One of our smaller multi-cultural congregations has members mostly on fixed incomes. They constantly fear financial insecurity and the pandemic has now added health concerns. Unable to worship physically together and with limited access to technology, they worry now too about their ability to continue as a congregation. One of our refugee ministries, especially vulnerable to the impact of the pandemic, is funded partially by donations from other congregations. This funding is always inconsistent, but has now significantly reduced.
$70K has been distributed
by the Southeastern Synod during this pandemic to help relieve the financial burdens that these two congregations and 17 others are experiencing. These funds have been used to pay salaries, continue community feeding and housing programs, and provide access to health care. In the midst of this pandemic, God’s abundance is experienced through the generosity of those in the wider ELCA who have provided our synod with $30K in grants, and the Synod's Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF) for the other $40K. The SIF has been funded by primarily Holy Closures of congregations in our synod. Thanks be to God!
Twenty-one congregations began a new online stewardship offering called Beginning a Culture of Generosity,
a six session ZOOM program led by Pastor Mike Ward, partner at GSB and longtime ELCA pastor and former VP of Advancement at Novus Way. In our first session, we talked about the powerful impact of sharing God’s love through a story (huge!), God’s abundance in all things, whether statements of intent are a thing of the past (No! Commitments are critical), and how a significant part of the year’s giving is done in the last weeks of the calendar year (35%!).
In addition to this course, Pr. Mike Ward will spend Sunday afternoon, October 18 at 3:00pm EDT with the synod as part of our October Faith Formation Days. His presentation is entitled With Glad and Generous Hearts: a Look at Stewardship of Self, Congregation, and Church.
All are welcome to attend! Register at https://www.elca-ses.org/newsdetail/october-2020-faith-formation-days-for-laity-14163488
The 2020 Stewardship Kaleidoscope
is virtual this year and provides Real Tools for Real Ministry!
The mission is to ignite generosity, give practical tools for cultivating generosity, expand the leadership capacity of those who lead stewardship initiatives, and cultivate adaptive approaches for funding Christ’s mission. Hear from leading thinkers exploring the opportunities for growth in stewardship even in the midst of profound social change, including Eric Barreto, Bonnie Ives Marden, and Bruce Reyes-Chow. All are welcome to attend. More information is available at https://www.elca-ses.org/newsdetail/stewardship-kaleidoscope-2020-14213380
Need some new resources
for your stewardship program? Check out the following
Finally, please reach out and share with us where you see God at work in your community and in your life. We'd love to hear from you and share your story.
ALL TENNESSEE 2020 - November 14
For a HYBRID event (part in-home / part online)
For all youth in 6th through 12th grades
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.
In the midst of COVID-19, we are all looking for a way to share God's love with everyone.
We are wondering how to Accept. Embrace. Spread Grace.
We are combining some online events with some in-home activities to engage in All TN this year.
REGISTRATION COMING SOON!!!
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.