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MISSION SUPPORT AT WORK:
WE ARE CHURCH TOGETHER!
By The Rev. Mark Erson, Chair of MNYS Strategic Plan CLAIMED Committee

As we have just passed our annual observance of the feast of All Saints, perhaps, like me, you revisited last year’s wonderful celebration of Christian unity hosted by our synod at St. John the Divine. It was truly a glorious event, both liturgically and ecumenically. It also provided a most joyous culmination to the year that was filled with bold proclamation of the gospel in observance of Reformation 500. For the Claimed Committee, it was an exciting and blessed opportunity.

But, of course, we are claimed not just to look to the past, but to look to the future. Claimed by God in the waters of baptism to live our new life in Christ, engaging the traditions of the past to face the challenges of today and work for a more just and peaceful tomorrow. 

With the call filling our ears, the Claimed Committee has been working with Deacon Margy Schmitt-Ajer to build stronger networks and channels of communication among those doing effective First Thirds Ministry around our synod.

The Claimed Committee is also investing itself to build and provide resources that will help our people, congregations, and our synod develop and practice the Theology of Inclusion that we are called to live in Jesus’ name. It is our hope that this theological understanding will guide us in such challenging areas as immigration, and confronting racism and sexism.

This Theology of Inclusion will also be helpful as we move into 2019. Many of our members will be celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Uprising, 50 years of LGBTQIA+ people seeking deeper understanding for their identity and fuller inclusion in all aspects of life, including the life of the church. 2019 also marks 10 years since the ELCA revised its policy for fuller inclusion.

This year, our means of grace emphasis is on Proclamation and Preaching. We do have an exciting story to tell. We do have a bold new life to proclaim through word and deed. We are Claimed…all of us…let’s shout it out together in new and bold ways.
2018 Mission Support
The mission support of our congregations makes it possible for us to walk together with others in the mission and ministry of the Metropolitan New York Synod and to support ministries of the ELCA. 

All mission support for the fiscal year 2018 (ending on January 31, 2019), should be received in the synod office by February 8, 2019.
Dear Pastor, Parish Officer or Parish Administrator:
In the coming days, your congregation will receive a number of our new “2018 Stories from Our Synod” magazine. We invite you to include them in your worship bulletins and talk about the wonderful things happening in our synod. If you need more units, please let us know by sending an email to info@mnys.org .  

God bless you for your help in allowing us to be Church Together!
Make a Pledge!
In 2019 , the Metropolitan New York Synod will send 52% of what is received for mission support to the ELCA Churchwide administration in Chicago, which supports new congregations, missionaries, seminaries, colleges, universities, campus ministries, early childhood centers, elementary schools, outdoor ministries, social ministry organizations, advocacy, and community development on a national scale.
Partnership dollars come back to synods and congregations from the ELCA via grants, services, programs, staff, and resources. All mission support, including subsidized congregations, is a sign of our partnership in the Gospel.

In addition to helping us stay connected, completing this form makes your congregation eligible for synod grants.
The Meaning of Christmas 
MNYS' very own Pastor Heidi Neumark, along with Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Bishop Michael Curry, will be discussing the meaning of Christmas with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America, on their Christmas morning show.

An edition not to be missed!!
ELCA AMMPARO:
The Migrant Journey
The migrant journey is an interactive experience designed to learn about the factors driving people to flee their homes in the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) and seek refuge in the United States. As people go through the migrant journey, they learn why children and families are fleeing from their homes and the obstacles they face finding protection in other countries, including the United States.  Learn more, here.
Vigil of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Iglesia de Sion, Manhattan
Tuesday, December 11 Mass, 7:00 PM; Caravan arrives, 11:00 PM
Sponsored with MNYS and Grupo Mazarte.

You are invited to welcome pilgrims traveling as a caravan from the Bronx to Manhattan celebrating the Vigil Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tonantzin.
The appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the native Juan Diego in 1531 is a major feast of Central America, Mexico and California. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a mixture of two icons—Mary, Mother of God for Christians and Coatlalopeuh, an Aztec goddess. Since the icon is also a mixture of the cultures that blended to form Mexico, both racially and religiously, Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered the first Mexican. For more information, click here.
Young, Gifted, and Black in the ELCA
The Rev.  Lenny Duncan  and the Rev.  Jason Chesnut  present their follow up documentary to “ Do Black Churches Matter in the ELCA .” This new film focus on a brief glimpse to three of young Black leaders called to serve in the ELCA. Like their previous film it is available for free for congregational use on Youtube . This time it is “ Young, Gifted, and Black in the ELCA . ” Please take a moment to watch this brief glimpse into three diverse leader’s formation process including MNYS’ own Kelsey Brown . To watch the video, click here .
SENT
WELCOMING THE STRANGER
Serving Separated and Reunited Families: lessons learned and the way forward to promote family unity

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services , and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service dedicate this report to the approximately 2,600 children who were traumatically separated from their parents who endured the unknown about their children’s well-being.
CLAIMED
 INCLUSIVE FAITH
Enjoy our new site-search engine!

With this sensational new tool, you will be able to find the right information you are looking for—faster and easier than ever!
Go ahead, visit mnys.org and find what you are looking for!
GATHERED
VIBRANT CONGREGATIONS
Sower’s Project

The  Sower’s Project is a synod-wide initiative to seed grassroots ministries in our communities, and encourage them to grow and thrive. Anyone in the synod may nominate a community in which they think a new ministry is needed, or a leader equipped to “sow” a new ministry.
FROM OUR CONGREGATIONS
CELEBRANDO A LA REINA DE AMÉRICA
Iglesia de Sión, Manhattan
Martes, Diciembre 11
7:00 pm Misa

Estás cordialmente invitado a recibir a los peregrinos viajeros de la caravana desde el Bronx a Manhattan, celebrando la Fiesta de la Vigilia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Tonantzin. Auspiciada por el Comité SENT del MNYS y el Grupo Mazarte. La caravana llega a las 11:00 pm. Para más información, haz click aquí.
SEASONAL GIFTS OF MUSIC WITH BACH
Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity, NYC
Sunday, December 9 & 16
5:00 pm

From Advent to Christmas to the Epiphany, experience the delight of music concert series of the season from Buxtehude, Britten, and Bach. Enjoy these holiday offerings with Cantor Donald Meineke. To view the complete schedule of concerts, click  here.
Save the Date: A 10 Day Tour to Germany & Austria!
September 12-21, 2020

Pathfinders, Journeys of Faith, Culture and History invites Metro New York Synod parishes to the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play. To sign up for this extraordinary trip and to find more information, click  here.
NEWS!
St. John's Lutheran Church, Poughkeepsie

We are excited to announce that we have a new permanent pastor at St. John's: Rev. Jeffrey Koenig. We are happy to welcome his leadership at our church and to partner in mission with him! To learn more, click here.
ASSISTING WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Bronx
Sunday, December 9
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This project addresses issues related to the challenges of living in rural areas of western Kenya, the lack of food and water security, and the serious risk of diseases for children. The event will feature a Q&A session immediately following. For more information, click here.
ADVENT REVIVAL
First Lutheran Church, Albany
Saturday, December 15
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Worship, Pray, Learn. Bishop Donald McCoid from MNYS, Bishop John Stanley Macholz from Upstate New York Synod, and the ELCA Revival Team, invite you to a day of spiritual discernment, understanding change, and invitation to discipleship. For more information, click here.
––– JOB OPPORTUNITIES –––
DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRY: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rocky Point—more information here  ▶︎
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS: Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries —more information here  ▶︎

––––– CALENDAR –––––
DECEMBER 9: Live Nativity—more information here ▶︎
DECEMBER 9: Kuwesa Project Listening Tour: Assisting Women Living with HIV/AIDS—more information here ▶︎
DECEMBER 11: Strategic Plan Working Group —more information here ▶︎
DECEMBER 11: Synod Council Meeting—more information here ▶︎
DECEMBER 11: Celebrando a la Reina de América—más información aquí ▶︎

WE'RE PRAYING FOR...
• Synod Deacon Muriel Ryan, who died in Christ on Sunday, November 25. See the obituary, here.
Victims of the California wildfires
• The asylum seekers who are waiting to be processed at our southern border
 For our work toward shaping a more inclusive church, which welcomes and affirms all of God's people, specifically our  LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters
 For refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers, 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 Adult in Global Mission, Anna Moorhead, serving in South Africa & Swaziland
ELCA missionary Dorthea Hustoft-Hamman, serving in Nigeria
MNYS missionary Melanie Nelson, and her husband David Kingery, serving in Bukoba, Tanzania
  Bishop Wayne N. Miller, the staff, and the people of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod