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Thrive! E-Blast for 12.10.19

Videos for Worship Now Online!

A new worship video library – open to all congregations – is now available on YouTube thanks to the creativity and generosity of Pastor Joe Wolf (St. John’s, Lithopolis).

The videos are designed to be relevant to each week’s appointed lectionary readings and themes, and are intended for use in worship as openings, transitions, offertories, reflections, or in conjunction with scripture readings. Music is often current – sometimes traditional. Occasionally a poem is used.

More than 50 videos are already in the library and more will be added each week., such as this recent posting, which could be used on the 3rd Sunday of Advent in conjunction with the reading from Isaiah 35:1-10.

Links to the most recent individual videos will be posted weekly on the Synod's website in the “worship resources” section (found in the “Rostered Ministers” tab). You are welcome to explore the channel and download any videos you want to use to help enliven your worship.

To get access to Pastor Wolf’s full library of worship videos, just link to one of the above weekly videos on his YouTube channel, then click on the “Subscribe” button and follow the prompts for becoming a subscriber.

Again, all the videos are available for your use without charge thanks to Pastor Wolf who is collaborating with the Synod to help us fulfill goal #5 of the Thrive! campaign, which is to “Enhance Worship Practice." Watch for more opportunities to enhance your worship life in the months to come!


“Effective Congregation Council” Training Returns in February

Generous advance gifts to the Thrive! campaign and a strong commitment to fulfilling the Synod’s vision are allowing us to go forward now in implementing various Thrive! campaign goals!

To help fulfill Thrive! Goal #1 – Equipping Lay Leaders – the synod is offering a return engagement of Effective Church Council Training on February 18th at Epiphany Lutheran Church, Centerville, 7-9 p.m. This is a more comprehensive version of the “standing room only” workshop provided at Synod Assembly in June, and which was also offered in September at All Saints Lutheran, Worthington.

The stated goal is to make serving on a Congregation Council the most rewarding experience a church member can have! And don’t laugh … because that is exactly what those who attended already are saying is now possible! For instance, here’s what one participant at the Worthington workshop said:

I was blessed to attend the Thrive! Effective Congregation Council Training this past fall.  I was not sure what to expect.  I knew going in that my home church could always improve, but how? I was blown away by how informative and relevant the concepts were for my professional and church worlds.  My time at the training flew by so quickly.  I wanted to know more and could have stayed longer to learn more.  I have come to embrace these adaptive leadership concepts and skills and am applying them as I walk with my church in forming our new “Vision Council”. 

Loving in Christ,

Alissa Yakali, Council President, Trinity Lutheran, Marysville


Council members, pastors and other church leaders should attend Effective Congregation Council training to increase skills in:

  • Developing and working from a strategic plan
  • Focusing on fiduciary, governance, and generative issues
  • Making the best use of time with a consent agenda, a purpose for every meeting, and other tactics
  • Having the meeting itself be spiritually fulfilling
  • Leadership development

The goal is that Council members reflect on their time of service on the Council as the highlight of their service to the church. This workshop can help lead to an effective council that positions the church to thrive in today’s world.

Location & Time: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 6430 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

PLEASE REGISTER IN ADVANCE! Send an email with the name, phone number, email address and leadership role (e.g. President; Council member) of each attendee to:

Workshop leader:

Mike Ward, CFRE—Partner with GSB Fundraising.  Mike is a 1997 graduate of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and has served on the board of the ELCA Youth Ministry Network and on the ELCA Church Council.  Mike studies best practices of non-profit boards and applies those practices to congregation councils. His passion for this topic is related to his desire for organizations to thrive in their fundraising, and that without effective boards leading the organization, the funding of those organizations will naturally struggle.

Can’t make it to this training? Don’t worry! Repeat training events will be scheduled in other locations around the synod in the months to come. Please watch for news!



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