February 8, 2023
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Lifelong Faith Formation Online
February-April 2023

Learn more about the vision and practices of lifelong faith formation, and how to create a plan for lifelong faith formation in your church. You will receive a weekly article via email, beginning the week of February 6, to guide you in learning more about lifelong faith formation. Each week there will be a short activity to help you apply the vision and practices to your church. In addition, there will be videos and resources online to assist you. 

Martin Luther on the Holy Spirit and the Christian Life

February 26th – March 22nd, 2023

Each Sunday live at 6:00 p.m. CST and Wednesday via a facilitated recording at 7:00 p.m. CST

For four weeks, participants will explore the roots of their faith through a discussion led by esteemed Luther scholar and LSTC faculty member Dr. Candace Kohli.

You will come away from this experience with a fuller understanding of Martin Luther and the confidence that your ideas and spiritual practices, like Luther's, can change the world.

Registration Now Open for Texas Interfaith Advocacy Days

Texas Interfaith Advocacy Days is your opportunity to sharpen your advocacy skills; get updates on hot policy issues; and network with Texans of faith and conscience from around the state. 

Whether you are a policy newbie or an old Capitol hand, there will be information and skills you can use, with engaging speakers and interactive sessions.

Talks at the Desk

African Descent Ministries of the ELCA is celebrating Black History Month with season two of Talks at the Desk, a video series that explores diverse expressions of the church. A new video will premiere each Wednesday in February at 7:30 pm Central time. Watch them live on YouTube or download them here. Join us to hear youth, young adults, rostered leaders, elders and friends of our communities share their own sacred stories.

For more updates, follow @ELCAADM on Twitter and Instagram or check out facebook.com/elcaadm.
A Study Curriculum on Civic Life and Faith

How are we as Lutheran Christians called to civic engagement, including in the arenas of government and political life? What is the proper relationship of the church with government, and what is not? What does religious liberty actually include? What are our scriptural and confessional resources for probing such questions about civic life?

We invite you and your congregation to explore these questions and more by using "A Study Curriculum on Civic Life and Faith."

This study curriculum has just been released by the ELCA Task Force for Studies on Civic Life and Faith. It includes six sessions and is a critical step on the way to the social statement called for by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

Urban Servant Corps

Are you a young adult dedicated to social justice and a simpler way of life? Are you someone who hopes to explore or deepen your faith? Are you seeking experience in the non-profit/ministry field? Consider joining the Urban Servant Corps community in Denver, CO.

At USC, we believe that service is transformational -- it creates the opportunity for shared humanity and to faithfully respond to one another's needs. We also believe that in community, we are able to live more faithful, simple lives that are in service to one another.

Our full-time volunteers live in an intentional community house in downtown Denver with others who are committed to social justice, racial justice, and accompanying vulnerable populations. Food, housing, health insurance, a monthly stipend and an annual "growth and development" allotment are provided. Additionally, Spiritual Direction, alumni mentorship, and professional development opportunities are offered as part of this experience.

For more information, visit www.urbanservantcorps.org
Lent in a Box

This Lenten resource is everything you need to guide your community through a meaningful Lenten season.

Participants in either an in-person or online equipping event receive all the materials they will need for two different series for Lent.

ELCA Disability Ministry Now Accepting Grant Applications

The process for accepting ELCA Disability Ministry grant applications is now open! The application process closes on February 15, 2023.

Applications are open to congregations, synods or other ELCA organizations. 

We will accept for consideration the first 30 grant applications we receive through the application process in GrantMaker. Once that number is met, correspondence will be sent out
through our newsletter and blog. Please note that this may happen before the February 15 deadline. Of those 30 received, our review team will approve up to five grants of up to $10,000 for projects.

Social Media for Ministry 202: Discoverable Algorithms & Vertical Video

Thursday, February 9
7-8:15 pm EST - Zoom

Taught by Pastor Colleen Montgomery 

Being a friend, follower, or subscriber to someone on social media is no longer the only way to connect. All major social media platforms are building in discoverable algorithms to connect people with new creators based on their interests and interactions. Understanding how this new type of algorithm works and being able to create content for it (vertical video) is a huge opportunity for evangelism for churches of all sizes. 

In this class you’ll learn what makes discoverable algorithms different from their predecessors and the basics of how to brainstorm, film, and edit vertical video. Edited recordings of the class will be shared with the registration list. 

Contact Pastor Colleen with questions at [email protected].

Church Council Orientation
Congratulations! You have been elected to your Congregation Church Council! Let us help orientate you with information to make you a better leader.

Please register for one of the three trainings (Feb. 16 @ 7PM; Feb. 18 @ 10AM; OR Feb. 19 @ 4PM).

When you have completed your registration and before hitting the submit button, make sure you check the box that says "send me a copy of my responses" so that you receive the Zoom link for each of the trainings. One zoom link for all training. We will send out a reminder closer to each training date.

For more information, contact Deacon Darcy 830-379-9900 ext. 15. 

To help the Office of the Bishop communicate with Congregation Council Leaders, it is important to update your leadership information here
Southwestern Texas Synod
High School Youth Gathering

"Love to Serve. Serve to Love."
Camp Chrysalis
February 17-19, 2023
SWTS Youth in Grades 9-12 — Group Registration Only

God calls us to serve others! 
Join us to explore why service is so important, and how being part of something bigger than yourself can strengthen your faith. 

The Gathering experience is all about interactive, faith-filled learning with other synod youth plus camp fun.

Early Bird Cost: $120 All youth and adults staying in an adult cabin
$60 Adults staying with their youth
Cost increases by $10 after February 3rd.

Registration ends on February 10th.

Cross Trails Ministry Summer Camps 2023: Register Now!

Overnight programs are available for youth who have completed grades 1-11 and families. Individual, Family Camp, and Grandparent Camp registration is now open!

Spots are filling up fast, so sign up soon. Campership financial aid is available!

Campers are eligible for an Early Payment Discount if you pay in full, set up a payment plan, or receive a campership by March 31st, 2023.

Visit our website for the availability schedule and more information.
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