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Assembly Workshops
Friday, May 6

Workshops will be virtual
All are welcome!


  • 2023 Spending Plan Workshop .  .  . an open forum to learn about the Synod’s generosity 

Learn more about Synod Council’s 2023 proposed spending plan to support our ministries - from our individual congregations to worldwide through ELCA.  More than just the numbers. Come prepared with your questions.
Leaders: Synod Treasurer Jim Harris with support and input of the Fiscal Management, Admin. and Property Committee

  • Advocacy Ministry in New Jersey       

Join the conversation as the Justice and Peace ministries in our Synod are being redeveloped.   How can you, your youth group, your neighbors, and your congregation get involved to engage your faith in Love!  
Leader: The Rev. Sara Lilja, Assistant to the Bishop for Justice and Advocacy 


  • Being Woven into God’s Tapestry of Love      

This workshop will share glimpses of the wonderful tapestry of diverse ministries led by our passionate mission developers and redevelopers. Our mission starts and strategic ministries are joining what God is doing in neighborhoods and communities by weaving people into a tapestry of love, hope, justice, abundance, and possibilities.
Leaders: Mission Re-Developers and Pastor Maristela Freiberg, Assistant to the Bishop and Dir. Evangelical Mission

  • Bishop’s Challenge      

Through our yearlong conversations regarding race, we learned of the untold histories of racial discrimination. Many of us have come to understand that generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for African Americans to work their way out of the lower class.  Join us as we go deeper into these realities, and explore with us solutions to repair this breach. 
Leaders: Bishop’s Challenge Team


  • How to Grow your Money Tree through Planned Giving 

Money doesn't grow on trees...or does it?  Rooted together in God, our faith communities provide a rich soil of relationships and values that bear fruit through generous giving to sustain ministry now and later.  Growing these gifts means cultivating relationships, tapping into shared values and providing a road map and structure to steward gifts at every stage of life.  Join us to talk about: 
•    exciting and hopeful news about abundant generosity opportunities now available for your congregation
•    a strategy to connect with people who want to support your congregation with large gifts
•    help for you to create a structure to handle large gifts
Leaders: Yvonne Jones Lembo, Regional Gift Planner, ELCA Foundation, and Pastor Dean Brown, Assistant to the Bishop

  • It was in the Bulletin: Expectations for Communication        

 Join the conversation that will cover some basics, discuss things learned in the livestream world, and provide resources for participants to copy and utilize.
Leader: Pastor Marc Stutzel, Christ, Woodcliff Lake, and Communication Team Leader

  • The Reconciling Journey: Becoming a Welcoming Congregation for your LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ 

Hear how other congregations have journeyed to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation and what it could mean for you. Learn how you can do the same. 
Leaders: Pastors Dámaris Ortega, St. Luke, Dunellen and Ascension, New Brunswick; Serena Rice, Abiding Peace, Budd Lake; Matthew Cimorelli, Reformation, West Long Branch, and Pam Werner, St. James, Folsom.

  • Weaving the Tapestry: Addressing Structural Racism in NJ    

Join Dr. Dianne Browne and others to hear how the NJ Synod is taking steps to eradicate structural racism in our state, our synod, and our congregations.  We will explore ways you can become a part of the effort.  
Leaders: Dr. Dianne Browne, Anti-Racism Task Force chair and friends.

  • Welcoming the Stranger: Our Lutheran Heritage and Commitment to Welcome  

Join Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) to learn more about how refugee resettlement and immigration are ingrained in our Lutheran heritage, and how Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is leading the work of welcome across the nation. Leaders will provide updates on the work of LIRS and ways you and your congregation can join this holy work of welcome.
Leaders: Elizabeth Wagner, Board Chair, Prince of Peace, Princeton Junction, and Andrew Steele, VP for Development and Outreach


  • Youth Ministry in a Post-Pandemic World  

What are your dreams for youth ministry post pandemic? What challenges are you facing? Come meet with youth leaders from around the synod to dream of what comes next and how to make it happen. We will talk about upcoming planned events such as Opening Day at Cross Roads in May, Our Gathering at Cross Roads in July, the Synod Youth Retreat in November, and the 2024 ELCA Youth Gathering. 
Leaders: Youth Ministry Mission Team


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