January 11, 2021
Registration is Open!
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 these seven workshop offerings:
  • Presidents/Vice-Presidents Forum
  • How to Become an Effective Treasurer
  • Navigating Differences That Make a Difference - The IDI as Tool & Guide
  • Standing With Immigrants: From Resolution to Action
  • The Digital Opportunity: Evangelism in a Screen Dependent World
  • Evaluating Your Building for Ministry
  • Kairos Time, Chronos Time, COVID Time: Reimagining Sabbath-Keeping in This Unusual Season

Registration is Open!
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.
Local Mission Partnership Profile:
Lutheran Church of Peace
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.

Lutheran Church of Peace in Maplewood nearly closed its doors a few years back, but is now a redevelopment congregation of the synod. Pastor Liz Eide talks to the synod's Pastor Justin Grimm about how a new vision statement in the fall of 2019 positioned them for drastic changes necessitated by a global pandemic. Listening to where God is leading, creating small church communities, and partnering in the community have all led to a renewed sense of purpose. Here's their Zoom conversation:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Events
On Jan. 18, our country celebrates the life of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many ways to remember and honor Dr. King; here are a few events happening around our synod:

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 will provide a virtual worship service that is free for any congregation to use on Sunday, Jan. 17. Produced in partnership with several local African American clergy and leaders, this worship service features:
  • Sermon by Rev. Paul Slack, Social Justice Advocate with Lutheran Services of Minnesota
  •  Music by Alyssa Schwitzer and the Redeemer Lutheran Church (North Minneapolis) band
  • Original spoken word poetry by Joe Davis
  • Prayer, readings, and liturgy by Rev. Kelly Chatman, Rev. Babette Chatman, and more.
The worship service can be viewed by visiting the Church Anew website or downloaded and shared on congregational websites. It will be available on Jan. 12.

MLK Weekend Events at St. Andrew’s, Mahtomedi
Friday, Jan. 15-Saturday, Jan. 16
  • Friday, Jan.15 – 7 p.m. - Civil Conversations, Topic: Preaching into This Time, featuring Rev. Kenneth Wheeler, Rev. Michael Carlson and Rev. Jen Collins
  • Saturday, Jan. 16 - 9 a.m. - Class: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letters from Birmingham Jail., featuring Rev. Kenneth Wheeler
  • Saturday, Jan. 16 - 10:30 a.m. - Workshop: Reframing Our Stories (Part 1), with Pastor Jen Collins (family-focused, kids welcome)
  • Saturday, Jan. 16 - 12:30 p.m. - Workshop: Reframing Our Stories (Part 2), with Pastor Jen Collins (for adults)
  • Saturday, Jan. 16 - 2:30 p.m. - Music for the Times, featuring Christine Belfrey and Joe Davis (family-focused)
Dr. Kenneth Wheeler will be preaching during the congregation’s online MLK weekend worship services. Learn more and register.

Show Up: Dr. King’s Legacy and His Call to Us in Beloved Community at Luther Seminary
Monday, Jan. 18 - 11 a.m. | Online
A panel discussion from Luther Seminary. Learn more and register.

Show Up: MLK Day 2021
Monday, Jan. 18 – 12-1:30 p.m. | Online
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.
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 this Thursday 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! 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. 20. Questions? Contact Deacon Krista Lind at krista.lind@spas-elca.org. Register.
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.)
Conversations on Gun Violence Prevention
Every Wednesday at 11 a.m., the synod's ENGAGE work group hosts an online conversation around gun violence prevention. You may request the access code by emailing ronletnes@hotmail.com. Many resources are also available for your study and use at www.engageelca.org.
Applications Due This Week!
Young Adults in Global Mission
This Friday is the application deadline 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.
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. On Jan. 13, Amy Reumann from ELCA Advocacy will lead a discussion on Discipleship and Civic Engagement. 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
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.
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:
Bishop Patricia Lull
  • Jan. 17 - Pilgrim, St. Paul

The Rev. Justin Grimm
  • Jan. 17 - Amazing Grace, Inver Grove Heights

The Rev. Peter Harrits
  • Jan. 17 - Gustavus Adolphus, 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