Ministry Link News

August 3, 2021

‘Substantial’ Virus Seen in SEPA

As of August 1, the CDC reports that Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties are experiencing “substantial” community transmission of coronavirus. The CDC recommends that all people, vaccinated or not, wear masks and maintain physical distancing in indoor public or multi-household gatherings. See this article explaining CDC guidance. Unvaccinated persons, including all children under 12...

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July 12, 2021

Prayer and Encouragement from Bishop Davenport

In a video message, Bishop Patricia A. Davenport offers prayer for our leaders and congregations as together we continue to press through to the other side of the pandemic. In this pastoral word of encouragement, the Bishop asks Lutherans to be gentle with one another as individuals and congregations have varying feelings about returning to...

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June 9, 2021

New Guidance for Safer Worship and Sacraments

Long-awaited guidance from the Ecumenical Consultation on Protocols for Worship, Fellowship and Sacraments, released June 8, advises houses of worship to go slowly with in-person gatherings where vaccinated and unvaccinated persons occupy the same space. “The group suggests limiting touching except where Christian rituals, such as laying on of hands for confirmation, require it; avoiding...

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April 29, 2021

“We’ve Come…a Mighty Long Way”

Message from Bishop Patricia A. Davenport to the 2021 Synod Assembly Dear Synod! I greet you with deep gratitude for your faithfulness and profound partnership as we have endured together the joys and challenges of this pandemic. We have experienced a year filled with anxiety, pain, change, challenge and death, and yet there have also...

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April 21, 2021

Communications Ministry Highlights

Who knew in early 2020 how important communications and technology would be to our ministries? In this video, Pastor Bob Fisher, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Communications, shares how the synod — like congregations — leveled up to provide new services and support for congregations.  

July 20, 2021

COVID Cases, Risk Up in SEPA

The nationwide increase in COVID cases is affecting Southeastern Pennsylvania. As of July 20, the CDC reported that community transmission risk is moderate in our suburban counties, up from low risk two weeks ago. Risk of community transmission in Philadelphia is low. According to Dr. Tim Babinchak, a local infectious disease expert, “we are definitely...

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June 28, 2021

COVID Precautions: Vaccines and Protect Vulnerable People

Although the coronavirus is “never going to go away,” the good news is that “it’s as safe (now) as it’s going to get at this point,” infectious disease expert Dr. Tim Babinchak told SEPA leaders on a Zoom call June 24. “And as more people get vaccinated, it will get safer.” During his presentation, Dr....

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June 18, 2021

The Pandemic Is Not Yet Over

Update: June 18, 2021 Infectious disease specialist Dr. Tim Babinchak tells us that he has not significantly changed the advice he gave to us last month. He wrote in an email today: ‟Most of my recommendations remain the same as vaccination progress appears to be stalling and we are seeing the more contagious Delta variant...

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June 2, 2021

Mediator Youth Honored in Tulsa Centennial Writing Contest

Tredon Stevenson, a member of Mediator Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, received second prize in the youth (ages 14-17) division of the ELCA African Descent Lutheran Association’s national writing contest to honor the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. He is an excellent student and participates in youth programs and choir and is a worship assistant and...

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May 26, 2021

Pandemic Progress Toward a New Normal

As new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations trend downward, our congregations can begin to look forward to our new abnormal for worship and congregational life. “Focus on moving forward, not going back,” says Pastor Bob Fisher, assistant to the bishop for communications. “Worship won’t immediately be what we remember, yet the creativity we have employed will...

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May 26, 2021

Time for a Check-up

If you are like me, this year has included hearing about some historical events that were not in the textbooks used in school. Some of this history has been hard to hear, and I can see why people were tempted to leave it out. But in Isabel Wilkerson’s book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”,...

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May 26, 2021

Empathy: A Pandemic Silver Lining?

In recognition that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, Elise Seyfried (Christ’s, Oreland) shares her experience with bipolar disorder at “As Christians we are called to walk in each other’s shoes, to find common ground, to love and support one another. That isn’t always easy, especially when we struggle to connect emotionally with our...

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