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Report from 2014 Metro D.C. ELCA Synod Assembly

DC Synod logoCatherine and Greg D. had the chance to attend the 2014 Metro D.C. ELCA Synod Assembly as delegates. They got to hear many people speak on the current issues facing the church and heard the prayers being asked for by the assembly. Here is a brief overview of the Synod assembly gathering:

Pray4Reform

There was a resolution calling upon “the Metropolitan Washington DC Synod to stand in prayerful solidarity with those suffering under current immigration laws” and specifically said the following prayer in English as well as Spanish, Oromo, and Tamil:

“Loving God… bless Latino, Oromo, Tamil speaking and all members of our church and community who suffer fear and isolation under current immigration laws. Provide and inspire leaders and legislators to see your image in every child of God and to enact laws that clearly and fairly treat our immigrant brothers and sisters. Help us to persistently stand with them in Christ as long as it takes for just and fair laws to take root and blossom. Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer!”

Supporting our fellow churches of:  La Sagrada Familia, Iglesia Luterana San Marcos, La Comunidad de Santa Maria, Oromo Resurrection Evangelical Church, and In Christ Washington Congregation

If you are interested in learning more or participating, please consider looking into pray4reform on their website (http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/pray4reform/) and Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/697342870322680/) as well as Lutheran advocacy as a whole: (http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy).

MIF: an alternative to traditional savings MIF graphic

There was a presentation about the Mission Investment Fund which describes itself as:

“A ministry of the ELCA with faith and finance at its core, MIF aspires to be a premier financial services choice for ELCA ministries, partners and church members…Lending to ELCA congregations, synods and related ministries, and providing a vehicle for ELCA congregations, synods, related ministries and individuals to invest in the work of this church.”  (http://www.mif.elca.org/who-we-are)

This presented an interesting alternative to traditional savings that would invest in church projects.

I Love Camp MonthMar-Lu

February was designated as “I Love Camp Month” to highlight the opportunities provided by camp and retreat centers like Mar-Lu-Ridge Camp and Retreat Center (http://www.mar-lu-ridge.org/) and Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp & Retreat Center (http://www.carolinefurnace.org/), whose purpose is to, “provide an intentional Christian communal experience where one meets God in God’s awesome creation.” (http://www.carolinefurnace.org/gen_info/gen_info.htm) They hold retreats, camps, conferences at their facilities.

Website Review:

The D.C. Synod reviewed and reported on the current status of all church websites in the synod. A brief overview of the results was shared with the assembly. The information given to Good Samaritan will help us develop a better and more useful website for our church community.

ELCA World Relief and DevelopmentMalaria graphic

We learned about some of the ELCA world relief projects. In addition to the Domestic Hunger Grants that gave more than $800,000 in domestic projects, the ELCA World Hunger works in more than 50 countries around the world (look here to see the map: http://search.elca.org/Pages/WorldMap.aspx), and the ELCA Malaria Campaign has been preventing death from malaria by providing “mosquito nets, education, testing, medication and more.”

http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development

Scavenger Hunt Road Rally, May 18 — Sign up now

Join your fellow Good Sam members and their friends in a friendly competition!!

This hunt is designed to test your creativity and have fun with members of Good Sam. It is a time of fun and fellowship sponsored by the Empty Nesters.

What: This scavenger hunt is a 3 hour excursion sending participants in search of things, places or people and allows them to perform activities as well. The team with the most points at the end of the hunt wins bragging rights for the whole year!

When and Where: Sunday, May 18, 2014 from 10:30 am until about 2:30 pm at Good Sam.

Check-in at the Fellowship Hall at 10:30 after fellowship time. Return no later than 2 pm with your hunt results. Enjoy a sweet treat while we tabulate the results and proclaim the winner.

Who: Everyone. There is no age limit! Get a group together that will fit in your vehicle. We prefer you to have at least four people in your car. If you don’t have a car or don’t want to drive but want to join the fun, just let us know.

Price: The admission fee is a non-perishable food item which will be given to Our Daily Bread food pantry.

What else: Bring a camera, as scoring will be from the photographic evidence. Each picture and activity is worth a certain amount of points. Get creative–bonus points may be awarded for exceptional photos at the judge’s discretion.

You will also need to either pack a picnic lunch or be prepared to buy lunch out with your group. When you sign up be sure to indicate whether you plan to bag or buy as you will randomly be put into teams of two vehicles.

Sound interesting? Contact Jill W. for registration information. For planning purposes for this event we will need you to RSVP. Other questions please see Jill W., Diane H., Ginger L. or Nancy S.

Scavenger Hunt image

Always Being Made New – The Campaign for the ELCA

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Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA

Approved by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh, this five-year, nearly $200 million campaign will:

  • Increase this church’s capacity to support congregational renewal and the planting of new congregations
  • Form and support new lay, ordained and global leaders for mission
  • Encourage and form lay youth and young adult leaders
  • Support this church’s disability ministry
  • Bolster our commitment to walk with global companion churches in shared witness
  • Expand our efforts to address poverty and hunger

While the campaign was approved in the 25th anniversary year of the forming of the ELCA, this also is our moment to look toward the next 25 years and boldly respond to the needs of God’s creation with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA — the first of its size and scope in the history of this church — gives each of us the opportunity to make a transformational impact on the ministries of our church. Together, as 4 million members of the ELCA in nearly 10,000 congregations and 65 synods, we are one church with a call to do God’s work throughout the world.

Through this campaign, we can expand our mission capacity and achieve things on a scale and scope that we could never do alone. Through this campaign, we can do more. Together, we are called to do more, and in responding to this call, we will continue to live out God’s promise of always being made new, and to use our hands — and all that we have been given — to do God’s work. See more at the campaign’s official website.


OurWork_Campaign

Campaign Goals

This campaign — which runs from Feb. 1, 2014, through Jan. 31, 2018 — seeks to raise $198 million in support of new and expanded churchwide ministries above and beyond those supported by your regular weekly offerings.

Congregations

Accompany and equip 1,000 congregations in their renewal efforts through ELCA synods
Goal for Renewing Congregations–
$8 million

Spread the good news far and wide by planting more congregations in the United States and the Caribbean.
Goal for ELCA New Congregations–
$4 million

Expand ministries with people living with disabilities.
Goal for Disability Ministries–
$4 million

Leadership

Grow the permanent endowment fund so that, for generations to come, hundreds more of the most promising leaders can respond to the call to serve our congregations.
Goal for ELCA Fund for Leaders–$15 million

Engage young people in the life of this church through expanded ministries to youth and young adults.
Goal for Youth and Young Adults–
$4 million

Hunger and Poverty

Support our comprehensive approach in nearly 60 countries and expand support to communities in at least 10 countries, including the United States, as they work to solve challenges that perpetuate hunger and poverty.
Goal for ELCA World Hunger–
$115 million

Meet and exceed our 2011 goal of $15 million by 2015 to help overcome malaria in 13 countries in Africa.
Goal for the ELCA Malaria Campaign–
$15 million (over $10 million already raised)

Global Church

Initiate new evangelism projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Goal for Global Ministries–
$7 million

Equip more than 200 additional women leaders from our global companion churches through increased scholarships and educational opportunities.
Goal for International Leaders-Women–
$4 million

Support our missionaries and give 200 additional young adults the opportunity to participate in a year of global service.
Goal for Missionaries and Young Adults in Global Mission–
$22 million

Total campaign goal: $198 million

Next Steps Fellowship – Nov. 14 & Dec. 12

Walking Together with Our Homeless Neighbors

Do you want to be part of a new effort through Good Sam to reach out and better care for our neighbors? So far, we have made a good start with “Our Daily Bread” Food Pantry and through the WARM program. Here is a new and engaging opportunity called the Next Steps Fellowship!  More information and an introduction to Next Steps Fellowship can be found here (from October 2013).

We invite you to the monthly fellowship meetings at 6:30 pm — the next two meetings will be on Thursday, November 14 and Thursday, December 12 at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (23101 Town Creek Drive, Lexington Park, MD 20653).

Our mission is to develop relationships between members of faith communities and the homeless community, with transformation, growth, and life change happening on both sides. In order to accomplish this, we are creating a regular fellowship of folks who want to be about this process.

The primary values of the Next Steps Fellowship are:

  • Being in fellowship with others who are actively seeking to care for neighbors who are hurting
  • Encouraging one another in our own efforts to make a difference in the lives of others
  • Inviting the whole Christian community to step up to learn and practice effective patterns of building community among ourselves and those who are hurting around us
  • Not duplicating or reinventing services that already exist in our community for our homeless neighbors, but to refer and encourage follow-through with the service providers
  • Welcoming our homeless neighbors into supportive community connections (mentoring and small group support and broader faith communities) where encouragement and accountability can flourish
  • Working in concert with our community partners, service providers, faith communities, pastors and other interested lay persons to develop a competent community that caringly goes about supporting our homeless neighbors in their own efforts toward becoming self-sufficient, housed, employed and contributing members of our community
  • Striving to see our homeless neighbors as gifts to our community so they come to recognize their value as well
  • Through relationship with God, in fellowship with one another and in relationship with our hurting neighbors, to move with them through the stages of assistance beginning with relief but moving to rehabilitation and then to development of new relationships, life skills and learning to contribute to the community as well as one’s own betterment

If you enjoy learning about relationships, meeting new people, caring for people who are struggling, and/or connecting people to community resources that can really help them—this fellowship may just be for you. We will encourage each other and learn effective ways to make a difference.

Middle School Youth Lock-In – November 15-16

Lock-In – Nov. 15, 7 pm until Nov. 16, 9 am

Please join us for a middle school lock-in on Friday, Nov. 15. Pastor Mitch will join us to help us plan a Christmas Pageant for the younger kids to be a part of, led by the confirmation class, but with help from the 6th graders too. And, of course, there will be fun and games and maybe even a movie!  (Plans are still being developed.) 

Remember to bring your sleeping gear, toiletries, and snacks/drinks to share that evening. A cold breakfast will be provided for Saturday morning. Let Jennifer N. know about any food allergies/issues. If you can’t spend the night, consider joining us for as long as you can in the evening.  The doors won’t be locked until it’s time for bed…

A signed permission form is required for the event.  Please see Jennifer for a copy and return the completed form to her prior to the event if you can. See Jennifer with any questions you have about the lock-in.

Next Steps Fellowship – October 10

Walking Together with Our Homeless Neighbors

Do you want to be part of a new effort through Good Sam to reach out and better care for our neighbors? So far, we have made a good start with “Our Daily Bread” Food Pantry and through the WARM program. Here is a new and engaging opportunity called the Next Steps Fellowship!

Since the spring, leaders from Good Sam, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Ascension Episcopal Church, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the Department of Social Services, Three Oaks Shelter, and Southern Maryland Rescue Ministries, Inc. have met together every two weeks to develop the mission and vision for Next Steps Fellowship.

next stepsOur mission is to develop relationships between members of faith communities and the homeless community, with transformation, growth, and life change happening on both sides. In order to accomplish this, we are creating a regular fellowship of folks who want to be about this process.

It is a Fellowship of Companions and Advocates

A primary activity of this fellowship of companions and advocates is to gather ourselves for training, encouragement, visioning, and problem-solving as we seek to empower each other in caring for our neighbors in ways that are safe for both us and them. During our time together, we hope to build healthy community, share techniques, and invite others to join us in this work that belongs to the whole Christian community.

At these fellowship meetings, we will move toward making a difference in the lives of others by:

  • Receiving training for being in relationship with individuals in need and who are homeless
  • Sharing new and helpful resources in our greater community that are available to address specific needs our neighbors have
  • Praying together and seeking encouragement for the relationships we have begun
  • Problem-solving our specific situations where the next step is not clear or easily discovered
  • Emphasizing relationship, care, good boundaries, and safety for all
  • Learning techniques for choosing a neighbor to help, as well as when and where to find them
  • Sharing approaches that worked for us
  • Caring for one another in this ministry to our neighbors

If you enjoy learning about relationships, meeting new people, caring for people who are struggling, and/or connecting people to community resources that can really help them—this fellowship may just be for you. We will encourage each other and learn effective ways to make a difference.

We invite you to the monthly fellowship meeting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, October 10 at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (23101 Town Creek Drive, Lexington Park, MD 20653).

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