Category: Mission

January 29, 2024

“We Are The Tools of Transformation”

“Beloved, we are saved by grace through faith for a purpose,” The Rev. Dr. Patricia A. Davenport, bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, said in the opening sermon of the annual generosity extravaganza, “Tools for Today.” Her text was 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, in which Paul speaks of the need and joy of giving to help...

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December 6, 2023

All Saints Appeal Supports Youth and Young Adult Formation

“What a joy it’s been to watch youth programs rejuvenate after what was a long pandemic,” says Pastor Skyle Rea, assistant to the bishop for youth and young adult formation. This year the Tuscarora Lutheran Youth Retreat resumed meeting in-person. Youths from several congregations participated in the Appalachia Service Project trip and worked to make...

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September 15, 2023

Urban Ministry Task Force Update, Summer 2023

At the 2022 SEPA Synod Assembly, our synod passed a memorial to study and explore the state of Urban Ministry in our synod. The resolution contained three primary objectives: 1.) assessing the wage disparity for urban pastors, 2.) assess the state of our buildings and 3.) develop a program to develop pastoral leadership in urban...

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February 7, 2022

The Building Blocks of Congregational Renewal

Generosity logo SEPA “This interview is reprinted by permission from Leading Ideas, a free e-newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary and available at” What does it take to turn a congregation around? Lewis Center Director Doug Powe interviews Ed Brandt, a long-serving pastor who recently retired as chief of chaplains for...

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August 18, 2020

Thanks For Your Support of Bishop Munga

We’re pleased to say that Bishop Stephen Munga of our companion synod in Tanzania is at home following heart surgery and weeks of rehabilitation. His family, including the Rev. Dr. Anneth Munga and son Daniel, and our partners in the North Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania share their thanks for the...

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December 4, 2019

Called To Serve Our Neighbors

Through baptism, we are called to serve our neighbors and steward God’s good creation. As Lutherans, our attention turns to the policies that make a broader difference in our lives and the lives of our vulnerable neighbors. It is important that we add our voice into the process. In this video presented by Lutheran Advocacy...

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February 9, 2016

‘Dust Is Not the Final Word’

The crosses marked on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday are signs of both life and death. The ashes suggest our eventual return too the dust, but “the dust is not the final word,” says Welcome Church Pastor Violet Little. At an Ash Wednesday service on Logan Park in 2013, Pastor Violet told her flock “What...

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February 9, 2016

Welcome Church Shelters ‘Women of the Well’

The Welcome Church is collaborating with a number of partners to provide nighttime housing for women experiencing homelessness in Center City. The shelter, called “the Well,” will open at the Church of the Crucifixion at 8th and Bainbridge Streets on Sunday, Feb. 14. It will offer a place for gathering and renewal from 7:30 pm...

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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 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

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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November 11, 2013

Little Receives 2013 Purpose Prize

Welcome Church Pastor Violet Little honored with prize for people over 60 solving tough social problems.   The Rev. Violet Little, pastor of Philadelphia’s Welcome Church ministering to people experiencing homelessness, is one of seven winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize, which honors people over 60 who are using their “second acts” to make a...

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September 12, 2013

God’s work. Our hands.

We are a church that rolls up its sleeves and gets to work. Across our Synod on September 8 volunteers cleaned up parks, streets and creeks, helped schools get ready for fall, ran programs for kids, did painting and construction for shelters and clinics, packed thousands of meals, and more on “God’s work. Our hands. Sunday” Sept....

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August 20, 2013

ELCA Always Being Made New

The ELCA’s theme, “Always Being Made New,” was lived out at the Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh Aug. 12-17. The Assembly elected a new Presiding Bishop, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton; Bishop Burkat says that our new bishop “will lead us with courage, wisdom, wit, and a deep and faithful engagement with the witness of the ELCA...

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May 23, 2013

Post-Modern Church Videos Online

People at the 2013 Synod Assembly were inspired by Jay Gamelin’s two presentations on “The Gospel in a Post-Modern Era.” Now you can watch Jay’s presentations online in the MinistryLink Video Library. The first presentation covers how emerging generations are wired, and what that means for the Church. In the second, Jay shares his faith...

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May 10, 2013

See Through “Jesus Colored Glasses”

At the opening worship of the 2013 Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, Bishop Claire Burkat challenged the assembly to focus on God-sight as Philip did in the gospel of John. After having been invited by Jesus to follow him, Phillip saw things through “Jesus-colored glasses.” The bishop urged SEPA Lutherans to be Philips – and our congregations...

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May 9, 2013

Show Jesus Fearlessly

Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Phillip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” (John 12:20-21 NRSV) “The Greeks noticed something about Jesus,” said Bishop Claire Burkat in her address to the 2013 Southeastern Pennsylvania...

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May 8, 2013

Gamelin: Go With Boldness

Jay Gamelin, pastor and discipler at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Lexington SC, illustrated how one can show Jesus by sharing his faith story during his keynote to the 2013 Assembly of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. He began by sharing his thoughts about Jesus’ disciple, Thomas, whom he prefers to call “Curious Thomas” or “Honest Thomas” because...

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May 3, 2013

‘We Are Being Watched’

“I went to seminary for four years to do this,” said Jay Gamelin (@JayGamelin), pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Lexington, SC, as he raised his arms. The second time he did it some people in the assembly stood, recognizing a common pastoral signal in worship. He said he felt uncomfortable for a long time because...

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