Author Archive

February 28, 2022

Pastors Suah-Dennis, Penman Appointed Co-Directors of Evangelical Mission

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Moses Suah-Dennis and the Rev. Bryan Penman as co-directors of evangelical mission. Dr. Suah-Dennis is pastor of Faith-Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Lansdown. Rev. Penman is pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conshohoken. They will continue to serve their congregations...

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February 25, 2022

Covid Questions and Answers, February 2022

Dr. Tim Babinchak, infectious disease specialist, joined congregation leaders for a question and answer session on Feb. 24. Dr. Babinchak, a member of St. Johns, Phoenixville, discussed moving forward post-omicron variant surge and making decisions about congregational life and activities. [Scroll down to watch the video] [Download Transcript: COVID Q&A February 2022] Dr. Babinchak noted...

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February 16, 2022

COVID Update from Bishop Davenport

Dear Beloved, I am grateful that COVID cases and hospitalizations have been declining quickly across southeastern Pennsylvania. I pray that this trend continues. In order to protect the people we serve, I encourage you to keep finding safe ways to gather in person as well as offer complementary online access. Our leaders and congregations have...

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February 7, 2022

The Building Blocks of Congregational Renewal

Generosity logo SEPA “This interview is reprinted by permission from Leading Ideas, a free e-newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary and available at churchleadership.com.” What does it take to turn a congregation around? Lewis Center Director Doug Powe interviews Ed Brandt, a long-serving pastor who recently retired as chief of chaplains for...

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February 1, 2022

2022 ELCA Youth Gathering Canceled

Our synod offers prayers for all who are affected by this decision. From The ELCA Youth Gathering Facebook Page: An update regarding the 2022 Gathering   After much prayer, conversation and tears, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2022 Gathering, MYLE and the tAble due to the ongoing pandemic, the recent COVID-19...

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January 31, 2022

Tuscarora Youth Retreat Moves to One Day

The Tuscarora Youth Retreat Committee has made the decision to change this year’s retreat to a ONE DAY EVENT due to the latest COVID-19 numbers and data. [Note: This is not a synod sponsored event and not subject to the synod’s events policy.] All 6th – 12th grade youth and their leaders are welcome to...

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January 21, 2022

“A Season of Hope”

If you missed the January 16 worship webcast of our Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Worship Service, you can now view it on video. Members of the Southeast Michigan Synod, ELCA, Acts In Common, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA, and the African Descent Lutheran Association presented this MLK Worship Event, featuring guest preacher...

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January 21, 2022

Contemplating the New Year

Two years into a global pandemic, the toll on human life and livelihood is undeniable, and the toll on mental, emotional and spiritual health is no less profound. Enormous shifts in the way we work, gather and worship have left many people reeling. How can faith communities be a resource for those struggling?   For...

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January 21, 2022

Celebrate Diverse Ministries for Black History Month

This is our future church: A ten-year-old preacher and professional artist; a grassroots campaign for affordable housing; young and diverse communities. African Descent Ministries of the ELCA is celebrating Black History Month with Talks at the Desk, a new series that will explore diverse expressions of the church. Join us each Wednesday in February at 7:30 pm...

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January 21, 2022

You Can Change the Church

A Pre-Assembly Web Forum with the Reference and Counsel Committee Join us February 3 at 7:00pm on Zoom to learn: How you can create changes in the church through the Synod Assembly What’s the difference between a resolution and a memorial? Ways to write an effective resolution REGISTER NOW   Download printable copy   The...

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January 14, 2022

Anti-Racism Education for Rostered Ministers

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s Anti-Racism Team has developed a new format for the anti-racism education required for all rostered ministers. The new format consists of: One 90-minute Zoom meeting to introduce the curriculum. The first one for 2022 is planned for Saturday, January 29, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Nine online modules outlining the historical context...

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January 13, 2022

As COVID Surge Continues, Stay the Course on Mitigation

A Message From Bishop Davenport January 13, 2022 Dear Beloved, As we enter the depth of the winter season, I want to remind you how important it is to hold fast to our COVID mitigation protocols for the safety of our leaders, worshippers, and communities. We encourage you to find safe ways to gather in...

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January 5, 2022

COVID Data Update for January 5

As of January 4, the number of new cases reported in the Philadelphia metro area have increased sharply since December 9. New case rate in all five SEPA counties is rated as “Extreme” (the most dire category) by COVIDActNow.org. Some good news: Over the same time period the percentage of ICU beds in use has...

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December 24, 2021

Christmas Message from Bishop Davenport

Watch the video Greetings beloved. I know that it’s been another challenging year. COVID and current CDC guidelines cautioning against in-person gatherings at this time is dispiriting. However, the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who lived in a land of deep darkness, on them, the light has shined says...

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December 17, 2021

Support This Year’s All Saints Appeal

Dear Beloved Saints of Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod,  Gathering is encoded into the DNA of God’s people. The Church has always gathered for worship, for service, for fellowship and prayer. These past 20 months, though, our gatherings have looked different as we adjusted to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The origin story of Robert...

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December 15, 2021

Bishop: New Synod Guidelines For In-Person Worship

Bishop Davenport December 15, 2021 Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4 Dear Beloved in Christ, I bring you greetings for a blessed Christmas and a safe New Year. As we approach our second pandemic holiday, you are in my prayers. Sadly, a week...

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December 10, 2021

COVID Update: Increasing Cases Challenge Churches At Christmas

As new COVID 19 cases spike across Southeastern Pennsylvania, churches face new concerns about keeping members, leaders, and neighbors safe during the holidays. All our SEPA counties are seeing steep increases in new cases and a rising infection rate. Combined these data points indicate the likelihood of further spread through December. As Lutheran Christians, we...

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December 10, 2021

Revised COVID Policy for Synod Events

To safeguard the health and safety of event participants, Synod teams, volunteers, and staff, we adopt the following protocols for Synod-sponsored or endorsed events.   Download a printable version: Synod Events During the Pandemic   CHECK COVID STATS IN YOUR COUNTY Executive Summary   Participants, presenters, event staff Provide proof of full vaccination, including boosters...

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December 10, 2021

What Is Going On With COVID Right Now?

New COVID infections are rising sharply across the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s five counties, with new case rates between 34.2 and 44.2 new cases per 100,000 residents. Infection rates continue to be high, ranging from 1.12 to 1.24. A rate of 1.24, for example, means that for each 100 infected persons the disease is spreading to...

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November 23, 2021

Winter COVID Update with Dr. Babinchak

How will the availability of vaccines for 5 to 11-year-olds impact church activities for Advent and Christmas? What about travel and gatherings for the holidays, and the onset of colder weather?  Dr. Tim Babinchak, an infectious disease specialist, joined us for our regular COVID update for congregations and leaders. Watch by clicking this link (Passcode is sepa!comms2021). WATCH...

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