METROLINES   May 2016
News for our congregations, leaders and friends
sharing what's happening in local ministry together.

Synod Focus

REGISTER NOW FOR SYNOD ASSEMBLY
Synod Assembly registration is open now through June 1 for our big annual gathering. This year it's happening on Sat. June 18 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Md., with the theme, "For the Healing of the Nations." Learn more at www.metrodcelca.org/events/synod-assembly/ .
Looking ahead to the Synod Assembly
Looking ahead to the Synod Assembly

Local Info

SUMMER CAMP TIME
Have you considered an outdoor ministry camp experience this summer? Dates still available at two outstanding sites affiliated with our synod - Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp in Fort Valley, Virg. and Mar-Lu-Ridge Lutheran Camp in Jefferson, Md. Programs for various age groups, experience interests, families and even personal retreat are available. Check out at www.carolinefurnace.org and www.mar-lu-ridge.org .

PLAN FOR ELCA DAY OF SERVICE
Summer flies by, so do some dreaming about how to observe the 2016 ELCA Day of Service, an annual opportunity to serve others in a moment together. "God's work. Our hands." Sunday falls on Sept. 11, 2016 this year. It is a time to "celebrate who we are as the ELCA - one church, freed in Christ to love and serve our neighbor." Ideas, publicity plans, those snappy yellow t-shirts and more can be discovered from www.elca.org/dayofservice .

Resource Alert

GRANTS TO ASSIST WITH URGENT NEEDS OF SENIORS
Community Impact grants for the 2016/2017 cycle have been announced by the National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS). All grants must address at least one of an urgent list of needs faced by seniors, such as navigating and accessing health care and social services, social isolation, and chronic disease management. For the 2015/2016 grant cycle, NLCS awarded approximately $221,00 in grants and anticipate having slightly more available for the 2016/2017 cycle. Proposals accepted June 1-Aug. 15, 2016. To learn more about the submission of grant proposals, visit www.nationallutheran.org/impactgrants .
EXTRAS

THANKS FROM GIFTS OF HOPE
Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, memorials - the Gifts of Hope Catalog is available year-round. "Gifts of Hope raised a total of $111,635 from the congregations in our synod and from online support [last Advent]. Thanks to the many volunteers who presented this alternative gift-giving option to their congregations. All funds have been distributed to the designated beneficiary organizations, providing hope for today and hope for tomorrow. In our 24-year history, we have raised more than $3.2 million!" says Carolyn Sowinski, Director. Select a gift from the catalog at www.giftsofhopedc.org and receive a card to present to your honored loved one.

MAKING LUTHER'S WRITINGS ACCESSIBLE
Reading Martin Luther's essential writings is a goal for many Lutherans, especially with the pending anniversary, but the challenging language may prove to be a barrier for many modern-day readers. With this in mind, Fortress Press has created an "Annotated Luther series" for pastors and interested lay readers who want to explore and understand Luther and his writings with greater depth and clarity. Learn more at: http://fortresspress.com/annotatedluther .
EXTRAS

NEW NAME FOR ELCA MAGAZINE
Did you notice that The Lutheran magazine is now called Living Lutheran? New departments include a youth and family page, and a page devoted to social media and resources. The accompanying website is: www.livinglutheran.org .

Announed Churchwide

TAKE THE SURVEY TO HELP SHAPE ELCA PRIORITIES
Called Forward Together in Christ

An online opportunity to take part in the ELCA "Called Forward Together in Christ" process has opened. Called Forward Together in Christ is a process that will help leaders of this church make decisions about future directions and priorities of the ELCA, inviting people in the pew, church leaders and staff working for different expressions of this church to engage in conversation. This information will guide the ELCA's decision making bodies in forming the directions for the future of this church - who we are, what we do and what is most important. Find more on the process, including a video from Presiding Bishop Eaton, and online surveys at www.elca.org/future .

YOUNG ADULT STIPENDIARY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
The Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network (LEVN), based in the Sierra Pacific Synod area near Davis, Calif., is looking for young adults (age 21-30) with Bachelor's degrees for an 11-month program of non-profit volunteer work and learning about social justice. From the end of August 2016 to the end of July 2017, corps members will be provided housing, utilities, health insurance, transportation, spiritual direction, and a $400/month food stipend. A $1000 re-entry grant at the end of the program for moving expenses is also offered. Applicants needn't be either Lutheran or Episcopal to apply-interest in Christian spirituality is the only expectation. Visit www.levn.org or contact Program Director Casey Kloehn at 530-756-1550 or programs@thebelfry.org for more information.

ELCA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION TO OPEN
The ELCA was granted a federal charter July 7, 2015 to create the ELCA Federal Credit Union. The credit union will open in the second quarter of 2016. ELCA sponsorship allows the credit union to serve the members and ministries of the ELCA, although it is a separate entity from the ELCA churchwide organization. Find more at www.elcafcu.org , including a fact sheet.

THRIVENT GETS UPGRADED
Fitch Ratings has upgraded Thrivent Financial's Insurer Financial Strength rating to AA+ (Very Strong), the second-highest of Fitch's 19 categories, and given the organization a stable outlook. (Thrivent News Release, 5/6/16)

Blog Post Reprise
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Gift from an 'unplanned adventure'
Insights and helpful suggestions from facing a tough medical situation and loving someone on this journey are shared by a diaconal minister on an 'unplanned adventure' with cancer.
Read more...
staff insights link

As wedding plans sprout
Pastors asked to officiate at wedding ceremonies may need this bit of help to navigate and complete the requirements in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
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Love your neighbor
In matters of civil discourse, "I ask that we, and those seeking office, would remember that we are entrusted with a redeemed world, and we must always remember that those who disagree with us are also those for whom Christ died," writes Presiding Bishop Eaton in this article.
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Aging well in Georgetown
Did you know Georgetown Lutheran church was founded 32 years before Washington was organized as the nation's capital? Its neighbors do... especially after reading the upbeat write-up in The Georgetowner.
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Can we answer the question 'why'?
"[We] as a culture and a church have become proficient at talking about the 'how' of things," writes Presiding Bishop Eaton in this article. "If we can't answer ['why'] clearly and with conviction, I don't see a lot of change for us."
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Remember essential truths in an election year
Bishop Graham writes: "We are sensitive to the excitement, the drama, and the anxiety which national elections produce. Knowing that thoughtful Christians differ in their political convictions, we still seek to be faithful..."
Share your news! Contact the Editor, Karen Krueger, at kkrueger@metrodcelca.org.
More at www.metrodcelca.org or call us at 202-416-3678.