Nov. 12 2019
Learning to Love Variety in Worship Song Selection
Parish Paper, November 2019

Build Community through Song
Breaking old habits in song selection can be difficult, but beneficial. By doing so, music leaders may strengthen the bonds of community in many directions—with the communion of the saints from ages past, with the global church in its diversity, and with fellow worshippers whose taste at times may seem unfamiliar. “Sing to the Lord a new song!” (Psalm 96:1, CEV).

Faith Practices Resources from ELCA
Advent is a good time to re-introduce, lift up, or affirm intentional faith practices .

The Faith Practices Initiative of the ELCA urges members of this church to “put their faith into practice” by living out the promises contained in the liturgy for the Affirmation of Baptism. In that promise, we pledge as members of the body of Christ through baptism to:
  • live among God’s faithful people
  • hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper
  • proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed
  • serve all people following the example of Jesus
  • strive for justice and peace in all the earth
                 (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 236)
These Five Gifts of Discipleship are faith practices—five gifts to be unwrapped, discovered, and re-discovered. The Holy Spirit uses these gifts to teach discipleship, stir the embers of faith, create bold leaders, and transform congregations to be communities of Jesus where there are life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world.

>>> learn more <<<
Spiritual Direction Certification Program
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Lenoir-Rhyne University

Holy Listening – We believe holy listening is at the core of spiritual direction. It’s listening to one another, and most attentively to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The real and most genuine spiritual director is always the Holy Spirit. 

Everyone is Welcome to Apply – Our primary purpose is to train people who feel called to be such spiritual friends, spiritual companions; however, we welcome those whose main interest is to deepen their own spiritual practices.

Within the Christian Tradition – Ours is an experience in spiritual direction grounded in Trinitarian faith. However, we recognize that there is deep spiritual wisdom that can be found in other faith traditions. We will draw on those traditions and will integrate them from a Christian perspective.


~ four intensives, always from Wednesday noon until Saturday noon
~ small mentor groups, each with its own mentor

Between the intensives, participants will: 
~ read key books and write short reaction papers
~ have the opportunity to interact with mentor and mentor group 
~ find and meet regularly with a spiritual director
~ find a willing person to be their spiritual directee

~ new intensive cycles begin in January of each year  
~ application deadline is December 15 
~ intensives are held in January and June over a two-year period
~ the next cycle of intensives is January 15-18, 2020; June 17-20, 2020;
  January 13-16, 2021; June 16-19, 2021

~ total cost for the program is $3,000 (price includes tuition and food)
~ participants find their own lodging (limited on-campus housing is available for $25 a night)

Interested? We’d love to hear from you:
 Pastor Gary Dreier, Director (, 803.461-3222)

Application available at: (select the “Certification Programs” pull down menu)

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
4201 N. Main Street  Columbia, SC 29203

Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Resources for Advent
Below are a few Advent resources for engaging all ages in faith formation. For activities for children--if your congregation does not have a visible presence of children, how might you equip those who are grandparents, aunts/uncles, or caring adults of children who are not present to use these resources for conversation, activity and reflection?
Advent Archives | Building Faith

Find a variety of Advent resources and activities from

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Advent (Not Christmas) Stories for Children

The biblical texts for these weeks can be hard to share with children... But behind the texts is a truth that children need to grasp... That truth is available in a number of already existing children’s stories.

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Season of doubt
 from Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

In her November column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton compares doubt to winter—it can seem long, cold, barren, isolating and lonely. But she reminds us that doubt is part of faith—and God will carry us through the winter.

Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Candidacy Committee Mtg (Tampa)
  • Messiah, Cape Coral
  • Synod Council Mtg (Tampa)
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