Thanks for the feedback from last week’s Notes. Remember if you want to be removed let Ellen and I know.
Health Note: I am in remission and on a maintenance oral/injection chemotherapy regimen for the next two years. I have also started receiving my childhood and adult vaccinations to rebuild my immune system. My oncologist did not like my idea of going to a local day care and spending a week playing with the children and picking up everything they could give me. So I’ll just have to take it slow. Thanks to everyone for the continued prayers.
In the weeks ahead I will be expanding the email list to our Authorized Lay Worship Leaders, then more broadly to congregational leadership. But don’t let this stop you from sharing these notes with others.
Assembly Registration: So talk about communication and hearing what is said! Ellen is rolling out Assembly Registration in phases so as to not bog down the online registration system. I heard, Assembly Registration is open. So, please register for our synod assembly as you are notified. You should receive or have received an email or mail notice for the assembly.
Rev. Ben Austin’s installation as pastor of St. Paul, Drake’s Mill is Sunday, May 15 at 3:00pm. Please RSVP if you are attending. Please hold Pr. Austin and the community of believers in prayer as they together enter into this new ministry.
The following is a list of upcoming events I will be attending in person. If I am in your area and you would like to go to lunch, coffee, have a chat, etc. let me know.
14 May Synod Council
15 May Pr. Austin Installation
17 May Punxsutawney
19 May Lutheran Home at Kane Board Meeting
22 May Indiana/Jefferson congregations meeting
25 May at Synod Office
1 June at Synod Office
3-5 June Chicago, IL Army Reserves
8 June Synod Office
9 June Thiel College
10 June Synod Assembly
15 June at Synod Office
17-18 June Upper Susquehanna Synod Assembly
19-26 June Family Vacation
6 July at Synod Office
7 July Lutheran Home at Kane Board Meeting
9-10 July Chicago, IL Army Reserves
11-14 July working remotely Indianapolis , IN
16 July Synod Council
17 July Gethsemane , Port Allegany
20 July at Synod Office
23 July Vocations Committee
24 July Good Hope, Oil City
27 July at Synod Office
28-31 July Chicago, IL Army Reserves
Sunday Supply Dates: August 14, 21, 28; October 9, 23* 30; November 13, 20, 27; December 11, 18. *Mercer/Crawford only. Note: There are some Sundays not on the list of open dates. As an example the day of Pr. Austin’s Installation is open but I would need to stay to the western side of our synod. Similarly May 22 is open but I would need to stay towards the eastern side of our synod.
Monday and Tuesday Rev. Tedd Cougar and I were at the ULS Philadelphia campus for the Spring Board meeting. A couple of highlights were: ULS is in a good place financially, enrollment is steady, but could improve, both campuses continue to have more open housing as students are opting to commute or attend classes via the “digital third campus,” a new faculty member was hired, a set of sabbaticals are in the offing for other faculty, and graduation is set for Friday, May 20th. Also the Board is starting a strategic planning process. Check out ULS and Ridge Museum
While at ULS Dr. Kyle K. Schiefelbein-Guerrero (Dr. KSG) mentioned a book Becoming A White Antiracistwebsite by Brookfield and Hess. He noted the faculty had read the book together as part of their continued effort to address racism and thought others might find it a good read and discussion as well. Pr. Cougar and I thought this idea might work in our synod. If you interested joining a “book club” send me a note. I believe I can find funds to purchase the book and have copies available at Assembly for distribution. As this project develops watch for more information in Notes to come.
Fall Convocation. The dates for Convocation are tentatively set for 24-26 October. Location is TBD. Something to consider is holding the event in the Greater Erie Area or in downtown Erie near the waterfront and Presque Isle. Perhaps starting it on a Sunday evening. Having spouses attend. Proving more open time to have conversation or tour/walk the area. Having several keynote speakers and workshops on a variety of relevant topics. Moving Fall Convocation around the synod with Conferences “hosting” the event. If you have thoughts or suggestions regarding topics, or an interest in planning the event please send me a note with the subject line “Fall Convocation.”
Please pray for our Synod Council which meets this Saturday: Rev. Jeff Ewing and Dennis Yarian, Rev. Stephen Fair and Rob Sundberg, Rev. Ben Travis and Anne Baver, Rev. Kristen Papson and Jacque Holmberg, Rev. Tedd Cougar and Beth Grafton.
Also, if you know of a youth (confirmation to age 18) or young adult (18-30) who is interested in serving on Synod Council let me know.
Please hold Ellen, Jake and Doug, our synod staff, in prayer especially as we approach our Synod Assembly. It’s only one day, but there is still much to do in preparation for the Assembly.
When asked how he was doing, he replied, “I’m tired.” Continuing, he reflected that it seems now that the pandemic is endemic we picked up where we left off two years ago. Those years of not traveling, almost standing still, it’s a lose of stamina. I’ve thought and said something similar myself. I know the feeling. My prayers continue for you who are tired before the pandemic, for working through the pandemic and now in this endemic time. You are not alone.