New England Synod
NES News 
Time After Pentecost

November 18, 2015 

In This Issue
Synod office hours for Thanksgiving week
The New England Synod office will close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 25, to begin observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will remain closed Nov. 26 and 27, and will re-open as normal on Monday, Nov. 30, at 9 a.m.  
On the Syrian refugee crisis
The Nov. 13 terrorist attack on Paris, which followed similar large-scale attacks in Beirut and Baghdad, has had wide-ranging effects on the world, and the horror and tragedy of that day still lingers even as we search for peace and justice.

In the frenzied, panicked days since that horrific night in Paris, calls for the closure of borders to refugees from Syria have increased in strength, volume and number. Most recently, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker said he is "not interested" in accepting Syrian refugees into the Commonwealth. 

"The safety and security of the people of the Commonwealth of Mass. is my highest priority, so I would set the bar very high on this," Baker said. 

Baker is not alone. He joined more than two dozen other governors across the U.S. in vowing not to allow refugees from Syria into their states. That group includes Maine's Paul LePage and New Hampshire's  Maggie Hassan.

While safety and security are vital to the health of the nation and its citizens, the New England Synod joins many organizations both within and outside the realm of spirituality in expressing concern about the barring of those who need sanctuary the most. 

Bishop James Hazelwood is co-signing a letter being sent from the Massachusetts Council of Churches to Gov. Baker, pleading for him to reconsider his stance on refugees coming to the Commonwealth.

We also echo the statements made by Ascentria Care Alliance - namely that " it's important to be mindful of the fact that many of today's refugees, including Syrians, are fleeing the same kind of violence by ISIS and other terrorist groups in their home countries."

Angela Bovill, CEO of Ascentria, appeared on WBUR-FM's "Morning Edition" show this morning to speak with host Bob Oakes, and reminded listeners that it is not easy for refugees to reach America, but when they do they often become valuable members of their new society.

"The United States has been resettling refugees for a long time and it has been a controversial issue in the media now again for a long time, and what we know is given enough time, people that are able to finally make it to the United States, do incredible things," Bovill said.
2016 Mission Trip - Back to Detroit!
July 10-16

In Partnership with the Lutheran Hands Foundation, youth and adult leaders from New England Synod are invited to participate in a 2016 Mission Trip to Detroit.

When: July 10 - 16, 2016
Where: Detroit, Mich.
Who: Those entering 9th grade in the 2016-17 school year and older; Groups or individuals can register and are welcome.
What: We are returning to Detroit, MI to serve communities in need.
How much: Estimated @ $350 per person plus transportation cost. The $350 includes program, lodging and food.
Interested? Email: Pastor Tim Roser to be placed on the info list. Registration will begin January 15.

Hammonasset Youth Gathering is moving to Camp Calumet for 2016!

In other youth news, Hammonasset State Park will be closed for group events for the 2016 Camping Season. The campground will be undergoing significant infra-structure upgrades and therefore will be unavailable while construction is in progress.

Camp Calumet has graciously offered to host the NESynod Hammo event for September 2016. The planning team is hard at work exploring all the opportunities that Calumet has to offer. Watch for details beginning in the spring of 2016.
2 Bald Pastors
Pastor Joe McGarry (Faith - Gardner, Mass.) and Pastor Geoff Sinibaldo (St. Paul - Old Saybrook, Conn.) have formed a podcasting partnership they're calling "2 Bald Pastors" (you might be able to guess why). Joe and Geoff hope to use their podcast to talk about their experiences in ministry, as well as faith and "real life" stuff.

The first episode, recorded during the 2015 Bishop's Convocation in West Hartford, features none other than ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. The wide-ranging discussion hits on many different topics, including: 
  • What can really "kill" a ministry
  • Advice for leaders who are feeling burnt out
  • Navigating busy lives and connecting faith life to the real world
  • Maintaining physical health while working as a pastor, bishop, etc.

A letter from Bishop James Hazelwood and Cardinal Seán O'Malley

Five centuries ago, Western Civilization split into two halves: Catholic and Protestant. After more than 50 years of international dialogue, the two sides are seizing the moment of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as an opportunity to move closer  together.

From now until October 2017, with cooperative ventures in service, arts, academics, and evangelization, it is the hope and prayer of Catholics and Lutherans that this effort will contribute to advancing the goal of full unity. 

In that spirit of unity, Bishop James Hazelwood of the New England Synod of the ELCA and Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston have written a letter to Lutherans and Catholics in New England, urging them to use Pope Francis's encyclical on conservation and the environment as a starting point for the joint observance of the anniversary of the Reformation.

"Our common ground lies in the life-giving Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," write Bishop Hazelwood and Cardinal O'Malley. "We share one baptism into Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior ... As we proceed toward this observance, we give thanks for our mutual baptism into Christ Jesus and our irrevocable commitment to full visible unity. For this we must all work and pray."

"In two years, we will observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation," Bishop Hazelwood said. "Between now and then, we in the New England Synod, and across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will be finding numerous ways to lift up both our heritage, along with finding ways to embody the reformation going forward.

"I am pleased to announce along with Cardinal Seán O'Malley of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston an opportunity for our two traditions to observe this anniversary together. Yes, Lutherans and Roman Catholics observing the reformation together! Shock and awe!"

Synod vacancies: Vice President, Secretary
As we reported a year ago, Synod Vice President Mark Winzler will retire from his position at the end of his current term, which runs through the 2016 Synod Assembly and officially comes to a close on Aug. 16, 2016. The process of naming a new Synod Vice President is now open. 

Anyone who is interested in serving as the new Synod Vice President should contact Lyn Wasilewski at for further information.

Additionally, Synod Secretary Charlene Pederson has announced that she will also step down at the end of her current term. Those interested in the Synod Secretary position should also contact Lyn Wasilewski at the address above.  
Apply for Synod Grants
There are three grants available through the Synod to those seeking assistance in their ministries.
The Seeds of Generosity
"[Generosity] is a fruit of the spirit. It isn't a virtue or an admirable character trait that we can develop in ourselves. Generosity is not something that God wants from us. It's something God wants for us, because there is great joy in generosity."

The Rev. Renée LiaBraaten, the Synod's newly named Associate to the Bishop for Generosity, spoke to the rostered leaders gathered in Hartford, Conn., for the 2015 Bishop's Convocation, on ways to nurture and improve generosity in our congregations. As a service to the entire synod, we are making Renée's talk available as an MP3 download.

News & Notes
Portico Open Enrollment deadline is Nov. 30
The Synod would like to remind Portico healthcare plan members that Open Enrollment for plan members began on Nov. 2, and runs until Nov. 30. Members are encouraged to start figuring out their choice by visiting their personalized Enrollment Guide, which is now available at myPortico.

If you need assistance, Portico is available by phone (800-352-2876), email, or online chat, and has added special service hours on Saturdays (9 a.m.-1 p.m.) during open enrollment.
Russian Voices: Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil and Folk Songs
Sunday, Nov. 22 - 4 p.m.
Bethesda Lutheran Church
450 Whitney Ave.
New Haven, Conn.
The Bethesda Music Series is thrilled to welcome back the St. Petersburg Men's Ensemble, an internationally touring quartet from Russia. They will appear at Bethesda Lutheran Church on Nov. 22, at 4 p.m. The program will include selections from the All Night Vigil by Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of the masterpieces of Russian sacred music, as well as Russian folk songs. 

The All Night Vigil is celebrating 100 years of performance and is a dear work to lovers of sacred choral music. It captures the deep spirituality and drama of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The St. Petersburg Men's Ensemble is known for its rich and sonorous sound and great charm and expressivity. Audio clips and further details can be found at

The event is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected with all proceeds going to Immanuel Baptist Shelter, an organization dedicated to outreach to the homeless in New Haven. A reception will follow the concert.
Jazz Vespers
Sunday, Nov. 22 - 5 p.m.
Christ Lutheran Church
113 Union Street
Natick, MA 01760

Christ Lutheran Church in Natick, Mass., invites you to an evening of jazz vespers with the theme, "Who is My Neighbor? Seeking Racial Justice," with the Rev. Dr. Kirk Byron Jones preaching.

The CLC Choir will present music by contemporary German composer, Heinz Werner Zimmermann. In his choral composi$ons, Zimmermann combines the historic German Lutheran chorale tradition with a jazz style. We will be including excerpts from his Vespers, Drei Spirituals, Three New Hymns and Three Simple Songs in this service. Experienced singers are welcome to join the CLC Choir to learn and perform this music.

There will be a dinner with conversation following the service, which begins at 5 p.m.

For more information, go to
Employment Opportunities

Job listings policy

Job postings will run for two weeks in the synod's weekly NES News and/or Bishop's E-News, and then will be removed to make space for new listings. The listings will also be edited, so we urge you to submit them as 2-3 sentence listings with a contact if job seekers seek further information. Readers are encouraged to retain weekly emails if they wish to reference the job listings past their two-week publication period.

Additionally, job listings are now hosted on the Synod website's new job board.

Organist (P/T)
Prince of Peace Lutheran/St. Mark's Episcopal/St. Matthew's Episcopal/St. Barnabas Episcopal - Augusta, Maine
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church are seeking a part-time organist for their combined worship at 209 Eastern Avenue in Augusta, Maine.  The organist's primary responsibility is to accompany and support the combined congregation in singing hymns and liturgical settings on Sundays at 9 a.m. as well as on holy days and special services, including but not limited to Holy Week, Easter, and Christmas. An organ prelude and postlude appropriate to the church year is also expected at each service.  The applicant should have formal organ training, be familiar with sacred music, and be able to work in a team setting with the pastor, worship committee, and choir director.  Wages will be determined based on experience.

Please send résumés to:
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
Worship Committee
209 Eastern Avenue
Augusta, ME 04330
Minister of Music
Concordia Lutheran Church - Manchester, Conn.
Concordia Lutheran Church seeks a creative and collaborative musician to guide and direct the congregation's music ministries. Concordia's emphasis on liturgical worship in the broader Lutheran tradition and excellence in the musical arts calls for a candidate with exceptional keyboard proficiency, an integrated facility to plan and execute liturgical worship, and experience in volunteer choir direction and anthem selection. Ideally, the candidate would possess skill in improvisation, composition and the ability to work with and resource amateur musicians, both voices and instruments. The principal instrument is a two-manual, 27 rank Austin pipe organ, other instruments include a two-manual harpsichord, and a Kawai grand piano. The worship space has exceptional acoustics. This 15 hour/week position includes one weekly choir rehearsal, one Sunday service, seasonal services in Advent and Lent as well as principal feasts of the church year and monthly planning meetings with clergy. It is compensated at a range of $19,000-28,000 based on education and years of experience. Four weeks of paid vacation are included. Candidates may inquire by sending a resumé, cover letter and (optional) recording to the attention of Rev. Douglas Barclay, pastor, by emailing, or calling (860) 649-5311. The position is available in January 2016.
Music Director
St. Matthew Lutheran Church - Avon, Conn.
St. Matthew Lutheran Church is seeking a part-time music and worship leader to join its staff. The Music Director provides leadership and oversight of St. Matthews's music ministry. This includes serving as organist and director of adult and children's choirs as well as the supervision, guidance, and support of volunteer leaders in the music program. A Bachelor's degree in music, concentrated study in organ and church music, or significant church-music experience is required.  Specific duties and responsibilities include:  Two worship services each Sunday plus special holiday services;  leading an adult choir and children's choirs;  weekly choir rehearsals;  participation in weekly staff meetings;  assist pastors in worship planning.

To be considered please submit a resume and a brief essay on what it means to be a church Music Director along with a cover letter via email to or by mail to Music Director Search Committee, St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 224 Lovely Street, Avon CT, 06001.
Bell Choir Director
Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer - Foxboro, Mass.
Handbell Director needed for a teaching role to a 10-12 member intergenerational choir of three octaves with limited experience in a small, growing church. Position would run September to May or June, with 30-35 one-hour rehearsals at noon on Sundays ( flexible), and four to five Sunday morning ringing sessions. The ideal candidate will have bell knowledge and strong directing skills. Stipend salary, $1,500 to $2,000 commensurate with experience and duration of ringing year. For more information, e-mail or call 508-543-4071.