February 8, 2021
Last Call for Registrations!
Conference Assemblies
Saturday, Feb. 13 | Online
Registrations are due by end-of-day tomorrow for Conference Assemblies this coming Saturday. Registrants will be sent the appropriate Zoom link and any submitted bios for election via email on Thursday. If you are registered and don't see an email by the end of Thursday, first check your spam/junk folders. If you still don't have it, then contact the synod office on Friday at 651-224-4313 or info@spas-elca.org.

Conferences will meet as follows:
  • 9:00 a.m. - the South Central, Southeast and South conferences
  • 11:00 a.m. - the North, North Central and East Central conferences

Registration is limited to rostered ministers, lay voters designated by their congregations, and advisors (retired pastors or deacons or rostered ministers on leave from call). Advance registration by Feb. 9 is required; no late registrations will be accepted. Learn more and register.
Local Mission Partnership Profile:
Christ the Servant
Thank you to all who continue to support the work of Local Mission here in the Saint Paul Area Synod. Our new starts and redevelopments are making beautiful connections in their communities as together we serve God.

What does it take to nurture a successful redevelopment congregation? Pastor Chris Steubing from Christ the Servant Lutheran Church recommends focusing on relationships and investing in people. In this conversation with Pastor Justin Grimm from the Saint Paul Area Synod, Chris highlights some of the beautiful connections that have helped the Vadnais Heights congregation become a rooted spiritual center for the neighborhood. Take a few minutes to listen in:
Synod Job Posting:
Assistant to the Bishop for Lay Leadership and Equity Initiatives
The Saint Paul Area Synod seeks applications for the position of Assistant to the Bishop for Lay Leadership and Equity Initiatives. Interested applicants need to submit a resume and a cover letter, detailing their interest, along with contact information for three references. Requirements for the position are included in the job description. Review of applications will begin on Feb. 15, 2021, and will continue until a person has been selected for this position. Application materials can be sent to Alicia Rodriguez at alicia.rodriguez@spas-elca.org.
Tool Kit for Congregational Leaders
Saturday, Feb. 27 - 9-11:45 a.m. | Online
Tool Kit for Congregational Leaders is a free event geared toward council and committee members, staff, volunteers or others who are interested in topics related to congregational life. Join us on Zoom!

Keynote by Dr. Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH
You've seen him as a respected pandemic expert on local, national and international news channels; we are honored to have Dr. Michael Osterholm join us for Tool Kit this year. Public health counsel has been vital to church leaders over the last year and it will continue to guide us in what it means to be community, how to serve and love our neighbors and work toward justice in our communities.

Dr. Osterholm is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota. In November, Dr. Osterholm was appointed to President-Elect Joe Biden's Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Tool Kit begins at 9 a.m. on Feb. 27 with Dr. Osterholm's keynote, followed by discussion and a reflection by the Bishop. At 10:15, we break into seven workshops related to various areas of congregational life. Learn more and register.
Annual Ministry Reports
It's time for rostered ministers to complete their Annual Ministry Reports for 2021! Visit www.spas-elca.org/resources/forms-reports/ to download the appropriate leader report form. Directions for saving and sending the form to Bishop Lull are found on the webpage as well. Please note that we are providing the link to the report forms only electronically this year. If you are a retiree who needs a paper copy, contact Michael Gold at michael.gold@spas-elca.org or 651-224-4313. Thank you!
Children's Ministry Gathering
Monday, Feb. 8 - 2:00 p.m. | Online
It's not too early to be thinking about Vacation Bible School. Let's support each other as we head into Summer 2021!

Join the Zoom meeting:
Meeting ID: 894 3906 8637
Passcode: 063350

These children's ministry gatherings are offered through a partnership of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Area Synods. Notes from previous gatherings may be found in the "files" section of the Twin Cities CYF ELCA Facebook group.
CYF Conversation on Summer
Ministry Planning
Thursday, Feb. 11 - 10-11:15 a.m. | Online
Summer programs can be some of the most impactful parts of children's and youth ministries. But planning ahead in a time of uncertainty requires flexibility, creativity and courage. Join this conversation about summer ministry planning, including thinking about how to approach the task with so many unknowns. Then join a breakout group to talk more in depth about a summer ministry of your choice (such as camp, VBS, or mission trips). Come with your questions and your creative ideas to share!

The conversation will be facilitated by Mark Jackson, director of Children, Youth & Family Ministry at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. He has served in CYF ministry for more than 25 years in a variety of congregational, college and synod leadership roles. His favorite summer programs are VBS and high school leadership retreats. Register to receive the Zoom link.
Stewardship for All Seasons
Just think of the lives your congregation could impact if your members grew their giving by 10%-15% next year! This is exactly the goal of Stewardship for All Seasons (SAS), a two-year, comprehensive process. SAS congregations embrace an impactful annual appeal and move into other vital realms of a culture of generosity: communications and story-telling, strategic planning, endowments, special appeals, volunteer recruitment and donor cultivation.

The Saint Paul Area Synod invites you to a virtual informational session to meet Pete Reuss, the SAS facilitator, and learn more about the process on Tuesday, March 9, at 6 p.m. The video below provides a quick two-minute preview by Pete. To receive the Zoom link for the informational meeting, contact the Rev. Justin Grimm at justin.grimm@elca.org. Congregations will sign up by April 15 with the first cohort session to be held in late April or early May.
Church Break-Ins
With many of our church buildings quieter than usual, we are learning that there have been some break-ins targeting cash. Please make sure you have a good plan for handling money on-site and keeping your facility secure. Local law enforcement can offer you advice. - Bishop Lull
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 Feb. 10, the topic is "The Responsibility of Privilege: A Critical Race Conversation for Allies and Accomplices." The presenter is Aja Martinez, author of Counterstory: The Writing and Rhetoric of Critical Race Theory, and an assistant professor of writing and rhetoric at the University of North Texas. 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
Cherish All Children Winter Walk
Throughout February | Your Time & Place
During the month of February, Cherish All Children is having a virtual Winter Walk! Kick off your commitment to protect children and youth by walking, running, skiing, sledding or some other active outdoor activity. Support CAC's vision of raising healthy generations free from sexual exploitation.
  • Receive a Cherish All Children beanie with your donation of $25 or greater
  • Help raise $5,000 while enjoying a solo, family, or community outdoor activity
  • Send in your pics, or post to social media using #CherishAllChildren5K (adding to our 2020 virtual 5K success!)

JRLC Faith Leader Summit
Tuesday, Feb. 9 - 9 a.m.-12 noon | Online
As we start a new legislative session, we look to the challenges facing our state: racial inequity, a pandemic, housing challenges and great division. Policy makers will be making difficult decisions
while facing limited resources. We know that safety net programs will be under close scrutiny. The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) is calling on faith leaders across Minnesota to be vocal advocates for vulnerable Minnesotans. At its second annual Faith Leaders Summit, you'll hear from policy experts and elected officials, discuss issues and develop action steps for the legislative session. Registration is free. Learn more or download a flyer.
Living Well, Leading Well:
Cultivating Wisdom
Thursday, Feb. 11 - 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Online
Every day brings a new flood of information. It’s difficult to take it all in, much less discern which bits are trustworthy, significant and true. Perhaps what’s missing is not information so much as wisdom. In this workshop, we’ll explore what the Bible’s wisdom tradition has to offer Christians as we face the peculiar challenges of life today. Join the Rev. Dr. Carol M. Bechtel, Professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., for this timely and interactive online event. The cost is $20. Register here.

This workshop is part of a series sponsored by Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center promoting wholeness, well-being and renewal in personal and professional lives. Each workshop is taught by specialists in the areas of counseling, biblical studies, peace-making and pastoral ministry. An additional workshop is planned for March 11 on "Pursuing Justice."
The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song
Tuesday, Feb. 16-Wednesday, Feb. 17 - 8 p.m. | TPT 2
February is Black History Month and Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is offering programming that celebrates the history, arts, cultures, lives and experiences of Black communities. One such program is an intimate four-hour series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., on the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, covering its broad history and culture and exploring African American faith communities on the frontlines of hope and change. It features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Bishop Michael Curry, Rev. William Barber II and BeBe Winans, among others. The documentary reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage. Learn more.

Panel Discussion & Preview:
Twin Cities TPT is also offering a panel discussion and preview on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. Local panelists will discuss the historic and present role of the Black church and its influence in our communities. Panelists include: Reverend Elijah McDavid, senior pastor at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in North Minneapolis; First Lady Andrea Thomas, youth director of Mount Olivet Baptist Church and executive director of Mount Olivet Lab School; Deseria Galloway, an anger management facilitator at Shiloh Temple International Ministries; and Shayla Harris, award-winning independent director and producer, and producer/director of The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song. Register here for this free online event.
Justice and the Common Good
Thursday, Feb. 18 - 1-2:30 p.m. | Online
During this pandemic, church leaders have been thrust into the midst of our nation’s unresolved efforts to address systemic racism and ensure equal justice for all. While the church should be a great place to cast a “common good” vision, in this season of extreme polarity engaging in honest conversation is often laced with tension. This webinar features a diverse panel of church leaders who will share their thoughts on this important topic and participate in a Q&A following their presentations. This webinar comes from Ignite the Church Conference, which is offering monthly webinars around a theme of "Adapting to a New Reality: Living Into a Fresh Vision for God's Church." Learn more.
Discerning a Call to Public Ministry
Tuesdays, March 9 & 16 - 7-8:30 p.m. | Online
ELCA Region 3, which includes the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota synods, is offering a free, two-part Zoom conversation to explore how God is calling you to do His work in the world.
  • Session One: Public Ministry in the ELCA - Learn about discernment resources and explore the call to public ministry as you hear call stories from pastors and deacons.
  • Session Two: So, How Do I Get There? Seminary and Other Things You Need to Know - Learn about the ELCA candidacy process and hear from seminary partners about programs that can equip you to follow God’s call in your life.

Attending both sessions is encouraged, but you are welcome to attend just one. The Zoom link will be
emailed to you after submitting the online registration. Questions? Contact Deacon Krista Anderson at krista.m.anderson@elca.org or 651-208-771. Click here to register.
Does Preaching Matter? More Than Ever
Tuesday, March 9 - 10:30 a.m. | Online
Augsburg University Campus Ministry invites you to join them via Zoom as Augsburg University welcomes the Rev. Dr. David Lose for the fourth annual Fosdick Lecture on Preaching. Pastor Lose is the senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, former president of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and author of the Making Sense series of books.

Amid a pandemic, economic and ecological crisis, painful reminder of racial justice, and a period of drastic political polarization, one may wonder whether or not the preaching of the church matters. Fair question. Yet at the same time, preaching the love, justice, and mercy of God has never mattered more. Preaching matters because it reminds us that the challenges of the day, while urgent, are neither the only nor ultimate realities with which we live. It matters because in the proclamation of the Gospel we are reminded of our primary identity as God’s beloved children. And it matters because a central component of the Gospel is the promise that the future is in God’s hands. The event begins at 10:30 with a welcome, lecture and Q&A. Chapel worship follows at 11:30 a.m. Click here for the Zoom link from Hoversten Chapel.
National Lutheran Choir Winter Virtual Program
Sunday, March 14 - 4 p.m. | Online
Join singers of the National Lutheran Choir and guest artists, the Keith Hampton Singers & Friends, in a virtual hymn festival. This free program blends songs, images, hymns and poetry around the theme, "Hope Lives." We will sing well-known hymns that highlight the joy of an ever-growing hope, and new hymns that speak to our time, inviting all people to sing in joy together “…as all the world in wonder echoes shalom.” Guest artists include the Keith Hampton Singers & Friends. Learn more.
Foundation of Faith Community Nursing Course
April 8-9. 20-21, 29-30 | Online
The Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities (FCNN) is an interfaith nonprofit organization serving faith community nurses across Minnesota. It is offering the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course again in spring 2021. This course is required for RNs who want to become faith community nurses (also known as “parish nurses”).

The spring course will be held via Zoom and include several self-learning modules, as well as updates that include FCN practice during COVID-19 and Trauma-Informed Care. Students will learn:
  • What makes Faith Community Nursing unique from other nursing specialties
  • How to blend your nursing knowledge and skills with the spiritual dimension of FCN practice; how to “intentionally care for the spirit” of your clients in your ministry
  • Practical steps for beginning your ministry including professionalism, communication, teamwork, legal and ethical issues
  • How to promote whole-person health in your FCN practice
  • How healing, health, prayer and spirituality are integral aspects of FCN
  • How to care for yourself as you care for others

The course provides 38 contact hours taught by a diverse faculty of advanced degreed nurses with experience in education and faith community nursing. All faiths are welcome. The registration deadline is March 26. Click here to learn more or contact the FCNNTC office at contact@fcnntc.org, 651-204-0904.
Other Event Reminders:
Bishop Patricia Lull
  • Feb. 21 - Gustavus Adolphus, St. Paul

Deacon Krista Lind
  • Feb. 14 - Luther Memorial, South St. Paul
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