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SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA SYNOD | ELCA
Resources for effective church leaders
+ October 5, 2022
In God's Image: Shaping Your Ministry
Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s Annual Event, In God’s Image: Shaping Your Ministry to be Inclusive and Safe for LGBTQIA+ Folk, will be held on Saturday, October 8, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at St. Luke Lutheran Church, Devon.

Jamie Bruesehoff will be the keynote speaker. Workshops will be held on worship, mental health, churchwide assembly actions, healthcare, the RIC process, and more!

Follow us on Facebook for updates and resources year round!
Celebrate Rostered Ministers During October
Did you know that October is Rostered Ministers’ Appreciation Month? Take time out during October to thank your pastors and deacons for all the ministry they do. Stay tuned for some ideas of ways to show your appreciation. Here’s one idea:
Tip: A Financial Gift

Give your leader a gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee/tea shop, or to support their efforts at self-care. There are lots of possibilities.

Some congregations have the tradition of presenting pastors and deacons with a financial gift of appreciation. If that’s your tradition, or one you’d like to start, ask members to make an extra contribution for your leader’s gift.
Pray, Give for Hurricane Response
While the first months of the hurricane season were relatively quiet, September brought damaging storms including hurricanes Fiona and Ian. Hurricane Fiona inundated Puerto Rico with rain, reminding people of the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Sept. 28 with near Category 5-strength winds, dumping record amounts of rain and causing catastrophic, life-threatening flooding.

Gifts to “Hurricane Response" will be used in full (100%) to assist those affected by hurricanes until the response is complete.
We pray for those who are recovering from these storms.
October COVID Update
Last week, Dr. Tim Babinchak joined us to offer perspectives on the health concerns affecting our communities. Some highlights:
  • While hospitalizations are high but declining, the number of deaths each day in the U.S. holds steady at around 400.
  • Vaccinations and the new bi-valent boosters are important to reducing the impact of COVID on society.
  • The most important mitigation is: “If you don’t feel good, stay home” from worship and church activities, work or school, and other public events.
  • The overlapping effects of other mitigations, such as increasing ventilation of indoor spaces, maintaining distance between people, washing hands, and wearing N95/KN94 masks are also key to keeping our congregations safe.
Feel free to share this article and video with your congregation.
Tuesday, October 25, Noon-1:30 p.m. Eastern -- For most congregations, attracting new people was a challenge even before the pandemic. Now, churches must focus not only on the continuing need to reach new people but also on reconnecting with the sizable percentage of those who attended regularly before COVID-19 but have not yet returned to the pews. Join Rev. Dr. F. Douglas Powe Jr., Rev. Dr. Lovett H. Weems Jr., and Rev. Dr. Jessica Anschutz for this timely and important webinar to learn ways to improve your congregation’s in-person and online worship attendance.

Bear Creek Youth Retreat
November 12-13
Parents, Youth Leaders, and Pastors – it’s time to gather our youth for some time away! 

Our annual junior youth gathering (JYG) took some time off during COVID-19 shutdowns. As a result, we have adapted JYG to be a one day retreat this year. A great addition to any Youth or Confirmation curriculum, this retreat invites middle schoolers to explore their faith, meet new friends, and dive into key catechetical topics in engaging, interactive ways. 

This year’s theme will be “I Believe”. We will journey together, exploring the Apostles Creed and specifically what it means to talk about faith in our 21st century contemporary context. All youth in Grades 6-9 are invited to attend this retreat with their adult leaders as we pray, play, and get to know each other – all while diving into this important and critical question. 
When: Saturday, Nov. 12, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cost: $45 per person

Option: Extend your retreat overnight until Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Additional $30 per person. Limited space available

Watch for registration info.
Tuscarora Youth Retreat
March 24-26
Save the dates! The 2023 Tuscarora Lutheran Youth Retreat will be held Friday, March 24 - Sunday, March 26, 2023 at the Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center, Mt. Bethel, PA. The theme is Justice, Mercy, Love. Registration opens in December.

Learn more at the retreat website: https://tuscaroralutheranretreat.weebly.com/
Ordinations and Installations
The Rev. Christian McMullan will be installed as Senior Pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Chester Springs, PA on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 7:00pm. Bishop Davenport will be doing the installing. The church is located at 2440 Conestoga Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425.

The Rev. Kayla Sadowy will be installed as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Broomall, on Sunday, October 16 at 2 p.m. The church is located at 2191 West Chester Pike, Broomall, PA 19008. gracebroomall.org. For information call the church at 610.356.1824.
Rostered Ministers Equipping Event
We are excited to announce the Rostered Minister Equipping Event for 2022! Join SEPA Synod Rostered Ministers for a “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” convocation, intended to help you reimagine, renew, and rejoice. This event features a keynote speech by our own Bishop, alongside opportunities to engage with online and in-person workshops presented by Lena Glickman, Brandi Miller, and Dale Selover, across topics of spiritual direction, self-care, storytelling, and more. Opportunities for fellowship, worship, good food, prayer, time with the Bishop, hiking and nature walks, knitting, meditation, and more will also be available. Whether you’d rather spend more time in workshops or with colleagues, you can build your own experience from the offerings presented. Come and see!
November 14-16
United Lutheran Seminary, Philadelphia Campus

Thank You for Your Mission Support!
We are grateful for your support of ministries here in Southeastern Pennsylvania, across the country, and around the globe through Mission Support.

In a new video, the Rev. Karen Sease, assistant to the bishop, shares five things that you need to know about how these gifts are used.

World Food Day Celebration with Rick Steves

Join ELCA World Hunger for a celebration of World Food Day, hosted by Rick Steves and special guest Mark Jansen, CEO of Blue Diamond Almonds. This special event will be streamed online so you can celebrate with ELCA World Hunger wherever you are! The recording will be available on Facebook and YouTube after the event is over

When: Sunday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m. Central time
Questions? Contact hunger@elca.org
Sharing Your Faith Authentically On Facebook
Liking, commenting, and sharing on Facebook is a means of evangelism and outreach. In this training session learn why you may want to share your faith online and how to do it authentically! This training is for lay people of all ages (and rostered ministers) to empower you to share your faith with your Facebook feed.

Hark! The Herald Facebookers Sing! Is offered by the Southeastern Synod, ELCA, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Register here for this free training.
Navigating Difficult Conversations

Monday, October 24, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
$35, with sliding scale
Group rates available by request.

Interfaith Philadelphia’s experiences and history in interfaith engagement offer guidance, practices, and wisdom which can be applied to a wide range of dialogue-based encounters. We have the potential to correct misunderstandings and to heal divisions and conflicts that characterize far too many of our interactions and relationships and damage our shared democracy.

In this training, participants will hone their skills for participating in—and facilitating—interactions and discussions intended to deepen our understanding of one another, especially ‘when things get tough.’ Participants will practice listening deeply and staying present through difficult conversations.
To ground ourselves in the conversations we wish to have, we pause for self-reflection. The more we are aware of our own opinions, triggers, and blind spots, the stronger our ability to enter into conversation with integrity and objectivity.
Questions? Contact Asheq Fazlullah:
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The Rev. Bob Fisher, assistant to the bishop for mission interpretation/communications
rfisher@sepa.org / 267.323.3743

Ms. Cynta Outterbridge, communications assistant
ministrylink@sepa.org / 267.323.3742