Book of Faith: Free and Easy Bible Studies
Have you checked out the “Growing in Faith” section of the ELCA website lately? (www.ELCA.org/Growing-In-Faith.aspx) There are a lot of free resources there to help you engage the Bible, our Book of Faith. Start by clicking on “Daily Discipleship” and find easy two-page Bible studies to download that are based on the lectionary series: one for the gospel reading and one for the second reading each week. Instant Bible study! It’s a great way to go deeper with Sunday morning worship texts. Next, click on the Ministry tab and select Women of the ELCA. Select “Program Resources for You and Your Women’s Group,” click “Growing in Faith” and find Bible study resources helpful for anyone. My favorite is the downloadable book, Out of the Mouths of Babes, which has 21 devotions inspired by children.
CYF Ministry: Let’s Network
Do you help teach children, youth, or adults in your congregation? Do you have or do you know a young adult in Confirmation? Are you a grandparent who supports your grandchild in deepening his or her faith? Are you church staff, a volunteer, or a caring member in your congregation who believes families come in all ages and sizes? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions, or if you have questions about families and faith, join the monthly synod Children, Youth, & Family (CYF) Network Gatherings! The Network Gathering location changes monthly, gathering in churches around the synod. Two identical sessions are offered on the day of the Gathering to accommodate varied schedules: 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. OR 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Details at semnsynod.org/ministries/cyf/gatherings/ or contact Karen at email@example.com or 507-280-9457.
Synod Council: Feb. Meeting Highlights
The Southeastern Minnesota Synod Council met on February 25, 2012. This was the council’s annual budget meeting, so they reviewed the 2011 mission support from congregations, budget, and financial report. They approved adjustments to the 2012 budget as proposed by the executive committee and a proposed budget for 2013 to be voted on at the 2012 Synod Assembly. The proposed Minimum Compensation and Benefits Guidelines for 2013, also to be voted on at the upcoming assembly, were also approved.
The council also re-authorized the Sudanese Dinka Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community and appointed Rev. Paul Baker to another term on the Lutheran Campus Ministry of Minnesota Board.
Get full approved minutes from past council meetings online at semnsynod.org/about/council
Lutheran Campus Ministry: A New Thing
A new thing is happening in Lutheran Campus Ministry in Mankato and Winona! From the outside it may look the same – student-led Bible studies, retreats, worship, mission trips, and the like. But open the hood and you will see a very different engine.
For many years, our Campus Ministries ran smooth and strong thanks to excellent financial support from our synods and churchwide organization. Until recently, that is, when the financial engine began to wear out due to declining revenue.
The new thing that is happening at the Winona and Mankato Campus Ministries is a complete overhaul of oversight and funding that is revitalizing ministry and seeking broad financial support from congregations and individuals. Watch for Lutheran Campus Ministry Sunday in the fall. We’ll need your support to fuel the journey!
Global Mission: Missionary Support
ELCA missionaries and global companions walk alongside one another in nearly 50 countries, equipping one another for mission. About 2,000 congregations in the ELCA have adopted missionary sponsorship, including about 45 congregations in the Southeastern Minnesota Synod sponsoring missionaries in Tanzania, Central America, Chile, and Japan. Congregations can support a missionary with full or partial support.
About 70 percent of the ELCA’s missionaries are lay people. They are invited by companion churches and often serve in such roles as medical personnel, development workers, librarians, accountants, and teachers. Today the church works in accompaniment with companion churches in other countries sending missionaries when requested. For more info on becoming a sponsoring congregation email globalserve@ELCA.org.