January 4, 2021
Churches and Copyrights
Thursday, Jan. 14 - 1:30 p.m. | Online
By nature, many of the things churches do in worship and ministry fall under copyright laws - printed bulletins that include hymn text or tunes, projection of lyrics or liturgy and streaming to the internet (whether Facebook, YouTube, Zoom or a website).

Join us on Zoom to hear it all explained by Michael Moore, Rights Management Specialist, Content Management, for 1517 Media. This session is for pastors and deacons, worship leaders, musicians, communicators, Christian Education staff and anyone else who wants (or needs) to learn about churches and copyrights. There's no fee to participate!
Conversations on Gun Violence Prevention
As the new Minnesota legislative session approaches, two gun violence prevention (GVP) laws are to be considered:
  • Universal Background Checks (UBC) - The UBC focus will expand gun purchase checks to include private sales between individuals. Presently, only those sales between buyer and a federally licensed seller are checked by an FBI background check.
  • Red Flag Laws (RFL) - The RFL focus is on legally and temporally removing a weapon from a person who is a potential danger to self or others.
Neither of these laws will prevent a responsible person from purchasing or using a weapon. It is heartening that since 2013, SPAS support for GVP actions have risen from the mid 60% to 94% this past year. The ENGAGE team would be happy to meet with members of your congregation in virtual conversation. To make arrangements, email ronletnes@hotmail.com.

ENGAGE: Connecting the Dots
Every Wednesday a conversation is hosted around gun violence prevention and what forces influence GV. We meet online from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All are welcome to the conversation. Send your email to: ronletnes@hotmail.com and you will be sent the access code. Many resources are also available for your study and use at www.engageelca.org.

-Ron Letnes
ENGAGE Work Group of the Saint Paul Area Synod
Updated FAQs for Holding Electronic Meetings
With the continuing pandemic, more congregations are asking how to use technology to hold necessary meetings to conduct official business. An updated FAQ document (revised 12-15-20) for congregations with considerations for electronic meetings is now available. For your reference, Minnesota law requires a provision to be in an organization's bylaws for a meeting to be held electronically. You will need to check your congregation's constitution. (This is part of the second question in the document about state laws.)
CYF Virtual Epiphany Happy Hour
Thursday, Jan. 7 - 4 p.m. | Online
All Twin Cities area ELCA staff and leaders in Children, Youth and Family ministries are invited to attend a happy hour event hosted by the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Ares Synods' Leadership Team. We are so grateful you are part of the synod and want to welcome you, connect and bring light to one another this Epiphany season. We'll give a special welcome to those new to their position in the last year and also provide information and networks where you can find support. There's no cost to participate, but please register so that we have your up-to-date information. Join us on Zoom and feel free to bring the happy hour beverage of your choice. Register here.
Children's Ministry Gathering
Tuesday, Jan. 12 - 2 p.m. | Online
Join Julie Vagle and Rachelle Gill to discuss what Children’s Ministry might look like in 2021. What did we learn in 2020 and what’s new for 2021? This gathering is offered jointly by the Saint Paul and Minneapolis area synods.

Join the Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 863 7898 4014
Passcode: 401507
Called to Arise: Earth's Day Jubilee Year
Tuesday, Jan. 19 - 6:30-8 p.m. | Online
Join with Dr. Diane Jacobson, professor emerita of Luther Seminary in Old Testament studies, to explore the significance of the biblical vision of Jubilee Year for the 50th year of Earth Day and beyond. This is the second part in a series (the first was Called to Arise: Racism, Inequality and the Environment). Registration is open at https://bit.ly/3aNjkwB. A spring series, Called to Arise: Death to Resurrection, will be held on Tuesdays in March. The series is offered by a collaboration of the EcoFaith Network and Together Here Ministries of the Northeastern Minnesota Synod and the Care of Creation Work Group of the Saint Paul Area Synod.
An Afternoon of Discernment and Exploration of Call
Sunday, Jan. 24 - 1-4 p.m. | Online
Wondering what's next? Wondering if God is calling you to something different? Wondering if there's "something more"?

Explore these and other questions in the context of our faith with other wonderers through storytelling, introspection and studying of Scripture. There's no cost to participate. The registration deadline is Jan. 18. Questions? Contact Deacon Krista Lind at krista.lind@spas-elca.org. Register.
Took Kit for Congregational Leaders
Saturday, Feb. 27 - 9-11:45 a.m. | Online
If you're in a leadership role in your congregation (volunteer or staff), consider yourself invited to the synod's Tool Kit for Congregational Leaders. This year, we'll gather on Zoom for a morning of learning and networking. Dr. Michael Osterholm will provide his assessment of where we're at with the pandemic and what the future might hold for churches. After his keynote, we'll break off into separate workshops on topics of interest to council and committee members, staff, volunteers or others who are interested in what makes churches tick. There's no cost to attend; registration opens next week.
Tool Kit Workshop Spotlight:
Standing with Immigrants: From Resolution to Action
In 2019, the ELCA Churchwide Assembly passed a memorial to become a Sanctuary Denomination. In 2020, the Synod Assembly passed a Resolution to Stand with Immigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Through these public statements, ELCA Lutherans are declaring themselves to be people who want to welcome and walk alongside immigrants and refugees as a matter of faith. But memorials and resolutions must be put into action to be truly impactful. This workshop will delve deeper into the content of these declarationsthe nation-wide memorial and the synod-wide resolutionand will provide attendees with resources and tools for educating and equipping their congregations to put the words of these statements into action.

Presenters include members of the Twin Cities AMMPARO Leadership Team, a joint task force of the Saint Paul and Minneapolis Area Synods that aims to awaken, engage, and equip Lutherans to stand in solidarity with immigrants in our communities and around the world. The leadership team works locally to spread awareness among congregations about the ELCA’s strategy to Accompany Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities (AMMPARO).
Young Adults in Global Mission Applications
The deadline is nearing for applications for the ELCA's Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program for 2021-2022! If you're a young adult ages 21 to 29, you can apply for an international service year that will shape your faith, career, identity and understanding of how you fit into God's work in the world.

Through YAGM, you'll learn what it means to serve in a spirit of accompaniment as you walk alongside global church companions. You'll immerse yourself in new community and form deep relationships with the people you meet. And you'll confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity and globalization, all through the lens of faith. Learn more and apply on the ELCA website. Application deadline: Jan. 15, 2021.
The synod office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A limited number of staff are on-site each day. You may continue to reach all staff members by phone (651-224-4313) or by email.
"Being Church" Online Gatherings for ELCA Leaders
Wednesdays at 1 p.m. | Online
Rostered and lay leaders are invited to a weekly gathering of topical presentations designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders. On Jan. 6, the Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin will reflect on one of Francis Weller's five gates of grief: "What We Expected and Did Not Receive." This is session 5 of 7 on The Sacred Work of Grief. Recordings of past sessions are available at www.elcacoaching.org/podcasts/media. Upcoming topics and presenters may be found at www.elcacoaching.org/.

Join the Zoom Meeting:
or by phone: +1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 180 439 412
Password: 648160
Communicators Gathering: Tips for Handling Work Stress
Thursday, Jan. 7 - 2 p.m. | Online
The Minneapolis Area Synod invites communicators from St. Paul area congregations to join them for a discussion on stress. We've had to change, adapt and learn so much during 2020 and all of that stress can impact our mental health. The Rev. Sarah Ciavarri, a certified coach, will share Biblical reflection as she provides information on what stress does to our brains, plus resiliency practices to help us cope. Register here.
Online Safety for Youth
Thursday, Jan. 14 - 7 p.m. | Online
Cherish All Children invites you to join Joy McElroy & Monica Jones in learning how you can keep youth safe online in your own homes and communities. As youth spend more time than ever online these days, predators have adjusted to reaching young people where they are - whether on social media apps, games, or school-issued devices.

We’ll discuss vulnerabilities in youth that make it easier for someone to take advantage of them, security features and safety planning, what if scenarios, and where to go to get help if needed. This event is for church leaders, parents, grandparents, community members, and youth! Register here for this free virtual event & to receive the Zoom link.
Other Event Reminders:
Bishop Patricia Lull
  • Jan. 17 - Pilgrim, St. Paul

The Rev. Justin Grimm
  • Jan. 10 - Gustavus Adolphus, St. Paul
  • Jan. 17 - Amazing Grace, Inver Grove Heights
The Saint Paul Area Synod, which includes 110 congregations and new mission starts,
is one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
www.spas-elca.org | 651.224.4313