Bishop Gafkjen's December
I-K Lutheran Newsletter
Ding dong, ding dong, Christmas bells are ringing!
Christmas bells have been ringing for weeks. Cultural/Commercial Christmas seems to arrive earlier each year. I noticed Christmas décor appearing in stores and steaming coffee served in red holiday cups before Halloween. Community Christmas trees were being lit up in some places by early November. Christmas music will have been wafting through the air for weeks - at least in some places - by the time you read this little reflection. To read Bishop Gafkjen's
Newsletter and share with your congregation, please click
Do you feel the Holy Spirit leading you in a new direction? Are you curious about becoming a deacon or pastor in the ELCA? Have others told you that you would make a great public leader in the church? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, consider attending the next ELCA Region 6 Discernment Retreat, March 1-2, 2019 at Camp Mowana in Mansfield, OH. You can download the registration flyer
(deadline Feb. 22), and contact Rev. Heather Apel for more information,
2019 Chrism Liturgies
Traditionally, chrism (blessing of oils) and renewal of ministry commitment liturgies occur during Holy Week. In practice for some years, the bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod has offered these liturgies in the season of Lent. In 2019, we will spread out the liturgies beyond Lent. Two will be offered in the season of Epiphany. Three will be offered during Lent, one of them on Holy Tuesday, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana.
Unless otherwise noted, each morning will begin with gathering fellowship at 9:30am, worship at 10:00am, conversation with the bishop and each other following worship, concluding with lunch, either on site or at a local restaurant. While the primary focus of the morning will be on rostered ministers (pastors and deacons), all are welcome to participate. All times are local. Please click
to register for the date and location of your choice. When the locations of the April 2 and 16 sites are determined, this list will be updated.
- January 10, New Joy Lutheran Church, Westfield, IN
- February 26, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Crestview Hills, KY
- March 7, Faith Lutheran Church, Owensboro, KY
- April 2, hosted in the NE IN Conference
- April 16, hosted in the North Central Conference with Episcopal Diocese
The National Lutheran Choir
Bishop's Day for Youth
Bishop's Day for Youth will be held Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Carmel, Indiana. Youth in grades 8 through 12 and adult mentors are invited to join Bishop Bill Gafkjen for conversation, worship, games, workshops, a service project, Bible study, and lots of fun. Overnight housing is available on Friday night. There is also the option of a Friday evening activity. Last year a number of groups came on Friday evening and we had a great time! For more information, contact Pastor Dan Fugate at
Mark Your Calendar!
Friday, May 31 - Sunday, June 2, 2019: Youth Leadership Summit at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Sunday, June 23 - Saturday, June 29, 2019: Youth Mission Trip in Louisville, Kentucky.
September 20-22, 2019: Confirmation Retreat in Northern Indiana (place to be determined)
October 4-6, 2019: Confirmation Retreat at Lutheran Hills in Morgantown, Indiana.
The National Lutheran Choir is scheduled to perform in the Basilica at Notre Dame on February 28, 2019. The Indiana-Kentucky Synod is co-sponsoring this event with Notre Dame. In some ways, it is a follow up to the Lutheran/Roman Catholic Reformation observance that was in the basilica last fall, in which Presiding Bishop Eaton preached. That was a great event to be a part of and it opened the door to further Lutheran/Roman Catholic engagement at Notre Dame.
Do you think your congregation might be able and willing to be a co-sponsor, or perhaps a family or group of folks from your congregation? We would be most grateful for your consideration in this matter. If you are able and/or willing to contribute, please visit our website, www.iksynod.org, click the Donate button, and select "National Lutheran Choir". You may also click the "Donate" button at the bottom of this email. We thank you in advance for your gift and your partnership!
ELCA Youth Core Leadership Team
The Youth Core Leadership Team is composed of twelve high school youth from across the ELCA who have been identified as leaders in congregations and/or synods, and who desire the opportunity to dig more deeply into their own leadership and faith formation. Each year, six youth are added to this team as six participants are sent out from the team to discover new opportunities for leadership. The ELCA is seeking applications from youth currently in 9th, 10th and 11th grades. The deadline to apply is January 15, 2019. More information is available at
New Way to Give with Tithe.ly
The Indiana-Kentucky Synod recently signed up with Tithe.ly to make giving easier than ever. Download the app and set Indiana-Kentucky Synod as a regular mission to support. You can also simply text the word GIVE to 765-347-9974, then follow the link. You may also visit our website (
), click the
Button, and follow the prompts.
Save a stamp and send Mission Support with Tithe.ly! ACH and debit/credit cards accepted.
Please include your congregation name in the "Note/Memo" line.
Thank you for all you do to support the ministries and mission of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod!
Please consider using Tithe.ly in your congregation! To learn more about Tithe.ly and its relationship with the ELCA, please visit this link:
Many have expressed interest in knowing where Bishop Bill will be preaching and presiding so that they may attend if they are nearby. Below you will find a schedule of upcoming services and events where our Bishop will be presiding, preaching, participating or leading.
Bishop Gafkjen's Calendar of Events - all times listed are local
December 17-31: Vacation
January 1-7: Bishops Academy, San Antonio, TX
January 12: Installation of Pastor Liesebet Gravley | St. Luke, Cold Spring, KY | 2:00 p.m.
January 13: Hope, Frankfort, IN | Preach and Preside | 10:30 a.m.
January 17: Extended Staff Meeting | Synod Office
January 18-19: Synod Council | Pleasant View Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN
Bishop Gafkjen looks forward to being with you and your faith community. Please contact his administrative assistant, April Lynch,
to schedule a time.
The Indiana-Kentucky Synod welcomes stories and photographs of ministry moments to share with its mission territory. Stories and accompanying photos are accepted for the Weekly News (which is sent out each Thursday), the monthly I-K Lutheran, and the web site (www.iksynod.org). Send announcement submission to Tom Dearchs, firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday at noon (Eastern time) to be included in the Thursday Weekly News. Please see the Publication Submission Guidelines document for complete details on submissions.
We ask for prayers of comfort and healing for Rev. Roberta Meyer, Pastor of Grace and Peace, Evansville. She will begin chemotherapy today for ovarian cancer. Please lift up Roberta, her family, and her church during this difficult time.
Let us pray.
Almighty and merciful God, you are the only source of health and healing; you alone can bring calmness and peace. Grant to us, your children, an awareness of your presence and a strong confidence in you. In our pain, our weariness, and our anxiety, surround us with your care, protect us by your loving might, and permit us once more to enjoy health and strength and peace; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. ELW p. 85
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Speaker Series
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Speaker series
is sponsoring interfaith discussions on the
following dates at 6 PM:
● Monday, January 28, 2019, Philip Schlossberg, Director Of Hillel Jewish Student Center
● Tuesday, January 29,2019, Hisham Elkhatib, Founder Of Islamic Education Center of
● Wednesday, January 30, 2019, Dr. Stuart Robertson, Director of the Biblical Hebrew
Program at Purdue which he started in 1999. He is also former pastor at Faith
Presbyterian Church and retired after 21 years in 2007.
This series provides HTLC a unique opportunity to connect with a broad audience. In the same vein, it sends a message to our community and the congregation that we embrace, support and value conversations that build bridges of understanding with all faiths.
Holy Trinity is located at 1005 N. 21st Street, Lafayette IN 47904
Stephanie Khuri is a member of Salem Lutheran/Shalom International Ministries and serves on the church council there. Shalom is a ministry made up of people from several African countries, including Stephanie's home country of Kenya. Stephanie is currently attending Indiana State University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminology and Criminal Justice who will be graduating in May, 2019. She is looking for an HR internship in Spring 2019 from January until May in the Indianapolis area. This can be a paid or unpaid internship and will require 8 hours per week. If anyone knows of an internship opportunity, please contact Stephanie at:
St. Andrew's Welcomes the Community to Epiphany Festivities
St. Andrew's, 6118 Crawfordsville Rd., Indianapolis, invites the community to Epiphany Day festivities on Sunday, January 6 beginning at 4:00 p.m. Please click
for complete information.
Please Join Us
The Wittenberg University Choir will be performing at Bethlehem Lutheran in Indianapolis during their spring break tour on February 28th, 2019 at 7:30pm. The choir works all school year to perfect their repertoire and then spends their spring break with a different congregation every night to share their incredible ministry. It will be an evening of excellent choral music and we look forward to sharing with you. Cost is free. There will be a free will offering during intermission. All proceeds will go to the Wittenberg Choir.
Bishop Eaton's December Column for
From cradle to grave.
In the December issue of Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on Christmas, a time when "God reversed the cradle-to-grave progression." We are on a joyful journey, where we are loved, we are alive and we are free to greet this holy season. To read her column, please click here.
Save the Date!
Plan now to attend an upcoming workshop for pastors and church leaders that Thrivent is presenting on Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 noon at Lutheran Child & Family Services, 1525 N. Ritter Ave., Indianapolis.
"Engaging Generations through Generosity" is a 3-hour interactive workshop for church leaders that brings participants together to explore different expressions of generosity and develop ideas to engage with all generations in their church and community. The cost to attend the workshop is $50, which includes attendance for you and another leader from your church.
Your invitation and event registration information will soon be on their way! Stay tuned!
The Center for Interfaith Cooperation
The Center for Interfaith Cooperation is looking for a person to serve for one year through Americorps at a community non-profit in Indianapolis to enrich the community efforts of faith groups. The dates of the program are January 14, 2018 - July 19, 2019. The person will receive a $550 bi-weekly stipend, a $2,960 education award, and professional development. For more information, contact Ben Leslie at (708) 805-1688 or
"For the Sacrament of Holy Communion has no blessing and significance unless love
grows daily and so changes a person that they are made one with all others."
Martin Luther, 1519
Announcing the 71st Institute of Liturgical Studies to be held on the campus of Valparaiso University April 29-May 1, 2019. We will gather under the theme, "Table of Thanksgiving: How Eucharist Forms Us." Plenary presenters will be Charles Aurand, Paul Bradshaw, M. Shawn Copeland and Cynthia Moe-Lobeda plus many workshops and worship. For more information about the institute and to register, visit valpo.edu/ils
Lutheran Ethicists Network Gathering 2019
This year's Gathering will explore the mixed deposit of Lutheran social teaching on the stark, and growing, wealth and income inequality of the U.S. We also will explore what can be done. The Gathering has attracted many who are not trained professionals and they have found our meeting intellectually stimulating and welcoming. The mix of rostered leaders, lay, and teaching theologians, in fact, is a great benefit and the topic invites broad participation because it affects everyone in this society. Please click
for registration information. There is a nominal registration fee of $15. Please join us!