In the midst of the virus, we continue to celebrate God’s abundance!
Our Synod recently distributed COVID-19 Grants in the amount of $40K ($30K from our Strategic Initiatives Fund and $10K from an ELCA Grant) to congregations most in need. These grants are intended to ensure that the rostered minister’s salary/benefits can be paid so that other congregational funds can be used for ministry. The synod funding comes from Holy Closures – congregations who have made the incredibly difficult decision to close, yet their legacy will now continue through other ministries in the synod. God’s work always carries on in new and beautiful ways.
Twelve of the fourteen congregations receiving financial support are our multicultural ministries. One of the recipients cried when she was told the congregation would receive a grant. Another said that the congregation council was meeting the next day to discuss terminating their support of a food ministry due to lack of funding – a discussion no longer needed. Another said “Thank you! Thank You! Thank you! God is so Good. We are grateful and appreciate the Synod and the Synod Council for all the work that they do. I will share with the congregation on Saturday. Thanks for your support. Thank you!”
Along with other synods in Region 9, we’ve also supplemented a Lilly grant and over the next three years this LifeLine Fund
will provide up to $80K in financial support for rostered ministers plus training and support for congregations who need stewardship assistance. In the ELCA, 83 percent of the seminary graduates averaged an education debt of over $46K. With a median defined compensation of $50K for a first-call pastor, you can do the math and it is not pretty. For congregations, financial support will be provided to participate in either Stewardship for All Seasons or Cultivating Generous Congregations. These year-long programs teach pastors and congregation leaders how to design and carry out their own year-round biblically-based stewardship program. Results have seen, on average, a 15% increase in new giving as well as transitioning congregational culture from scarcity to abundance. Congregations will come together as part of a cohort, traveling the road to financial stability together.
Just last week, we were also notified of a $4900 grant from SOLI, Stewardship Of Life Institute
. This will be spent in the middle space, providing stewardship assistance for those congregations beginning to work on stewardship but not ready for the yearlong commitments the other programs require.
Please contact Rev. Karen Boda (firstname.lastname@example.org
) for more information. Resources are available to help congregations and rostered leaders. God is good!
ALL TENNESSEE 2020 - November 14
For all youth in 6th through 12th grades
THIS EVENT WILL BE HELD IN A HYBRID FORMAT!!!
MORNING SESSION: on your own, in your household, or with your youth group (if you are gathering in-person, physically distanced, of course). Suggested start time is 10:00am EST / 9:00am CST.
AFTERNOON SESSION: we gather via ZOOM at 3:00-4:30pm EST / 2:00-3:30pm CST
CONCERT WITH RACHEL KURTZ: after our afternoon session, Rachel Kurtz will join in our ZOOM call to lead a concert!!!
So cool! So excited!
PLUS, we get to reveal the theme that SESLYO developed for our 2020-2021 youth events for the synod...Accept. Embrace. Spread Grace.
Cost? FREE, since this event is a hybrid event, with part in-person / part-online
Who Can Come? This gathering is for 6th-12th graders from congregations in the WHOLE SOUTHEASTERN SYNOD,
but especially for the Lutherans and friends of TENNESSEE. ALL are welcome.
This year, we are taking registrations on an INDIVIDUAL BASIS, NOT through a congregational registration.
To see information from prior years, scroll down...
ALL TENNESSEE 2019 - November 9-10
Check out the pictures from 2019 All TN HERE
All TN 2019 took place at Trinity LC, Tullahoma, TN
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.