Author Archive

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 28, 2021

Online Communications for the Digital-Hybrid Church

Pastor Bob Fisher interviews Pastor Keith Anderson of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, a digital content expert and author of “The Digital Cathedral” and co-author of “Click 2 Save: The Social Media Bible”. Topics covered: 00:00 Introduction 00:53 Starting with digital ministry 03:46 From Zoom to live streaming 06:26 Why stream from the sanctuary? 07:04 Interactive...

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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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December 9, 2020

Pandemic Help: Do you need volunteers, or can you offer help?

The pandemic continues to take its health and economic toll on many. With eviction moratoriums and other public benefits ending on December 31, 2020, there will be a spike in eviction filings and many will continue to have to make harder and harder decisions on whether to pay for food, medicine, rent or their mortgage....

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November 17, 2020

Bishop’s Letter Regarding Latest COVID Spike

Bishop Davenport Nov 17 2020    Greetings, Beloved,   “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”   Romans 12:12   Right now, new cases of COVID-19, positive test rates, and hospitalizations are spiking across Southeastern Pennsylvania. Public health officials are issuing new mitigation orders in our area. In order to protect our most vulnerable members, our pastors...

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October 6, 2020

Stewardship Tip: What’s Your Narrative?

The Lake Institute for Faith and Giving had a survey of congregational leaders from across the country, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving in a July 2020 survey of 555 congregations found that congregational giving declined by 4.4 percent on average from February through June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. A plurality...

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October 2, 2020

Housing Insecurity Resources for Churches

Lutheran Congregational Services, with their partners in disaster, have put together resources for congregations and other community organizations who may get questions from people who are facing housing insecurity or homelessness, some of whom may never have faced this before. The resources are linked below and include contact information for mostly state agencies and state...

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September 22, 2020

God’s work. Our hands. Service

On (and after) Sunday, September 13, 2020, SEPA congregations joined others across the ELCA for the annual Day of Service projects. Each year, “God’s work. Our hands. Sunday” brings Lutherans out to serve their communities. This year, even though gathering was limited by the pandemic, churches still managed to serve neighbors near and far. Read...

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September 21, 2020

A Word of Encouragement from Bishop Davenport

Bishop Davenport Greetings beloved. If I could sing, I would sing I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus, which I did. However, I also had you on my mind, and I just wanted to pause today just to say, God bless you. And I am so grateful for each and every one of...

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September 9, 2020

In God’s Image 2020

Interested in learning how to expand your ministries to be more intentionally welcoming for LGBTQIA+ persons? Is your congregation already Reconciling in Christ but you want to know what more you can do? Do you feel like you just don’t know how to be the best ally you can be? This year’s In God’s Image...

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