Office of the Bishop
Update Highlights: Calendar, Supply, Convocation, Youth Gathering and ULS.
· Sunday Supply Dates: December 11, 25*. *Mercer/Crawford only. 2023 February 19, 26; March 12, 19, April 9, 16, 23.
· The Synod Supply Pastor Policy took effect 1 September 2022.
· On Oct. 24 the theme for the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering, the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event and the tAble will be announced! The National Youth Gathering will be held in New Orleans from July 13-16. Mark your calendars now.
· The ELCA Youth Gathering Team writes, “We’ve decided to make a few changes to the Synod Day program… In past cycles, …select two ministry leaders to serve as Gathering Synod Coordinator and Synod Day Director. For 2024 we are combining these roles and ask that you select one person for the role of Gathering Synod Champion. … To provide further support to congregations as they prepare for the Gathering, MYLE and the tAble, we will provide resources and training to each synod’s champion for 18 months prior to the Gathering. GSCs are expected to develop relationships with congregational adult leaders by answering questions, curating Gathering resources and creating community among participating congregations in the year leading up to the Gathering. This individual will also be responsible for the planning and execution of worship and your Synod Experience. Champions are required to attend one training in New Orleans, Jan. 16-18, 2024. Travel and other training-related expenses will be covered by the Gathering. We will provide online onboarding and training as well as other meetings (dates TBD) to help GSCs in this work. A detailed job description can be found here. Be mindful that this is a different position from the previous cycles. The successful candidate will be organized, detail-oriented and capable of communicating effectively for the sake of building community with other adult leaders in the synod. We ask that you nominate a Gathering Synod Champion no later than Nov. 1, 2022.”
· It is not too late for Rostered Leaders in our Synod to begin planning to attend the 2023 Rostered Leaders Gathering July 17-20 in Phoenix, AZ. More information can be found at: https://elca.org/rmg. I attended the first Gathering and found the event informative and a wise use of continuing education funds I would encourage our congregational leaders to support your pastors and deacons to attend this event.
· Fall Convocation. HOTEL RESERVATION DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 23. PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW. AFTER THE CUT OFF DATE HOTEL RATES INCREASE. The dates for Convocation are 24-26 October. The NWPA Convocation registration is open. We will gather at the Sheraton Bayfront, Erie for this year’s event. When registration opens you will need to register with our synod (website) and with the hotel if you are staying at the Sheraton. The cost of the hotel is $149+tax per night. Our synod will reimburse room cost of $50 per night for Monday and Tuesday per room. You will need to submit a request for reimbursement in order to receive the funds. Single and double rooms are available. You will also be responsible for meals.
We will be using The Post Quarantine Church by Thom S. Rainer as a focus for the educational time together. Purchasing the book is not necessary for the event but it might be helpful.
Attendees are invited to check in on Sunday afternoon and relax Sunday evening into Monday morning. Onsite registration will open on Monday and the Convocation will begin after lunch. Monday night we will gather at Brewerie at Union Station for a hymn sing (beer will be involved for those who wish to partake.) Tuesday will continue our convocation learning time along with opportunities to explore the Erie area. We will end by noon on Wednesday. There will be time to worship and pray together along with other updates from around our synod and churchwide.
· Our 2023 NWPA Assembly will be (8) 9-10 (11) June 2023 at Thiel College. I will form a Synod Assembly Planning Team in the next few weeks. I will ask each Conference to nominate one lay person to be on this Planning Team. This core group along with the synod staff will begin the initial planning process for the next three Assemblies 2023,2024, 2025. As the core team progresses other individuals within our synod will be asked to join specific teams or committees centering around our upcoming 2023 Assembly and beyond.
· The following congregations are in transition:
This weekend I will be attending the Installation of Bp. Craig Miller, Upper Susquehanna Synod and then traveling to Ft. Snelling (had to look it up, just outside of Minneapolis, MN) to visit with a chaplain and his unit. Both events remind me of how connected we are. The Church takes on many expressions and forms – be it cathedral or open field – we gather to proclaim and to receive the gospel. We are interconnected – one might even say like a body – to each other. And as I travel know I carry you with me (and no, not like a virus or bacteria).
Called to Serve,
Rev. Michael L. Lozano, Bishop
Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
22598 Titusville Road
PO Box 43
Pleasantville, PA 16341