At the 2015 Assembly, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod articulated a new vision for what it means for the Synod, congregations and leaders to move Forward Together in Faith and launched the three-year Forward Together in Faith Campaign to allow us to live into that vision.
Watch this video to experience the energy and vision.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod is “is rediscovering the keys that Jesus gave us – the keys that he gave the apostles over 2000 years ago,” according to Bishop Claire Burkat.
“The keys that enabled them to unlock the power of the Holy Spirit and unleash their minds for innovating, their tongues for communicating, their feet for networking, and their time for equipping. We never lost those keys. We’ve had them in our hands all along.”
Equipping, innovating, communicating and networking are at the heart of the Forward Together in Faith Campaign, launched at the 2015 Synod Assembly.
“Are we going to keep ourselves locked in? Or will we open up, think outside the church-box, and re-envision what it means to be the Church in the world today?” the bishop asked in her Assembly sermon. (Watch it below)
The Forward Together in Faith campaign aims to help congregations revitalize and reimagine ministry and raise $2.5 million to help us together live into this new vision. It will achieve this by providing funding for helping rostered and lay leaders re-tool for today’s mission challenges, supporting new ministries and future leaders, engaging emerging channels for telling our stories and building grass-roots networks within our Synod – and by listening for the directions that the Holy Spirit will unveil as we move forward.
Our Vision: We’re Ready For Change
Are we as a synod ready to make changes for the sake of the gospel? Are we ready to network, collaborate and share ideas? Are we ready to take risks and even fail? Are we ready to equip and empower congregations?
The Assembly answered an enthusiastic “Yes!” to these questions from Forward Together in Faith Chair Ellen S. Daneke, St. Peter, Lafayette Hill.
Since Kairos and Associates presented findings from surveys of synod constituents and the Assembly approved moving ahead with this initiative last year, “there has been a lot more listening, discovering and learning…so that we can live into what God is dreaming for you,” said Jeff Kjellberg, owner of Kairos. “This is not the Synod’s vision for you. This is your vision.”
The vision encompasses:
- Equipping our congregations’ lay and rostered leaders for innovative risk-taking to reach out beyond their walls and making the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) available to all who want it.
- Innovating the birth of new ministries through the Synod and through congregations listening to their neighborhoods.
- Communicating our stories more effectively by improving Synod technologies that link congregational leaders and equipping congregations in social media, web and electronic communications.
- Networking lay and rostered leaders in new ways, using results of the CAT and by supporting local initiatives to partner with church and community groups.
- Initiatives in these areas will take shape as funds are raised toward the campaign’s $2.5 million goal. In addition, funds raised will be tithed toward The Campaign for the ELCA.
Explore this website to learn more about we are doing, and what we can do together!