Metro DC Synod News Dec. 2

In this first week of Advent, we hear from Rev. Ashraf, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala, Palestine – outside Bethlehem. Rev. Tannous talks about what the first Advent candle – hope – means to him as a Christian and as a Palestinian. 

Discussion questions can be found in the comments of the YouTube link below and on our Facebook page.

Annette Rodriguez, lead pastor of Woodycrest United Methodist Church in the Bronx, also shares how “Hope Abounds” and reflects on her Peace Not Walls experiences in a blog post available here.

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about how our synod will engage with this series in a special way with young adults of our synod! 

Thanksgiving may not have looked or felt the same with the absence of family members or friends at our tables. Yet our family recipes, shared from generations before us or amongst friends were still thoroughly prepped, tasted and devoured! Would you be willing to share a beloved dish you prepared or will be preparing this holiday season?

This Epiphany season, the Metro D.C. Synod is celebrating the gifts of flavor and culture that come through the recipes that are handed down. We will compile and share the recipes with the entire Metro D.C. Synod as a way to be together at the table even when we cannot gather in person.

You can share a recipe using the link below! We hope to have at least one recipe from every congregation in our synod, so make sure to submit your recipe soon! Thank you!

Online Congregational
Gatherings Resources

As congregations determine how to meet for upcoming congregational meetings, we encourage you to consult resources that our synod produced regarding these matters through our Leadership Academy last Spring.

These resources can be found at the link below. Any further questions can be sent to Rev. Dr. Erin Swenson-Reinhold at

Next Discernment Group: Begins in January!

The Candidacy Committee of the Metro D.C. Synod invites anyone who is feeling a call to ministry or is looking for a space to actively discern their call to join our January virtual discernment group! If you are interested or would like to learn more, please contact Rev. Dr. Erin Swenson-Reinhold

Gifts of Hope: Alternative Gift Catalog and Online Toolkit Now Available!

Gifts of Hope has officially launched its Advent 2020 campaign providing alternative gift ideas which connect donors to organizations that serve people in need, both locally and internationally.

The 2020 catalog is now available and we invite you to follow Gifts of Hope on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to stay informed about the program and the beneficiary organizations.

You are also invited to check out an online promotional toolkit, which is available to help spread the word about the Synod’s Gifts of Hope program

2021 Statement of Intent

Please submit a statement of intent for 2021 of your congregation’s expected tithe to the Synod. Your financial commitment helps us to live out our mission together. Thank you for your partnership with the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod and the ELCA.

You can use the link below to fill out your congregation’s 2021 statement of intent.

Lifelong Learning from Virginia Theological Seminary offers this complimentary retreat in gratitude for our supporters from 9:00 – Noon on Friday, December 11 on Zoom.

This year, in particular, the Advent themes of exile and longing invite us to dwell more deeply in our experiences of brokenness and loss, darkness and “not yet,” always in the context of Christian hope. Spiritual Companion and poet Kathy Staudt will lead us – through poetry, journaling, and guided prayer – to reclaim ways to live in hope and respond to this season’s holy invitations.

Register today using the link below!

Helping Leaders Stay Connected Across Our Synod

The Metro D.C. Synod Staff would like to be in better contact with the lay leaders of the synod. Please help us to keep in touch by supplying the names, emails, and term dates for your lay leaders. We will update the synod database to include the information provided.

Prince George’s County Updates

We have worked the past week to continue to understand our scope of work and total need for this response.  This is turning into a much larger response and need than we initially anticipated. We have many homes (possibly 10 or 12) that need furnaces and hot water heaters replaced.  With the onset of colder weather, this becomes a critical need.

We are planning to deploy work crews each Saturday through the end of January. We hope your congregation will consider sending work crews or individuals to assist Lutheran Disaster Response and Maryland VOAD in helping our neighbors’ recovery.   

Here is how your congregation can help: 

  • Pray for our neighbors who have been affected and the volunteers responding to their needs. 
  • Recruit volunteers or form a work crew to volunteer for one of the upcoming Saturdays. 
  • Receive an offering or hold an appeal to raise funds to building materials, cleaning supplies, appliances, etc. 
  • Have your congregation Adopt a Family. With the holiday season approaching, what better way to demonstrate the love of God and celebrate the incarnation of our Lord than by providing for the recovery of one of our affected families.

If you have questions or want to sign up volunteers, please contact Pr. Phillip Huber (call or text 410.375.5053 or or you can register volunteers directly through our DART website.

Donations can be sent to the Synod Office marked for Prince George’s County Flooding, September 2020, or you can give directly to Maryland VOAD by going to the DART website and clicking on the “Donate” icon at the top of the page. Maryland VOAD is a certified IRS 501(c)3 and all donations are tax deductible.

The ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering brings together the national network of ELCA World Hunger leaders, congregations, and ministry partners every 18 months for a time of networking, idea sharing, and planning for our shared work. The 2021 gathering will take place online from Wednesday, January 20 – 23!

All are invited to register at the link below before January 10. We know that our future church will be younger and more diverse — whom do you want to invite to join the conversation and our ministry together?

To ensure access to this event for all who are interested in engaging with ELCA World Hunger, sponsorships covering the registration fee are available. Please email to inform us of your interest.

Learn more about this event and register today using the link below!

D.C./MD/VA Guardian Angel
Court Watch Program

Members of all congregations in the Metro D.C. Synod are invited to join the D.C./MD/VA ELCA AMMPARO Guardian Angel program. Through this program, volunteers accompany immigrants, unaccompanied children, and families through their immigration court process, providing:

  1. SPIRITUAL ACCOMPANIMENT – To provide spiritual support for them at court hearings
  2. PHYSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT – To be a visible sign of the church in immigration court
  3. COURT WATCH – To be the face of the community in court
  4. RESOURCE SHARING – If requested, to provide information about local resources to assist migrants in their transition to life in the United States and to encourage families to obtain legal counsel

The time commitment for this program is two half-days in court each year. English speakers will be partnered with a Spanish speaker and assigned to a court time.

You are invited to learn more about this program using the button link below. Members of all congregations in the Metro D.C. synod are invited to attend an upcoming training on Feb. 6th (more details TBA) and fill out the Volunteer Information form. Interested members are also welcome to join the DC/MD/VA AMMPARO Facebook Page.

Cross Accent Summer 2020 Issue

You are invited to view a recent issue of CrossAccent, which is devoted to issues surrounding the pandemic. Fourteen contributors—musicians, pastors, scholars, theologians, and a physician—have provided wisdom, experience, advice, and encouragement for these uncertain and challenging times, and we thank them for generously sharing their gifts in this way.

This issue also includes three new compositions by Anne Krentz Organ, which can be accessed as melody-line TIF files. The pieces are reproducible for local use through May 31, 2021. Accompaniments are included on pages 69 and 70 of this issue.

You may view/download the whole issue using the link below.

Job Openings

Contributions Manager
Abiding Presence in Burke, VA

View full job description and apply here.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; interviews will begin on November 30, 2020.

Administrative Secretary
Good Shepherd in Alexandria, VA

View full job description and apply here.

Wednesday, January 6
Epiphany Celebration Worship Service
Hosted by the 2019 ELCA Bishop’s Cohort @ 7:00 pm

January 13 – February 10, 2021
Bishop’s Academy: Rediscovering Sabbath 
Every Wednesday @ 10:00 AM – Noon

Thursday, January 14, 2021 
Leadership Academy: Financial Wellness
On Zoom @ 7:00 PM

To limit how often the Synod staff needs to visit our office during this time, please consider making your gifts to the Synod via our online giving portal rather than by physical check. Click below to set up an online giving account. 

If you must mail anything to the Synod, please use our P.O. Box Address below rather than the physical office address. 

Metro D.C. Synod
P.O. Box 77245
Washington, DC 20013

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