MetroLines is a publication of the Metro D.C. Synod, ELCA, for our congregations, leaders and friends sharing what's happening in local ministry together.
Synod Focus

LAST MINUTE SHOPPING IS JUST FINE
Gifts of Hope make a difference in our community, locally and globally. The synodical Gifts of Hope program offers over 39 gifts in its catalog, supporting 17 beneficiary organizations, in prices ranging from $10-$250. Last year, over $110,000 was raised during Advent (and our 23 year total is over $3 million!). Work with your congregation of visit the online catalog to select a gift at www.giftsofhopedc.org . "Over 80 percent of the congregations in our synod participate, and I am grateful for the support and the volunteers who make this successful," says Carolyn Sowinski, director. Also, if you do some of your shopping via Amazon, considering shopping from smile.amazon.com; choose "Metropolitan Wash DC Synod of the ELCA" as your charity, and a small percentage of your purchase will go to Gifts of Hope at no additional cost to you
Local Info

CREATION CARE OPPORTUNITY IN FAIRFAX
The synod's Creation Care Team invites Lutherans in Fairfax County to consider becoming part of the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (learn more about FACS at www.faithforclimate.org ). FACS is a growing interfaith network of people of faith and congregations in Northern Virginia who are united around a moral and spiritual call to preserve the integrity, beauty and health of God's creation. FACS works in close partnership with Interfaith Power and Light and other groups. For more information, contact Kristy Liercke, member of Emmanuel Lutheran in Vienna, at kliercke@verizon.net or 703-255-3021.

ELCA MALARIA CAMPAIGN NEWS
"We are in the last few weeks of the ELCA four-year Malaria Campaign and are grateful for the resources that have been received and used to put an end to malaria," says Dorothy Sorrell, synod ELCA Malaria Campaign coordinator. "One of our synod's goals was to have 100% congregational participation, and we are still missing about 20% of that goal," she wrote on Nov. 22. "We have met and exceeded our ELCA and synod financial goals - more than $15.1 million in ELCA giving and more than $380,000 by our synod. The work of the Malaria Campaign will continue through our ELCA World Hunger efforts. Thank you for your prayers and generosity."

LOCAL ORGANIZATION AWARDED WELCA GRANT
Ascensions Psychological and Community Services, a D.C. center helping local women and families with therapeutic interventions and tools necessary to decrease incident of child abuse, low self-esteem, and unhealthy relationships, was awarded a grant by Women of the ELCA. "The Metro DC Synodical Women's Organization (SWO) offers congratulations and thanks for the service Ascensions Psychological provides to the DC Metropolitan area citizens," announced our SWO in their recent issue of Joyful News.

CONGREGATION MEMBER RECOGNIZED FOR SERVICE
Peter Morrison, a member of Georgetown Lutheran Church, was chosen as a finalist for the Service to American Medal - aka "Sammies." Known as the 'Oscars' of government service, this award honors federal employees whose work makes our country better, healthier and stronger.. Learn more about Morrison's achievements as a program officer with the Office of Naval Research at http://servicetoamericamedals.org/honorees/view_profile.php?profile=418 . "We couldn't be more proud!" said Karol Stanley from the congregation.

WINTER RETREAT VENUE
Mar-Lu-Ridge in Jefferson, Md. is available to host winter retreats. Save 10% on the heated cabins with mountain views through February. Contact the 800-238-9974 for availability info.
Resource Alert

WELCA GRANTS
The grant application cycle from Women of the ELCA is underway. Dec. 15 is the deadline for the "Raising Up Health Women and Girls" seed grant application. Other grants and scholarships close Feb 15. See www.womenoftheelca.org for more information. (From SWO's Joyful News)

REFORMATION ANNIVERSARY GRANTS
The ELCA Reformation Anniversary Grant Program encourages initiatives by congregations, synods and other institutional expressions of the ELCA that use the 500th anniversary in 2017 as an opportunity to make a witness of the Gospel message in the spirit of the Reformation. In the years leading up to 2017, all ELCA members are encouraged to plan and participate in activities related to this milestone anniversary. Funds available through a generous grant to the ELCA from Thrivent Financial. Applications are due by March 15. Learn more and apply from www.ELCA500.org/grant .

LUTHERAN SCHOLARSHIPS AT VALPO
Valparaiso University in Indiana has several Lutheran-specific scholarships with deadlines coming up. High school students in the synod making college choices can learn more at www.valpo.edu/student-financial-services/planning/scholarships/lutheran/ .

MEN'S MINISTRY TALK PROMPTS
Lutheran Men in Mission (LLM) has created playable decks of ManTalk Cards. "See how they transform your men's breakfast of next poker night," wrote Kevin Burke of LLM. "Not every conversation with ManTalk Cards will be deep, but after every conversation you will know more about the man sitting next to you." Sample prompts include: "Who is your favorite president and why?" and "When have you had to be really brave?" Find the deck at http://resources.elca.org/Men-ManTalk.html .

LWR ANTICIPATES 2016 CONCERNS
A 2016 Early Warning Forecast has been released by Lutheran World Relief, highlighting regions it is monitoring for potential humanitarian crises over the coming year. Highlighted challenges include the continuing refugee crisis, El Niņo impact, the fuel blockade in Nepal, and the Sahel region of West Africa. Read the document at programs.lwr.org/2016-Early-Warning-Forecast .

REVISED EDITION EXPANDS APPRECIATION FOR FAITH TRADITIONS
January is a month many Christian denominations observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Augsburg Fortress highlighted "Honoring our Neighbor's Faith" (revised edition) for possible congregational group study. With 32 chapters alphabetized from African American Methodist Churches to United Church of Christ, see a sample and learn more from http://store.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/21828/Honoring-Our-Neighbor-Faith-A-Lutheran-Perspective-on-Faith-Traditions-in-America-Revised-Edition?c=285662
Announced Churchwide

SECOND WEBCAST TO HELP ELCA CONFRONT RACISM
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA, is continuing her call to our 3.7 million member church to address the complexity and implications of the issue of racism. "Confronting Racism: A Holy Yearning" on Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. EST will be the second webcast she and William B. Horne II, member of St. Paul's Lutheran in Clearwater, Fla. and former member of the ELCA Church Council will be featured in as they discuss topics including the question of racial disparity in the U.S. criminal justice system and work to eliminate racial, ethnic discrimination in church and society. More at https://elca.org/webcast .

YOUNG MUSICIANS ENCOURAGED
Lutheran Summer Music Academy & Festival encourages congregations to host a LSM Sunday on Jan. 17 or 24 to celebrate young musicians. For ideas, visit www.lutheransummermusic.org .

YAGM APPLICATION CYCLE NOW OPEN
Applications for the 2016-2017 ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program year open December 1 and are due February 15 for service beginning August, 2016. Learn more at http://www.elca.org/yagm .

ELCA GRACE GATHERING IN CONJUNCTION WITH CWA
In partnership with the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans, the ELCA will also hold a Grace Gathering on Aug. 10-13 in New Orleans giving participants an opportunity to see the church in action, worship with Churchwide Assembly Voting members, engage in experiential learning, and attend a variety of workshops that will equip confederations and synods with tools to prepare for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Recently announced: Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and ELCA International Leaders Scholarship recipient, will bring a keynote address. More at www.gracegathering.com .

LET'S DO THAT AGAIN!
The date has been picked for "'God's work. Our hands.' Sunday." In 2016, it will take place on Sept. 11. All ELCA congregations are encouraged to engage in service activity, making an ELCA-wide witness to many of the things we do year-round. More at www.elca.org/dayofservice .
Blog Post Reprise
forum post
The unsettled season of Advent
Advent may be one of the few seasons of the year when we become more aware of our longing for wholeness and more alert to the signs that something is approaching.  Read more...
Justice, reconciliation, hope
Resources on racial justice compiled before our synod's rostered leaders got together for a retreat discussion are shared here for all.  Read more...
staff insights
Intentional community buds in Hyattsville
A "young adult intentional community" officially opened last month in the synod based on the concept of discipleship in today's setting. Read more...
The Gospel in a Digital World
Some pastoral reasons and practical ways to expand the sermon's audience from one sanctuary to many more online are shared.  Read more...
Reach to Ethiopian immigrants
In the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area it is estimated that there are about 100,000 Ethiopian immigrants. Worship in Amharic is launching at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church in Arlington.  Read more...
Synod has a little style
There's actually a right way to use the synod name, plus a few other non-fuzzy matters.  Read more...
Using our Living Voice
A "young adult intentional community" officially opened last month in the synod based on the concept of discipleship in today's setting. Read more...
Nourishment on campus
Chaplain Ray Ranker says, "In a college atmosphere of competition and an intense focus on individual performance, Jesus' words of love and grace are even more important for students to hear and embody."  Read more...
forum post
What is 'Lutheran'?
Having a clear sense of who we are and what we believe isn't a detriment but an asset.  Read more...
Share your news! Contact the Editor, Karen Krueger, at kkrueger@metrodcelca.org.