Upstate Update for November 6, 2019
Mission Stories Around the Church:
Fletcher Friends
" The youth have space during program to share more about who they are as individuals and a group, with caring, consistent adults "
On Thursday afternoons shortly after school lets out, you can find several students from 3rd and 4th grades at Fletcher Elementary School not headed home but headed down the hall to yet one more classroom. However, this classroom isn’t for more book learning, this classroom is for games, music, snacks, a side of STEM studies and, most importantly, relationship building. Members of Tree of Life Lutheran Church are the adults in this classroom and they are there through the Chautauqua Striders school mentoring program.  

Monthly Mission Message: Breaking Down Walls
On Nov. 9, 2019, the world will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As we look back to remember this important moment in human history, we are reminded that there is much work to be done to tear down the walls that divide us today. We are called in this moment to advocate for an end to division and oppression in our own communities and throughout the world. My friends, I encourage you, your congregations and your communities to join together in proclaiming this truth — that we are one human family .
— The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, executive director for Global Mission, ELCA

Season of doubt.  
In her November column for  Living Lutheran,  ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton compares doubt to winter—it can seem long, cold, barren, isolating and lonely. But she reminds us that doubt is part of faith—and God will carry us through the winter. Read her column in English at  and in Spanish at j
The application to serve with  Young Adults in Global Mission - ELCA  in 2020-2021 in one of 12 countries is NOW LIVE!

Learn more about YAGM, how to apply and how your mission support provides opportunities for transformative experiences for young adults and the communities they accompany on the ELCA YAGM website .
November 6 - Love Big Book Study at
and 7 pm

November 7-10 - ELCA Church Council (Pamela Hoh - Hope, N. Greenbush and Bishop Macholz serve as part of these leaders of the church)

November 11 - Veterans' Day - Synod Office Closed

November 16 - Synod Council

November 20 - We Will Feast Book Study at 1 pm and 7 pm

November 23 - Ordination of Jackie Jefferson at St. John, Manorton

November 28 - Thanksgiving - Synod Office Closed

November 29 - Synod Office Closed
  An Adult Education Retreat

+ Who - Anyone

+ When - Friday-Saturday November 15-16 (24 hours - from 4pm-3pm)

+ Where - St Margarets Retreat Center , 47 Jordan Rd, New Hartford, NY 13413 (near Utica)

+ Cost - $125 . (pay upon arrival). Includes 3 classes, overnight accommodations, 3 meals

+Classes -
Telling the Biblical Story with Pr. Gail Wolling
 Friday 6:30-9pm

Luther's Catechisms with ELCA Deacon Sandy Shear Saturday 9-11:30 am

Advent/ Christmas/Epiphany in Liturgy and Hymns with Pr. Paul Messner
Saturday 12:30 - 3pm

+ Sponsored by the Hartwick Seminary Institute of Theology

Register by emailing
Pr. Paul Messner, 

Choir Robes Available

Grace, Johnstown has some senior choir robes, cherub and conformation robes they do not need any more.  Could your congregation use them? If so, Grace would be delighted to share them with your congregation so that they can continue to serve God's church.

You can reach
Bonnie at Grace Lutheran Church by calling their office or emailing:
(518) 762-7924

5th Annual Golf Tournament
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Victor Hills Golf Club

More details to come after the first of the year
Bishop's Convocation
Sat., March 14, 2020
10 am - 3 pm
St. Mark's, Baldwinsville

Front Porchin':
Sharing Your Story, God's Story and
Our Story

Evangelism is as simple as a story. It is your story and God’s story shared with another. God gives us natural front porches where we live, work and play. There God sits with us as we share our lives, our stories and the Christ within us with those who regularly gather there with us. Bring a team from your congregation to get some hands-on tools to bring back home!

Commemorating Witnesses of the Faith

Martin , Bishop of Tours, died 397 - Monday, November 11, 2019
Martin's pagan father enlisted him in the Roman army. Approached by a beggar, Martin cut his cloak in half and gave part to the man, whom he later understood as representing Christ. He asked to leave the army, but was jailed instead. After his release, he became a preacher, and later a bishop.

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard , teacher, died 1855 - Monday, November 11, 2019
Kierkegaard was a Danish theologian whose writings also gave rise to the modern philosophy of existentialism. He frequently attacked the complacency of the state church of his day, as well as its desire to be accepted by polite society rather than be a stumbling block.
We are praying:

  • The Holy Spirit's guidance as discern who God is calling to be our bishop
  • Those who were elected to office yesterday
  • The Rev. John Klatt

We give thanks:

  • Pastor Abby Zang-Hoffman (Bethlehem, Fairport) & Kevin Hoffman, and their entire family, on the birth of their son Micah Oliver, on October 13.
  • Jackie Jefferson who was called to serve the Southern Columbia County Parish (St. Thomas, Churchtown, St. John, Manorton and Christ, Viewmont). She will be ordained November 23.
  • The Rev. Laura Wade who was ordained on November 2 at Christ, Norwich.