Feb. 11, 2020
Synod Assembly 2020: Open Channel

At the center of our faith narrative are two images that appear contradictory. Through the waters of baptism we are cleansed and claimed by Christ as children of God. Through the flame of the Holy Spirit we are anointed and sent into mission for the sake of the world. Flame and water--seemingly opposing forces, and yet they represent central themes of our faith: that through Christ all that separates us from right relationship with God and neighbor has been eliminated, and through Christ we are sent into the world for the sake of our neighbor.

At this year's synod assembly, we will reflect together on what God does in and through God's people when we open ourselves up to ideas and perspectives that at first appear contradictory. Through workshops, a keynote speaker and fellowship time, we will discover together what Peter discovered in Acts 11 when his perspectives were challenged and his vision of God's abundance was expanded--"who are we to hinder God?" (Acts 11:17)

Check out the Synod Assembly 2020 page of the web site for information about this year's Synod Assembly. We will be in a new location and intentionally finding ways to include children and youth throughout the assembly. This page will be updated over the next several weeks as information is finalized. Registration for synod assembly opens March 15th . Hotel reservations can already be made (link available on the Assembly 2020 web page).
FBSYnod Global Mission Table Invites Support for Classroom at Seminary in Jamaica

The Jamaica Team of the Global Mission Table invites your partnership in supporting the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) in Jamaica. Classroom 3 at UTCWI needs new equipment to continue to thrive as an ecumenical theological training institution. The Seminary is a global mission partner of the Florida-Bahamas Synod. The seminary has provided the following list of needs for their classroom.
During the season of Lent, consider joining with the Jamaica Team in collecting funds to furnish the classroom in Jamaica. Your congregation, group, Sunday School class or family may choose this supply list to inform your fundraising. Even a small contribution makes a difference! Funds collected from throughout the synod during the season of Lent will be combined and sent to the seminary.

Download and share THIS PDF with those in your congregation, and help us renovate this classroom in Jamaica.

How to donate:
Send donations to the Florida-Bahamas Synod Office (3838 W. Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607) with “Global Mission—Jamaica Seminary” in the memo)

Questions about this global mission project can be sent to PJ May (pjnrusty@yahoo.com)
Chrism Mass and Bishop's Visits

For this year, we will be hosting ONE CHRISM MASS worship service at St. John Lutheran Church, Winter Park, on  April 7 from 11-2 pm . This is the Tuesday of Holy Week, which is the traditional day for the Chrism Mass. This event will include a time of learning over lunch, followed by a Chrism Mass service. The worship service will be livestreamed for those not able to be present.  Oil for pastoral care visits will be consecrated and distributed at this service, and will be available at Assembly and other events throughout the year for those not able to be present. Rostered ministers will be invited to re-affirm their ordination promises.

Separate from the Chrism Mass , Bishop Suarez will host 5 Bishop's Visits throughout the synod. Some of these visits will be during Lent, but not all of them. These visits will include a time of learning and dialogue with Bishop Suarez and a worship service. The Bishop's visits events will run from 9:00 to 12:30. All rostered ministers and members of congregations are invited to attend.

The dates/locations for these visits are below. Click on links to RSVP.

Saturday, Feb. 15: Living Lord, Lakewood Ranch
Saturday, May 9: University, Gainesville
Saturday, September 26: Lord of Life, Miami
Saturday, Oct. 10: lAdvent Lutheran, Melbourne (Suntree Campus)

More information about the Chrism Mass and the Bishop's Visits will be coming soon. Mark your calendars to join Bishop Suarez and synod staff at these events this year.
Communications Specialist Job Opening

Florida-Bahamas Synod is accepting applications for a Communications Specialist until Feb. 28th . The position is full-time, year-round. The Communications Specialist will work with synod staff to oversee and implement all aspects of communications for the synod office (newsletter, web site, social media, public relations, events, etc), and will be responsible to collect, shape, and share narratives about the mission and ministry of the synod. Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, experience in communications or public relations preferred. 1 to 2 years experience in Communications (with web site and videography experience) desired. Applicants should have excellent people skills, time management skills and in depth knowledge of the ELCA in its various expressions. Tampa based residency preferred.

Full job description is available on the FBSynod web site . Salary is commensurate with experience. Full benefits are available.

Please send resumes to Michele Hilton at  Micheleh@fbsynod.org .
Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Art for Faith's Sake Concert Series, Prince of Peace, Largo

Our series continues with the Three-Organ Spectacular! The concert features organists Seth Bott, John Lowe, and Shawn Thomas, and the Prince of Peace Festival Choir, performing Louis Vierne's Mass for Choir and Two Organs. Other selections for one, two, and three organs include Toccata and Fugue in d minor by J.S. Bach, Praise the Lord with Drums and Cymbals by Sigfrid Karg-Elert, Handel's Organ Concerto in F (The Cuckoo and Nightingale), and a rousing rendition of "The Stars and Stripes Forever," by John Philip Sousa. The event is presented free of charge, with a reception following.
50 Years of Ordained Women in the Lutheran Church
Taken from the ELCA web site

With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the ELCA gives thanks to God for the ministry of women. In 2019 and 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely.

As part of this anniversary year, we lament that women have been barred from serving and have been bullied, dismissed and excluded. We also celebrate the gifts and service that women have brought to our church and our world as pastors.
Congregations are encouraged to hold commemorative events throughout the year! The ELCA web site offers three resources to help congregations observe these anniversaries, including a five-session adult forum, a four-session Bible study, and a liturgy with Scripture and hymn suggestions.
Mission Support Covenant Forms Available
The 2020 Mission Support forms are available on the synod web site. These forms help the synod office plan well for ministry priorities and programming for the next year.

>>> Click HERE to submit the form online<<<
>>> Click HERE to access the forms to download and print<<<
Parochial Reports Available on ELCA Web Site
 Forms A and C that make up the required, annual parochial report, ARE NOW available to fill out and complete, on the ELCA website . Each congregation needs to have its own church ID and password. The passwords for 2019 were recently sent to each congregation. The passwords are also available from the synod office.
Annual Report Covers
The 2019 Annual Report Covers from the ELCA are available on the synod web site (on the Forms page) and also on the ELCA web site (on the Stewardship page). These covers include a brief litany to open congregational meetings and a brief message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.
Annual Ministers' Reports to the Bishop
Rostered Ministers, please submit your annual rostered minister report to the Bishop by March 15th. Reports are available on the  ELCA web site  and can be saved and sent to Ileana Sardinas (ileanas@fbsynod.org).
Compensation Guidelines Review Survey
The synod's Rostered Leader Compensation Committee is inviting feedback from pastors/deacons, congregational presidents, and office administrators regarding the effectiveness and use of the compensation guidelines and annual review tools. If you are involved with compensation review in your congregation and did not receive the email sent out on 1/22/2020, please fill out the survey using the button below. If you received the email but have not yet completed the survey, please give us your feedback. This feedback is instrumental in our commitment to evaluate and strengthen healthy leadership in this synod.

Questions about the survey or this committee can be sent to Michele Hilton (micheleh@fbsynod.org).
Bishop's Calendar
  • Dean's Gathering, Luther Springs
  • Bishop's Visit and Deacon Tara Freidrichs Installation, Living Lord, Lakewood Ranch
  • Lutheran/Anglican Gathering, Jacksonville
  • Synod Council, Luther Springs
  • Tampa Office
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