Author Archive

April 30, 2021

Racism Breaks God’s Heart

The Rev. Violet Cucciniello Little, pastor of The Welcome Church in Philadelphia, shares her thoughts with us. Not long ago I posted a prayer on Facebook that was written by a group known as @Brickhouseinthecity. I was looking for something to give me the words for what I was feeling after seeing the news clip...

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April 29, 2021

“We’ve Come…a Mighty Long Way”

Message from Bishop Patricia A. Davenport to the 2021 Synod Assembly Dear Synod! I greet you with deep gratitude for your faithfulness and profound partnership as we have endured together the joys and challenges of this pandemic. We have experienced a year filled with anxiety, pain, change, challenge and death, and yet there have also...

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April 10, 2021

Joy Complete: Easter Season Worship

A gift from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod to our rostered ministers, musicians, tech teams, and other virtual worship leaders. This service is available for Sunday, April 11, and suitable for any Sunday after Easter.   Joy Complete – Easter Season Worship from Southeastern PA Synod, ELCA on Vimeo. Download bulletin

April 3, 2021

Easter Blessing from Bishop Davenport

Reflecting on the power and purpose of this day, this scripture fell into my spirit. Please, let me share it with you. Romans 8:35-39 according to The Message:  St. Paul writes, “So what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on...

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March 30, 2021

Writing Contest: Addressing US History of Racial Injustice

This year marks the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, which took place on May 31 to June 1, 1921. Mobs of white residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK. It has been called “the single worst incident of...

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March 17, 2021

Join in Lament Against Anti-Asian Violence

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod sends its prayers to all who are affected by last night’s heinous shootings in Dallas, and with our Asian and Pacific Islander sisters and brothers who face an increasing number of violent attacks. Join Day of Lament Against Anti-Asian Violence The Asian and Pacific Islander Association of the ELCA recently issued...

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March 15, 2021

Thank you for your creative ministry!

Greetings, beloved. I’m reminded of the encouragement that comes from Psalm 31. It says, “Be strong, and take heart, “all you who hope in the Lord.” It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on the first anniversary of the day everything shut down. I remember thinking that it would be a few weeks...

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March 8, 2021

’I Was Homeless, Now I Help Make Tiny Homes for People on the Street’

“I was homeless from 2008 to 2013,” says Jacqueline Chapman. Today the active Welcome Church leader is advocating for the needs of homeless people as vice-president of the board of the Sanctuary Village project, which will develop tiny houses in Northeast Philadelphia to house people now living on the streets. Jacqueline shares her story in...

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March 8, 2021

Why Anti-Racism?

By Janet Bischoff SEPA Anti-Racism Team We Americans like to think positively, to look on the bright side of things, build the future. In our optimistic efforts to forge ahead, could it be that we have forgotten, maybe even deliberately erased, large chunks of history from our collective memory? William Faulkner famously said that “The...

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March 2, 2021

Resuming Care-Filled Worship, March 2021

Bishop Davenport continues to call on congregations to make safety a priority in determining whether to gather online, outdoors, or indoors. Loving our neighbors calls us to take care not to increase risks to our neighborhoods, our worshippers, or our worship leaders.    The latest guidance from the Ecumenical Consultation on Worship, Fellowship, and Sacramental...

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March 1, 2021

Anti-Racism Resources

SEPA Synod members participated in a four-week discussion of Debbie Irving’s book “Waking Up White.”  In it, she shares the experiences that led her to a greater awareness of the role of race and the impact of racism.  An appendix to the book provides a list of suggested resources that readers can access to go...

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February 24, 2021

From The Anti-Racism Team: Waiting

A child stays up to watch the late night news. She waits. Yes! They’re showing the lion dance. Firecrackers are set off. Drums and cymbals break out in joyful rhythms. The world knows it’s Chinese (lunar) New Year. She is happy.  She can now go to sleep. — A woman was doused with an acid-like...

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February 16, 2021

Continued Recommendation for Online-only Worship

Although we are encouraged with overall declines in new COVID-19 cases, the counties of Southeastern Pennsylvania are still rated as having “very high” or “extremely high” risk of community transmission of the virus. Bishop Davenport continues to strongly recommend that congregations do not hold indoor worship until further notice. In addition, the bishop recommends that...

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January 29, 2021

The Response to Violence and Hate is Beloved Community

A message from our Synod Secretary, the Rev. Karl M. Richard: Grace and peace from Jesus Christ, the redeemer of the world. I was horrified by the events that took place in Washington DC on January 6th when armed rioters stormed the capitol building in an attempt to overturn the election.  It made me ask,...

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January 18, 2021

Seeking Unity and Justice

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan. 18- 25) whose cry for unity is “That they all may be one” John 17:21 and whose theme this year is: “Abide in my love…you shall bear much fruit.”, begins this week. We also celebrate on Monday, January 18th the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his...

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January 18, 2021

Bishop Davenport Offers Prayer for Our Nation

Greetings Beloved, As we prepare in our nation’s capital for the historic inauguration of Joe Biden, as our 46th president, and Kamala Harris as our first African America-South Asian American woman, vice president, we must not forget the fury, violence and vitriol unleased in our capitol on January 6th, for many it was truly an...

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January 15, 2021

Bishop Eaton Offers Prayer for Our Nation

As we reflect on the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and look toward the inauguration, and share concern about possible violence at our state and national capitols, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton offers the following prayer: The psalmist reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm...

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January 5, 2021

Bishop Extends Recommendation for No In-person Worship

Bishop Davenport Greetings, Beloved! As we enter this new year 2021, I am writing to extend my strong recommendation that congregations do not offer in-person worship until further notice. My recommendation, made after much prayer and discernment, is based on our core Lutheran conviction of loving our neighbors – whether they be people in our communities, congregation...

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December 15, 2020

Positions to be Elected at Assembly

Nominations Needed for Synodical Positions The SEPA Synod’s Nominating Committee is currently looking for help as we seek to raise up new leaders from across our synod. We are looking for qualified persons, both clergy and lay, to serve as nominees for the election at the SEPA Synod Assembly on April 23-24, 2021. This year we have over...

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December 9, 2020

Guidelines for Virtual Congregational Meetings

A number of congregations have requested guidance on holding meetings remotely using teleconferencing or virtual technology during the current pandemic. Rev. Secretary Karl Richard has created a document that attempts to address some of the issues that need to be addressed in preparing for and conducting meetings in this way. This document is applicable for...

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