Category: Communications

April 6, 2020

Considerations for Remote Council and Congregation Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During this time of social distancing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many congregation leaders are asking how they can take advantage of technology to continue to hold necessary meetings to conduct the business of the congregation. Please bear in mind that some matters may best be postponed until the restrictions on gatherings have been lifted....

Read More →

April 5, 2020

More Info on CARES Act Programs

Important Info From The ELCA Here are answers to some frequently asked questions: Are churches eligible? Yes. There is some misinformation out there and some lenders are confused, but churches are eligible. What is the application period for the Paycheck Protection Plan loans/grants? It opened April 3. There is no close date we are aware of, but because the...

Read More →

April 3, 2020

Bishop Eaton: We Remain United

As we approach Holy Week, Bishop Eaton invites the church to join a diverse group of Christians in witness to our common faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

April 2, 2020

Recommendation: Discontinue Gathering To Live Stream

April 2, 2020 Colleagues, With increasing concern about aerosol spread of the COVID-19 virus and news such as this and this, and reports that the government will recommend wearing masks in public, we strongly recommend that you discontinue gathering a group of worship leaders together to record/live stream your worship service. We make this recommendation...

Read More →

March 31, 2020

Options For Churches Under Federal CARES Act

Congress has passed three acts recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latter two, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), provide significant assistance that is available to churches, religious organizations and their employees. The FFCRA requires employers to provide paid sick leave...

Read More →

March 29, 2020

Churches and Coronavirus Relief

Rostered ministers, Bishop Davenport shares information on potential financial assistance for ministers and churches via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act. ELCA General Counsel Tom Cunniff has advised bishops that the recently passed stimulus act has several provisions that are available to churches and church employees during the coronavirus...

Read More →

March 28, 2020

Daily Bread, Hunger Grant Information

Dear partners and friends of ELCA World Hunger, Since we announced the opening of the 2021 Domestic Hunger Grant application on March 10, the reality of how we address hunger in this country and around the world has shifted drastically due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of you have already begun the hard work of...

Read More →

March 18, 2020

Bishop: Churches Should Comply With Governor’s Order

Beloved, I’m sure you aware that Governor Wolf ordered that all non-essential business in Pennsylvania need to close, effective March 17, for two weeks. This is part of the ongoing mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. My colleague, Bishop Michael Rhyne of Allegheny Synod, shares that their synod’s attorney informed them that...

Read More →

March 13, 2020

Pastoral Message: Prepare, Take Care, and Pray

Care for our neighbors means we should not make the virus spread worse. March 13, 2020 Dear Beloved, Do not be afraid! The public health situation with coronavirus and COVID-19 in Southeastern Pennsylvania is serious, but not a cause for panic. We are bombarded with anxiety from schools closing, new cases reported, financial worry, and concern...

Read More →

February 19, 2020

Local Youth Joins ELCA Leadership Team

Congratulations to Kendyll Ward who is one of six high school youth across the country to be selected for the ELCA Youth Leadership Team. She is a member of Trinity, Havertown and starts her duties March 5-8 with a team meeting in Chicago. Her service is a two-year commitment. “I am so proud of her...

Read More →

February 19, 2020

What Are We Taking On For Lent?

Lenten Message from Bishop Davenport Reflection on Isaiah 58:6-9 Watch video message Download print vision         February, 2020 Greetings, beloved. So what are we taking on for Lent? Jesus’ journey to the cross was a path through sacrifice and discipline. Our Lord took on the weight of the whole world. He poured...

Read More →

February 10, 2020

Lutheran Roots and Seeds of Protest

DANIEL PAYNE The Life and Legacy of Daniel Alexander Payne   Daniel Alexander Payne, the first African-American admitted to a Lutheran seminary in 1835, went on to have an influential career as a preacher and bishop. But not in a Lutheran church — he was ordained in 1839 but joined the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church two...

Read More →

February 6, 2020

2020 Synod Assembly Registration

How is your church pouring itself out for the community? What opportunities are you seeing in your neighborhood? Mark your calendar for God’s mission Friday and Saturday, May 1 and 2. The 2020 SEPA Synod Assembly will focus on “Acuity: Seeing Mission Possibilities.” Regular business will be conducted on Friday and Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon...

Read More →

January 21, 2020

Bishop on 50 Years of Ordaining Lutheran Women

Today, women of all races, backgrounds and experiences lead congregations, synods and the churchwide expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. But in the early days, “there were no models except male,” says Elizabeth Platz, the first woman ordained by a Lutheran denomination in the US — the Lutheran Church in America — in...

Read More →

January 16, 2020

Non-Profit Security Grant Applications Available Through Feb. 14

Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $5 million in funding for security enhancement projects for nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities throughout Pennsylvania. Applicants are eligible for security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the commonwealth that is owned or operated by the nonprofit organization....

Read More →

January 7, 2020

Christian Minimalism Focuses on What Really Matters

Jesus’ simple life, focus on what was most important, and trust in God to provide testify to his minimalist lifestyle. The minimalism movement offers that attending to what matters and eliminating things and ideas that distract can provide “meaning” to our lives. Pastor Becca Ehrlich of Philadelphia, author of the Christian Minimalism blog, writes in...

Read More →

January 7, 2020

Godspeed, Pastor Lang

Bishop Davenport and the Synod staff express their thanks to the Rev. Sue Lang for her significant work as Events Coordinator over the years. Pastor Lang chose to step away from this position in December to attend to other responsibilities. Pastor Lang is a gifted writer and a certified ELCA coach, and we trust that...

Read More →

December 19, 2019

Holy Closure of Grace, Norristown

Holy Closure of Grace – Norristown on January 12, 2020 Remembering in prayer the saints at Grace Lutheran Church – Norristown. Grace Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Lower Montgomery Conference, will hold their final worship service on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 3 PM with Bishop Davenport presiding. Rostered ministers and members of the SEPA...

Read More →

December 9, 2019

The Search for Baby Jesus

Elise Seyfried “felt strongly about emphasizing Jesus’ humanity” when she started her job as director of spiritual formation at Christ’s Lutheran Church, Oreland, in 2002. The congregation was used to a pageant featuring a pink, plastic baby Jesus. “I decided to take a chance and add an element of surprise: a real baby. A possibly...

Read More →

December 6, 2019

It’s About Jesus – A Christmas Message

  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13       Beloved, “It’s about Jesus!” That was the theme for the ELCA’s exciting Congregational Vitality gathering this year. And it could...

Read More →