Issue # 535 - May 5, 2020


"Here for a Reason..."

Peace Lutheran Church, Memphis, is on this corner for a reason

Located at the corner of Jackson and Willett, Peace Lutheran Church in Memphis has ministered to the midtown community for over 100 years. A beautiful brick building with stained glass windows, it continues to serve its members and the community, even amidst the chaos of Covid-19 and the loss of its pastor, through online Sunday services and distance sensitive outreach.

On April 3rd, the church faced a devasting blow, when the Rev. Antoinette (Tonie) Robinson, Pastor, Teacher, Mentor and Leader of the outreach charge, left this world after battling cancer for several months. 

Rev. Tonie taught all with whom she interacted what it was to give and sacrifice oneself. Her legacy will live on through the many members and friends of Peace that make all its outreach opportunities a success.

Click here to read more about Rev. Tonie's legacy and the inspiring story of Peace LC, Memphis.


Financial Assistance

Synod COVID-19 Grants

The Bishop and Synod Council are pleased to announce the availability of the COVID-19 Grant to address the immediate financial need of a small number of congregations in the Southeastern Synod. 

This grant program is financed primarily through the Strategic Initiative Fund of the Southeastern Synod, a fund created from the holy closures of generous congregations who have faithfully given life to future ministries in our synod. Other monies are provided by the ELCA COVID-19 Fund.

Deadline to apply is June 30, 2020.

Click here to read more and to apply!


LifeLine Fund

The Southeastern Synod is incredibly pleased to announce our involvement in the LifeLine Fund. A generous grant from the Lilly Foundation, matched by funds from our synod, will provide up to $80K in financial support for rostered ministers plus training and support for congregations who need stewardship assistance. 

The LifeLine Fund will provide rostered ministers with financial education, time with a financial planner, plus up to three years of grants paid directly to the lender.

Click here to read more and to apply today.


Synod News

Compensation Guidelines Conversations

If you are a rostered minister or involved in setting compensation for a rostered minister, please join the Compensation Committee over ZOOM.  We will hold discussions about the proposal for the new 2021 Compensation Guidelines and the new format for calculating compensation.

We would like as much feedback as possible before presenting the guidelines to Synod Council for vote on June 6, 2020.

Click here to register for one or both of these conversations:

  • Monday, May 11, 7:00pm EDT
  • Monday, May 18, 7:00pm EDT


Synod Elections

The Southeastern Synod Nominating Committee is currently seeking nominees for several positions which were to be elected at the 2020 Synod Assembly. Since the Synod Assembly has been canceled for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, elections will be conducted by the Synod Council at their meeting in early June.

Summary of positions:

  • Consultation Committee
  • Discipline Committee
  • Synod Council:
    • 2, at-large, lay positions
    • 1, at-large, Young Adult (18-30 yo)
    • 1 youth member (nominated by SESLYO)

For a full description of synod elections and nomination forms, click here.


Synod Advocacy - Social Message discussion

What does the ELCA teach about the nature and function of government?  What is our faithful response regarding citizenship and civic engagement? 

Let's discuss the draft of the ELCA social message on Government and Civic Engagement:  Discipleship in a Democracy.

Click here to register for this conversation TONIGHT, May 5, 6:00pm EDT.


AFFIRM 2020 - Going VIRTUAL!!!  June 13!!!

After consulting with the youth of our synod, the AFFIRM admin staff, and the bishop, we have chosen to gather ONLINE on Sunday June 13, 2020, for a half-day of fun, worship, and small group gatherings.

More info and registration will come out by May 15, 2020.  

Click here to see the Affirm page, where you can find more updates as they become available.


ELCA Youth Gathering - June 29 through July 3, 2021

Every three years, 30,000 high school youth and their adult leaders from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gather for a week of faith formation known as the ELCA Youth Gathering.

Let's get together to talk about plans, share ideas, and tap into the movement of the Spirit that gathers us together.

We have scheduled two Zoom sessions for initial conversations:

  • Thursday, May 14, 6:00pm EDT
  • Thursday, May 21, 6:00pm EDT

Click here for more information and to register.


Ecumenical Survey: Preparing Your Worship Space

A diverse group of public health professionals, theological educators, church leaders, and pastors is conducting a month-long consultation in May to develop protocols for fellowship, worship, and sacrament for congregations as they consider reopening their doors for in-person meetings.  Members of the group come from The United Methodist Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, and The Episcopal Church. 

To read more about this effort, click here.

Or go directly to the survey HERE.


Email Scam!!!

Please be aware that we have had another email scam come to our attention at the synod office.  You will not need to contact Bishop Strickland, nor will you need to contact the synod office.

Someone is creating an email address that mimics Bishop Strickland's email address and asking for you to "email him back" or "asking if you can purchase gift cards for him or on his behalf."

Please do NOT reply to that email.

Click here to read more about this scam.


For Our Leaders

Guidelines and Tips for Holding Remote Meetings

"Now that I've mastered remote worship,
what about remote meetings?"  

Pr. Karen Boda (Assistant to the Bishop for Congregational Life) has created a video resource and posted several links that are most helpful.

Click here to read more.


Tracking Online Attendance

Interested in knowing how to track online attendance? Wondering to put on Form A next year?

Click the link below to get a pdf of this document. This will give us a unified process and allow us to track the same numbers across the ELCA.

In the near future, we will be adding links here for ways to measure how well you are engaging online viewers

Click here to learn more.


Stewardship During a Pandemic

What does stewardship look like during a pandemic?  How can I give to my church when I'm stuck at home?

When we maintain our giving to the church, we are enabling our churches to continue the ministries so desperately needed now – ministries which share the love of God, feed our neighbors, and care for the most vulnerable.

Click here to learn more stewardship ideas and practices.


Remember to Register for the Festival of Homiletics online

The Festival of Homiletics (May 18-22) is moving online! And because there’s no better time than our current crisis to learn how to “preach a new earth,” registration for the virtual conference is totally FREE!

Click here to register and to learn more.


Prayers & Concerns


ELCA's "Here to Serve" Prayer Initiative


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ELCA churchwide organization is here to support our members, congregations, synods and partners. Call 800-638-3522 and press #4
or email
 for prayer, support and to ask your questions. 


Mental Health Support during this Pandemic

for Adults and Youth

Many of us are overwhelmed in these days and we may not be sure where to turn for emotional or mental healthcare   We have gathered some resources to share with you.  

Click here to find this information.


For more on mental health care, check out the latest blog post from Connie Pearson, RN, MN

BLOG:  "Our Mental Health"



News from the ELCA

Video Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

As Paul taught us, let us not only boast in our hope but also in our suffering, because suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.


Celebrating Women in Ministry

With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the ELCA gives thanks to God for the ministry of women. In 2019 and 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely.

For resources to help you celebrate women in ministry, click here.


I'm a Lutheran:  Mahareta (Meta) Paubert Kaurin

I’m a Lutheran and have been since I was baptized in the Fiangonana Loterana Malagasy (Malagasy Lutheran Church)—the only Lutheran church in my hometown. I remember singing in the children’s choir and Sunday school and first communion classes. I grew up singing in this church until I left Madagascar. I’m a Lutheran here in the U.S. and anywhere else because—even in different languages—these are the songs, worship and prayers that I know.

To read more about this powerful disciples in Christ, click here.


Upcoming Events

Visit the Happening Soon! page or the Calendar on the Southeastern Synod website to learn about upcoming events in and around the Synod to include:





Please be sure to check out our website and social media for more details for events and happenings around our synod and the ELCA. 


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St. John's Lutheran Church
Physical Address:
1410 N Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30307


Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 400
Decatur, GA 30031


As always, please feel free to visit our website for more information:




For questions or concerns regarding our regular or special enews, please contact: Rev. Michael Jannett - Assistant to the Bishop for Formation and Communication


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southeastern Synod,
c/o St. John's Lutheran Church, 1410 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307