Category: SOFIA

June 26, 2018

Reclaiming Dignity Through Job Training

When Danny Peters was released from the State Correctional Institution at Graterford in the spring of 2016, he was one of the fortunate ones—he had a strong support system and determination. But after 35 years in prison, he knew he would need job training and someone to give him a second chance to prove he...

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May 16, 2018

Historic Bishop Elections: ‘There is Room at the Table’

“I came into the church during an era of ‘You’re welcome to come, but leave your baggage and all of your gifts, all the things you bring, at the door,’ ” Bishop-elect Patricia A. Davenport tells Living Lutheran magazine for a profile of the ELCA’s first two African-American woman bishops. “So this (election) says to...

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February 28, 2018

Anti-Racism Team Making a Difference

For Such a Time as This logo When “T,” a single African professional, and her children experienced mistreatment in their neighborhood and middle school in Havertown, a colleague — Chase Ferguson, a member of the synod’s Anti Racism Team (ART) — connected her with nearby Temple Lutheran Church. After Pastor Tim Johansen told “T”’s story in a sermon, the congregation wrote and...

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February 5, 2018

Philly Beats New England in Hunger Challenge

E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES! Yo! Philly fans. Thanks to you not only are the Birds Super Bowl Champions, but #ELCATeamPhilly took home the 2018 ELCA World Hunger Synod Challenge. In total, nearly $36,000 was raised for ELCA World Hunger. Despite a late push by Team New England, Team Philadelphia came out ahead with a total of $18,700...

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January 4, 2018

Download “Brave New Church” App

It’s a Christmas season gift from the Synod! Now you can carry the resources, videos, podcasts, blog posts and more from our innovative BraveNewChurch.org website in your pocket with the Brave New Church app. The app allows you to quickly access video training, podcasts, book and resource suggestions and more. Pastor Brad Burke introduces the...

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January 4, 2018

5 Things to Consider Engaging Young Adults

Every congregation in the country is trying to figure out how to engage young adults. Many churches struggle because they they focus on their own needs to fill in a missing age group rather than seeking to meet the needs of the young adults they connect with. Living Lutheran offers five things that any congregation that...

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October 16, 2017

Re-Mediation in the D-I-Y Church

While the church struggles to figure out what our belief in death-and-resurrrection really means for the church to live again, people outside the church “are figuring it out for themselves,” Pastor Keith Anderson of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church writes in the latest issue of The BTS Center’s Bearings magazine. “Indeed, although religious affiliation continues to...

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October 11, 2017

Lending creativity to share the Bible’s story

For more than 20 years, a creative team at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Phoenixville has been going over the top with elaborate sets and props for the congregation’s annual Vacation Bible School. “We try to take the theme of the year and make it bigger than life,” says Bobbie, one of the core members...

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October 11, 2017

New Creation Reaches Out to Puerto Rico

One congregation that is active in response and support of Puerto Rico is Iglesia Lutheran Nueva Creación (New Creation Lutheran Church) in North Philadelphia. While keeping in touch with her own family in Puerto Rico, Pastor Lyzette Rios of New Creation has been finding ways to care for other members of her congregation and community...

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August 1, 2017

Row House Offers Women Serenity

Key: Fearless. Image by Daryn Bartlett on Unsplash.com By the time it was to close for the spring, The Well — a microshelter for women experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia — was down to just a handful of residents. Since opening in November, about 20 women had been sheltered evenings at The Well, and “most had found permanent housing,” said the Rev. Violet Little,...

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June 12, 2017

The Well Helps Women Find Housing

The Well Philadelphia’s large-scale homeless shelters are not always a good fit for single women. This past winter, The Welcome Church and a number of partners opened “The Well,” a new-concept micro-shelter, to provide a warm and safe place for a dozen women. The concept worked better than expected, with The Well able to serve a total...

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March 30, 2017

It’s Time for A Brave New Church

Greetings friends and colleagues, I am pleased to share some sobering and some exciting news with you during this holy season of Lent. In this time of intentional personal reflection, prayer, and discernment, it is good for us to also reflect on our circumstances as a church. The simple truth is that across America the...

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March 22, 2017

200+ Explore Cross-Generational Ministry

Pastor Brad Burke, assistant to the bishop for youth, young adult and faith formation, shares about the Cross+Gen Ministry event with Rich Melheim and David Lose held in our Synod March 10-11″ What an amazing day at LTSP! About 200 wonderful lay and clergy leaders from across the region all learning from Rich Melheim, David...

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March 22, 2017

Council Officers’ Gathering Inspires, Informs

More than 80 lay congregation council leaders participated in Bishop Claire Burkat’s annual Council Officers’ Gathering on March 18. ‘Here’s what I love about the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod: You!” the bishop told the council presidents, vice presidents, secretaries and treasurers gathered at LTSP’s Benbow Hall. “I love our leaders, and today I especially celebrate our lay leaders....

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February 28, 2017

Interfaith Leaders Condemn Desecration of Jewish Cemetery

Interfaith leaders from across Greater Philadelphia gathered Monday at the Lutheran Theological Seminary to lament and condemn the weekend vandalism that desecrated the final resting places of Jews buried in Mt. Carmel Jewish Cemetery. Bishop Burkat opened a news conference with Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders by calling the damage to more than one hundred...

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