April 10, 2019

Bishop Davenport: A Pastoral Message on Standards for Pastors and Deacons

Dear Sisters and Brothers, This past weekend in Chicago, the ELCA Church Council considered how to move forward with a new statement describing the church’s vision for its rostered ministers. Titled “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” it is intended to replace the current document known as “Visions and Expectations.” Last month, the Conference...

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March 20, 2019

Court Upholds Housing Allowance

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Friday upheld the tax-exempt housing allowance for ordained clergy against a constitutional challenge from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. From ChurchLawAndTax.com: The Seventh Circuit reversed a 2017 decision by a federal district judge in Wisconsin, which favored leaders of the tax-exempt atheist organization Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The...

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March 8, 2019

Prayers for the Saints: St. John’s, Ambler

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Ambler, a congregation in the Lower Montgomery Conference, will hold their final worship service on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 3 pm with Bishop Davenport presiding.  Rostered leaders and members of the SEPA Synod are welcome to attend the final service at St John’s – Ambler celebrating the life, witness and service of this congregation...

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February 28, 2019

Presiding Bishop Letter on Methodist Actions

In a pastoral letter to the ELCA, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton writes: “What we can say with certainty is that as the (United Methodist Church) takes its next steps, we in the ELCA will continue to walk with our full communion partner. We treasure the joyful memories of the Churchwide Assembly in 2009, where...

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December 12, 2018

Christmas Message from Bishop Davenport

  Share this message: Right-click and save the image above to share via email or website. Download: Christmas message insert (printable) Copy and paste the text below into your word processing program     Best wishes for a blessed celebration of Christ’s birth, and new beginnings in 2019 Bishop Patricia A. Davenport Bob Fisher, Cynta Outterbridge,...

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May 5, 2018

Rev. Patricia Davenport Elected Bishop

Pastor Patricia A. Davenport was elected the next Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday, May 5, at Franconia Mennonite Church. Pastor Davenport is the first African-descent woman to be elected a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On the fourth ballot, Bishop-elect Davenport, currently our...

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January 31, 2018

Revised Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers

ELCA A new, completely revised Rostered Ministry Compensation Guidelines has been approved by the Synod’s executive committee, and is now posted on ministrylink.org. This manual is a resource to assist congregations and rostered ministers in conducting an annual review and determining a compensation package; pension and other benefits; agreements relative to time off for continuing education, vacation, holidays,...

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December 19, 2017

Christmas Message: Blessing Generation Upon Generation

Bishop Claire S. Burkat reflects on Mary’s visit with Elizabeth, a Spirit-filled encounter that may have allowed the realization of God’s great promise and fulfillment that was visited upon Mary begin to really sink in. “God did not promise Mary an easy life, a trouble free heart, an unburdened mind…but God promised her a life worth living, a purpose...

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July 12, 2017

Bishop Responds To Noose Found in Center City

For Such a Time as This logo “We repudiate racism as a sin that demands eradication,” Bishop Claire Burkat writes in a statement in response to the discovery of two nooses in Center City in recent weeks. “A church that proclaims Christ crucified must recognize the crucifixions and unspeakable torture, derision and humiliation” that has faced Black Americans during and after slavery...

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July 10, 2017

Live In The Freedom of Christ

ELCA “In May the [Lutheran World Federation (LWF)] met in assembly in Windhoek, Namibia. Lutherans from Africa; Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; North America; and Western, Central and Eastern Europe gathered to worship, sing, deliberate, study and dance,” ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton writes in her July column in Living Lutheran. “We are 145 member...

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March 22, 2017

Council Officers’ Gathering Inspires, Informs

More than 80 lay congregation council leaders participated in Bishop Claire Burkat’s annual Council Officers’ Gathering on March 18. ‘Here’s what I love about the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod: You!” the bishop told the council presidents, vice presidents, secretaries and treasurers gathered at LTSP’s Benbow Hall. “I love our leaders, and today I especially celebrate our lay leaders....

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March 1, 2017

‘Return to Me With All Your Heart’

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. — Joel 2:12-13 Yet even now return to me...

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February 28, 2017

Video: Interfaith Leaders Respond to Jewish Cemetery Desecration

Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders spoke in solidarity Monday against the desecration of graves at Mt. Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Wissanoming. Bishop Burkat facilitated a press conference in which dozens of faith leaders from across Greater Philadelphia stood together in support of the Jewish community and others — including immigrants, refugees, Muslims and the LGBTQ...

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January 3, 2017

Synod Council Minutes, September 2016

November 22, 2016

New FLSA Requirements for Churches

ELCA Please share this information with the appropriate leaders and staff in your congregation. There is a new requirement for overtime that goes into effect on December 1, 2016.  It is important for all churches to be aware of the new law. This law will affect nursery schools and day care centers that are owned by...

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October 12, 2016

Time To Update Your Constitution

ELCA Your congregation’s Constitution is a vital statement about who you are as a community of faith, and your interdependence within the ELCA. The 2016 Churchwide Assembly made important changes to required provisions to the Model Constitution that should be included in your church’s documents, according to the Rev. Karl M. Richard, Synod secretary. (Read his...

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October 11, 2016

Congregations, ELCA Model Constitution

October 6, 2016

Synod Council Minutes, June 2016

October 6, 2016

A Big Look at the Small Catechism

Several years ago my husband’s bishop tried initiating a diocese-wide call to the catechumenate to engage those preparing for confirmation in a period of study and formation. We call it confirmation class or catechism, something generations of Lutherans have gone through. But this was a new experience for the Episcopalians in his diocese. He set...

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September 28, 2016

Gratitude from Bishop Munga, NED

“We can witness that the prayers of our sisters and brothers in Christ are sustaining us,” wrote Bishop Stephen Munga of our companion North Eastern Diocese in Tanzania in response to a letter from Bishop Burkat carrying the thoughts, prayers and generosity of Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod members after Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU) was attacked...

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