January 18, 2021
The synod office is closed today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

If you're looking for a way to commemorate the legacy of Dr. King, consider these opportunities happening yet today:

Show Up: Dr. King’s Legacy and His Call to Us in Beloved Community at Luther Seminary - 11 a.m.
A panel discussion that explores how Luther is being called to “Show Up” and live into God’s beloved community together. There will be appearances from Joe Davis and artist-in-residence Jearlyn Steele (of the legendary Steele family) along with a panel featuring Professor Beverly Wallace, Don Samuels, Tracy Gibson and Michelle Edgerton. Each of them will speak from various roles at Luther as to how we confess the ways we have fallen short of this vision and how we celebrate the ways the Spirit has worked in our community to break down the walls that divide us. Learn more.

Show Up: MLK Day 2021 - 12:00 p.m.
This pre-recorded intergenerational “Ted Talk” style event features speakers on the theme of "Show Up." In the words of poet Joe Davis, “We are each called to this place. We each have the ability to be. If you don’t show up, how can we hear you?” The video will also include children’s book readings, and a virtual poem read by various people. The event will be a YouTube Premiere, which will be shared on https://fb.me/e/3ZwmwVu8d. The community service project will go to H-Cubed, an intentional, community-centered open mic and healing space where they share art, poetry, music, and conversation around issues impacting the Harrison Neighborhood in North Minneapolis.

Church Anew Virtual Worship Service
As we lean into a year with further determination to combat racism in all its forms after the death of George Floyd, Church Anew has a special virtual worship service produced in partnership with several local African American clergy and leaders. The service can be viewed by visiting the Church Anew website.
Registration ends on Wednesday!
An Afternoon of Discernment and Exploration of Call
Sunday, Jan. 24 - 1-4 p.m. | Online
Deacon Krista Lind from the Saint Paul Area Synod and Deacon Nina Joygaard from Faith, Forest Lake, invite you to join them for a time of personal discernment. This event is a faith-based exploration that may help you decide if you feel a call for something different in your life. There will be time for contemplation through storytelling, introspection and studying of Scripture. There's no cost to participate. The registration deadline is Jan. 20. Questions? Contact Deacon Krista Lind at krista.lind@spas-elca.org. Register.

Tool Kit for Congregational Leaders
Saturday, Feb. 27 - 9-11:45 a.m. | Online
Registration is now open for Tool Kit for Congregational Leaders, happening on Zoom Saturday, Feb. 27. This free event is geared toward council and committee members, staff, volunteers or others who are interested in topics related to congregational life.

We'll begin will a keynote by Dr. Michael Osterholm, who will assess where we're at with the pandemic and what the future might hold for churches. After his keynote, we'll break off into seven workshop offerings. Learn more and register.
Tool Kit Workshop Spotlight:
The Digital Opportunity: Evangelism in a Screen Dependent World
The times, they are a changing! We have seen that firsthand these past months as a global pandemic has made churches re-think not only how they connect with members, but also how they reach out and draw in others in their neighborhoods and communities. What a great opportunity to learn new skills! This workshop will explore best practices for evangelism and outreach using digital tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and website. Together we will examine creative ways to tell the story of what God is doing in your community and how to empower your members to be part of this work. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s time to share it. Social media and other tools provide an easy way for people to engage—we will explore ways to make this part of your congregation's culture.

The presenters are staff members of the Saint Paul Area Synod: the Rev. Justin Grimm, director for evangelical mission and assistant to the bishop for next generation ministries; and Mary Smith, director of communications.
Conference Assemblies
Saturday, Feb. 13 | Online
Conference Assemblies are an opportunity for the six geographical regions of our synod to gather and caucus, which may include electing representatives, considering resolutions and hearing about synod activities. This year, we'll gather on Zoom.

  • 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.
Churches and Copyrights
Last week, a diverse mix of pastors, musicians, communicators, video producers, office administrators and others gathered on Zoom to learn about churches and copyrights from Michael Moore from 1517 Media. Michael explained copyright laws related to printed bulletins, live performances and Internet streaming. He also demonstrated how to search for copyright details on Sundays and Seasons. Click below to view the recording of the Zoom call. We are fortunate to have such a helpful resource right here in our own community! Michael invites congregations to contact him directly with any copyright questions. His contact information can be found at the top of his session handout.
A Message from the Presiding Bishop:
Connected, Generous, Free to Serve
In her January/February column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the past year and looks toward 2021:

"It is our joyful duty to care for one another, particularly the most vulnerable. It is an act of faithfulness when we limit ourselves so that the pandemic is brought to heel. It is an act of love when we restrict our travel or wear a mask. As Martin Luther pointed out in The Freedom of a Christian, it is the freedom we have in Christ that makes us servants of all."

Read her full column in English or Spanish.
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.
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.
Portico Update
Health is on the way: If the holidays or the pandemic have you tipping the scales a little more these days, ELCA-Primary health plan members can utilize Omada, a free innovative digital program designed to help create modest changes that promote weight loss and help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Omada’s specialized care programs offer eligible members individualized support to stay on track and maintain healthy habits. Learn more about Omada on myPortico.

Getting started on your taxes early? The Richard R. Hammar Clergy Tax Guide and the Federal Reporting Guide for Churches are both available on myPortico at no cost to you.

Live Well, one small step at a time. The tiniest things can combine to make a significant difference. This year, Portico invites you to check out 2021 Live Well. We’ll guide you through activities that might seem simple, but can get you on the path to feeling stronger, balanced, and more resilient. Featured this month: 3 ingredients for a healthy breakfast, tracking how much you spend on food, and how to savor your meals mindfully.
Coffee with your Portico Regional Representative:  Need to check in on your ELCA Retirement Account? Want to use the ELCA-Primary Plan's terrific stress-management and mental health support benefits? Reach out to Deacon Terri Endres at 952-221-2000 or tendres@porticobenefits.org to schedule a time to meet.       
Free File Cabinet
The synod no longer has a use for a three-drawer file cabinet. Dimensions are 41” tall, 36” wide and 18” deep. Free to a new home—the only requirement is that you must be able to come to the synod office to pick it up.

If you’re interested, contact Office Manager Alicia Rodriguez at alicia.rodriguez@spas-elca.org.
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. 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
St. Anthony Park Candlelight Walking Peace Vigil
Wednesday, Jan. 20 - 7-7:30 p.m.
The St. Anthony Park community invites you to a Candlelight Walking Peace Vigil. Click here for the map. In an attempt to remain COVID safe, there is no start or end location. Instead, we ask that you choose any spot along the loop and proceed in a clockwise fashion. Please wear a mask and stay socially distant. Dress for the weather and bring your own candle. Como will remain open for those who wish to drive. This will be a time to walk in solidarity with our neighbors as we pray for peace in our community and nation. Volunteers are also needed! Learn more.
Addiction and Advocacy: The Role of the Church
Thursday, Jan. 21 - 11 a.m.-12 noon | Online
Our criminal justice system mostly treats those struggling with addiction as criminals. Treating those with substance abuse issue as criminals is morally wrong. As people of faith, we should respond with compassion and understanding to those who are sick and to pursue avenues of treatment rather than punishment. We should seek to heal, not to condemn. This webinar will show how churches can “break their silence” on drug use and addiction and why they have a moral imperative to do so. The webinar will be led by the Rev. Al Sharp, executive director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, which mobilizes clergy nationally to end the war on drugs. Click here to register for this free webinar.
Neighbors Together in a Divided Nation: An Inter-religious Conversation
Tuesday, Jan. 26 - 4-5 p.m. | Online
Interfaith at Augsburg invites you to join in reflecting upon how various religious and secular traditions call for our engagement in loving and serving the neighbor, working for healing, justice, peace and mercy, and the care of creation in a divided and often distrustful nation and world. Farhan Latif, President of the El-Hibri Foundation, will moderate a conversation with:
  • Imam Makram El-Amin, Masjid An-Nur in Minneapolis
  • Professor Lori Brandt Hale, chair of Augsburg University’s Department of Religion and Philosophy
  • Rabbi Rabbi Arielle LeKach-Rosenberg, Assistant Rabbi, Shir Tikvah Congregation in Minneapolis
Following the presentations we will hear from student respondents, and there will be time for questions Register here.
More Than a Single Story:
Healing the Pain of 2020
Wednesday, Jan. 27 - 6:30 p.m.
This series of programs strives to break down the stereotyping of people of color by celebrating their diverse voices and experiences. In this event, Black, Indigenous and People of Color traditional healers discuss the traumas of 2020 and the role traditional healing plays in communities of color – from the changing needs of clients due to COVID-19 to the murder of George Floyd. Speakers include: Ihotu Ali, a founding member of the Minnesota Healing Justice Network; Janice Bad Moccasin, traditionally and spiritually based healer from Dakota Lakota grassroots; Didi Koka, MD, poet and Medical Director of HCMC East Lake Clinic; Houa Lor, Hmong Shaman; Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands; and Sun Yung Shin, poet, biodynamic craniosacral therapist and Reiki practitioner. The free program was founded and curated by writer Carolyn Holbook. It is funded by Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality and Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Registration is required.
Addiction Team Ministry Training
Addiction issues of every kind are at an all-time high during the pandemic. Addiction takes many forms—not just substance abuse but unhealthy behaviors that hurt individuals and whole families. Our entire community is negatively impacted by this issue in a variety of ways.
The Center of Addiction and Faith is offering Addiction Team Ministry Training to help address this serious problem. As we come out of this pandemic, your congregation can be preparing to understand these issues and how they can be addressed in healthy and healing ways. The training is a six-month process that includes a congregational readiness assessment, leadership training, team recruitment, team training, and follow up coaching sessions. The process works as follows:
  • Leadership Training Workshops: Thursday, Feb. 4 and Tues., Feb. 9 - 6-9 p.m. on Zoom. At these first events the pastor and at least two hand-picked leaders learn how the ministry works, their roles in leadership, and the steps to follow to develop this ministry. Between the Leader Training and the Team Training in April, the pastors’ hand-picked leaders will lead the congregation through a readiness assessment. Those team leaders will also begin to recruit their team members.
  • Team Training Workshops: Five sessions on Thursday evenings, April 29-May 13 - 6-8:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Teams will experience intensive training with training materials included. Recruited team members will understand the ministry, develop a mission statement, lay out the vision for the ministry and develop the steps they intend to follow that fit with the readiness of their setting.  
These trainings are led by Faith Partners (www.faith-partners.org) which has been training congregations in addiction ministry for over 25 years. They provide a thoughtful four-step process to start an effective, sustainable ministry to address the needs of the whole congregation. Informed clergy supported by committed and trained congregational team members will offer help and hope through awareness, education, and recovery support.

There is room for up to 10 congregations to participate. The cost per congregation is $750 with $125 due at registration. For more information, contact Pastor Ed Treat at pastored@addictionandfaith.com. Click here to register.
Other Event Reminders:
Deacon Krista Lind
  • Jan. 24 - Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Roseville
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