SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA SYNOD | ELCA
Resources for effective church leaders + March 18, 2020
Information is flowing fast and furiously these days. MinistryLink is suspending its regular schedule during this crisis and will publish information as needs warrant. We will also simplify our design to streamline the publishing process as much as possible.

Synod Adjustments Due To Corona Virus
Based on latest guidance, Bishop Davenport recommends that churches suspend in-person gatherings.
  • Synod staff will be working from home until at least April 1, and the office will be closed.
  • Synod Assembly is postponed.
  • Synod committees, teams and staff will not hold in-person meetings or events until May 18.
  • The Chrism Service, First Call Retreat, Behavioral Interview training, and Tuscarora Youth Retreat are cancelled.

View more information and watch a video message from the bishop at this link.

Resources for Church in the Time of Coronavirus
Virtual church, remote meetings, online worship, home faith formation – it’s all new to us. We are learning together. To make it easier, we have created a webpage, ministrylink.org/virtualchurch, where we are collecting resources, ideas, tutorials, and more to help you be creative while being church in this difficult time.

Please share stories of your experiments, even failures, so we cal learn from one another. Send story ideas, photos, or video to Pastor Bob Fisher at rfisher@sepa.org .

Share Your Church’s Worship Live Stream
To help people whose church may not be streaming or who don’t have a church but desire to worship, we are publishing a list of live streams at ministrylink.org/church-streams . If you are streaming, please fill out t hi s form with your info, or send to rfisher@sepa.org

Answering 20 Questions about COVID-19
The  outbreak of  COVID-19  is rapidly changing, creating a significant challenge for U.S. public health departments, schools, community organizations, and the public. This  special webinar from  CDC EPIC  will discuss the current state of the outbreak, what CDC is doing to respond to the outbreak, and how partners, organizations, and the public can help. Closed captioning will be available. 

Watch on Facebook: You can participate in this live webinar through the  CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Facebook  page on Wednesday, March 18 at 1 p.m. ET.

Being Church in the Time of COVID-19: ELCA Coaching Ministry’s Response
“What is the next most faithful step we can take?” ELCA Coaching Ministry would like to add our voice to those across our denomination and country speaking into this unique time of concern and care. Two upcoming calls:

Topic: Being Church in the Time of COVID-19 - Finances
Time: Mar 18, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
 
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Meeting ID: 845 890 693
Password: 857299
 
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Meeting ID: 845 890 693
 
Topic: Being Church in the Time of COVID-19 - Staying Connected & Caring for One Another & Our Neighbors
Time: Mar 19, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
 
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Meeting ID: 535 406 471
Password: 900535
 
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Dial by your location
       +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)
       +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
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       +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
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Meeting ID: 535 406 471

Other Learning Opportunities
·       Digital Worship Workshop   LEAD+ March 19
·       Gracious Community in a No-Touch World  Kaleidoscope Institute March 20

Bishop Eaton: Take and eat 
This Lent, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on Paul’s stormy journey to Rome and the Lord’s Supper. In her March column, she reminds us that our Lord’s holy meal is an act of faith, trust, love, strength for the journey, forgiveness and resistance—it’s an intimate communion with God and each other. Read her column in English at  https://bit.ly/3cKxNIc  and in Spanish at  https://bit.ly/2xnTn54 .

In Other News

Note: Events listed below may be cancelled as circumstances dictate. Please check with event organizers.

Phillies Play Ball With Synod Youth Programs
You can  get tickets NOW for our annual Lutheran Night at the Phillies on Saturday, May 30  vs. the Washington Nationals. Proceeds from each ticket sold benefit Synod Youth Programs.
 
It’s not too late to get tickets to bring a group from your congregation or a group of friends!
·     Buy online now at  phillies.com/Lutheran  (password LUTHERAN)
·     Questions? Please contact Jen Leone in the Group Sales Office at 215-463-5000, ext. 5112.
·      Download a flyer

Give Kids A Smile Day
Public Citizens for Children and Youth sponsor Smile Day to provide free dental care for children 1-18 years old, particularly children who are uninsured, have no dental insurance or haven’t been to the dentist in over 6 months.

You can call 215.563.5848, ext. 21, for appointments starting March 23. Children will receive care in dentist’s offices in Delaware, Montgomery & Philadelphia counties from April 6th to April 11th (most schools will be on spring break).

Civil Conversations Training March 24
This year, Interfaith Philadelphia is offering a series of trainings that will give participants the  skills to organize Civil Conversations in their congregations, workplaces, and communities . These sessions offer community leaders and "bridge people"  techniques for grassroots civil conversations that support a thriving religiously diverse democracy . This will be a virtual training offered via Zoom technology on Tuesday, March 24, from noon to 1:30 pm.
·     Questions? Please contact Rev. Alison Cornish at:  amc@interfaithphiladelphia.org  or (215) 222-1012 x0

Recognizing Signs of Suicide
Penn Foundation Behavioral Health Services will sponsor a clergy learning event, Recognizing Signs of Suicide, on April 29. James Mast, LPC, will talk about the link between depression and suicide, how to recognize signs and talk to someone at risk, and how to support families. The event begins with breakfast and fellowship at 8 am with keynote, panel and Q&A from 8:30 to 10 am. Held in the Univest Community Room of Penn Foundation’s Loux Healthcare Center, 807 Lawn Ave., Sellersville.
·     Please respond by April 22 to Debra Ryan, director of community outreach, at 215.453.5165 or dryan@pennfoundation.org

Marriage Preparedness Series 2020
Although Lutheran Congregational Services is no longer sponsoring the Marriage Prep Series, the instructor, Pastor Sandra Brown, is still offering the classes. The class is a full day, designed to cover some of the basic topics of pre-marital counseling, such as communication, finances, and self-care. The schedule for 2020 is as follows:
  • April 25, Trinity, Lansdale
  • June 6, NEPA Synod office, Allentown
  • July 25, Grace, Royersford
  • September 5, NEPA Synod office
  • October 17, Trinity, Lansdale
For more information, contact Peace Lutheran Church, pelcachurch@yahoo.com, or call 215/638-3063

SEPA Synodical Women 2020 Convention
The 2020 convention of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synodical Women of the ELCA will be held June 6, 2020 at St. Matthew’s Lutheran church 400 Lynbrooke Rd, Springfield, PA 19064. Registration begins at 9:00 am. Opening devotions begin at 9:30.

We will be celebrating 50 years of Ordination of Women of the Lutheran Church and inviting the 50 some women pastors in our synod to join us for the day. Our keynote speaker will be Bishop Patricia Davenport. We are also asking two of our women pastors to share their experiences – one will be a long time ordained pastor and one a more recently ordained pastor.

Apply now for ELCA Internships
Two interns will join the ELCA Advocacy staff in Washington, D.C. this summer and more will be part of  Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ministries in Chicago. These are paid internships!
·     Apply & learn about these exciting opportunities from  http://elca.atsondemand.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=512830.viewjobs&CID=512830&notes=5295 !
Thank you
for taking the time to read this edition of MinistryLink.  Tell fellow church members and colleagues to subscribe by clicking here.

The Rev. Bob Fisher, assistant to the bishop for mission interpretation/communications
rfisher@sepa.org  / 267.323.3743