Hello and welcome to this Florida-Bahamas Synod update! Thank you for joining me today for these special messages. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day and President’s Day and are now ready for the season of Lent to begin this week.
As you know, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. We’ve been sharing Lenten resources in E-Spirit, so if you’re looking for last-minute resources or to participate in a Lenten journey, check out this week’s newsletter.
This month is also Black History Month, and here in the Florida-Bahamas Synod, we’re giving thanks for our leaders of color called to do God’s work in our community. The ELCA is also celebrating Black Lutheran history with their Black History Month resources, which you can find linked on their social media pages.
I want to thank everyone who gave to our Big Game Challenge during the Super Bowl! Although we did not win the challenge, the Florida-Bahamas Synod managed to raise over $6,600 for World Hunger. Thank you for all your generous support!
I have two important reminders for our Rostered Ministers. The first is that reports are due soon! Please be sure to submit your Parochial Reports, Rostered Leaders reports, and Mission Support Covenants. Links to these reports are available in E-Spirit if you need help finding them.
The second reminder is that all Rostered Ministers need to complete Boundaries training! Because of the ongoing pandemic, we are offering Boundaries training completely online. You can find more information in E-Spirit and on our synod website.
The ELCA Federal Credit Union is now offering a second round of Payroll Protection Program loans to congregations and ministries. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, these PPP loans offer much-needed relief by covering a congregation or ministry’s payroll and operating expenses. Congregations and ministries can apply for a first-time PPP loan, and some may be eligible for a second loan. The FCU can assist any eligible ELCA congregation or ministry, even if it received its first PPP loan though a different lender. Borrowers will be able to apply for loan forgiveness following the terms of the loan. To review eligibility requirements and apply for a PPP loan, please visit the ELCA FCU’s website. The ELCA FCU will be accepting loan applications through March 31, 2021, or until funding is exhausted.
Now I have a special video message to share with you! This video comes from Pastor Carol Gates of Lamb of God Church, and Pastor Matt Shapton of The Community Church in Babcock Ranch. They’re both very excited to share with us some of the great mission working happening in Babcock Ranch right now! Let’s take a look…
Please watch Bishop’s synod update for this video.
I also have some wonderful news from Emmanuel Park in Naples! On January 10, this community was able to baptize 12 people in one day, including infants, children, teenagers, and adults. This was an exciting day for Emmanuel and we’re so happy to share in the joy of our newest siblings in Christ!
Now for some upcoming events. Although we are still navigating these COVID times, we’re looking forward to coming together for two important synod events this year. The first will be the 2021 Conference on Ministry. The theme of this year’s conference will be “Preaching in a Changing Church”. This event will be virtual on June 16th and 17th, and we are honored to welcome Bishop Craig Alan Saterlee of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod as our guest speaker. Stay tuned for registration information coming soon!
The second event will be our 2021 Synod Assembly. As of this moment, we are prayerfully planning to gather in person on September 17th to 19th. I have appointed a Medical Team to continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide routine updates to ensure it is safe to celebrate in person. Registration information will be coming soon, so stay tuned to these updates and the E-Spirit newsletter.
Now, I would like to take a few minutes to recognize some very important people. Because of the pandemic, we have not been able to celebrate our newly installed Rostered Ministers as we have in the past. So I’d like to take a few minutes to introduce you to the folks who have been called to our synod’s congregations in the past year. Here are our newly installed pastors since January 2020…
Please watch Bishop’s synod update for this list of names.
Thank you and God bless!