January 25, 2021
Mental Health Mini-Grants
Don't forget that the Saint Paul Area Synod has received a grant from ELCA Disability Ministries to expand access to educational opportunities for our rostered ministers around mental health!

This grant creates a resource pool for mini-grants that centers on these learning goals:
  • Creating opportunities for rostered and lay leaders to learn together.
  • Learning to teach and share information.
  • Encouraging connections among congregations.

We invite rostered ministers to propose a mental health training opportunity within their own congregations for grant funding up to $500. You might have leaders attend a workshop, contract with an organization or professional to bring a workshop or series of Zoom conversations to your congregation, host a book study, etc. Learn more.
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:
Becoming an Effective Treasurer
If you've been named as your congregation's treasurer, you might be wondering just what you've gotten yourself into! Support is here through an overview of budgets, expenditures, cash flow, and balancing the books while keeping good stewardship of your congregation's financial resources in mind. Treasurers and financial administrators are encouraged to attend! Presenter David Laden is the comptroller at Como Park Lutheran in St. Paul, serves as synod council treasurer, and is a member of the synod's Finance Committee.
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.
Democracy and Faith Under Siege: Responding to Christian Nationalism
Wednesday, Jan 27 - 3:30 p.m. | Online
What does Christian nationalism look like in our world today? How can we use our faithful witness to uphold a more just and inclusive society? Join a timely conversation on these issues with ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton; The Most Rev. Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church; and Dr. Andrew Whitehead, Associate Professor of Sociology at Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis. The moderator is Amanda Tyler, executive director of BJC - Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Click here to register. To learn more about Christian nationalism, click here.
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.
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. 27, Welcome Strangers will be shown. The documentary tells the story of Sarah Jackson and thousands of volunteers who provide hospitality and assistance to legally released immigrants in Denver, Colo. 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
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.
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.
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:
Rev. Justin Grimm
  • Feb. 7 - Zion, Chisago City
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