August 28, 2018
Grief Awareness Resources
August 30 is National Grief Awareness Day. Below is a list of resources around this topic. Resources with (RC) are available from the Synod Resource Center). Email to borrow these resources.
General Grief:
Bruised & wounded: Struggling to Understand Suicide, by Ronald Rolheiser (RC)

When it Feels Impossible to Pray: Prayers for the Grieving, by Thomas McPherson (RC)

My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes : a journey through loss with art and color, by Roger Hutchison (RC)

Intersections, Death and Grief: Healing through Group Support, small group study guide (RC)

Special Circumstance Grief (available from 1517 Media):
Limping but Blessed: Wrestling with God after the Death of a Child, by Jason Jones. Watch a trailer about this book HERE.

Andrew, You Died Too Soon: A Family Experience of Grieving and Living Again, by Corrine Chilstrom

When Your Parent Dies, by Ronald Klug

On Grieving the Death of a Father, by Harold Ivan Smith

Pastoral Grief (available from 1517 Media):
What Can I Do? Ideas to Help those who have Experienced Loss, by Barbara Glanz

Finding the Right Words: Offering Care and Comfort When You Don't Know What to Say, by Wilfred Bockelman
Almighty God, your love never fails, and you can turn the shadow of death into daybreak. Help us to receive your word with believing hearts, so that, confident in your promises, we may have hope and be lifted out of sorrow into the joy and peace of your presence; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen (ELW)
"Wake up Deborah!"
Latino Women's Retreat
Talitha Cumi, in cooperation with the Florida-Bahamas Synod, invites you to the first Latino Women's Retreat. This retreat will be in Spanish.

When: September 21-22, 2018
Where: Duncan Retreat Center, Delray, FL
Cost: $40 (thanks to this event being subsidized by the ELCA) must be received 2 weeks before
Presenters: Rev. Marivel Milian, Dra. Miriam Feliciano & Jennifer de Leon, Director for Justice, ELCA

To register: email Deacon Aura Suarez ( Send payment (with check made to "ELCA" and "Latino Women's Retreat" on the memo line) to Florida-Bahamas Synod office (3838 W. Cypress St, Tampa, FL 33607)

This retreat has a capacity for 40 people, so register early!

Mark Your Calendar
RSVP/Register for these events!
Practice Discipleship Retreat for youth leaders (paid, volunteer) and all who work with children/youth
Boundaries Workshop
(for Staff and volunteer leaders)
Cross+Road Lutheran,
Fleming Island
Conference on Ministry (Rostered Ministers)
Life Enrichment Center,
More events coming up
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
Sept. 3 - Synod Office CLOSED for Labor Day
Sept. 5 - USCA Faith Coalition pre-conference on AIDS
Sept. 7, 8 - Rock the Universe, Universal Studios, Orlando
Sept. 8 - God's Work Our Hands Work Day, Luther Springs
Sept. 8 - Installation of Pr. Tom Holdcraft, St. Stephen, Tallahassee
Sept. 9 - God's Work Our Hands Sunday
Sept. 10-12 - Region 9 Rostered Deacon Retreat (South Carolina)
Sept. 14-15 - Synod Council meeting (Jacksonville)
Sept. 21-22 - Latino Women's Retreat (Duncan Center, Delray)
Sept. 27-30 - Practice Discipleship Retreat for Youth Workers (Luther Springs)
Sept. 28-30 - Come to the Well Retreat for Women (Luther Springs)
Oct. 9 - Boundaries Workshop, Cross+Road, Fleming Island
Oct. 14 - Installation of Pr. Bob Schaefer, St. Stephen, Pompano Beach (3:30 pm)
Oct. 28 - Installation of Pr. Richard Leseganich, Messiah, Cape Coral (3:00 pm)
Long-Range planning
It is not too soon to get these dates on your calendar.
2019 Lenten Visits
  • March 9 – Tallahassee (specific location TBD)
  • March 16 – St. James/Santiago Apostol, Coral Gables
  • March 23 – Port Orange (specific location TBD)
  • March 30 – Sarasota (specific location TBD)
  • April 13 – St. Timothy, Tarpon Springs
Synod Assemblies
  • 2019 - Embassy Suites – Kissimmee – June 6-8
  • 2020 - Caribe Royal – Kissimmee – June 5-7
  • 2021 - Embassy Suites – Kissimmee – June 3-5
  • 2022 - Caribe Royal – Kissimmee – June 3-5
  • 2023 - Caribe Royal – Kissimmee – June 8-10
For Your Information
Volunteers needed in the Mid-Gulf area
This message comes from FL Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, the network of relief/response organizations we are part of as the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Please contact Melissa Nell directly for more information. If your congregation activates a team to respond, please let Michele Hilton ( know.
Dear FLVOAD members and partners,
As you may be aware the ongoing Red Tide has created an environmental disaster. Currently Manatee County is seeking volunteers to assist with the ongoing cleanup. If you have volunteer teams ready to deploy for this event please see the Manatee County contact information below. There may be additional counties asking for volunteer assistance in the near future. We’ll keep you apprised for other needs as well. 

To volunteer in Manatee County please see below:
Melissa Nell, M.S.
Division Manager, Programming/Education/Volunteer Division 
Phone: 941-748-4501 ext. 6042
Advent Resources from ELCA World Hunger
ELCA World Hunger recently sent a sample packet of Advent resources to congregations. These resources are free to individuals to download or order, with free shipping, while supplies last.
How might you use these resources?
  • order the Advent calendar for your men's or women's groups, and commit to using them as your daily devotions throughout the season of Advent;
  • order Good Gifts for children, grandchildren, god-children, college students, seminary students, or other children/youth/young adults connected to you or your congregation;
  • order from the Good Gifts catalog in celebration of those from your congregation who have been baptized in the past year, or whose lives have been celebrated through memorials and funerals;
  • Put up a small tree in the narthex or worship space, and invite members and visitors to make a donation towards ELCA Good Gifts. As they do, add ornaments to the tree;
  • Put up a small tree decorated with ELCA Good Gifts ornaments, and encourage people to take an ornament and order that item from ELCA Good Gifts;
  • Order the 2018 Advent study, and distribute it to your congregation to guide their personal/family devotions during Advent. Distribute these studies in connection with an activity day for making Advent wreaths;
  • Order the 2018 Advent study for your household to read together during Advent, or send to the households in your extended family and invite everyone to read it together. Use email, phone/text, facebook messenger or face-to-face conversations to share what you are thinking as you read;
  • Order the 2018 Advent study for your congregational council, and use it as your devotions for your meetings between Advent and Lent
  • so many other ways to use these free resources!

Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Our Savior, Freeport, Bahamas
  • Tallahassee (Installation of Pr. Tom Holdcraft)
  • Atonement, Wesley Chapel