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The people of the Metropolitan New York Synod will be calling a new bishop during the 2019 Synod Assembly, on May 16-May 18.

As part of this calling process, pastors who have the desired gifts for the office of the bishop were pre-identified by lay leaders, congregations and/or conferences from our synod. It's important to remember that this pre-identification process is not a nomination process. This is merely a process of sharing ideas and information that may be helpful in our discernment together.

In response to the major themes identified during our 2018 MNYS Town Hall Meetings, each pre-identified pastor was requested to complete the “Questions for the Prospective Bishop” form. The MNYS Town Hall Advisory Group created this form as part of the " Listening for Leadership " report. You can find this report, and more bishop's election resources, here.

This information and the responses from the pre-identified pastors will be removed before Plenary Session I of our Synod Assembly. At the Assembly, any pastor of the ELCA is eligible for consideration.

We are thankful for the pre-identified pastors and their willingness to follow this process.

May the Holy Spirit lead and guide us, that we may enter into the Bishop’s election process with an appropriate spirit, seeking greater unity in our life together, and discerning God’s will for such a time as this.
Bishop's Election Lenten Devotionals
Electing a bishop is one of the most important responsibilities in the life of a synod. Although a voting process is used to elect a bishop,  it is first and foremost a call process .

We invite you to use these  Lenten Devotionals  created by members of our  Synod Council,  to seek the  guidance of the Holy Spirit, through prayer or thoughtful discussion .

Dear Christian Education Teacher:
We are inviting the little ones from our congregations to share their talents with us! During our 2019 Synod Assembly, we will curate an art exhibition related to our theme, " Care for Creation," and we would love to feature art from our kids. 

If you can coordinate a " Care for Creation" art class as part of your lessons and would like to share the final artworks during our assembly, please send them to the synod office by May 1. To learn more about the specs of the art pieces, please click here
What Does a Bishop Do?
St. Paul’s German Church, Manhattan
April 10, 2019 | 6:30 pm

What are a bishop’s constitutional and institutional responsibilities? How have synods worked effectively to solve problems? How can laity, congregations, synod staffs, and bishops work together constructively to resolve differences and solve problems?
The MNYS Manhattan Conference is hosting a worship and panel discussion with former Bishop Claire Burkat and members of other synod staffs, to talk about these issues. Join us for dinner, prayer, and discussion.
Clergy Housing Allowance Ruled 'Constitutional' by Federal Appeals Court
The Freedom From Religion Foundation argued successfully, in a Wisconsin district court, that the long-standing exemption for religious housing in the IRS tax code violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause. But a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court decision on March 15. Read more, here
Image : Altar in Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan
From the Anti-Racism Committee
" The recent call to revoke birthright citizenship in the United States distresses me profoundly.  As a family physician practicing in the Bronx, I have encountered many immigrant families where a parent or the parents are undocumented, though their children are citizens. These kids are as American as any child born in this country, no matter whether their parents are citizens or not."

From a Deacon 's Desk
"The reality is that LGBTQIA+ advocacy is not a secular calling, but for far too long, it’s been treated as one. LGBTQIA+ advocacy is a call for all people, including all Christians. Historically, the Christian church has been on the side of LGBTQIA+ oppression. Over the past several years, the Christian church and the ELCA have undergone a major shift, from a place of punitive rejection to tolerance, acceptance, and even into advocacy."— An article by Deacon Ross Murray.
Congregational Capital Improvement Challenge Grant
For 2019 Congregational Capital Improvement Challenge Grant consideration all annual reports are to be submitted by Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

Three annual reports are due each year from Congregations/Ministers:
  • 2019 Mission Support Commitment. Click here for the form. Email completed report to annualreports@mnys.org.
  • Congregational Report for the Year Ending December 31, 2018 – Form A & C (Parochial Report). This report is completed online; click here for the ELCA website link.
  • Report for Minister of Word and Sacrament. Click here for the ELCA website link. Email completed report to annualreports@mnys.org.

If you want to confirm that reports have been submitted please email annualreports@mnys.org. Include your congregation’s name and city and the Pastor(s) name.

The 2019 Congregational Capital Improvement Challenge Grant Application will be available Monday, April 1.
The application deadline is Monday, June 3, 2019, 5:00 pm.
The  MNYS Weekly Newsletter could be an excellent tool for your congregation to help create awareness about its events.

To list an event, please send us an email with the event's information, digital ads or link (if any), and a 50-word description (for publication).

We Are Church Together!
Sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church of Manhattan.
Marriott Marquis Manhattan Ballroom 
Saturday, April 6
6:00 pm

The Imperial Court of New York will celebrate 32 years of service to the LGBTQ community with this 33rd annual gala event studded with royalty, pageantry and dazzling entertainment. This year's annual coronation ball benefits Trinity Place Shelter. To find more information, click here.
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Port Jervis
Saturday, April 6
7:00 pm

You are invited to the performance of The Laramie Project, a dramatized reading brought to you by St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Port Jervis and Triversity, a center for gender and sexual diversity. The proceeds will benefit Port Jervis Outdoor Club and Reconciling in Christ. For tickets, email here. For more information, click here.
Christ Lutheran Church, Woodcliff Lake, NJ
Sunday, April 7
2:00 pm

Pastors, Koinonia representatives and other interested persons of member congregations from NJ and NY State (Westchester area) are invited to learn about what has happened at Koinonia during the last year, and the plans and vision for Koinonia’s future. RSVP: For more information, call Christ Lutheran Church's office or email Kim Kearns 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Plainview
Wednesday, April 17

Please come and "walk together in unity” as we journey through the Stations of the Cross on the "Shepherd's Walk,” which encompasses 18 miles of walking, stopping every 1.2 miles for meditation. This is an opportunity to step closer to feel the suffering of Jesus. Walk with Christ, Walk for Christ. For more information, click here.
Campus of Princeton Theological Seminary
April 23 - 26

Join other youth leaders, directors, and pastors for a 4-day youth ministry conference, to reinforce the faith of those who believe that lives and communities can be transformed when theological reflection meets practical application. For more information, click   here.
Seafarers International House, Manhattan
Thursday, April 25, 6:00 PM - 10:00 pm

An invitation to join the major fundraiser that supports the Port Mission that serves about 27,000 seafarers each year. Cocktail reception, dinner, entertainment, silent auction, and dessert. To purchase your tickets click here. Donations are welcome.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Bellerose
Friday, May 3 - Saturday, May 4
8:00 pm - 11:00 am

This event begins with an overnight "lock-in" full of fun and activities for the youth. A $10 registration fee covers costs of food and supplies for the event; scholarships are available. For more information, click here.
Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church, Albany
Wednesday, May 29
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

All are invited to attend the NY State Council of Churches Fourth Annual Awards and Fundraising Dinner. A reception with a cash bar, dinner and awards presentations. This year, The Reverend Aaron Baughman, Pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Port Jervis, will receive The Excellence in Ecumenicism Award. To purchase tickets, click here.
For those of you who are on the ELCA Primary Health Plan and have not started earning your wellness dollars, you can start today and join the 29% of eligible plan members and 19% of eligible spouses who have already begun using the 2019 Live Well Tool. Get started! To learn more about Portico’s Customer Care Center—A Certified “Center of Excellence,” click here.
Bay Lake Camp, Minnesota
July 28 - August 2

Organized by the Naming Project, this is a faith-filled camp for LGBTQIA+ teens who want to explore faith, identity, and community. The camp will welcome teenagers 14-18 years old, of any sexual orientation or gender identity, interested in understanding their own spiritual journey while canoeing, swimming, hiking, singing, and doing arts and crafts. For more information, click here.
PARSONAGE AVAILABLE: Nassau County—more information here
TEACHER FOR TANZANIA: Metropolitan New York Synod—more information here

––––– CALENDAR –––––
TODAY, APRIL 1: FMC Meeting—more information here
APRIL 8: Worship Committee Meeting—more information here
APRIL 9 : Strategic Plan Working Group—more information here

Our work toward shaping a more inclusive church that welcomes and affirms all of God's people, specifically our  LGBTQIA+  brothers, sisters, and siblings 
• The asylum seekers who are waiting to be processed at our southern border
 Refugees and immigrants, and those who come to their aid
 Those affected by violence in their schools, workplaces, and homes 
 The unity of this church and its mission
 Peace in our world
 Peace in our nation
 The care of God's Creation 
 ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission, Christina Geistfeld and Jessica Hill, serving in Hungary and Serbia
ELCA missionaries Erica Bryer and Jordan Collins-Brown, ESL teachers serving in Japan
MNYS missionary Melanie Nelson, and her husband David Kingery, serving in Bukoba, Tanzania
  Bishop Dr. William O. Gafkjen, the staff, and the people of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod