WOMEN IN MINISTRY - 50 / 40 / 10

With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA gives thanks for the ministry of all our ordained women - pastors and deacons! 

We celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and also the 10th anniversary of the ELCA's decision to remove the barrier for the ordination of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Most holy and gracious God,
We give you thanks for those who have been called by this church to serve. We give thanks for the women who have nurtured us in faith, cared for us in the name of Christ, and lived out their callings. Continue to raise up girls and women to serve Christ’s church and strengthen all in the vocations to which you call us. Through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

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News From Around the Synod

Virtual Milagro Gala - Make a Guatemalan Meal!!!

What better way to enjoy the Virtual Guatemala Gala 2020 than with an authentic Guatemalan Meal at home!

Our friends Julie and Steve Belfield from Epiphany Lutheran Church in Suwanee, GA created a video just for us, using recipes from Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard, a native of Guatemala. Julie demonstrates how to make Amalia’s authentic dishes.  CLICK HERE to find these recipes.

Join us September 12th, 7:00 pm EDT / 6:00pm CDT, wherever you are, for a Virtual Gala.  Go to our synod Facebook page or the Gala page on our synod website to join in our virtual Gala.#MILAGROGALA2020


Just Love:  A Virtual Preview

Saturday, September 12, 2:00-4:00pm EDT / 1:00-3:00pm CDT

Join Women of the ELCA for Just Love: A virtual preview where you'll get a taste of what’s to come at the 2021 Gathering, August 5-8, 2021 in Phoenix.
During this two-hour Zoom webinar, we’ll explore the Just Love theme through Bible study, a mini-workshop, words of inspiration, music, and much more. Participate for free from your comfy armchair, front porch, or home office! Connect with other women of faith during this fabulous event.  Registration is limited to the first 1,000 women, so complete your simple, registration now.

Click HERE to register.


Being Church in a Digital Age

3-part series: Sept. 14, 21, 28, at 11am EDT / 10am CDT

In a matter of weeks, digital ministry moved from the fringe to the spotlight for many congregations. As it becomes clear that digital ministry is not just a short-term solution, but a long-term element of congregational ministry, the North Carolina Synod, the Southeastern Synod, and the Virginia Synod invite you to a three-week webinar series exploring what it means to be the church in a digital age.

Click HERE to register and to learn more.


Synod Council Gathers September 12

Please keep your Southeastern Synod Council in your prayers as they begin preparations to meet September 11-12 over ZOOM.

Click here to see the synod council agenda, who serves on synod council, and more.


"Death by Disparities: How Medical Bias Kills" - an ONLINE Forum

Sunday, September 13, 1-3pm EDT / 12noon-2pm CDT

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer's Poverty and Social Justice Series Presents: A distinguished panel of doctors and health policy experts to address why minorities are dying from COVID at such dramatically higher rates in communities across America. We'll answer your questions, and offer concrete ways you can advocate for change.

Click here to REGISTER and to learn more.


Rev. Dr. Everett Flanigan Retirement Celebration

On Sunday, September 13, at 4pm EDT / 3pm CDT, we will gather ONLINE to give thanks for ministry of Rev. Dr. Everett Flanigan.  He has contributed much to this synod and the wider church.

REGISTER HERE to join this time of thanksgiving for Dr. Flanigan's work and ministry.


God's Work.  Our Hands.

Sunday, September 13

What are you doing for God's Work. Our Hands. Sunday???

Check out Bishop Eaton's video for a bit of inspiration.

Be sure to share your activities on our Synod Facebook page, HERE.

Click here to see the ELCA's web page dedicated to this day of service.  You can order t-shirts, find resources for this day of service, and more.


October Faith Formation Days for Laity

Sunday’s in October 2020 - 3:00-4:30pm EDT / 2:00-3:30pm CDT via Zoom

These events are being offered to all of our congregations, since we were unable to gather as an Assembly this past summer.   Please take time to register for 1, 2, 3, or all 4 of these events.  This is a great way to support your rostered ministers.

October 4 - Worship 101:  Why We Do What We Do
October 11 - Say Her Name: Naming the Witness of Nameless Women in the Bible
October 18 - With Glad and Generous Hearts:  a Look at Stewardship of Self, Congregation, and Church
October 25 - Telling the Story of Jesus:  Evangelism in the 21st Century 

For more information, click HERE.


NovusWay Vacation Getaways and Lodging Rentals

Lutheranch has some Weekend Getaway packages available for you to check out in September, October, and November.

Starting in August, NovusWay is inviting individuals, families and small groups to rent their lodging facilities and temporarily suspending all minimum group size requirements to stay in their retreat centers.

For more information, click HERE.


Sign Up for our Synod Prayer Team

Join Bishop Strickland for a time of prayer once a month via zoom. We will pray for the needs of ourselves, our neighbors locally and globally, the needs of the church and world, and for what else might be in need that day of prayer.

Please feel free to sign up at any time.

Click HERE to join the Bishop in prayer once per month, and to learn of the dates / times.


Voter Education Events for Georgia

The Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Atlanta, GA, will be sponsoring two online voter education events, to be run by the The Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections on the topic of "The Dominion Voting System Absentee Ballots/Provisional Ballots."  

These events will be held online, on the following dates:

  • Sunday, September 20, 2:00pm EDT
  • Sunday, October 4, 2:00pm EDT

Click HERE to see more information (and to get the Zoom links) and see a flyer with the 2020 Georgia Presidential Election Schedule.


For our Leaders

Sign up NOW for Congregational Guidance Webinar (Round 5)

Monday, September 21, 2020, 7:00-8:15pm EDT / 6:00-7:15pm CDT

Bishop Strickland, the synod staff, and many of your congregations' leaders will gather on Monday, September 21, 2020, to share some guidance for how to be the Church in the midst of this pandemic, and how to support your rostered ministers in these days.

Please CLICK HERE to register.


Disaster Coordinator TRAINING

Recording of this training is now available on our website!

This webinar is designed to equip congregational coordinators with skills and tools to assist their congregations to prepare and respond in the event of a disaster within their communities.

Click HERE to watch this video.


Advent Lectionary Study and Worship Planning

Via Zoom, October 14, 21, 28, and Nov. 4, 9:00-10:15am EDT / 8:00-9:15am CDT

Join Professor Rachel Wrenn and Bishop Kevin Strickland for a four-week lectionary study on the Advent texts and opportunity to talk about worship planning.

Click HERE to sign up.


Narrative Preaching Workshops

Columbia Theological Seminary is providing this workshop series, starting September 21, 2020.   Sign up for this course to examine the power of story to transform congregational consciousness, embrace one’s pastoral identity, and engage God and the world God loves. Particular attention will be paid to narrative forms and storytelling methods.  Fee is $190.  

Click HERE to sign up.

POSTPONED - Region 9 Rostered Women's Gathering

The Region 9 Rostered Women's Gathering scheduled for November 2020 has been postponed until Fall 2021 due to the virus and concerns for the health and well being of our pastors and deacons.


Leadership Convocation???

Not sure where registration forms are?  That’s because we moved Leadership Convocation to January 25-28, 2021!   This event will still take place at Lutheridge, in Arden, NC.   More information to come soon.

Season of Creation resources

FREE TO USE Season of Creation graphics

These awesome graphics come from Southwest California Synod of the ELCA.  These graphics are free to use!!!

Click here to access these graphics.


Season of Creation Ecumenical Devotional

The Season of Creation website shares activities and resources to celebrate the Season of Creation and is supported by an ecumenical steering committee and a coalition of partners from around the world.

Click here to learn access this devotional and to download it as a PDF.



Stewardship Resource Updates for September 2020!!!

Here are several items we wish to update you about in the area of Stewardship:
  • God’s abundance during the pandemic
  • 21 congregations start Beginning a Culture of Generosity
  • Pr. Mike Ward at synod’s October Faith Formation Days
  • 2020 Stewardship Kaleidoscope goes virtual!
  • Resources for you and your congregation

Click here to see these important Stewardship UPDATES!!!


Student Loan Assistance for Rostered Ministers

Does your rostered minister have student loan debt? Has your congregation considered assisting with this debt? Now through December 31, 2020 is the perfect time to do this.  The CARES act allows the employer to contribute up to $5,250 toward an employee's student loans. The payment is excluded from the employee's income. It's also tax-free for the employer, since it's not subject to payroll taxes up to the contribution threshold. It's a win win!

Click here to learn MORE.


Health & Wellness

Mental Health Webinar Follow-Ups

We recently held 2 Mental Health webinars for our leaders.

Please click on the links to see the videos from these events and resources shared during these webinars.


Southeastern Synod Unveils NEW Mental Health Website!

In response to the 2019 Synod Assembly resolution regarding much-needed work in the Mental Health arena, the synod's Mental Health Task Force is proud to share this new website resource for you.

Many are unsure of which resources to trust.   We are here to help with that process.  Check out this website for mental health resources in our four states of GA, AL, MS, and TN.

NOTE:  This will take you a different web page, even though it is linked from our website's Ministries tab.


Making a Wish - Flu Vaccinations

To say that the flu shot is singularly the most important available immunization that you might receive this season is an understatement. You might consider the flu vaccination to be an added protection from the coronavirus. Don’t get me wrong, the flu vaccine has nothing to do with providing you with immunity from Covid-19 but it will certainly help to keep you out of the walk-in-clinic or doctor’s office where others might be ill.  

Check out Connie Pearson's blog post here


Children, Youth, and Young Adult

Campus Ministry Referral Form - now available!

Young adults experience unique spiritual, intellectual and emotional challenges. ELCA Campus Ministry seeks to strengthen and support them as they learn and grow.

You can use this referral tool to let us know if you (or someone you know) is heading to a college in any of our four states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Tennessee. 

CLICK HERE to start a referral now!


All TN Lutheran Youth Gathering

SAVE THE DATE:  Saturday, November 14

Location:  ONLINE!!!

Check back to our All TN Youth Gathering page on the synod youth page for more details soon.


Lutheranch Moves Barn Grand Opening ONLINE

Sunday, September 20, 2020, is still the date for the grand opening of the Barn, but due to safety concerns, the event has moved to an ONLINE event.

More details available here!


Prayers and Concerns
  • For the friends and family of Rev. A. Richard Smith, who passed away on Tuesday, August 25, 2020.  See A. Richard Smith's synod obituary here.
  • For the friends and family of Ms. Eloise Nelson Cerniglia, upon her death on Sunday, September 6, 2020.  Eloise is the mother of Pastor Mark Cerniglia, who is serving as interim pastor at St. John's LC and Jerusalem LC, in Rincon, GA.
  • For the synod council, who meets on September 12, 2020, and who welcomes our newly elected members; for the gift of discernment for where the Spirit is leading this synod and its ministries.


Rostered Ministers Transitions


  • Mr. Jason Davis - September 20, 2020, 5pm EDT / 4pm CDT - St. Mark's, Huntsville
    • To serve as Associate Pastor


Calls Accepted:

  • Rev. John "Jay" Bergstresser - Senior Pastor, Christ the King, Peachtree Corners, GA
    • Begins serving on September 14, 2020
    • Last served in Florida / Bahamas Synod



  • Rev. Taylor Burton Edwards, Pastor (and Reception to the Roster from United Methodist Church), Faith, Warner Robbins, GA, September 6
  • Rev. Ruth Hamilton, Interim Pastor, All Saints, Lilburn, GA 9/20
  • Rev. Mary Armstrong-Reiner, Pastor, St. John, Griffin, GA - September 27
  • Rev. Steve Renner, Pastor - Messiah, Montgomery, AL - October 11
  • Rev. Jenny McLellan, Associate Pastor for Congregational Care - Redeemer, Atlanta, GA – October 11
  • Rev. Amy Carole Figg Ley, Senior Pastor - St. John's, Knoxville, TN - October 18
  • Rev. Steve Alseben, Pastor - Triumphant Cross, Dothan, AL - October 25
  • Rev. Rich Mueller, Pastor - Holy Trinity, Daphne, AL - November 1


Bishop Elections:

  • Rev. Tessa Moon Leiseth – Elected as bishop of Eastern North Dakota Synod on August 16, 2020



Upcoming Events





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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