candidacy through the Florida-Bahamas Synod, contact the synod office or visit this page of the web site.<<<<
Rostered Ministers Appreciation
Is your congregation joining us for Rostered Ministers Appreciation? This is a great opportunity to show your pastor or deacon your congregation’s appreciation – all while supporting the next generation of leaders through ELCA Fund for Leaders and Youth and Young Adults.

New resources are available to help you get started, including:

  • a booklet with ideas for hosting a Rostered Ministers Appreciation event;
  • a poster to hang on your congregation’s bulletin board;
  • a bulletin insert to let your members know about the initiative; and
  • thank-you notecards to share your appreciation with your pastor or deacon.
Looking for a fun and simple way to host your appreciation fundraiser in support of ELCA Fund for Leaders or Youth and Young Adults? The ELCA’s online, peer-to-peer fundraising platform is a great way to engage your congregation in your efforts! Create your page today.

Through The Campaign for the ELCA’s Leadership priority we are heightening our efforts to accompany youth and young adults in their faith journeys and support talented, gifted students as they prepare to begin a life of ministry – the future leaders of this church. By hosting a Rostered Ministers Appreciation event, you will ensure future leaders can respond to the call to serve, just like your congregation’s leaders. Thank you for your support!
Generosity NEXT Stewardship Event in Tampa
Generosity NEXT explores how current culture informs faithful stewardship and generous giving. “Abundance or Sufficiency? A Biblical Vocabulary for Sustainable Stewardship” is the topic for Generosity NEXT 2018, November 28-29, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. Cameron Howard, Associate Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary, will give three keynote presentations on “Abundance or Sufficiency? A Biblical Vocabulary for Sustainable Stewardship”. Generosity NEXT includes ample opportunities for peer group discussion and engagement with the plenary speaker.

New this year: dedicated time for strategizing to apply what you have learned in your vocational setting. Student debt, underemployment, and social media are shaping the worldview of younger generations in North America, including how they express and experience faithful generosity. At this year’s Generosity NEXT, you can learn, discuss, and strategize ways to connect and communicate with Millennials and Generation Z about faithful generosity, framed in a biblical context.

Generosity NEXT takes place November 28-29, in Tampa, Florida, at the Franciscan Center. Online registration for Generosity NEXT is now available. Please contact the synod office if you need financial assistance
From Castle Church
from the blog of Pr. Jared Witt

...I think if we’d set out from the beginning to create a ‘beer church,’ then the beer would’ve been just another distracting, gimmicky thing. But in that weird way that God always uses plain, mundane things like bread and wine and water to communicate transcendence, it was somehow because of the beer that it wasn’t about the beer. It was always about the main thing. I guess Luther was right. God always hides glory and holiness beneath its opposite.”  
Another good sign that the Spirit is moving ahead of you is when otherwise imposing doors keep mysteriously opening to you, and you keep finding support and affirmation from others. We’ve had no small embarrassment of that support, and now we are just a moon or two away from opening our own doors of authentic hospitality: Reformation Day Brewery Blessing on October 28, Soft Opening through the month of November, and Grand Opening Festival December 1. 

Celebration of Ordination  
Oct. 4 was the anniversary of Bishop Suarez's ordination, and is also the Feast Day of St. Francis. In celebration of partnership, and in connection with the Feast of St. Francis, St. Francis Episcopal Church in Bushnell will be hosting a mass celebrating the anniversary of this ordination on Thursday, Oct. 11 . Bishop Suarez will preside. The Rev. Lawrence Recla, an ELCA pastor serving as the Priest-in-Charge at St. Francis and will preach. This service will include an opportunity for clergy to renew their vows of ordination. The service will begin at 7:00 pm, preceded by a meal at 5:00.
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. 9 -  Boundaries Workshop, Cross+Road, Fleming Island
Oct. 11 - Celebration of Ordination/Feast of St. Francis, St. Francis Episcopal Church, Bushnell (7:00 pm)
Oct. 14 -  Installation of Pr. Bob Schaefer, St. Stephen, Pompano Beach (3:30 pm)
Oct. 14 - Oktoberfest, Grace, Tallahassee (noon)
Oct. 14 - Witnesses! (drama), Emmanuel, Venice (5:00 pm)
Oct. 20 -  Retreat on Prayer, Mandarin, Jacksonville
Oct. 20 - Blessing of the Animals, Hope, The Villages
Oct. 21 -  Installation of Pr. Deborah Geweke, Christ, Ft. Lauderdale (10:00 am)
Oct. 21 - Organ Concert by Peace, Ft. Myers organist (at St. Columbkille Church, 2:00)
Oct. 21 - Installation of Pr. Sandy Hutchens, Redeemer, Bradenton (3:00)
Oct. 23 - Installation of Pr. Rani Abdulmasih, Hope, The Villages (5:00 pm)-- CORRECTED TIME
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)
Nov. 5-7 - Conference on Ministry
Nov. 23 - Thanksgiving Day Worship and Meal, Grace, Tallahassee (11:00)
For Your Information
diakonia Online Classes
Several synods offering the diakonia program are forming classes using the Zoom online platform! They are open to diakonia students from any synod.

Find out more here .
Administrative Software Survey
Pastors and Congregational Administrative Staff:
Please help the synod office better support congregations by providing some brief information about what kind of software your congregation is using for administrative functions like membership database and accounting. Please only fill the survey out one time for each congregation!

Thank you for your feedback!

Advent Resources
October's E-Spirits will feature some Advent resources that can be used by individuals, families, or congregations.
Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas

Designed to inspire family-time with children ages 3-12, this colorful deck of cards is full of ritual, prayers and reflections on the season beginning with Advent and ending with Epiphany. Here is a great gift for families who are looking for a simple way to incorporate the celebration of the entire season beginning with Advent, through Christmas, and up to Epiphany. 

A free promotional pack is available to help you incorporate “Families Celebrate Advent & Christmas” in small groups. Including coloring sheets, postcards, labels to edit and put on card packs and much more. 

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary Hosts "Answer the Call"

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, is hosting an event designed for those discerning a call to ministry or graduate-level theological education. People of all backgrounds, ages, and life stages are invited to visit campus for this overnight event, where they will be able to worship, learn, and have fun with the current seminary community and other prospective students. There are two opportunities to attend, the first of which coming up on November 4th-5th, and another on March 24th-25th, 2019.

The event is free, and campus housing is provided for anyone who registers. Those interested in attending on November 4th and 5th can register online through this link, or at https://www.lr.edu/ltss/ltss-campus-events.

Any questions can be directed to Justin Rimbo, Assistant Director of Enrollment Management, at justin.rimbo@lr.edu.
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Diocese of SW Florida Convention--Punta Gorda
  • St. Stephen, Pompano--installation of Pr. Bob Schaefer
  • Vacation (Oct. 16-19)
  • Lutheran Church of the Palms, Palm Harbor