Dec. 3 2019
Cultivating Presence This Advent
This collection of Advent devotions and reflections comes from Portico Health Benefit Services.

Though deemed the “most wonderful time of the year,” this season can be hectic and overwhelming with additional worship services, countless holiday gatherings, and a range of emotions to navigate. Portico and Deacon Tammy Devine have designed a resource to help you alleviate some stressors and focus on what matters — so you can open your hearts to the coming light of Christ Jesus.

Our “Gift of Presence” activity includes weekly devotions and simple daily prompts crafted to help you reframe your mindset and be more fully present for the joys of this season.
Week 1
As a church organist, I rarely sang the verses to hymns. Now that I worship in the pew instead of on the organ bench, I have come to find deep meaning in the words. The texts are amazingly beautiful. We sometimes forget that singing is a way of praying.

This week, I invite you to light a candle as you pray or sing a verse of:
ELW 252 Each Winter as the Year Grows Older

Each winter as the year grows older, we each grow older too. The chill sets in a little colder; the verities we knew seem shaken and untrue.
When race and class cry out for treason, when sirens call for war, they over shout the voice of reason and scream till we ignore all we held dear before.
Yet I believe beyond believing, that life can spring from death; that growth can flower from our grieving; that we can catch our breath and turn transformed by faith.
So even as the sun is turning to journey to the north, the living flame, in secret burning, can kindle on the earth and bring God’s love to birth.
O child of ecstasy and sorrows, O prince of peace and pain, brighten today’s world by tomorrow’s, renew our lives again; Lord Jesus come and reign.
(William Gay)
ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) Applications Being Accepted

Applications for the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program are now open, and you can invite young adults on this yearlong journey abroad.

If you know young adults age 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the priority deadline of Jan. 15, 2020. Talk to them personally about what this opportunity will mean for their faith, identity, career and understanding of God’s work in the world. You can also print out this poster to display in your congregation or ministry space.

Through YAGM, young adults will learn what it means to serve in a spirit of accompaniment as they walk alongside global church companions. They’ll become immersed in a new community and form deep relationships. And they’ll confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith. Learn more at .

Volunteers will be placed in one of ten country programs:

  • Argentina and Uruguay
  • Australia
  • Central Europe
  • Jerusalem and the West Bank
  • Madagascar
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • United Kingdom

Young adults will find relevant opportunities for professional experience, including:

Health and human rights: health care, HIV and AIDS, homelessness, immigration and refugees
Education: fine arts, youth education, childhood education, working with people with disabilities or who are differently abled
Environmental justice: agriculture and farming, development, environment
Professional support: office work, communication, technology, finance
Congregational ministry: children’s ministry, Christian education, youth ministry, congregational ministry, camp ministry

Around the world, host families, churches, workplaces and communities are ready to welcome YAGM volunteers.

Don’t wait — spread the word now! The priority deadline is Jan. 15, 2020. Applications will be open until Feb. 15, 2020.
AdventWord as an Advent devotional practice

A growing trend on social media is to engage in a 'word a day' Advent practice of posting a picture that corresponds with a particular list of words each day, and 'tagging' that word in the description so that others who are using the same list can share photos and reflections together. In this way, daily posts create a visual communal reflection throughout the season of Advent. This year, the Florida-Bahamas Synod Global Mission Table invites you to join with them in using the AdventWord list created by Virginia Theological Seminary, which generates the list in 3 languages. By joining our global mission partners in this social media practice, we can connect in a unique way through the season of Advent.

Instructions for engaging with AdventWord:
  • Daily meditations will be posted on and on the various social media platforms for AdventWord, beginning Dec. 1. Sign up to receive these meditations via email, or follow AdventWord on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Go to to view daily meditations.
  • Add #fbsynod to your posts to connect with others from the Florida-Bahamas Synod and FBSynod Global Mission partners.

Below are ways you can engage with the AdventWord on Social media. 

To view what others have posted for each word, click on the Tag for the day (example: #shine) and that will take you to a listing of the other people who have used that same tag in their posts.

Social Media
INSTAGRAM (@adventword)
  • Tag images and posts with #adventword + the tag for the day. Make sure that there is a space between the tags.
  • For Example: Word of the day is “Shine.” Post a picture and include this in the description: #adventword #shine #fbsynod.
FACEBOOK –  ( AdventWord )
  • Go to the AdventWord Page and write on page using #adventword + the tag for the day. For Example: Word of the day is “Shine.” Post a picture and include this in the description: #adventword #shine #fbsynod.
TWITTER – ( @adventword)
  • Tag images and posts with #adventword + the tag for the day. Make sure that there is a space between the tags.
  • For Example: #adventword #shine #fbsynod.

Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
World Hunger Committee Seeking to Expand

The Florida-Bahamas Synod World Hunger Committee is expanding! Our goal is to have diverse members committed to alleviating hunger, from various geographic areas of Florida and the Bahamas. We meet by conference or video call and in person at the synod assembly in June. Please prayerfully consider joining the effort to alleviate hunger!

Our Mission Statement
“The Florida-Bahamas Synod Hunger Committee works toward a just world where all are fed by accompanying hunger ministries in the FL-BA Synod, sharing the story of ELCA World Hunger, advocating for just public policy and more!” 

If you would like more information and/or would like to apply, contact Barbara Miller, Chair, at milbar2016@gmail or 586-321-1118.
Give a Christmas gift with ELCA Good Gifts

Give a gift in honor of your friends or loved ones this Christmas! You can choose from 50 charitable gifts that will make a global impact — from a goat to a piglet to a simple water well. When you make your gift online, you get to personalize a card to mail, print or email. A beautiful gift to slip under the Christmas tree!  Give a gift through ELCA Good Gifts here .
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Cuba (Global Partner trip)
  • Emmanuel, Naples (Latino Summit)
  • St. John, Winter Park
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