New England Synod
NES News 

May 1, 2013 

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Synod Assembly 2013
Now online at
News & Notes
Employment Opportunities
Upcoming Events

Seducers, Thinkers and Believers: Celebrating Kierkegaard's
200th birthday

May 24-26

St Ansgar Lutheran Church, Portland, Maine


What can Soren Kierkegaard teach us today? How to be a seductive poet, experience a rich life full of paradox, and challenge all of our values and beliefs. Come celebrate the life and thought of the "Father of Existentialism."


The event begins with the showing on Friday at 7 p.m. of Ingmar Bergman's film, "The Seventh Seal," the film most influenced by Kierkegaard's philosophy (with free popcorn). Saturday begins with a 10:30 coffee and welcome time and the featured presentation at 11 a.m. by Dr. Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth, chairwoman of the philosophy department at Mt. Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisc. Her talk, "Seducer/Philosopher/Believer" will assert that Kierkegaard was all three, and that philosophically, "he leads the poet, the philosopher and the believer to the recognition that fixed categories and essential goods must be exchanged for fluid relationships and existential loves."


A free lunch follows with a panel response after that. The panel will include parish pastor, The Rev. Dr. William Barter; Boston College Theology graduate student Benjamin Durheim and University of Southern Maine philosophy professor Dr. Jeremiah Conway.


On Sunday morning, Dr. Hockenbery Dragseth will preach at the morning Eucharist. She is an Augustine scholar and known in Milwaukee area Lutheran churches for talks on Kierkegaard for lay people and non-scholars. In the mid 1990's while studying at Boston University, she was vicar for Christian education at University Lutheran in Cambridge while her husband, David Dragseth, was a Harvard Divinity School intern. Ben Durheim, who is studying for his doctorate at BU, is a member of Christ Church Natick.


For information and reservations (suggested, but not required), contact Pr. William Barter at, or call 207-774-8740. Click here for a flyer including the full schedule of events.


St. Ansgar Church is located at 515 Woodford St., at the corner of Woodford St. and Brighton Ave. Click here for a map.

Faith Alive

Saturday, May 4 

Trinity Lutheran Church

73 Lancaster St., Worcester, MA


Looking for a way to connect your faith and everyday life? Want to make decisions that reflect your faith? Then this day-long event is for you!  You will leave this workshop with tools that you can easily apply to your relationships, actions, decisions, priorities and you will feel confident that you can indeed interweave your Christian faith and daily life.


The presenters are Bishop James Hazelwood and John Roberto. Bishop Hazelwood will use historical analysis and a look at the present-day church to examine questions about the future of the church, and how it can better meet the changing world around it. Bishop Hazelwood, who has visited 100 of the 185 congregations in New England since being elected last June, will talk about his findings from those visits. Roberto, a presenter for Vibrant Ministries, will lead workshops designed to help people weave their faith in with their daily lives.


The event runs from 8:30 a.m. until 3:15 p.m., with a 45-minute lunch scheduled for noon. There will be time for morning prayer and hymns as part of the presentation.

For more information, click here, and to sign up for the event, click here.


***Also coming up on the horizon is another Doing What Matters event, set for May 18 (rescheduled from Feb. 9) at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Rutland, VT. For more information, click here.***

Blessing of the Bicycles

Sunday, May 5

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

345 Main St., Sturbridge, MA


Bethlehem Lutheran Church will be blessing bicycles (and other fitness equipment!) on May 5 at 1 p.m. This is a community event to celebrate a new season of sun, safety and using our bodies to propel around our community and beyond. 


Come, be blessed to be fit to serve! Location: 345 Main St. Sturbridge. Follow the park and ride signs to find us. Contact Pastor Kirsten Nelson Roenfeldt for additional information:

2013 Synod Assembly
2013 Assembly Logo

June 7-9, 2013

Mass Mutual Center, Springfield, Mass.

Registration is now open for the 2013 New England Synod Assembly. You can register by clicking here to go to the event page on the Synod website, and scrolling down to the "How to Register" section.


Be sure to take a look at the workshops and their descriptions BEFORE you go to register, as you'll be asked to select which workshops you'd like to attend during the registration process. Visitors may also attend workshops.


New this year, the Synod invites you to pay for your assembly registration in advance, using our Google Checkout credit card system. The registration fee increases after June 5Limited financial aid is available for attendees. The deadline to apply is May 20. Contact Pastor Alice Kerr Laird for more information.


May 20 is also the deadline for registration cancellations with refund.

Synod Council Nominations
The following Synod Council Positions will be filled at this year's Synod Assembly. They begin Sept. 1, 2013. 


Elections will be held for four Synod Council positions. Terms begin Sept. 1, 2013:

1. Lay Female, Person of color/primary language other than English, one-year term.

2. Lay Female, Young Adult (give the ages, 19-30), one-year term.

3. Lay Female from Massachusetts, three-year term.

4. Lay Female at Large, three-year term. 

The Synod Council is the legislative body that acts for the Synod between Assemblies. The Council meets four or five times yearly (usually all day on Saturdays with at least one Friday/Saturday over-night meeting) and Council members also serve on various task forces and sub-committees as necessary. The responsibilities of a Council member are spelled out in the New England Synod Constitution and Bylaws Chapter 10.

The Constitution can be viewed and downloaded here.  


Please consider who you might nominate and use the forms below. To nominate, fill the form out and email it to

Nomination Form in English

Nomination Form in Spanish


Call for Volunteers

Are you interested in volunteering at this year's assembly? Volunteers are needed for many tasks. If you think you can help, email Rev. Alice Kerr Laird at, or call her at 508-791-1530, ext. 104.

Need help holding worship during Assembly?

Bishop Hazelwood, along with the Synod Worship Team, is in the process of drafting worship suggestions, options and guidelines for Sunday, June 9, when most of our congregations will have pastors and representatives at Synod Assembly. These will be ready next week, and will appear on the Synod Assembly website, as well as in Wednesday's weekly newsletter.
Now online at 
Mission Developers attend Exponential 
Pastor Jane Shields, Director of Mission, Bishop James Hazelwood and nine of our new Mission Developers traveled to Florida this past week to attend the Exponential Church Planters Conference - four days of learning new tools for starting new churches and ministries. The workshops included an emphasis on discipleship. 
Around The Synod
LSS Operations Director goes to D.C.

Lutheran Social Services Director of Operations Jozefina Lantz (left) joined a group of advocates for the Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit, held April 15-16 in Washington, D.C., and hosted by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). 

"Coming to Capitol Hill with other faith and community leaders today is my way of giving back to the refugees who have enriched my life, family and community." said Lantz, who made the Hill visits as part of a national leadership team organized by the 2013 Lutheran Immigration Leadership Summit. "As an active member of my community, and a staff member at LSS-NE, I have seen refugees from over 50 countries pass through our doors, local congregations, and my neighbors' homes, and I've learned that America's leadership on refugee protection not only saves lives, but adds meaning and richness to the community life of Worcester."


Lantz was among 40 Lutheran leaders who attended the summit, which provided an opportunity to engage with lawmakers to advocate for immigration reform. For more on LIRS, click here.

News & Notes
Hammonasset Logo
Hammonasset 2013
September 6th - 8th
Registration is now open! 

Employment Opportunities

Director of Music Ministry - First, West Barnstable, MA


First Lutheran Church West Barnstable (Cape Cod) is prayerfully seeking a creative, energetic and capable director of music ministry, a part-time position.


The successful candidate will be a person of faith who possesses strong keyboard skills (organ and piano), experience in conducting adult & children's choirs and is open to developing new music ministries that engage our congregation.


Full job description available on the congregation's web site,