Southeastern Synod Youth and Young Adult Ministry

 

The Reverend Lonnie Branch, who served as pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Atlanta, from 1989-96, has recently published Reflections of Light: The Odyssey of a Black American Lutheran Pastor During the Civil Rights Years. (Kirk House Publishers [www.kirkhouse.com]). Pr. Branch is remembered by many in the synod as a strong leader among its pastors. Chapter 14, in which he describes his years at Atonement and his leadership in the Southeastern Synod will be of particular interest to members of the synod. ELCA Southeastern Synod Bishop Emeritus Harold Skillrud says of the book, “I was overwhelmed by the early chapters where he described his childhood in Memphis and Chicago. . . .[T]he tremendous differences between his early years as a black child and mine as a white child in Minnesota left me both in shock and remorse. They are worth the price of admission for anyone growing up in the white bubble, totally ignorant of what our black brothers and sister were experiencing. It gave me insight that I desperately needed, even at my advanced age.” The jacket cover has this from Bishop Skillrud: “Fortunately for me, Pastor Lonnie Branch arrived (in the Southeastern Synod) at the time to serve an Atlanta congregation and became president of the Black Pastors Conference. He became a chief advisor and invaluable colleague. Read this story of his life to see the forces that shaped his iron will and compassionate heart.”

ALL TENNESSEE 2018

122 youth and adults met November 10 & 11 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, Tennessee for All Tennessee.  During the event youth from across Tennessee gathered to learn more about the "GODISNOWHERE" theme by participating in different activities throughout Saturday afternoon.  Youth looked at where God was through an interactive Stations of the Cross activity, they also got to ask Pastor Ed Myers and Pastor Katherine Museus any question they wanted to ask, they learned about how we can be God's hands in the midst of disasters through the work of Lutheran Disaster Relief and put together hygiene kits for Lutheran World Relief.  To finish out their service that day they moved mulch on to the church's playground.  Worship started with a group of youth from Christ Kiswahili Lutheran Mission leading in song and during the confession participants were invited to take a piece of string to represent their confession and tie it on nails that formed "GODISNOWHERE" - a powerful way to see that God comes to us in the midst of our brokenness and as we communed together we saw God come once again in the body and blood of Christ. Special thanks to the volunteers of Trinity Lutheran Church for their hospitality and meals, as well as the ALL Tennessee planning team for their hard work putting it all together.