MISSION SUPPORT: OUR EXPRESSION OF GRATITUDE
A message from Renée Wicklund, MNYS Vice-President 

The Great Blizzard of 1993 dumped more than 42 inches of snow on Central New York. A week after the blizzard, I stood on a street corner, waiting for the traffic light to change so I could continue walking to class at Syracuse University. Tall snowbanks were all around, limiting my field of peripheral vision. I was listening to my Walkman—remember those?—and, as a student might say, I was zoning out.

As soon as the traffic light turned red (to be honest, it might still have been yellow), I took a big step over a puddle and into the street.

Instantly, a hand grabbed my jacket and yanked me backwards, back onto the sidewalk. I stumbled and almost fell. In the same moment, a snowplow roared by, perhaps catching the last hint of a yellow-ish traffic light. The plow’s blade was down, very close to the sidewalk, pushing snow and slush to the side.

It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened: I had stepped directly into the path of the moving snowplow, which almost certainly would have killed me if it had hit me. A man also waiting to cross the street had seen my foolishness and reacted fast enough to pull me out of the way.

By the time I came to my senses, that man had stepped around me and was halfway across the intersection.

I leaned around a snowbank to look carefully right and left, then jumped over the puddle and ran to catch up with the stranger. On the next sidewalk, I got his attention and said, “Thank you. Thank you for that.” He smiled and nodded. Then he returned to walking, quickly, as if he had much to accomplish and wanted to get on with his day.

Why do we give to the church’s mission? As Lutherans, we do not believe that our salvation depends on good works. Within my own circle of family and friends are people whom I admire, who live honorably and serve others, but who never give to mission, who might not even practice the Christian faith, or any faith. If I am saved already, and if I can live an admirable life without giving to mission, why bother?

Mission giving often makes me think back to that day in 1993 and ask myself why I ran after the stranger who had pulled me from harm’s way. The man was not looking for my appreciation; he did what he did and moved on. I was already safe, which wasn’t going to change, regardless of whether I said thanks.

I ran after the man because, even in the confusion of that moment, something deep inside me told me it was the right thing to do. I think I realized that if I didn’t take the opportunity to say thanks, I wasn’t going to feel good about myself: My failure to act would stick with me.

That’s mission giving. We are saved already, and God isn’t just waiting around to hear our appreciation. But if we don’t say thanks, how does that make us feel?

For me, if I hold earthly treasures all to myself, I don’t feel good about myself: My failure to act sticks with me.

The man who saved my life in Syracuse hardly seemed to hear my thanks. He moved on so fast that I wasn’t sure whether my words had affected him.

In that regard, mission giving is different. When we give to the church’s mission as a form of thanks, we don’t have to wonder. We can see that our contributions do have effects in our synod, and in the wider church. Lives are touched. Empty bellies are filled. The spiritually hungry are fed by the Gospel. God’s children learn that they, too, are saved.

Mission giving is a way to say thanks for what’s already been accomplished for us. Mission projects show us what our appreciation accomplishes for others.

I think that’s what they call a win-win.
2018 MISSION SUPPORT
The mission support of our congregations makes it possible for us to walk together with others in the mission and ministry of the Metropolitan New York Synod and to support ministries of the ELCA. 

All mission support for the fiscal year 2018 (ending on January 31, 2019), should be received in the synod office by February 8, 2019.
2019 MISSION SUPPORT COMMITMENT
In 2019 , the Metropolitan New York Synod will send 52% of what is received for mission support to the ELCA Churchwide administration in Chicago, which supports new congregations, missionaries, seminaries, colleges, universities, campus ministries, early childhood centers, elementary schools, outdoor ministries, social ministry organizations, advocacy, and community development on a national scale.

Partnership dollars come back to synods and congregations from the ELCA via grants, services, programs, staff, and resources. All mission support, including subsidized congregations, is a sign of our partnership in the Gospel.

In addition to helping us stay connected, completing this form makes your congregation eligible for synod grants.
MISSION SUPPORT: THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE ELCA
FROM A PASTOR 'S DESK
I’m always surprised when people say back to me, ‘I didn’t know we did all that! I didn’t know that was what Mission Support does!’ ”— An article by The Rev. Robert C. Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod, and editor of Living Lutheran ‘s study guides.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION POLICY
Dear rostered ministers and parish administrators,

Every employer in the New York State is required to adopt a sexual harassment prevention policy. An employer that does not adopt the model policy must ensure that the policy that they adopt meets or exceeds the following minimum standards.

FROM A PASTOR 'S DESK
The Power of Forgiveness – Roll The Stone Away

"We thank God for the opportunity to begin the conversation and look forward to the continued spiritual leading of the Holy Spirit."— An article by The Rev. Linda Bell
SENT
WELCOMING THE STRANGER
Growing in Faith
Anti-Racism Training

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Bellerose
TODAY! Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thanks to the MNYS Leadership Grant Program and the Strategic Plan Anti-Racism Committee, Growing in Faith: NY Diakonia Program can bring you this vital training from Crossroads at no cost. This event is open to all!
CLAIMED
 INCLUSIVE FAITH
Enjoy our new site-search engine!

With this sensational new tool, you will be able to find the right information you are looking for—faster and easier than ever!
Go ahead, visit mnys.org and find what you are looking for!
GATHERED
VIBRANT CONGREGATIONS
Wider Church Grants

These grants are intended to help fund programs outside our synod’s regular operating budget. Examples of grants made in recent years are Lutheran Music Program, Koinonia, and Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, among others. The application deadline for 2019 grants is November 24, 2018. 
FROM OUR CONGREGATIONS & PARTNERS
Free Workshop for Congregation Leaders

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Rye Brook
TODAY! Saturday, November 17
9:00 am - noon

CONGREGATIONS and RESPONSIBLE GOVERNANCE is a series of workshops taught by John Litke. The session will provide guidance for property and capital issues such as management, maintenance, insurance, risk management, and capital improvements. For more information, click here.
Give Thanks with Bach Vespers

Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, NYC
Sunday, November 18 & 25
5:00 pm

From Advent to Christmas to the Epiphany, experience the delight of musical gifts of the season from Buxtehude, Britten, and Bach. Enjoy these holiday offerings with Cantor Donald Meineke. To view the complete schedule of concerts, click here.
A Benefit Concert for NRDC

Saint Peter's Church, NYC
Monday, November 26
7:00 pm

LIVING EARTH 2018 is a benefit concert for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). You are invited to enjoy this premiere of new music, which includes a string quartet. For more information, click here.
Start the Holiday Season with Music!

Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, NYC
Saturday, December 1st
7:30 pm

Save the date and attend the 13th annual FIRST SONGS OF THE SEASON concert! An evening of song, caroling, and storytelling of beautiful music, with world-class talent and inspiring tales. For more information, click here.
Assisting Women Living With HIV/ AIDS

St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Bronx
Sunday, December 9
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This project addresses issues related to the challenges of living in rural areas of western Kenya, the lack of food and water security, and the serious risk of diseases for children. The event will feature a Q&A session immediately following. For more information, click here.
Advent Revival

First Lutheran Church, Albany
Saturday, December 15
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Worship, Pray, Learn. Bishop Donald McCoid from MNYS, Bishop John Stanley Macholz from Upstate New York Synod, and the ELCA Revival Team, invite you to a day of spiritual discernment, understanding change, and invitation to discipleship. For more information, click here.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES & MORE
ORGANIST AND MUSIC DIRECTOR: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Flatbush—more information here   ▶︎
PARISH ADMINISTRATOR: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Manhattan —more information here   ▶︎
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS: Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries —more information here   ▶︎

CALENDAR
TODAY , NOVEMBER 17: Growing in Faith Anti-Racism Training—more information here ▶︎
NOVEMBER 19: Worship Committee Meeting—more information here ▶︎

WE'RE PRAYING FOR...
  The Rev. Jerome Taylor, who is having back surgery on November 20
Victims of the California wildfires
• The asylum-seekers who are part of the migrant caravan
 For our work toward shaping a more inclusive church that welcomes and affirms all of God's people, specifically our  LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters
 For refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers, and those who come to their aid
 Those affected by violence in their schools, workplaces, and homes 
 The unity of this church and its mission
 Peace in our world
 Peace in our nation
 The care of God's creation 
 ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission, Samantha Dibiaso, serving in South Africa & Swaziland
ELCA missionaries Rev. Deborah and Joseph Troester, serving in Tanzania
MNYS missionary Melanie Nelson, and her husband David Kingery, serving in Bukoba, Tanzania
  Bishop Susan J. Briner, the staff, and the people of the Southwestern Texas Synod