Category: Equipping

August 18, 2020

State Sales Tax Exemption for Churches Extended

Due to delays in processing of sales tax exemptions as a result of COVID-19, the state Department of Revenue extended the exempt status of the Synod and its subsidiary churches until September 30, 2020. The extension is intended to assist churches in continuing daily operations without interruption of exempt status. You may use this correspondence...

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June 16, 2020

Emergency Grants for PA Families Open Through July 12

Did you lose a job or work hours during the coronavirus crisis? You might be eligible for emergency cash assistance from Pennsylvania. The Emergency Cash Assistance Program will provide one-time cash grants to families who qualify. This could be helpful while you are waiting for your Unemployment Compensation to start. This program will end July...

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January 15, 2019

Leadership in Uncharted Territory

Canoeing The Mountains With Tod Bolsinger Tod Bolsinger, author of “Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory,” will be in Philadelphia February 28 to help us reframe our leadership for the sake of the church today. Rather than seeing graphs of decline or propaganda of a hopeful church, we will acknowledge the challenge of our...

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December 6, 2017

Meaningful Conversations About Race

For Such a Time as This logo ART, SEPA synod’s Anti-Racism Team, has been busy in recent weeks. ​On November 11, ART members Janet Bischoff and Chase Ferguson presented an overview of what happens during anti-racism training to 12 members of Advent, Harleysville. And on November 12, ART members the Rev. Gwendolyn King and Deacon Kathie Afflerbach were the presenters and facilitators...

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May 30, 2017

Call For Coaching In Times of Change

Call for Coaching Have you considered coaching to navigate change in the church? Change is happening all around. Old models of ministry are being set aside, and some are experimenting with new ways of engaging in Christ’s mission in their context. How can we work through the swirl of information and emotion so that we can better lead...

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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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June 9, 2016

Becoming A Place For All

With increasing diversity in our culture and growing mobility of people across and into the U.S., how can we as ELCA congregations become places that affirm the God-given dignity and personhood of everyone? What will it take? What’s our role? What’s working? Watch Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Pastor Ruben Duran, Mikka McCracken and Pastor Matt...

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March 14, 2016

“Do Something You Never Thought You Could”

The Church didn’t cause the steady decline in religious participation over the last 50 years, says LTSP President David Lose. Massive changes have shifted the world around the church. But in holding on to what used to work church leaders have missed many of the changes, Lose said at Ministry Resource Day on campus in...

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February 1, 2016

Presiding Bishop Calls for Conversation About Race

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has called on the ELCA’s 3.7 million members to “be the church that models for the rest of this country what it means to have these difficult conversations” about racial inequality. Eaton made her remarks during a Jan. 14 live webcast, “Confronting Racism: A Holy Yearning.” Watch the webcast recording and get...

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January 14, 2016

Upgrade Your Congregation’s Hospitality

As a visitor to a different congregation every week for over a decade, Beth Lewis (president and CEO of AugsburgFortress) has developed a strong sense of what helps congregations reach out to visitors. She’ll share that wisdom with us on Monday, Feb. 1, noon to 3 pm at the Seminary’s Brossman Center, co-sponsored by the...

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November 9, 2015

Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice

The Synod is co-sponsoring live webcasts of “Listen for a Change: Sacred Conversations for Racial Justice” featuring New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, actor Anna Deavere Smith, and Vanderbilt Divinity School Dean Emilie Townes on January 21-23, 2016, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. The webcasts from Trinity Wall Street’s annual theological conference will...

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September 22, 2015

Bradley Burke Called to Youth, Formation Roles

Dionne Jackson also joins ministry team The Rev. Bradley R. Burke has been appointed Assistant to the Bishop for Youth, Young Adult and Spiritual Formation by Bishop Claire Burkat. Pastor Burke, who is currently serving as executive director of Lutheran Charities in Southeastern Pennsylvania, has been involved in youth and young adult ministry in our...

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July 27, 2015

Confronting Racism

Join ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and William B. Horne II, an ELCA member from Clearwater, Fla., for a live webcast conversation on the complexity and implications of racism Aug. 6 at 9 p.m. EDT (8 p.m. CDT). Through its social statement – “Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” – ELCA members have expressed this church’s calling to confront racism...

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June 15, 2015

Save Dates for Bishop’s Convocation

Save the dates! This year’s Bishop’s Convocation will be held November 18 – 20, 2015 (Wednesday through Friday) at Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Conference Center, 101 Doe Mountain Lane, Macungie, PA 18062.  (Not to be confused with the Camp in Northeastern PA Synod.) “Thinking outside the walls: Surprising spaces to be the church” will feature Bryan Berghoef and...

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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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September 19, 2014

Dealing with Grief in the Church Community

photo credit: eflon via photopin cc Grief is pervasive in our communities after death, divorce, loss of employment, diagnosis, incarceration of a loved one and other life milestones. Lutheran Congregational Services hosts “Reconciled with Grief: Shining a Light on Silent Suffering in the Church Community” on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Emmaus. This workshop will help faithfully prepare the...

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September 19, 2014

Help for Families Coping With Mental Illness

photo credit: Studio Grafico EPICS via photopin cc Navigating relationships can be a challenge for any of us, for those with a loved one suffering from Bipolar, Major Depression or Borderline Personality Disorder it can feel like a wild rollercoaster ride. The Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA is offering its’ Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster 10 week workshop beginning October 1 and 2 in...

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September 15, 2014

A Growing Approach to Food Insecurity

From the seeds that planted a garden to help a local food pantry, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (LCR) in Yardley is nurturing an ever-widening circle of ministry to people experiencing food insecurity. “God keeps putting opportunities in front of us to serve the hungry and the homeless,” says Diane Casey, LCR’s coordinator of serving...

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June 11, 2014

Convocation Explores Generosity, Generations

For the first time in history, six generations are living and worshipping in our congregations simultaneously. To thrive congregations must find ways to relate to all of these cohorts, even though they respond to very different approaches to faith formation and institutional support. Join us at the 2014 Bishop’s Convocation as we explore the connection...

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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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