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SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA SYNOD | ELCA
Resources for effective church leaders
+ October 12, 2022
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 on Saturday, Nov. 12. 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

Lutherans in the News
New Incentives Help Congregations Go Solar
About 50 people gathered at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ardmore for a not-so-typical blessing that they hope will become more commonplace. The group was there Sunday for the blessing and dedication of new solar panels estimated to save them about $74,000 over 30 years.

Green projects such as solar panel installation, however, can come with significant price tags. Installing St. Paul’s panels on three small residential properties at its cemetery cost about $70,000. The bill was paid through a church endowment, a reserve not every house of worship has.

Until now, churches like Temple Lutheran in Havertown had to take on complicated financing methods to get federal assistance with solar projects. But provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, lauded for the more than $360 billion set aside to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, allow nonprofits to get a direct payment for 30% of eligible costs during tax season for these solar installations. The incentive could make it financially easier for the small but growing number of churches interested in going solar to reduce their carbon footprint. – Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 5, 2022.

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: Stage A ‘Text Shower’

Pick a time during the month and ask people in the congregation to all text a message of thanks or support at the same day and time. Ask people to offer specific examples of things they are grateful for. And, of course, keep the day and time a secret from your pastor or deacon!
Save the date:
Trauma-Informed Worship Webinar
The more we learn about the afterlife of trauma, the more we understand just how pervasive and destructive it really is. Church, as you probably know by now, is rarely an exception to that reality. People in your faith community are hurting and trying to heal. For many, worship is a scary experience ― one that may range from uncomfortable to totally unnerving. 

Luther Seminary’s Faith+Lead Academy is offering a two-hour online workshop called Trauma-Informed Worship on Saturday, October 22, 10 a.m. to noon CST.  Ensure your worship practice and environment support the safety and healing of those impacted by traumatic experiences.

Be Cautious With Suspicious Emails!

This is your occasional reminder that if an email looks "funny" it most certainly is. It is not unusual for spammers to make emails look like they were sent by leaders, such as our Bishop. It is in fact quite easy for someone to make their sender name your boss, your pastor, or even your name.

Always check the email address (name @ some_domain . com) rather than the name of the sender. We recently learned of an email asking for funds that purported to be from someone on our staff. However, the sending email address was a random number at "virginmedia.com". This is clear indication of a scam attempt.

Synod staff will contact you from their SEPA.org email address for business purposes. We will not ask you for funds or reimbursements (except for reminders to pay for events you have registered for). You can delete such emails without letting us know. Do NOT click on any links or open any attachments in suspicious emails.

If you receive what looks like a suspicious email from one of our SEPA.org addresses, please call the sender to make sure the message is legitimate. You can also forward such an email to comms@sepa.org so we can investigate.
Help LAMPa Set 2023-24 Priorities

Americans head to the polls Nov. 8, but we're asking you to make your voice heard now. Regardless of the elections outcome, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania will accompany you and our PA Lutheran ministries as we strive for justice and peace. Please take a moment to help us discern how God is calling us to act as church together in Pennsylvania.
 
Lutheran Day at the Capitol April 27, 2025
Mark your calendar and plan to join Lutherans from around the state for a day of worship, learning and advocacy on April 27, 2023. Plan to stay for a dinner celebration of advocates at the Harrisburg Hilton. Tell your friends and watch here for more information and registration.

More highlights from LAMPa
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.

Open Call for St. Peter’s Boar’s Head Festival

You can help St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lafayette Hill celebrate the Epiphany of Our Lord as a cast, choir, or crew member of the Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival – celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023.

This uplifting musical celebration on Saturday, January 7, depicts 2 stories: the journey the wise men took to greet our newborn Savior, and the medieval celebration of the slaying of the wild boar, symbolizing the Christ Child’s triumph over sin. 

Open Casting Call: There are a variety of roles to fill: volunteer actors (leads and extras), singers, instrumentalists, and stage hands of all ages, identities, and abilitiesNo prior experience requiredAll are welcome!  

Ordinations and Installations
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.
Upcoming Events
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To celebrate survivors and raise awareness about domestic violence, Lutheran Settlement House is Painting Fishtown Purple! 

This month, in the windows of all your favorite Fishtown spots, you'll see posters showing support for survivors; inside, you'll find resource cards with information about how you can help end domestic violence. Through the end of October, many Fishtown businesses will also be offering special deals to support this work. Check out the full list of participating businesses here. 

Join LSH Friday, October 14th from 5:30 to 8pm for our Annual Lighting Ceremony and Survivor CelebrationRegister here.
Show your support for survivors by wearing purple on October 20th, posting a selfie with #PaintPhillyPurple, and tagging your friends to do the same. Why purple? It's the official color of the Movement to End Domestic Violence! 

Central American Cultural Festival at Emmanuel, Souderton
Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton invites you to a Central American Food and Cultural Festival on Saturday, November 12, 5-8 p.m. at the church, 69 W. Broad St., Souderton PA, 18964. This event benefits the rebuilding of 1,000 student desks destroyed by hurricanes in Santa Barbara Honduras in 2020.

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.

Compassion, Not Sacrifice: A Webinar for Women in Ministry 
Clergy Appreciation Month is a time to especially celebrate women in ministry. Yet clergy who are women often feel pressured to sacrifice their family lives on the altar of the church, and that they work twice as hard to receive half the credit. But it doesn’t need to be this way. After all, Jesus desires compassion, not sacrifice. 

This workshop will show you, step by step, how to create more compassion and let go of the expectations of sacrifice holding you back. You’ll learn actionable coaching tools you can apply right away to create more compassion and less sacrifice in your life and ministry. Join Dr. Crystal Hall, Biblical studies professor at United Lutheran Seminary and a certified life coach, Monday, October 24 at 12 p.m. EST. Claim your spot today with complimentary registration at www.crystalhallphd.com/events
Electronics Recycling Oct. 29 at St. Paul's, Telford

St. Paul’s “Green Team” is sponsoring electronics recycling on Saturday, October 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot behind the church at South Main Street and Lincoln Avenue, Telford. See this information sheet to learn what can and cannot be recycled. Questions: Contact at www.stpaulstelford.org.
Art from the World's Religions

Join this guided tour from Interfaith Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Office of Community Engagement in-person on Sunday, October 23 from 2 to 3:30 p.m., or via Zoom on Wednesday, October 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Art from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist sources will offer greater understanding of each tradition’s beliefs and practices, similarities to other tradition and differences. Participants will be encouraged to contribute insights and questions.
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

In Case You Missed It
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.
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
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:
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/
Did You Miss an Issue?
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Thank you
for taking the time to read this edition of MinistryLink. Tell fellow church members and colleagues to subscribe by clicking here.

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