Category: Faith in action

March 4, 2019

Leadership in Uncharted Territory

“Leadership is disappointing your own people at a rate they can absorb.” Tod Bolsinger, PhD, used this quote from adaptive leadership guru Ronald Heifetz to summarize the balancing act of leading in uncharted territory for more than 200 clergy and lay leaders gathered for a learning day with the author of “Canoeing the Mountains.” As...

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February 15, 2019

Lutheran Settlement House Gets Boost from Fishtown’s Boom

From The Philadelphia Inquirer: A century ago, immigrants who arrived in Fishtown from Eastern Europe found themselves at the doors of the Lutheran Settlement House on Frankford Avenue, an urban ministry that helped families acclimate to their new lives. The nonprofit agency, which has never moved from the stately building where it was founded in 1902,...

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January 30, 2019

Brewing for Good

Veteran Brewer Lou Farrell, a member of St. John’s, Ambler, is readying a new venture, Ür Brewery, set to open in Lansdale in May. The Welcome Church, a community ministering with people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia, will benefit from the brewery’s profits. According to an article in NorthPennNow, the new business may also provide employment...

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January 23, 2019

A Civil Conversation on Race and Faith

Bishop Davenport Bishop Patricia A. Davenport was one of five conversationalists who participated in Interfaith Philadelphia’s “Conversation on Race and Faith” at WHYY January 17. The bishop joined the Rev. Steven Lawrence, president of NewCORE (A New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity), Rabbi David Strauss of Main Line Reform Temple, Sheikh Anwar Muhaimin of Masjid Quba, and...

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January 16, 2019

Forward Together in Faith Grants Awarded

The Synod has awarded $26,000 in grants funded by the Forward Together in Faith Campaign to 11 projects designed to network congregations and communities, start innovative ministries, enhance their communications, or equip leaders for ministry in the 21st Century. “We had many creative proposals and a limited amount of grant funds,” said Bishop Patricia A....

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December 18, 2018

Once he vandalized a church; Now they share a hopeful bond

‘What I did probably saved my life because I got the help I needed.’ By Mark A. Staples Reunions are commonplace during the holidays, but the one that took place between Christopher Rhoads and leaders of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansdale in early December could not have been imagined three years ago. Early on...

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December 12, 2018

RedeemerFest: Faith in Action

Redeemer, Jamison holds Redeemerfest on the first Saturday of October.  It is a beautiful example of faith in action.  All proceeds from Redeemerfest support a local charity.  In 2017 it was the Food Pantry at St Johns, Hatboro.  In 2018 it was the Code Blue Project of the Bucks County Coalition to Support and Shelter...

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November 28, 2018

Ambler Union: Young Adults Living Well, Doing Good

The Ambler Union is a collaborative of local young adults and partner organizations dedicated to helping young adults (around 22 to 32 years old) live well and do good. They host events that bring young adults together to create community, enjoy good food and nature, explore tools for living well, and do good in the...

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November 21, 2018

SEKOMU Raises Up Special Education Leaders

What do you do when you lack qualified people to help with your ministries? Well, you could start a university to train qualified people. That’s what the North Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania was facing, and what it did, according to Bishop Munga. Speaking at a Meet & Greet at Advent Lutheran...

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October 31, 2018

Interfaith Leaders Stand with Jewish Community

Hundreds packed Temple Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia Sunday night as people of many faiths and political leaders gathered to stand in support of the Jewish community after 11 worshippers were murdered during prayers at a Pittsburgh synagogue Oct. 27. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported: The tone was largely spiritual. The Rev. Mark Tyler of Mother Bethel...

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October 31, 2018

Launching a Journey of Faithful Innovation

A cohort of leaders of Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey Synod congregations participated in a retreat to kick off a multi-year Leadership for Faithful Innovation program. The effort is part of a $1 million grant Luther Seminary received from the Lilly Endowment to help pastors and congregations move from “performative” ministry — a model in...

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October 23, 2018

Mission Support: Faith in Action

Did you know that Mission Support — the offerings your congregation shares with the synod and the churchwide organization — helps put faith into action locally, nationally, and globally? Mission Support provides most of the funding to support the work of the Office of the Bishop. Your gifts help us to identify and nurture future...

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October 22, 2018

Bless the Lord for SEKOMU’s 10th Anniversary

A message from the Rev. Dr. Anneth Munga on 10 years of Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University and its partnership with our Synod:  “Bless the LORD Oh My Soul!” These words are painted on the front wall of one of the lecture halls at Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University  (SEKOMU). The university is located in Magamba village,...

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October 22, 2018

How to Teach Congregations about Mission Support

Generosity logo SEPA I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to Congregation Councils and congregational members who do not understand what the synod and ELCA do with the dollars contributed by our congregations. And often our rostered leaders aren’t sure how to teach the compelling stories that arise from the use of these funds in our...

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October 17, 2018

Cross+Gen Movement Building Across SEPA

More than two years ago, about 20 congregational leaders turned up to discuss the challenges of the traditional, age-oriented approach to Sunday School and faith formation. On the other end of the Skype connection was author and consultant Rich Melheim. The energy and frustration released on that rainy spring day blossomed into the first synod-level...

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October 9, 2018

Camp Noah Offers Hope, Builds Resiliency

More than 40 children who were displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and relocated to Eastern Pennsylvania were treated to a week-long Camp Noah program at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Reading in August. Lutheran Congregational Services, an affiliate of Liberty Lutheran Services, helped coordinate the program, which included volunteers from many non-profit and faith-based...

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August 25, 2018

Substance Abuse Forums

“Addiction is a chronic, relapsing, and progressive brain disease.” When talking disability ministry, we here at Able, Together like to cast a wide net. We delve into all kinds of illnesses, mobility and developmental issues, and mental health concerns including substance abuse. It has been heartening for me (Kathleen) to notice several area churches addressing...

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August 25, 2018

Peaceful Living All-Ability Art Program Residence

Peaceful Living’s Art Program moved into Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton this spring, bringing new life to the hallways. With artworks on display, and a classroom filled with bustling artists, things are looking joyful and exciting in this historic church. Elena Drozdova, Peaceful Living’s Art Director, recently spoke with me about this blossoming partnership between...

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August 21, 2018

A ton of help for the hungry

Two congregations in Upper Bucks established a Community Vegetable Garden that provides fresh organic produce to two local food pantries. Jerusalem Lutheran in Almont and St. Michael’s Lutheran in Sellersville teamed up 3 years ago to tend the “Garden of Eat’n.” Donations are now approaching the 1 ton of produce milestone! The Garden is a...

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July 19, 2018

St. Paul, Telford: Younger Youth Like to Serve, Too

While older youth had the opportunity to serve at the triennial ELCA Youth Gathering, younger youth like to serve also! Taking an idea from another local Lutheran Church, St. Paul’s in Telford held a 3-day mini youth work camp. Youth in grades 3 through 10 were invited to attend. Held from 9 am – 4pm,...

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