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The 2018 Florida-Bahamas Synod Assembly Service Project is Harbor House of Central Florida. Harbor House is a refuge for victims of domestic abuse where they can find support, safety and hope. The financial transparency of Harbor House earns the trust of donors and partners by having 87% of community investments going directly to survivors while 13% is used for the cost to run the business and secure contributions that make their work possible. To find out more, check out the synods website at: 


ELCA World Hunger's Global Farm Challenge - The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering is right around the corner and with it comes an exciting fundraising challenge for ELCA youth, their families and congregations. ELCA World Hunger's Global Farm Challenge is a year-long, youth-driven fundraising challenge to support the agriculture-related programs of ELCA World Hunger, our church's ministry to end hunger and poverty. Many youth and youth groups will raise funds in advance of the Gathering in June, and many will bring their offerings to the event. Now, thanks to generous friends of the ELCA, gifts will go even further: All gifts toward the Global Farm Challenge will be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $515,000, so together we can raise more than $1 million this year to create healthier families, stronger economies and a future filled with hope. Please consider making a contribution by dropping it into the collection plate. You can get involved by supporting our youth in this challenge today!


Christian Service - The group makes layettes to present to Lutheran Services Florida for mothers of newborn and infant children. Thanks to the time and generosity of members and participants, this is a very successful project that is truly appreciated by the women who receive the gifts and by the organization that distributes them. Christian Service meets at 10:00 am on Tuesday, May 22nd in the large conference room of the church office. Please feel invited and welcome to attend.

St. Mark WELCA and Grace Lutheran Church in Partnership - The group is helping to provide men’s and women’s clothing as well as toiletries for their homeless outreach project at Grace called Lydia’s Closet. This is an ongoing project and you are invited to donate as you are able. Please donate any extra items, including the mini sized soaps and shampoos that you may accumulate from travelling. Small baskets for toiletries and a large bin for clothing are located in the Narthex.

Dunedin Walk of Peace Update -  Thank you to all who supported the Peace Walk this year. There was a good turnout in spite of the rescheduled date. St. Mark was well represented at the event and I appreciate those who supported us via prayers and the purchase of t-shirts. If you’d like to learn more about the mission of this event or would like to join the planning committee, let me know. I’d also appreciate feedback from those who participated as we make plans to improve next year’s walk. Call or email Mary VanHaute at 920-680-4710 or  

2018 Florida-Bahamas Synod Assembly

Synod Assembly 2018 June 1-3 at Embassy Suites, Kissimmee Registration opens March 15, 2018

You may register to attend Saturday only ($25) and participate in workshops, the keynote presentations from Pr. David Lose, and the evening fellowship events (see below).

Please note that you are able to attend the workshops on Saturday without attending the full assembly. Registration for Saturday only is $25, and allows you to participate in workshops, listen to the keynote presentations, and stick around for the fun fellowship events in the evening ("Hunger for the Gospel" games and "Death by Chocolate!"). Register for Saturday through the same link as the main assembly registration. 

Workshop Menu 2018

 Workshop Session A: 1:15-2:30

A.1 “What’s that You Say, Lord?” Discerning God’s Call to Us
Presenter: Rev. Dr. Ruth E. Hamilton, ELCA Region 9 Manager for Candidacy and Leadership

A.2 “More than than Meets the Eye: A Closer Look at Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”
Presenter: Carol Dunn, ReconcilingWorks Chapter, Central Florida

A.3 Social Statement on Women and Justice Hearing
Presenter: William Rodriguez
Diversity, vitality

A.4 Global Mission as Accompaniment
Presenter: Companion Church leaders
Diversity, leadership

A.5 Claiming our Strengths and Assets
Presenter: Pr. Steve Kauffman, Margo Walbolt (ALOA)
Vitality, leadership

A.6 What is the ‘diaconate’?
Presenter: Michelle Collins
Vitality, leadership

A.7 Welcoming the Stranger
Presenter: Danielle Bernard, Director of Communications, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
Diversity, Vitality

A.8 Money Doesn’t Buy Me Love (Or Does It?): Re-imagining Stewardship in the Age of Endless Consumption
Presenter: Rev. David Lose
Leadership, Vitality

A.9 “Can our Church Afford a Pastor”
Presenter: Pr. Dell and Diane Shiell
Vitality, Leadership

A.10 Campus Ministry
Presenter: Sarah Locke, Campus Minister, Jacksonville
Diversity, leadership, vitality

A.11 Pilgrimage: Your Sacred Journey
Presenter: Denise Barringer

Session B: 2:45-3:45
B.1 What if I’m Being Called to Public Ministry (Candidacy Process)
Presenter: Connie Schmucker

B.2 Providing Care for LGBTQIA+ Youth
Presenter: ReconcilingWorks

B.3 What’s Love Got to Do with It?
Presenter: Steve Beumer
then love has everything to do with it.  What’s holding you back from the Gospel?

B.4 Global Mission as Accompaniment, pt. 2
Presenter: Companion Church leaders
Diversity, leadership

B.5 Reformation501
Presenter: Pr. Walter Still

B.6 Beer and Hymns: the fine print
Presenter: George Algozzina
Diversity, Vitality

B.7 diakonia
Presenter: Joel Rentz
Vitality, leadership

B.8 Put Your Passion Into Action
Presenter: Kathy Emanuelson, Thrivent Financial

B.9 Congregational Vitality
Presenter: Pr. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director for Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA

B.10 Walking the Labyrinth: Listening to the Word of God
Presenter: Douglas Werner

B.11 Homeless Ministry as Congregational Ministry
Presenter: Jay Bergstresser
B.12 Castle Church Community Church/Brewery Tour
Meet in the Hotel lobby (be ready to relocate and go visit Castle Church’s site)
Presenter: Aaron Schmalzle
Leadership, Vitality