Remembering the Children

Please receive THIS LETTER from the ELCA's American Indian Alaska Native Association. As you are aware of the horrific discoveries of mass graves for indigenous children at Canadian Residential Schools. The United States also had boarding schools, some affiliated with Lutherans. The Association asks that you use whatever means to publicize this letter and encourage congregations to receive this letter.
Learn more about the Association HERE and like/follow the Association on Facebook.

Additionally, from our friends at Faith Action Network:

The Interfaith Network for Indigenous Communities (INIC), an ad-hoc committee that FAN facilitates, has issued a statement in response to the tragic discoveries of mass graves at boarding schools in Canada. INIC was organized to mark the 30th anniversary of the Christian church leaders’ apology to Northwest tribes, and we have been meeting ever since to discern ways to carry out our commitments to indigenous communities.
Together we drafted this statement (also posted at, with pledges of action steps we all can take, especially if we are aligned with Christian faith communities, to uncover our faith traditions’ complicity with the cultural genocide experienced in boarding schools. We commit ourselves to the pledges in this statement in new ways, especially as Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland moves forward her U.S. Federal Indian Boarding School Truth Initiative, and the National Congress of American Indians resolution builds on that.
We are asking you to consider signing on to this statement at our link:
As individuals who sign, we will keep you informed of the steps that will be taken along the way, both regionally and nationally, to carry out these commitments. As faith communities that sign, we will add your community to a list shared with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition as part of our Pacific Northwest commitment.
We encourage you to take this statement and make it your own: Share it in your networks. Find ways your faith community can carry out the actions needed. Create your own statement and set of commitments based on your own faith tradition’s history. Follow with us Secretary Haaland’s initiative and other legislation still to be introduced. Please join with us and contribute to the conversation and action in the months ahead.
Bishop Encourages Masks for Indoor Worship

On July 30 Bishop Shelley Bryan Wee sent this note to all rostered leaders and congregation offices*:

"I write to you today as we continue to love God and our neighbors - and navigate the complexities of COVID-19. As we continue to love God and our neighbors ... and navigate the complexities of COVID-19. In light of the new Delta Variant, I strongly encourage everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to wear masks during indoor worship services and gatherings.

As we encounter this more transmissible variant, please consult the County, State, and CDC guidelines while you review your congregation's COVID-19 guidelines."

Find additional links/resources on our website:

*IF you are a rostered minister or congregation office and did not receive this email last Friday, PLEASE email Susan Berg: so we can get your email correctly in our system!
August Recess Opportunities

Congress is on their annual August Recess, which means there are ample opportunities to advocate from our local communities! Please see below various calls to action from our national partners, and let us know if you are planning to put together a visit with your member of Congress, or need help doing so by emailing

God's Work Our Hands Sunday Opportunity!

Coming soon! The NW WA Synod Hunger Team has created a two-week Noisy Offering initiative for Sunday, September 5 and Sunday, September 12 (“God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday).

YOU are invited to help the NW WA Synod Hunger Team gather funds to sponsor future grants, which will be distributed to local ELCA faith communities in support of their work to creatively address hunger and food insecurity.

Our team has created a packet for you to use which includes liturgy and hymn suggestions, details about the contest, promotion materials, and more! … Look for it very soon!

Learn more about Hunger Ministries on our website HERE.
Join the NWWA Synod Hunger Facebook group HERE.
Help Afghan Allies in Need

For two decades, the U.S. Government has employed Afghan allies to serve alongside U.S. troops, diplomats, and other government employees as interpreters, translators, cultural advisors, drivers, and more. Because of their service to the U.S. mission, our allies and their families are now targets of anti-American violence.
More than 18,000 Afghans who served alongside U.S. armed forces face a severe backlog in the processing of their Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), which would allow them to relocate to safely in the United States. While they await processing and flights, our Afghan allies and their families are in grave danger and at risk of retaliatory attacks from the Taliban.
In the past several weeks, LIRS has seen an unprecedented number of SIV “walk-in” clients—those who have received their visas and have traveled to the United States on their own instead of pre-arranged flights. When our Afghan allies and their families arrive, they often have little more than the clothes on their backs. Many have no money, nowhere to stay, and nothing to eat. With your support, we can help. 

Your gift of any amount will help us to be ready to respond to the basic needs of our friends and their families as they flee for their lives. Needs may include services such as transportation, temporary housing, and food.

Learn more and make a donation here:
Wildfire Recognition Worship Materials

This handbook of materials was created by the Oregon Synod’s Disaster Preparedness and Response Team, with the assistance of Bishop Emeritus David Brauer - Rieke, Region 1 Disaster Preparedness Project Manager and the Rev. Christine Core - in response to their synod assembly calling for a Wildfire Recognition Sunday (Sept. 5).

They have made these resources available to us (thanks, neighbors!) They include prayers, poems, scripture, and songs to be used by churches and other groups to remember, lament and pray for Earth and its inhabitants shattered by the wildfires of 2020; as well as all those already impacted this year.  

Find the resource handbook here:
The NW WA Synod Women's Organization is seeking Nominees!

We will be electing new leaders at our October 2 meeting. Please prayerfully consider serving in one of these roles: President, Vice-President (or two people can serve as co-chairs), Secretary, Treasurer, or Member-at-Large. As God calls you to serve, please email Gaye Rodriguey, Vice-President of NW WA SWO, at Thank you!
Presiding Bishop Responds to DACA Ruling

In response to the U.S. district judge’s ruling to end DACA, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has released the following letter on 7/30/21:

Happy First Day, Pastor Herb Shao!

Beginning today, August 2, Pr. Herb will serve alongside Deacon Dianne Johnson as our second Director for Evangelical Mission. Pastor Shao and Deacon Johnson will both be 3/4 time. Pastor Shao will work with our Asian congregations and ministry sites as well as implement the NWWA Synod Living Legacy Initiative. Together he and Deacon Johnson will work with new ministry sites and current congregations in the area of vitality. We are grateful to have this dynamic duo serving together in this important ministry area!
Ordination of Libby Pfaff

Saturday, August 7 at 11am (Pacific)
at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, Virginia

We are delighted to celebrate the ordination of one of our Word and Sacrament Candidates, Libby Pfaff. Libby has been called to serve as campus pastor at Virginia Tech. Safe travels to Pr. Joanne Engquist (Gethsemane/Seattle) who will be preaching at the service. God bless this new ministry partnership!
Ordination of Patrick Meagher
Tuesday, August 10, 7pm
at Phinney Ridge Lutheran, Seattle
We are delighted to celebrate the ordination of Word and Service Candidate, Patrick Meagher. Patrick has been called to serve as a Deacon at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle. All are welcome and encouraged to attend - Rostered Ministers are invited to vest - the color of the day is red. God bless Patrick and God bless this new ministry partnership!
Advocacy Summer School

Presented by ELCA Advocacy staff in collaboration with ELCA Peace Not Walls.

In a fresh format, five skill-building and issue-informing virtual sessions are planned on Wednesdays beginning at 11am Pacific. Pick 1 or take all 5!

Each is presented in 30 minutes, followed by an optional 15-minute Q&A time.
August 11 – What is faith-based advocacy?
August 18 – How do I approach policy makers?
August 25 – How do I use media for impact?
September 1 – Let’s talk: About the Holy Land
September 8 – Let’s talk: About immigration

Planned Gifts and Your Annual Fund
Presented by the ELCA Foundation

Thursday, August 12, 10am (Pacific)
Have you avoided promoting legacy gifts out of a fear that it may reduce current support for your congregation or organization? This webinar will explore donor data and stories that demonstrate how legacy giving has been shown to increase annual giving to an organization. Join us to learn more about why you should promote your annual fund alongside legacy giving and how you can invite your annual donors to consider a legacy gift for your congregation or organization.

Learn more and register by August 10 here:

The ELCA Foundation is here to help you create your legacy and ensure the continuation of God’s work in the world — for years and years to come. We can partner with you, your congregation, your synod or another ELCA-related organization as you explore the variety of possibilities for giving with generosity and planning. We provide expertise — as well as resources, financial education and investment and endowment management services — to help you joyfully answer the call to love and serve our neighbor.

Learn more about the ELCA Foundation here:

Connect with OUR Regional Gift Planner, Beth Adams here:
Hunger at the Crossroads

– a new webinar series from ELCA World Hunger
First up is: “Sexuality, Gender Identity and Hunger” with Rev. Heidi Neumark (Trinity Lutheran Church, New York, New York) and Rev. Joe Larson (Fargo, North Dakota)

Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 4pm (Pacific)
We know that hunger is about more than food. Understanding hunger – and working to end it – means seeing the many ways hunger and poverty intersect with so many other issues, including climate change, food production, access to housing, racial justice, gender justice and more. In “Hunger at the Crossroads,” a new webinar series hosted by ELCA World Hunger, we will explore these intersections and the ways we can be part of God’s promise of a just world where all are fed. The webinars are open to anyone passionate about ending hunger and eager to learn more. In each session, we will dive deeply into the topic, with presentations from ELCA World Hunger staff and partners and time for questions and conversation.

Future webinars: “Climate Change and Hunger” – October 2021 and “Hunger and Poverty by the Numbers: Where Are We at Now?” – November 2021. Follow ELCA World Hunger on Facebook and Twitter to get up-to-date information, including dates and links for registration. Questions about “Hunger at the Crossroads” can be sent to
The LiVE Project:
Informational meetings around the synod
Living into Vocational Engagement (LiVE) is our latest innovative initiative of the Northwest Washington Synod. Our hope is to connect lay leaders in a shared journey of learning together, and toward creating community among other congregational leaders throughout our synod. We’d like to connect with folks in your congregation who are passionate about the church, faith formation, mission, and deepening their Christian faith. 
The LiVE board has been doing extensive planning during covid to provide learning courses for lay leaders. If you are interested and would like to learn more please consider joining us for one of four opportunities to learn more, two zoom online options, and two in-person options.

You might also consider these opportunities as additional ways your congregation does faith formation for the year. Our meetings will introduce you to the LiVE Project, the learning opportunities for 2021-2022, some of our teaching facilitators, as well as details for what involvement for you individually or congregationally might mean.

Visit us at our synod website: 

Here is a SNEAK PEEK of our 2021-2022 Course Catalog!
Zoom Options: please register in advance via links
Wednesday, August 18 6:30-7:30pm - register here
Wednesday, August 25 6:30-7:30pm - register here
In-Person Options: please RSVP for these by emailing
Tuesday, August 24, 6:30-7:30pm at Advent Lutheran in Mill Creek
Monday, August 30, 6:30-7:30pm at Faith Lutheran in Bellingham
If you have questions feel free to contact us at, or
Installation Service for
Pastors Nyla & David Schoeld

Sunday, August 29, 10am at Sammamish Hills Lutheran

We give thanks to God as Rev. Nyla Schoeld and Rev. David Schoeld are (finally after 6 months!) installed as the pastors at Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church. Join the 10am worship service - with a community lunch to follow. May God continue to bless this ministry partnership!
ReconcilingWorks -
now has FOUR online trainings!
+ Building an Inclusive Church
+ Consent in Community Building
+ Bias and Its Impact on Welcome
+ Let’s Talk About SOIGIE (Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sexual Orientation)
Read more & learn how to register here:
Enfleshing Witness

An event from Church Anew
Thursday, August 26, 9am-11:30am (pacific)

We invite preachers, storytellers, activists, and community leaders of color to perhaps hear some of your own stories in the pieces shared. White leaders are welcome but expected to participate with a posture of overhearing the witness rather than expecting it is for you.

The event is free to attend virtually and we invite support from congregations and institutions to form in-person viewing gatherings for conversation and creative response. Institutional supporters will receive bonus material and a discussion guide for facilitating conversation following the gathering. Mutuality groups for people of color interested in connecting and continuing the conversation will be provided immediately following the event for those who wish to participate.

Register for the free live event:
Want an item included?
Email Susan Berg, Communications Administrator
All items due by 2pm on the prior Thursday

Northwest Washington Synod / ELCA
5519 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103