calendar March 17, 2023 in News

Vitality Updates for Spring 2023

Vitality Check-in Call

Join the Vitality Team Saturday April 15th at 10:30am for a conversation around helping your congregation deepen its sense of vitality. Members of the vitality team will be present to talk about vitality and present ideas on ways your congregation can focus on the work of growing relationships. All are welcome as we wonder together about ways God is calling us to be church in this new day. Join us as we discover the church we are becoming.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 875 4120 1562.   Passcode: SEPA


“Cultivating Generous Congregations” Spring Cohorts

How do we, as communities of faith, change our thinking on stewardship and generosity to meet the challenges of the moment? In partnership with the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, we’re offering congregations the opportunity to reexamine their stewardship thinking and imagine ways to act on their findings in their communities. Over six weeks, “Cultivating Generous Congregations” will offer virtual cohort sessions where congregational leaders will discuss, dissect and collaborate on how generosity can work within their contexts. The sessions cost $550 per congregation, plus workbooks ($30), and qualify for Thrivent Action Grants.

Please take a look at this brief Cultivating Generous Congregations video that can give a more in-depth look at what it entails.

Please contact The Reverend Larry Strenge () and The Reverend Tim Brown () if you are interested in participating! From there we will work with your Synod’s DEMs Rev. Bryan Penman () and Rev. Dr. Moses Suah-Dennis () to get you registered for the Spring cohort.

Mark your calendar:
Cultivating Generous Congregations

Spring 2023

6pm-7:30pm EST
Tuesdays April 25-May 30


Digital Ministry Grants

Is your congregation or community doing something innovative in the digital sphere when it comes to engaging your community and spreading the Gospel? Are you desiring to take your online ministry to the next level, and have a sense of how to get there? This year a Digital Ministry Grant from ELCA Chuchwide is available for communities making inroads on the digital byways and highways. Present an idea of what you would do with extra funding to spread the Gospel in the digital sphere, encourage congregational and community participation online, or invest in hardware or software to expand your ministry’s reach to the Synod. Contact DEM The Rev. Bryan Penman () with questions and ideas, and let’s see what God is doing in this online space of the God’s world! Nominations are due by April 15th – so get your email to Pastor Penman with an idea!


ELCA Vital Congregations Training, Part 1, Summer 2023

Is your congregation ready to take some steps (even small steps) toward renewal or revitalization? Are you ready to try some new things, share some ideas, gain a greater understanding of the broader mission, bring clarity about your own congregation’s mission, acquire knowledge on how to live that out in community, gain confidence to share what you have learned with the world, and find new allies from within a cohort of congregations? Then, you are invited to attend the 2023 Summer Session of the ELCA Vital Congregations Training, Part 1.

This is a fast paced co-creative and co-experimental training facilitated by leaders with steep experience in redeveloping congregations as well as added guest presenters from a variety of settings with a wealth of knowledge. These principles and more will be explored: focusing on Jesus and justice; being expectant of the Holy Spirit; living as disciples of Jesus; engaging the neighborhood/community; multiplying leaders who are young, diverse and bring fresh insights; and aligning with purpose and core values.

This will be a four-session training. The training sessions will be held two times per day from 1:30-3:00 p.m. (eastern time) and from 7:30-9:00 p.m. (eastern time) on Thursdays June 15th, June 29th, July 13, and July 27th. You may choose the best time each day that works for you. All sessions will be recorded and available to all registered participants. Pastors and congregations are encouraged to come as teams of 3–5 people for a time of inspiration, learning, planning, sharing, experimenting, visioning, and implementing. NOTE: This training is for people who have not attended any of the ELCA Vital Congregations Trainings in previous years or who would like a refresher before attending the Fall 2023 Part 2 Training. For those that HAVE participated in previous years, stay tuned for a NEW Vitality Part 2 training coming this fall.  

For more information, please contact The Rev. Bryan Penman, DEM of SEPA Synod at .

ELCA Vital Congregations Training Summer Session 2023

Registration Link Part 1: