Category: 2014 Assembly

February 3, 2015

Ministry Partner: Communicators’ Network

Together as SEPA Synod we confidently declare it’s “God’s Work – Our Hands”.  Those of us who work in SEPA’s Communicator Network declare further that it’s “God’s Message – Our Channels” Who is a “communicator”?  It’s anyone in our congregations who is working in: Print communications Email Web and social media Video Multimedia for worship...

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July 17, 2014

Nurturing Vibrant Congregations

Growing the vibrancy of a congregation is not something that can be imparted by a new pastor or a consultant, but is the result of congregations taking ownership of the need for change, understanding any gaps between where they are and where they want to be, and experimenting with ways to make faith useful to...

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May 27, 2014

Highlights of 2014 Assembly

Capture the spirit of our Synod’s 2014 Assembly in summary report, which is suitable for sharing with members of your congregation by printing it or linking it to your email, website or social media. A formal summary of legislative actions and elections is also available, as are preliminary minutes of the Assembly. Full coverage of...

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May 14, 2014

Ignorance is Not Bliss

Social Media for Adults Who Care about Youth Summary of an Assembly 2014 Forum led by Molly Beck Dean, Assistant to the Bishop/Youth Ministry Specialist. Contact Molly by email to arrange a presentation in your area.   Factoid:  80% of internet-using teens say they are active with social media, engaging with it on a regular...

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May 13, 2014

‘Be Communities of Discernment’

“To do God’s work with our hands, we need to know what God is about,” the Rev. Dr. Mark S. Hanson told the 2014 Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly in his keynote address. “We need to be communities of discernment,” the former ELCA presiding bishop said. To do that, “we need to be fluent in the...

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May 13, 2014

VP Lifts Up ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Ministry

Through a year full of some hard decisions requiring much thought and prayer, the congregations of the SEPA Synod have increased their benevolent giving and increased their outreach efforts on behalf of their members and communities. Tracey Beasley, Synod Council vice president, used her report to praise the congregations and their efforts. “(This) hard conversation...

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May 13, 2014

Assembly OKs Mission Advancement Campaign

The Assembly voted unanimously to continue work with Kairos and Associates on the development of a Mission Advancement Campaign to develop resources to reshape the Synod for the work of equipping leaders and congregations to engage their communities and deepen discipleship of their members. Prior to presenting the resolution from Synod Council, Vice President Tracey...

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May 10, 2014

Assembly Congratulates Newly Approved Candidates

The Assembly congratulated six new candidates for call on their approvals.. Those called to be rostered leaders of our church begin their journey in local congregations where fellow members and the called leaders of the congregation nurture them. These future leaders then formally enter the Candidacy Process through the Synod. Guided by seminary faculty and...

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May 10, 2014

Ministry Partner: Stewardship Resource Team

“It’s all about modeling” said Rev. Larry Smoose, team leader for the Synod’s Stewardship Resource Team.  To grow mission-minded stewards of finances, time, and talent, said Rev. Smoose, it’s important that congregational leaders – and congregations themselves – model what it means to be good stewards.  For example, if the goal is tithing, the congregation...

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May 10, 2014

MacPhersons’ Say ‘Asante Sana’

Over and over again “Asante Sana” (“Thank You” in Swahili) was spoken by our Tanzanian missionaries, Susan and Tom MacPherson, as they called via Skype into the Assembly from East Africa. Calling from a classroom at the Irente Childrens’ Home with some young students who had not yet had their dinner and were up past their bedtimes,...

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May 9, 2014

Q&A With Mark Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Mark S. Hanson, former presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), spoke with workshop participants at the 2014 Assembly of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA) of the ELCA. Bishop Hanson invited the audience to form small groups and to offer questions. Here are highlights compiled by John Kahler. Q:...

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May 9, 2014

Moving Toward God’s Preferred Future

“Nobody changes before they are ready,” the Rev. Dr. David Lose, consultant with Kairos & Associates, told the Assembly. “This body is ready, and excited, and eager to live into God’s preferred future.” Lose reported on a wide-ranging survey of synod leaders, including clergy, congregation council members and other lay leaders, conducted this spring to...

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May 8, 2014

Join the Conspiracy

“I want to invite you all to join a new Christian conspiracy,” Bishop Claire Burkat challenged the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod in her address to the 2014 Assembly. “What does it mean to in the 21st Century to conspire with Christ and one another to heal and bless the world in whatever ways God is leading...

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May 8, 2014

2015 Budget Approved Unanimously

The Synod Assembly unanimously approved a $3.14 million budget for 2015, which anticipates flat income from Mission Support and a $224,000 shortfall. Congregations’ Mission Support giving held steady in 2013 after declining at a rate of 4 percent annually since the 1980s, said the Rev. Karl Richard, finance committee chair. The new budget holds the...

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May 4, 2014

Videos from 2014 Assembly

Video coverage of Synod Assembly presentations are available online at the links below: Complete 2014 Synod Assembly video playlist Friday Rev. Mark Hanson Sermon Rev. Mark Hanson Keynote Treasurer’s Report ELCA Representative Presentation by Ms. Judith Roberts Recognition of Approved Candidates   Saturday Bishop Burkat’s Sermon Kairos & Associates/David Lose presentation Moments with our Missionaries Bishop...

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May 3, 2014

God Strengthens our Hands and Resolve

God is hard at work, strengthening our hands and our resolve. Even when we are tired, weak and worn—especially then. Because He knows that as we heal from our broken, worn places, we gain strength from that healing, and we, in gratitude, turn to help heal others. “This is God’s work—strengthening our hands and our...

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May 3, 2014

We are Church — Together

ELCA Churchwide Representative Judith Roberts discusses how we are the church, together. #weareSEPA Justice is what love looks like in public. In keeping with the Assembly’s theme of togetherness and partnership, Judith Roberts, ELCA’s Director of Racial Justice, spoke to the gathering about the initiative We Are Church Together, an ELCA church-wide ministry. ELCA Presiding...

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May 3, 2014

Hands Ready to do God’s Work

We’ve hand many requests to post former Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson’s keynote address from the Assembly, on the theme “God’s work. Our hands.” Watch the entire keynote presentation here.

May 3, 2014

Nurturing Vibrant Congregations

For about fifteen minutes every week, most of us listen to a sermon, absorb its message and go home to our daily lives. Perhaps we think about it once or twice, or it may flutter around the edges of our minds, but chances are good that by the next week’s sermon, we’ve forgotten all about...

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May 2, 2014

Ministry Partner: Welcome Church

“We are moving 40 folks into permanent housing in May!” was the happy response of Pastor Violet Little of the Welcome Church when asked “What’s new and exciting in your ministry?” Working cooperatively with Project Home the Welcome Church, a ministry of our Synod that worships weekly outdoors on a corner of Logan Square with...

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