Issue #375
In case the fourth of July caused you to miss last week's E-News, this week's issue contains many of the same stories, resources, and learning opportunities. 

Faith Lessons from Gettysburg

Faith lessons from Gettysburg - July 4th, 2013

As this nation embarks on a celebration of Independence Day, Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson reflects on recent Supreme Court decisions, the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement, and the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. He asks, "What does all of this mean in the work of freedom and justice that has now been bequeathed to us?" Watch his pastoral message for more. 
A Step for Fair Immigration Reform

On July 4, the Montgomery Advertiser published an op-ed piece by Bishop Julian Gordy on the Senate's passage of comprehensive immigration reform. He writes, "This was a great victory for those who favor a common-sense solution to this decades-old problem." He concludes with a call to action: "S. 744 is a good start....but the work of forging fair, effective and compassionate immigration reform is just beginning." Click here to read the rest of the article or visit the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service website for more information on comprehensive immigration reform. 
Environmental Urgency

Caring for God's creation is increasingly important in a time of global climate change. "Environmental Urgency", the cover story of the July issue of The Lutheran, reflects on the difficulty of changing our behavior and ways of thinking to better care for the earth. By following "The Little Way" approach to environmental issues, we can embrace "small things done over a long period of time by many", small things that can truly make a difference. Click here to read more. 
Interested in thinking more about how we as a church are called to care for creation?  The Southeastern Synod is looking for individuals to serve on a Green Team Task Force. This task force is being formed as a result of a resolution titled Regarding Energy Stewardship which was passed by the 2013 Synod Assembly.  Interested individuals should contact the Rev. Ed Wolff at (423) 833-8932  Pr. Wolff serves as Synod Council representative from Conference 6, the Life Together Conference.  Conference 6 sponsored the Regarding Energy Stewardship resolution.  Appointments to the task force will be made by Synod Council at its September 2013 meeting. The number of taskforce members is limited by our constitution and bylaws. Click here for more information about how task force members are chosen. 

Additional resources:
More Assembly Videos Now Available Online!
ELCA Southeastern Synod - 2013 Assembly Slideshow
Southeastern Synod - 2013 Assembly Slideshow

The 2013 Synod Assembly featured video slideshows compiled from footage submitted by individuals, congregations, and ministry partners throughout the southeast. All of these videos are now available on our synod website. You can also find them on our YouTube Channel. Don't forget to subscribe!
"God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday

September 8, 2013 is "God's Work. Our Hands." Sunday. Visit the ELCA website  for bulletin inserts, flyers, and other resources to help promote the day. You can order personalized T-shirts for your congregation to wear through OldLutheran.Com
Around the Synod

Synod Pastor Races for the Gold

Pastor Mark Beatty, newly installed pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Alpharetta, GA, recently returned home from competing in the 2013 Pan American Masters Championship swim meet in Sarasota, FL, June 5-12. This was Mark's first international meet, with over 1,500 swimmers representing countries in North and South America as far north as Canada and as far south as Argentina and some also hailing from European countries. Though Mark had been the 2012 U.S. Masters Swimming national champion in his 40-44 age group, he came to this meet well-positioned to compete but somewhat of an underdog for gold medal wins. Hoping for an outside shot at maybe one gold medal in the 40-44 age group, he came home with three gold medals and a silver, winning the sprint events in both freestyle and butterfly! In addition to winning gold, Mark also savored the memorable spirit of the games (or, perhaps, Spirit), with what he describes as a rare combination of both passion and competitiveness and an ever-apparent sportsmanship, inherent camaraderie, and heartfelt expression of goodwill among the nations. Congratulations to Mark and to all dream-chasers, no matter how big or small the dream, who go for the "gold" in our synod." 
Swim for Life!

Want to live a healthier, longer life? Try swimming! Not only do you get to remember your baptism every time you're immersed in water, but swimming is a comprehensive full body workout which exercises all major muscle groups, rather than more lower-body specific workouts such as running or cycling (which are still fantastic). Also, a recent preliminary study points to a possible correlation of longer lifespan with swimming, even when compared with other cardiovascular exercise. Click here to find out more about the possible blessings of swimming and for further motivation in an article written by The Rev. Mark Beatty, our very own gold medalist swimmer. 
Husband, Wife Installed as Pastors

The Rev. Jason Peterson and the Rev. Andrea Windsor-Peterson lead the morning service. 
On Sunday, June 30, the Reverend Jason Peterson and the Reveredn Andrea Windsor-Peterson were installed as pastors of Advent Lutheran Church, Augusta, GA. Together, they hope to work with the congregation to help it continue to grow as a welcoming, life-giving church. Click here to read more about this husband-wife pastoral team in The Augusta Chronicle
Beth Birkholz to Preach on 'Day 1'

The Rev. Beth Birkholz
The Rev. Beth Birkholz, associate pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Marietta, GA, is the featured speaker July 28 with host Peter Wallace on "Day 1", the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program also accessible online at Birkholz's "Day 1" sermon for the 10th Sunday of Pentecost, based on Jesus' teaching on prayer in Luke 11:1-3, is entitled "Do It Yourself." Click here to read more about The Rev. Beth Birkholz. 
Synod Delegation Returns from Guatemala

The Southeastern Synod welcomes back our delegation from a week-long visit to the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG), our companion synod in Guatemala. Below, Cathy Crimi (Holy Trinity, Nashville, TN) reflects on what she learned about community, faith, and gratitude. 

I am always reminded when I visit Guatemala (this was my third trip) how much we learn about being more thankful to God, and praising Him for all the blessings we have that we take for granted. This trip was no exception. Our first worship with the Iglesia de San Marcos was preceded by a Mayan celebration which gives thanks and is an intercessory prayer to God.....

Click here to read more on our website. 

Interested in learning more about our relationship with ILAG, the Lutheran Church in Guatemala? We offer a synod delegation every year. Please consider joining us next year!

You may know that Southeastern Synod, in partnership with the St. Paul Area Synod, has sponsored a missionary, Amanda Olson de Castillo, and her family for the last nine years. In May Amanda, her husband Horacio and their two children returned home to Minnesota to explore new ministry opportunities.

Even though "our" missionary has returned home, we look forward to a continued, though changing, relationship with the ILAG. We have a consultation scheduled with ELCA Global Mission and the ILAG in August to discuss new ways that we will be partnering together in the future. We are very thankful for continued relationship with Bishop Horacio Castillo, Pastor Karen, their staff, and all the people of God who make up the ILAG. We are committed to accompanying them in whatever ways we are called to be together in the years to come. If you have questions about our companion synod relationship in Guatemala, please call the synod office or email Rebecca Kolowe.
Funding Requests Now Being Accepted
Deadline: September 30

The Southeastern Synod's Budget and Finance Committee is now accepting proposals for funding in the 2015-16 Ministry Funding Plan. Agencies, institutions, and other groups who wish to request synodical funding are invited to submit their requests online using the following link: 2015-16 Funding Request.

Funding for committees and task forces is approved on a different cycle and requires a different form. The most recent Synod Assembly approved lump sum funding for committees and task forces during the 2014-15 fiscal year. The Synod Council will allocate the approved total among the different groups, based on recommendations from the Budget and Finance Committee. Committee and Task Force chairpersons should submit their funding request from the 2014-15 fiscal year, using the online form located at: Committee/TF Funding for 2014-15.

The deadline for submission of funding requests is Monday, September 30, 2013. Anyone unable to submit a funding request electronically may obtain a paper copy of the necessary forms by contacting the Synod Office (404-589-1977). 
Director of Music Needed

St. Andrew Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Franklin, TN, one of the fastest growing churches in the Southeastern Synod, has an immediate opening for Director of Music. The position is part-time, 25-30 hours per week, and reports to the senior pastor. In collaboration with the Pastoral staff and Worship and Music Committee, the successful candidate will be responsible for the planning, managing, and oversight of the church's total music program. A candidate possessing a Bachelor's degree in Music, Musical Performance, or equivalent is desired with a Master's degree being preferred. Five or more years of experience as Director of Music or organist within a church musical department is also desired. Please contact Amy Vehec at or more information. 
The Alliance for Christian Media/Day 1 Seeks Director of Philanthropy

The Alliance for Christian Media, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) based in Atlanta, GA. Its mission is to be a leader in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through all existing and emerging communication technologies. Its goal is to enhance the voice of the historic mainline churches in America to connect the world of faith with the world in which people live. The Alliance was created by the merger of the Protestant Hour/Day1 radio program ministry and the Episcopal Media Center, and continues and expands the work of both organizations in a new ecumenical organization. For more information, visit, http://Day1.organd
The Alliance is seeking a full-time Director of Philanthropy to work closely with trustees and staff in development and institutional advancement to take us to the next level. Click here for the position description and application information. 
VBS in the Southeastern Synod

It's hot out there, but the Southeastern Synod is keeping it cool. Check out these photos and stories to see how our congregations continue to do God's work with our hands all summer long!
ENRICH at Martin Luther

Martin Luther Summer Math and Reading Academy
Summer Math and Reading Academy

Martin Luther Lutheran Church (Mobile, AL) has a proud history of trying to overcome poverty through education. This summer, Martin Luther partnered with Lutheran Ministries of Alabama's Enrich program to provide tutoring in math and reading to 45-50 kids! Watch the video above for more! 
Faith Lutheran Cares for Creation

Together, children water their newly planted garden.

For the past four years, Faith Lutheran Church in Lebanon, TN has developed its own curriculum for Vacation Bible School. Our VBS is four days -- Sunday through Wednesday -- and is held in the evenings from 5 PM to 7 PM. We start each evening with a simple dinner for the children, followed by welcome time with music and prayer, an activity related to our theme, and an arts and crafts project. This year our theme was "Caring for God's Creation." Our congregation cares for God's creation by trying to restore a cedar glade, on our property. Cedar glades are found only in this part of middle Tennessee....
Click here to read more about how Faith Lutheran Church is using Vacation Bible School to teach children about caring for God's creation!
Advent Steps Back in Time

This year, the children and chaperones of Advent Lutheran Church in LaGrange, GA stepped back in time for our Vacation Bible School program. We traveled to the biblical time of the Roman Empire era at the Antiquity Center in LaGrange.. 

A group of 10 children and chaperones lived the life of a shepherd, learning about the customs and traditions of a shepherd's life. The children also experienced an archaeological dig, learned about the meanings of various crosses, designed their own crosses, and played on a water slide! Click here to read more.
Shared Meal at Christ Kiswahili

Diaconal Minister Rebecca Kolowe, front left (kneeling) and members of Christ Kiswahili Lutheran Church, Nashville, TN. 

Last week, Director for Evangelical Mission Rebecca Kolowe attended the Vacation Bible School program at Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville, TN. She also preached at the Kiswahili service on Sunday. After the service, Rebecca and the Kiswahili congregation shared a traditional African meal together. 

The congregation has recently received a refugee family from Congo and are working to get them settled and integrated into the community. This family is in great need of gift cards to places like Target and Kroger. If you'd like to learn more about helping the Christ Kiswahili congregation welcome this new refugee family, contact The Rev. Esther Ngomuo via email or at (615) 753-1952. 
Keep the VBS Photos Coming!

Send us photos along with a brief description of your Vcation Bible School program.  What time of day did you have it?  Was it only for children or was it intergenerational?  Did you try something new or different this year? If so, why, and how did it go?  Did you purchase a curriculum (if so, which one?) or did you write your own?  We'll share what we learn.  
Resources, Retreats, & Learning Opportunities

Religion and Race in U.S. Politics

Johnson C. Smith Seminary, Montreat Conference Center, and Columbia Theological Seminary announce the seventh Montreat Lecture Series, The Role of Religion and Race in U.S. Politics: A Post-Election Conversation on Christian Faith and Public Life. This series will include worship, lecture, and discussion each morning at the Montreat Conference Center from 9-11:30 AM on July 15-17, 2013. To read a complete description of the event, which features speakers Johnny B. Hill, Julia M. Speller, and Mark Douglas, click here. Advance registration is not required, and there is no charge for this event. 

"Putting Feet to Our Faith: Congregations in the Public Square" Clergy, congregational leaders, and others interested in turning theory into practice are invited to a panel discussion at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, July 17 in Convocation Hall at Montreat Conference Center. This panel will follow the closing session of the 2013 Montreat Lecture Series. Panelists include Joe Harvard, recently retired pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Durham, SC, Shannon J. Kershner, pastor at the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church, and Carolyn and Charles Heyward, clergy leaders at St. James Presbyterian, Charleston, SC. Click here to learn more about this panel and to reserve a box lunch. 
A Bishop and a Bubba: 2013 Lectionary Preaching Workshop


  • The Rev. H. Julian Gordy, Bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA (pictured on left)
  • The Rev. Dr. Delmer L. Chilton, Lectionary Blogger for Living Lutheran, co-creator and writer for The Lectionary Lab, aka "Two Bubbas and a Bible" (pictured on right)
Time: Tuesday, July 23 (all day) and Wednesday July 24 (until Noon)

Place: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 525 Sneed Road, Nashville, TN 37221

Presentations and Discussions: 
  • Why Lectionary Preaching Matters - Bishop Gordy
  • Personal Story and the Proclamation of the Gospel: Narrative and the Sermon - Delmer Chilton
  • The texts for Pentecost 13 (Proper 15) August 18, 2013 and the texts for Pentecost 14 (Proper 16) August 25, 2013
  • Worship using creative resources for those days
Cost: $50

Click here for a registration form. 
Interim Ministry for Today's Church
Join us for Interim Ministry for Today's Church 
August 5-7, 2013

Trinity Lutheran Church,
Hixson, TN

This training will be led by Dr. Les Robinson, Vice President of The Center for Congregational Health at Wake Forest University. 

Click here for more information and a registration form. 
Registration deadline is July 30.

This event is sponsored by the Southeastern Synod.
It fulfills the synod's minimal requirements for interim ministry and earns participants 1.7 CEUs.

Prophetic Renewal: A Conference on Starting or Renewing Your Church is the theme for the annual New Church Leadership Institute (NCLI) to be held August 6-9, 2013 and co-sposored by the UCC and PCUSA. Created seven years ago, NCLI features world-class church planting and renewal experts within the progressive church and is one of the main programs of the Center for Progressive Renewal (CPR). The conference will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Conference Center; 130 Clairmont Road; Decatur, GA 30030. Prophetic Renewal will focus on six major themes including global trends that are reshaping what it means to be church in this time; how leaders can "retool" themselves to lead churches into a new age; and how to build sustainable ministries for the present and future. 


For those who desire to spend more concentrated time on specific issues, a one-day pre-conference intensive will be held in seven specific areas including "Pre-Launch Church Planting", "Digital Discipleship: Social Media in Ministry", "Post-Launch Church Planting", "Youth Ministry in the 21st Century", and "Social Justice: Community Organizing Training for Your Church Leaders."


Bring a team from your church and come to the conference. You don't want to miss this!


Click for more information and a flyer to share

Domestic Hunger Grants Available

The 2014 Domestic Hunger Grants application and criteria can be obtained online at the ELCA website, along with stories of previous grant recipients. Please contact Joe Young via email or Ms. Johnnie Thompson at 800-638-3522 ext. 2693 with any questions concerning the Domestic Hunger Grant process. 
More Learning Opportunities 

Stewardship with Adults Under 40 Possibilities Abound: July 29-31, 2013 at Luther Seminary. Click here.
Raise Your Voice - Opportunities for Advocacy

To learn more about the ELCA's approach to advocacy and important issues for 2013, visit the ELCA website.  

The 2013 Farm Bill
How Advocacy Impacted Recent Vote on 2013 Farm Bill: On June 20, 2013, the House of Representatives brought a farm bill to the floor for vote, but failed to pass the legislation. This was the first time that a farm bill has ever failed the House. The bill included more than $20 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and $2.5 billion in cuts to international food aid. Learn more about the role of advocacy in preventing these cuts by watching the video above or visiting the Bread for the World website
Launch a Ministry of Advocacy: The ELCA's "That We May Speak...Our Ministry of Action" is a step-by-step guide to help congregations choose an issue and begin a ministry of advocacy. The study helps congregations gain insight and understanding about advocacy, develop a plan of action, and launch (or improve) a ministry of advocacy. The entire guide is available on the ELCA website 


E-Advocacy-Take Action Now!: Become a part of the ELCA advocacy effort by signing up for the e-Advocacy network. 
In This Issue
July 4 Message
Immigration Reform
Environmental Urgency
More Assembly Videos
God's Work Our Hands Sunday
Pastor Races for the Gold!
Swim for Life!
Windsor-Peterson Installation
Birkholz to Preach on Day1
ILAG Reflection
Funding Requests
Director of Music
Director of Philanthropy
Summer in the Southeast
Share Your VBS Photos
Religion and Race
Bishop and a Bubba
Interim Ministry
Prophetic Renewal
Hunger Grants
More Learning Opportunities
Raise Your Voice
Ordinations & Installations

 Quick Links  

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Visit our blog

Did You Know?  
The ELCA will elect a presiding bishop in August.  The 2013 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA will be held August 12-17 in Pittsburgh, PA.  The agenda includes elections of a presiding bishop and a secretary.
Click here for more information about the 2013 Churchwide Assembly.
Share Your Story
Is God doing exciting work in your congregation or ministry that you would like to share with the rest of the synod? Are you looking to spread the word about an upcoming event or opportunity for ministry? The E-News Weekly is open for congregations to share news, stories, photos, announcements and more. Send your stories to Michelle Angalet. Michelle can also be reached at (404) 589-1977, ext. 235. Submissions are due Mondays by 5 pm. The Synod E-News Weekly (usually) goes out on Wednesdays.  

Ordinations & Installations


July 14:  The Rev. Chris Hansen will be installed as interim pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hixson, TN.  More details to come.
August 9: David Parr will be ordained at Reformation Lutheran Church in Greeneville, TN at 6 pm. Reception to follow. 
LSG Spotlight
Save the Date for Our Gala!
Please join Lutheran Services of Georgia for its annual Heroes of Hope, Healing, and Strength gala on Thursday, August 29, 2013 to honor the heroes in our community. This year, LSG will be recognizing two important members of the community: The Rev. Dr. Rusty Edwards, pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Marietta; and For The Kid in All of Us, a nonprofit organization that has supported LSG's programs through its fundraising events, the Toy Party and Backpack in the Park. 
If you are interested in coming to the gala or would like more information, please contact Lorraine Dorough at or 678-686-9613.
For more information on LSG's work, like the LSG Facebook page or visit the website.
Living   Lutheran   Spotlight  
A Ministry of Hospitality at St. John's Lutheran Church, Atlanta

Needing to feed her two children, a laid-off teacher uses up her financial reserves. A homeless man relies on pop-top canned food for meals. Veterans go to the food pantry for peanut butter and jelly. These are people that members of St. John's Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Atlanta, are proud to engage in ministry. This congregation is also serious about addressing food scarcity and was a founding member of Intown Collaborative Ministries, a nonprofit community organization supported by a group of 16 interfaith congregations in Atlanta, as well as a grant from ELCA World Hunger. Participants in the organization work to empower people to overcome challenging circumstances and move on to a better life. Click here to read more! 

The    Lutheran  
Retrace Ancestors' Footsteps in Southeastern Synod
About 75 Lutherans of African and European descent dug into the history of black involvement with Lutheranism on May 16-19 at Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church and New Ebenezer Family Retreat and Conference Center, both in Rincon, GA. Participants visited sites where free African-Americans worked with early settlers from Salzburg, Germany. Click here to read more. 
Excerpts from
The Lutheran
are available on their website. To read the issue in its entirety, consider purchasing a one-year online subscription for only $11.95. 
Malaria Campaign Spotlight 
  Malaria Program "Doing Wonders" in Malawi
Ms. Judith Jere, coordinator of the Lutheran Malaria Program in Malawi, spoke with ELCA staff in a March 2013 interview. Judith had excellent insights to share about malaria prevention, education and treatment in Malawi. "What I can say is that the malaria campaign is doing wonders. It's like a mircle. You know, at first many children were dying. But now the mortality rate has reduced significantly, and we're very proud about what ELCA is doing with our church." She also said, "Everywhere you go, you talk about the malaria campaign, women are just dancing and singing, because so many lives are being saved, especially under the young children under 5 years." Click here to read the entire interview on the ELCA Malaria Blog. 
If you'd like to learn more about the Southeastern Synod's role in ending malaria, contact Jonathan Trapp, Chair of the synod's Hunger, Justice, and Poverty taskforce, via email.
Who to Contact 
Do you have a question or a comment for a member of the synod staff, but aren't sure who to contact? Check out our regularly updated contact page on the synod website.
Synod Calendar

July 6-21
"Roots to Wings" Germany Trip

July 23-24
Lectionary Preaching Workshop

August 5-7
Interim Ministry for Today's Church


August 12-18

2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly


September 24-26

Southeastern Synod Leadership Convocation at Lutheridge


View the entire synod calendar

Share this E-news with a friend!
Please send this email to those you know who would benefit from this information.  
ELCA Southeastern Synod
100 Edgewood Ave. NE, Suite 1600
Atlanta, GA 30303