Looking to enhance your devotional life this Advent season?  If so, we invite you to click the graphic below to see the Southeastern Synod Advent & Christmas Devotional written by leaders from across our synod.

We are also posting these on a daily basis on our synod Facebook page.

(Artwork used with permission by Vonda Drees) 


Top News this Week!!!

COVID Update:  Guidance for Worship, Fellowship, and Outdoor Gatherings

An ecumenical task force has just released new guidelines to help  you discern next steps for your Advent and Christmas plans for worship or fellowship.  


Congregational Leader Zoom

Monday, December 7

7pm Eastern / 6pm Central

The Southeastern Synod Bishop and staff are offering a time to gather online to discuss the current state of things and to offer a time of conversation to support your congregations and rostered ministers and staffs.


ADVENT:  Hope and Expectation - a Retired Rosters Ministers and Spouses Gathering

Tuesday, December 8, 10:00am Eastern / 9:00am Central

Bishop Strickland and the Southeastern Synod Staff extend an invitation to our retired rostered ministers and their spouses to join us for a time of worship, fellowship, and conversation.

The Rev. John Tirro will bless us with music for the occasion.



2021 Mission Support Intent

Congregations, submit your 2021 Mission Support Intent online this year. It's easy! It's quick! It's important! 

CLICK HERE to submit your congregation's Mission Support Intent for 2021.

We are excited to share that as of 12/1/2020, 23 congregations have submitted an intent for 2021, 8 of which are new intents in 2021!  We are so thankful for our God of abundance!



A message from our Synod Vice President, Mr. Imran Siddiqui:

Siblings in Christ and fellow members of our Southeastern Synod,
I pray and hope that you are staying safe in the midst of this pandemic. I want to thank you personally for all of your support for our Synod in the past. I want to thank you for doing the work of your Church. I want to thank you for your gifts of time and money to your Synod. I want to thank you for your prayers.

(Click the title of this article to read Mr. Siddiqui's full letter regarding The Abundance Appeal...)


Epiphany Service from the Conference of Bishops

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 7pm Eastern / 6pm Central.

An online worship service led by the ELCA bishops elected in 2019.

This worship service will air via our synod Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website.


SCAM ALERT!  Bishop Strickland Being Impersonated

Many of you have already received a PHONY email from someone posing as Bishop Strickland.  

Check out this article to learn more about what is happening and how to report these phony scams.


Synod Ministry Resources

Mindfulness Mondays

As we remain physically-distanced, the Southeastern Synod Mental Health Task Force invites you to join in on Mindfulness Mondays to help you connect your physical and mental well-being.

Sign up to be a part of this series of guided meditations, happening now through Monday, December 21.

Come for just 1.   Come for all.   Or any number in between   Each week we will introduce a mindfulness practice and have a discussion afterwards.  



Synod Prayer Team - Meets Again on Monday, Dec. 14

9:00am Eastern / 8:00am Central

If you already registered for any of our previous prayer sessions, you will automatically receive a reminder email.  You do NOT have to sign up again.

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.


Martin Luther King Day - Bishop's Commemoration Service

Bishop Strickland and the Synod Worship Team are recording a worship service and will present it on January 17, 2021, to commemorate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

The worship service will be available on our YouTube page, Facebook page, and website.


BLOG:  Life Happens

(By Rev. Tiffany Chaney)

Especially in the midst of a pandemic, Life Happens. We lose jobs or our hours at work are cut. Our child care bills go up because of virtual schooling. A loved one gets COVID. Suddenly, we have a personal financial emergency.

Life happens, and when it does, we need community...(cont'd)


Meet Rev. Ana Lugo, our ELCA-Foundation Regional Gift Planner!

We welcome Rev. Ana Lugo to the Southeastern Synod as our Regional Gift Planner for the ELCA-Foundation. The ELCA Foundation is prepared to assist you and your congregation, offering expertise as well as resources, financial education, and investment- and endowment-management services to help you make major or planned gifts to the ELCA ministries that have meant so much to you. 


Year-End Giving:  Insights from the ELCA Foundation

  • Prepare for year-end with a tax-deductible gift
  • Establish a charitable gift annuity.
  • Make a non-cash gift to your congregation or ministry
Learn how to schedule a meeting TODAY with your regional gift planner, Rev. Ana Lugo!


Stewardship Symposium with Rev. Mike Ward

Friday, January 29, 2021, 10am-3pm Eastern / 9am-2pm Central

Join Rev. Mike Ward, Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) and author of "Abundance: Creating a Culture of Generosity" for a practical, deep dive into how to develop and live into a culture of abundance in your congregation.


Health Blog:  "Miles to Go Before I Sleep"

Most of you are familiar with Robert Frost’s 1922 poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. The poem tells a story of a person who is traveling in a buggy drawn by a horse. The earth is quiet and dark and the moon is bright providing light on the trees, the lake and the snow. The buggy rider stops long enough to take in the beauty and then reminds himself that he cannot linger...

As we focus on the birth of Christ during Advent and Christmas, we can be the arms and heart of Christ by finding our place in the health ministries of the church...


Stories of Inspiration

Community Gardens

Christ Lutheran Church and Kiswahili Lutheran Mission (Nashville, TN) has been a refuge to many in different aspects. At Christ Lutheran Church land we are able to start Community Garden. Our community is always thankful for the daily bread that they continue to find in our community garden...(cont'd)


Education Advocacy

When the pandemic closed schools and colleges everywhere, it was the most painful thing for kids that had just moved from Africa as refugees. When schools announced to the parents and kids to go for computers, many of the refugee kids did not go for the computers at first. One, they had no single knowledge on how to operate the computers, secondly feared that the computers might break down and be forced to pay for them...(cont'd) 


Share YOUR Story of Inspiration!

Did you know that you can share YOUR story of inspiration TODAY?!?!  You can!

Check out the main synod web page and SCROLL DOWN TOTHE BOTOM OF THE PAGE and look for the yellow box.  Upload photos, share your stories, and provide contact information to allow others to learn more about your story.


Faith Formation for ALL Ages

Advent and Christmas ideas for children, youth, and families

The ELCA Faith Formation team curates many, many resources for children, youth, and families.  LOTS of ideas to share here.
Click HERE to find some ideas for the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons.


Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) Night

On Wednesday, November 11, we gathered online with Join Olivia Slagle, recently returned from service in Palestine, to learn more about faith in action with ELCA's YAGM program.  Check out this article to see how YOU can be a part of YAGM!!!



Ignite the Church Conference 2021

Ignite the Conference is moving online in 2021!!!

They will be offering monthly webinars focused on unique topic areas:

  • January - Encouragement Beyond Fatigue 
  • February - Justice and the Common Good 
  • March - Hybrid Community: Virtual & In-Person?
  • April - Creative Expressions of Church



For Our Leaders

2020 Rostered Ministers Report to the Bishop

All rostered ministers are asked to complete an annual report to the bishop in order to allow Bishop Strickland and the synod staff to know more about the joys and concerns from the rostered ministers and to help us support one another in our ministries.

Check your email inbox (or spam folder) for the invitation to fill out your 2020 Report to Bishop Kevin Strickland.  If you do not have yours, please email Pr. Michael Jannett ( to make sure you have your individualized link to this report.  (Note:  please do not share the link, as each link is unique to each rostered minister.)


Continuing Ed Class Offered by ITC

"Martin Luther and Martin Luther King - How their Agreements can Impact the Church Today"

Dr. Mark Ellingsen (of ITC) will lead this course in Spring 2021 via Zoom on Monday nights, starting on January 11.  Lessons will also be recorded.  

This class will consider how Lutheran theology has affinities with the Civil Rights Movement and other calls for justice.

ITC is the Atlanta-based Interdenominational Theological Center, which is affiliated with the Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta.



Christmas Festival for the Healing of the World

Friday, December 11, 9pm Eastern / 8pm Central

"The Incarnation: For the Healing of the World"

A FREE concert with music of peace, love and joy, by the National Lutheran Choir.


ELCA Advocacy's 2020 Federal Policy Priorities

Here is an article with some excellent information on ELCA Advocacy’s current legislative focus.
The church’s advocacy officers, who work out of Washington, D.C., are also actively advocating for stimulus relief for the pandemic.


Prayers and Concerns
  • Continued Prayers for Mr. Hilton Austin, former Director for Advocacy for the Southeastern Synod


Rostered Ministers Transitions


  • Tina Trice-Culpepper - Synod Authorized Minister - will be ordained on Friday, December 4 at 6:00pm Eastern at Celebration of Grace, Canton, GA
    • Ms. Trice-Culpepper will be ordained and has been called to serve as pastor of Celebration of Grace, Canton, GA
    • All will be invited to worship online via the synod Facebook page and website.
  • Rachel Patterson will be ordained on Saturday, December 5 at 5:00pm Eastern at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Maryville, TN.
    • Bishop Strickland will ordain Southeastern Synod candidate Ms. Rachel Patterson on behalf of Bishop Dillahunt of the Southern Ohio Synod.
    • Ms. Rachel Patterson has been called to serve in the Southern Ohio Synod.
    • All will be invited to worship online via the St. Paul LC Facebook page, which can be accessed HERE.



  • Rev. Justin Eller, Assistant to the Bishop for Latino Ministry Strategy - January 10



  • Rev. Gary Christensen, effective December 31, 2020
  • Rev. Craig Wylie, Ecumenical Pastor leaving Call, effective December 31, 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