Slave to Email

Slave to Email

By Bishop Michael Rinehart When I started in this role 15 years ago, I was astounded by the crushing amount of email. And it has only increased. I’ll bet yours has too. Studies show people spend 28% of their time on email. We need to communicate, but that’s a lot of time. Some people check email every 15 minutes on the average. Management by email is remarkably inefficient and chaotic. Some of us are old enough to remember life before email. The mail came on today. You checked with it and...

read more
The Club Q Massacre: A Reflection

The Club Q Massacre: A Reflection

By Chris Markert, Bishop’s Associate for Mission On Sunday, November 20, I awoke to hear of another massacre at an LGBTQ club, this time in Colorado Springs. Once again multiple lives were sacrificed at the altar of this nation’s gun god. There was no irony that November 20 was also Transgender Day of Remembrance. When Bishop Mike posted his pastoral message for Transgender Day of Remembrance, the synod office received some “feedback:" “Why are we celebrating Transgender Day?” “Why don’t we...

read more
A Very Merry Post-Pandemic Christmas

A Very Merry Post-Pandemic Christmas

By Bishop Michael Rinehart There, I said it. Post-pandemic. I know, I know, the World Health Organization reports that there are still variants running around, and that some nasty new variants may yet emerge. The Omicron variant represents 99% of all COVID-19 cases now, and Omicron has 300 subvariants. The variants are more numerous and some more viral. Subvariant BA.5 has run its course, but BA.4.6 seems to be taking off. Fortunately, these subvariants are much, much less deadly. So I know...

read more
The Newest Gulf Coast Synod Staff Supports Various Ministries 

The Newest Gulf Coast Synod Staff Supports Various Ministries 

By Evangeline Dai, MDiv It was an honor to join the staff at my “home synod” and contribute the gifts God gives me to our synod. As an Asian immigrant whose primary language is not English, I was nervous, but I also look forward to the opportunity to continue to learn American culture, Lutheranism, and ministries; in addition, I am hoping to share different perspectives for the sake of diversity and cultural exchange. I was born and raised in Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan (Ilha Formosa),...

read more
Meet Pastor Chon Pugh – “I was Given a Huge Gift”

Meet Pastor Chon Pugh – “I was Given a Huge Gift”

By Tracey Breashears Schultz, Bishop’s Associate for Leadership Pastor Chon Pugh moved to Texas City, TX in September 2020. Pandemic restrictions were still in place, and she was beginning a new call. Not only that, but the call she had accepted was not a traditional one. Pastor Chon serves Mem-One, a shared ministry made up of two churches, Memorial Lutheran and First Presbyterian. Not only did she move during an uncertain time, she was willing to learn the ins and outs of another...

read more

Lisa’s Pieces: Creation Care Tips from the Synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for December 2022

By Lisa Brenskelle For more information on any of the below, or for creation care assistance/information, contact Lisa Brenskelle at [email protected] or see our new website! The team is seeking additional members. If you would be willing to serve, please contact us. The mission of Lutherans Restoring Creation is to promote incorporation of care for creation into the full life and mission of the church, working in five areas: worship, education, discipleship, building & grounds, and public...

read more
An Update on Call Processes in the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod

An Update on Call Processes in the Texas Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod

By Tracey Breashears Schultz, Bishop’s Associate for Leadership In December 2021, I wrote an article about call processes in our synod which was published as part of the January 2022 Connections. At that time, we were just beginning to see the effects of the pandemic. I made a number of comments in that article that I still stand by: We do not know when God will stir the heart of a pastor to consider a new call. Call committees can’t know how many people they will interview before finding a...

read more
Phishers of People: Email Fraud and the Church

Phishers of People: Email Fraud and the Church

By Bishop Michael Rinehart Gulf Coast Snyod Hi there, I’m travelling and have lost my wallet. Can you send me $500 at the following address? Bishop Micheal Rinehart You may have received something like the above email. It’s obviously (I hope) a fraud. Our churches have seen a significant spike in these kinds of emails. Attacks like these are more and more common. There are some ways for individuals to identify them and for churches to minimize them. The best way to spot phishing emails is to...

read more
Disaster Response – From Hurricanes and Beyond

Disaster Response – From Hurricanes and Beyond

By Chris Markert, Bishop’s Associate for Mission We are already out of the most active part of Hurricane Season, and coming slowly to the end of the 2022 season. And, luckily, our part of the Gulf Coast has been spared. However, other parts of the country and the world have not been spared. Specifically, Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, Florida, and South Carolina. Also, in August Dallas was hit with unexpected and extreme flood flashing that affected two ELCA...

read more

Lisa’s Pieces: Creation Care Tips from the Synod Lutherans Restoring Creation Team for November 2022

By Lisa Brenskelle For more information on any of the below, or for creation care assistance/information, contact Lisa Brenskelle at [email protected] or see our new website! The team is seeking additional members. If you would be willing to serve, please contact us. The mission of Lutherans Restoring Creation is to promote incorporation of care for creation into the full life and mission of the church, working in five areas: worship, education, discipleship, building & grounds, and public...

read more