Hand in Handhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/Walking with othersMadeline Thomashttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/477http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/477<div class="ExternalClass8811E964FB7F41129BA789E9A99A907E"><p>​<img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Madeline-Thomas_Madagascar_1-20-15.jpg" alt="Madeline-Thomas_Madagascar_1-20-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Madeline Thomas, center, with some of her Madagascar friends. </p><p> <em><br>Madeline Thomas, who is serving for a year in Madgascar with the Young Adults in Global Mission program, describes how &quot;accompaniment&quot; is a part of her daily life. To support Madeline, go </em> <a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/Madagascar"> <em>here</em></a><em>. </em> <em>To support another of the more than 240 ELCA missionaries in the global church, go </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p><p>One of the key objectives of the Young Adults in Global Mission program is accompaniment. We talked at length during orientation about what it means to walk with others throughout this journey. During one devotional, we acted out the walk to Emmaus, and I wrote in my journal that night a note to my future self&#58; &quot;Sometimes accompaniment isn't walking hand in hand into the sunset, it's stumbling around with your ankle duct taped to someone else's!&quot; In my small group we also talked about what it means to accompany yourself. And while there have certainly been some stumbling moments and long solo walks, I have been amazed at the accompaniment I have experienced. </p><p>As many of you know, my host mom, Lucie, has breast cancer. (Thank you for all of the prayers, she is currently feeling much stronger and healthier!) So when I first arrived she had a difficult time getting around by herself. Walking up the big hill behind our house was really tiring. Whenever we would go somewhere as a whole family (usually church), she would have someone hold her purse and someone else would walk by her side. From the very first week, she would always hold on to my arm as we climbed the hill. At first I was nervous I would trip on the cobblestone and we would both fall, but slowly we made it up the hill and along the road to the bus stop. And I noticed that fewer people in town made comments about me being a foreigner when Lucie and I walked together. So now whenever we go someplace together, we support each other, she is supported physically when my arm says &quot;I won't let you fall and I will walk as slow as we need to.&quot; And I am supported emotionally when her grip says &quot;I trust you and you belong with me, you're a part of my family.&quot; </p><p>A few weeks ago I was leaving to walk home after the church lunch program, TCC, that I help with twice a week. A grandmother volunteer and her two grandkids about ages 4 and 7 were also leaving, and they asked where I lived. When I told them the name of my neighborhood, they explained that their house was on the way, and they could walk with me. As we prepared to cross the busy street, I looked down to find the 4 year old grabbing my hand. By the time we made it to the other side, her older brother's hand had also found its way into mine. Their grandmother joined our little brigade and together we made our way home. An unlikely team of three generations, two nationalities, and three languages was easily bridged with smiles and interlocking fingers as we walked side by side, avoiding oncoming taxis, chickens and mud puddles. </p><p>I recently started going with my host parents to what I call &quot;house church,&quot; a small gathering of friends who take turns worshiping at each other's houses two Sunday afternoons per month. One Monday I was walking home in the late afternoon, rushing to arrive before the storm clouds, when I suddenly heard my name being yelled from the other side of the street. I looked across to see a family from the house church that I had just met the day before. I crossed the street to greet them and they asked where I was going. They were also walking home but in the opposite direction. They were over halfway home, and I still had a 25-minute walk. But in the span of a few seconds it was decided that the parents would continue home and the two daughters close to my age would walk with me all the way back to my house and then take the bus home. So Tiana and Narindra turned around and happily walked in the direction they had just come as we chatted and got to know more about each other. It was so nice to have company and people literally going out of their way to accompany someone they had just met. </p></div>01/20/2015Getting settled in JapanZach Corbinhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/476http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/476<div class="ExternalClass7FC441C0E6E140CEA94BADA7FF46C624"><p> <em>Zach Corbin is a new ELCA missionary serving in Japan. Zach will be teaching English as a second language in a Lutheran high school in Kumamoto. To support Zach, go </em> <a href="https&#58;//community.elca.org/Japan"> <em>here</em></a><em>. To support another of the more than 240 ELCA missionaries in the global church, go </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p><p> <img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Zach%20Corbin_waterfall_Japan_1-13-15.jpg" alt="Zach Corbin_waterfall_Japan_1-13-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;float&#58;right;" />It's been close to three months now and it's almost time for me to make a second move. For the last three months I've been living in Tokyo. In early January, I will be moving to Kumamoto, which is in the southernmost province of Japan. Provinces are similar to our states. I will have three more months of orientation and training. In April the new school year begins and so I will begin to teach.</p><p>During my time in Tokyo I've tried to do a bit of sightseeing. I've gone to a couple local Shinto temples near my apartment – very, very cool. I've walked around some of the more populated areas like Shinjuku and Shibuya, comparable to Times Square in New York. I've also visited what I would consider the most well-known Shinto shrine, Meiji Jingu (Meiji Shrine) and walked the incredible gardens next to the shrine. Meiji Shrine was built in the early 1900s to commemorate Emperor Meiji for his involvement in the Meiji Restoration. This was a series of events that restored practical imperial rule to the Emperor in 1868. It also helped Japan become the more modern nation that it is today. </p><p>There are many more places I will try to visit while here in Tokyo. One trip that I'm planning to take is to a small town just outside Tokyo called Nikko. It is famous for its very fancy and decorative Shinto shrine, one of the largest waterfalls in Japan and its hot springs. I'm hoping to visit sometime after New Year's. [A trip Zach did make. See the photo above.]</p><p>Along with getting to be a tourist while here in Tokyo, I have had Japanese language courses twice a week. The sentence structure of Japanese is backwards compared to English, but that isn't the difficult part. I just need to keep studying the vocabulary. It's slowly but surely getting better. One thing I have been doing to help my lessons along is meeting with a gentleman I've gotten to know at church. I've been meeting Akira-san almost once a week. We have coffee, talk about life. I try to use Japanese when I can and he practices his English. I'm hoping to keep up language study once the school year starts even though it is not required.</p><p>One of the host organizations for the ELCA mission program in Japan is the Japanese Evangelical Lutheran Church. I am, of course, to take an active part in a congregation. While in Tokyo, I have been attending Ookayama Lutheran Church. Attending this church and being with these people has been one of my favorite things thus far. There are a few people who speak English, which at first helped with getting to know people. But the whole congregation has been very welcoming. This last week the kindergarten associated with the congregation had its Christmas program, and they asked me if I wanted to be Santa Claus for the program. It was a lot of fun getting to see all the kids and be a part of their Christmas. Afterwards I went out to lunch with the pastor and the teachers. The catch was none of them spoke any English and my Japanese is so minimal that it is still hard to communicate.</p><p>Even with little to no communication, it was still a very fun time. I'm sad I will be leaving this congregation soon to move to the prefecture of Kyushu, but I am excited to start the next part of my journey.</p><p>Grace and peace,<br>Zach Corbin</p></div>01/13/2015Finding church beyond the wallsBeth Blackwoodhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/475http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/475<div class="ExternalClass6C9E646ABB6342B5B6EF66F412F14D66"><p>​<img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/mod-view/Old-Church_Hungary_1-6-15.jpg" alt="Old-Church_Hungary_1-6-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><span>The Old Church is the largest Lutheran Church in Szarvas, Hungary.<br><br></span></p><p> <em>Beth Blackwood is spending a year in Hungary serving with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program. To support Beth, or another YAGM, go </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/YAGMsupport"> <em>here</em></a><em>. </em> <em>To support another of the ELCA's more than 240 missionaries, </em> <em>go</em><em> </em> <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship"> <em>here</em></a><em>. </em></p><p>Where is the church? In college, my campus ministry was the church. Our small worshiping body never had much in the way of attendance and our relationship with our sponsoring congregation was complicated, but this was the community in which my faith most developed. My experience in Hungary has also required me to look beyond the walls of sanctuaries of the Hungarian Lutheran Church to see deeper and more meaningful spirituality.</p><p>For the past month or so I have attended a Roma Pentecostal Church meeting on Saturday nights. The group consists of about 12-15 adults who come together to worship and have a deep biblical discussion. A pastor from the county also attends. These people are passionate. They sing loudly and beautifully. They share honestly and openly. And they welcomed me, the outsider, with open arms. Although I only speak some Hungarian, I find these services more spiritually fulfilling than either of the Lutheran services I attend on Sunday mornings.</p><p>However, time and time again, people in my community who are non-Roma remind me, &quot;Well they aren't a church, they are more of a club.&quot; &quot;Why can't they just come to our church? They don't need that other meeting.&quot; And why would they want to attend either of the churches in the city? Those few members that attend the Sunday service at the Old Church sit in the very back of an almost empty sanctuary and escape out the back door as soon as the service ends. The Roma Church meeting in Szarvas has no permanent location to meet because they have been pushed out of the other locations and into people's homes. Yet they open those homes to me every Saturday night.</p><p>In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes, &quot;We are all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and we are all made to drink from one Spirit.&quot; The members of the Roma congregation have shared this Spirit with me, even as they have not been received by the larger faith community. I challenge you to ask yourself, in your church, in your community, in your congregation, who and where is the church? Because for me this year, it hasn't been in the ornamented, three-story sanctuary, but in the tiny flats in the Soviet housing blocks and in the humble homes on the outskirts of Szarvas. </p></div>01/06/2015Global Church SundayLanny Westphal, director of ELCA Global Church Sponsorshiphttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/463http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/463<div class="ExternalClass21DDEF64F31D40C6BBCB0C656B5D6B92"><p>Plan a Global Church Sunday in your congregation to highlight and celebrate ELCA ministries with the global church. Find resources at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/resources/globalchurch"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/resources/globalchurch</span></a>.</p><p> <br>Dec. 18, 2014<br><strong>ELCA Good Gifts</strong><br>For your Global Church Sunday, encourage people to give one of the three &quot;global good gifts.&quot; See <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/470">www.ELCA.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/470</a>.<br>----------</p><p><strong><br>Global Church Sunday 2014</strong></p><p>For all kinds of reasons and ideas to celebrate God's global church this fall, see <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/436">http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/436</a>.<br>--------<br><br></p>Nov. 23, 2014<br> <p> <strong> <img alt="Global Sunday display_12-2-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Global%20Sunday%20display_12-2-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Focus on Siberia&#58;</strong><strong>&#160; </strong><strong>Equipping the Faithful</strong><br><strong> </strong>Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa, Minn., held a Global Church Sunday with international music and prayers from the <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Global_Church_Sunday_"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">toolkit</span></a>. The focus of the message and adult forum was on the <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/453"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Equipping the Faithful</span></a> seminars, which began in Siberia and have since been expanded across Russia, led by ELCA missionary Bradn Buerkle. The congregation's endowment made a gift for this &quot;Equipping&quot; appeal which is an initiative of <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/campaign"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><em>Always Being Made New&#58;</em></span><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><em>&#160; </em></span><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;"><em>The Campaign for the ELCA</em></span></a>.<br>----------</p> <br>Sept. 2, 2014 <p> <strong>Global Church Sunday toolkit now available</strong><br><strong> </strong> <img alt="Global Church Sunday logo-small_12-2-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Global%20Church%20Sunday%20logo-small_12-2-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;float&#58;right;" />Has your congregation started planning a Global Church Sunday celebration? Consider coordinating your Global Church Sunday celebration on Sept. 21 (International Day of Peace), Oct. 5 (World Communion Sunday) or Oct. 26 (Lutheran World Federation Sunday).</p><p>Download the new toolkit and learn how to plan Global Church Sunday and find ideas at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/resources/globalchurch%3chttp&#58;/www.ELCA.org/resources/globalchurch"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/resources/globalchurch</span></a>! The toolkit has everything from global inspired coffee-hour ideas, to contacting a <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship/Supporting-Young-Adults-in-Global-Mission"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Young Adult in Global Mission, </span></a>&#160;to discussion questions about the global church. Here is a sample of the Global Church Sunday toolkit. Go to the toolkit for more ideas.</p><p>- The ELCA belongs to <a href="http&#58;//www.lutheranworld.org/"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">The Lutheran World Federation</span></a>, a global communion representing over 72 million Christians in 79 countries<strong>. </strong>Have a <strong>discussion</strong> about how your congregation is connected with the global church. How can your congregation become more connected with the global church?</p><p>- The free downloadable <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA_GCS_Placemap.pdf"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Global Church PlaceMaps</span></a> are a great way to highlight our connections during <strong>coffee hour</strong>. You can print them out on 11x17 paper on your printer or <a href="http&#58;//resources.elca.org/Products-Global_Mission.html"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">order copies</span></a> to be mailed to you. Consider offering fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate or other treats from around the world. Or you could have a fair-trade fair on Global Church Sunday.<br> - Collect a <strong>special offering</strong> during worship to support <a href="http&#58;//elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship/Supporting-Missionaries"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Missionaries</span></a>, <a href="http&#58;//elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship/Supporting-Young-Adults-in-Global-Mission"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">Young Adults in Global Mission</span></a>, <a href="http&#58;//elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship/Supporting-International-Leaders-and-Scholarships"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">International Leaders</span></a> or <a href="http&#58;//elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship/Supporting-Global-Ministries"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">global ministry</span></a>. Order free <a href="http&#58;//resources.elca.org/Products-Global_Mission.html"><span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">global offering envelopes</span></a> to use on Global Church Sunday.</p><p>-Incorporate global inspired music, liturgy, prayers or art into a <strong>global-themed worship</strong> service. </p><p> <img alt="GlobalChurchSunFB_12-24-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/GlobalChurchSunFB_12-24-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> </p><p>-----------<br><br>November 2013<strong><br>Excerpts from the Nebraska Synod e-letter</strong></p><p>On Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, many in the Nebraska Synod will be preparing for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the time of year when most Americans pause and reflect upon God's grace and abundance.</p><p>Sunday, Nov. 24, is also Christ the King Sunday, on which we will shout &quot;Christ is the King!&quot; &#160;Living in the kingdom of Christ has powerful implications. We are reminded in the verses written to the Ephesians that the king of all creation has called each of us to know a hope-filled life full of possibilities. The world yearns for this life-giving message of Jesus. You, your congregation and all of us together as the Nebraska Synod are called to be Jesusʼ partner in proclaiming the gospel through word and deed. One expression of this service is global mission.</p><p>Becoming actively involved in global mission is a rich opportunity to participate in Godʼs reconciling mission through proclamation and service. The following are ways in which you and your congregation can more deeply engage in global mission on Nov. 24&#58;</p><p>Pray for global mission partners and missionaries as well as for the world – being a global mission church can transform the prayer life of your congregation.</p><p>Educate members about global issues – being a global mission church enriches the lives of church members and expands their horizons. Organize a global mission class, emphasize global mission in Sunday School or host an event with a speaker. Including global music in your worship is also a wonderful way to celebrate God's presence in the world.</p><p>Give to the work of global mission – this means recognizing that your congregationʼs mission share supports ELCA global mission throughout the world. Sponsoring a missionary through our ELCA missionary sponsorship program provides your congregation a wonderful opportunity to be directly connected to a missionary in one of 48 countries around the world.</p><p>Send members into the world to share the good news – one part of being a global church that can change the way church members travel and look at the world is to encourage them to visit global missionaries and partners when they travel overseas.</p><p>Grow in sharing the stories of God's mission – this can mean designating a member of your congregation to participate in global mission events or organizing a joint global mission event with another church. This also means sharing the things your congregation is doing with others. You can send pictures and stories from your congregation's celebration to <a href="mailto&#58;globalchurch@elca.org">globalchurch@elca.org</a> and you may be featured on the <a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/Lutherans">ELCA Facebook page</a> or on <a href="http&#58;//livinglutheran.com/">livinglutheran.com</a>. Your congregation can help all of us with new ideas for participation in the work of global mission.<br>----------</p><p>October 2013<br><img alt="Pastor-YAGM-NJ_12-24-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Pastor-YAGM-NJ_12-24-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ramsey, N.J., invited a former ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission to speak at its Global Church Sunday.</p></div>12/30/2014International Leaders – WomenLanny Westphal, director of ELCA Global Church Sponsorshiphttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/445http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/445<div class="ExternalClass178C482ADDFB484E9778488A49AD045C"><p>Read on for updates on International Leaders – Women (GCS5000), an ELCA Global Church Sponsorship initiative that is part of <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA</em> to equip more than 200 additional international women leaders through increased scholarships and educational opportunities. To learn more or make a gift, click <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Church-Sponsorship/Supporting-International-Leaders-and-Scholarships"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">here</span></a>.</p><p>----------</p><p> <br>Jan. 9, 2015 </p><p> <img alt="3-international-leaders_1-12-15.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/3-international-leaders_1-12-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <strong>Video&#58; Meet three International Leaders<br></strong></p><p> Meet Sanchita, Sitie and Anna, three women who’ve participated in the ELCA’s International Leaders program. To watch the video, click <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RKNqr6-Q3s">here</a>.<br>----------</p><p> <span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;font-size&#58;12pt;"><br><font color="#000000">Nov. 24, 2014</font></span><br><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/women%20leaders_group_11-27-14.jpg" alt="women leaders_group_11-27-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><em>International women leaders from around the world gathered in Germany.</em> </p><p> <strong>International women leaders discuss Lutheran identity, leadership<br></strong><br>CHICAGO (ELCA) – Women leaders from across the Global South discussed the role and contribution of women in church and society as part of an annual seminar supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's (ELCA) International Leaders–Women program. The seminar, which took place Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 in Wittenberg, Germany, hosted 13 women leaders from Mexico, India, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar, Palestine, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Hungary.<br><br><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/women%20leaders_3%20pastors_11-27-14.jpg" alt="women leaders_3 pastors_11-27-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;float&#58;right;" />Over the course of the event, the women read and discussed excerpts from Martin Luther's writings, learned the stories of women of the Reformation including Katharina von Bora, wife of Martin Luther, and shared the experiences and contributions of women in each of the participants' home country and church. Many of the women were paired with other leaders from their home countries (one established leader and one younger woman with leadership potential) to encourage continued mentoring and networking beyond the seminar. In addition to in-classroom discussion, the women visited the sites of Wittenberg, the grave of Katharina von Bora in Torgau, and a special exhibition titled &quot;A Strong Women's History&#58; 500 Years of Reformation&quot; in Rochlitz.<br><br>&quot;The Reformation women and the group we had together this week has strengthened my faith and given me hope that no matter what challenges we face, we can still move forward. There is hope and we believe one day we shall overcome,&quot; said Eva Banda, a seminar participant from Malawi.<br><br>&quot;I have discovered that we all have problems. When you are in your country, you might think other countries don't have problems, but we all have problems. It has reminded me that Jesus came for the weak. Women are considered weak, but Jesus is here for us, and he will make us strong,&quot; said Banda.<br><br>The Rev. Martina Helmer-Pham Xuan, ELCA Global Mission regional representative in Europe, attended along with teaching staff Wanda Deifelt, professor of religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa; and Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Mike and Marge McCoy Family Distinguished Chair in Lutheran Heritage and Mission and professor of religion at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Luther and Wartburg are two of 26 ELCA colleges and universities.</p><p>&quot;The seminar exceeded our expectations,&quot; said Kleinhans. &quot;I don't know whether it was more inspiring to share the stories of 16th century women reformers or to hear the stories these 21st century women brought with them.&quot;</p><p>Through the International Leaders–Women priority of <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA</em>, up to 100 women from across the Global South will be given the opportunity to participate in the annual seminars over the next three years. The program will also develop more than 200 women leaders from the ELCA's global companion churches through increased scholarship support and educational opportunities. In total, <em>The Campaign for the ELCA</em> aims to raise $4 million by Feb. 1, 2019, to support the International Leaders–Women program and its initiatives.</p><p>&quot;The International Leaders–Women program is our opportunity as a church to invest in the future of women across the world,&quot; said Tammy Jackson, International Leadership Development program director, ELCA Global Mission. &quot;The time has come for a strategic emphasis on the role of women in the life and development of the church and society and <em>The Campaign for the ELCA</em> is our moment to make that happen.&quot;</p><p>Information about the campaign is available at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/campaign%20"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/campaign </span></a>. </p><p>----------<br>Sept. 30, 2014&#160;</p><p>Find this story in a ready-to-use &quot;Mission of the Month&quot; format at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/resources/globalchurch"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/resources/globalchurch</span></a> under the &quot;Stories&quot; tab.<br><br>&#160;<img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Cuyatti_9-29-14.jpg" alt="Cuyatti_9-29-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br><span style="line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;times new roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;font-size&#58;12pt;"><font color="#000000"><em>The Rev. Patricia Cuyatti preaches during a </em> <br> <em>visit to the Guatemalan Lutheran Church.</em></font></span></p></div><div class="ExternalClass178C482ADDFB484E9778488A49AD045C"><p> <strong>Freedom's responsibilities<br></strong>By Nathan Schmidt</p><p>The Rev. Patricia Cuyatti is an International Leader whose journey through faith has always been first and foremost built on a journey for discovery. In 1974, when she was 7 years old, she passed by the Alliance Christian Missionary Church near her school in Peru and noticed many children attending the church even when school was out. Wondering, &quot;What are these kids learning about?&quot; she joined in the church's activities the next Sunday, gradually bringing her family into the faith as well. In 1992, she joined the Peruvian Lutheran Evangelical Church as a volunteer and studied at seminary to become one of her church's first ordained pastors and later president of the church. However, she began to ask why more women did not have the opportunity to be ordained and wanted to be able to contribute more to her church and community.</p><p>To gain the opportunity to contribute theologically to her home church, Patricia applied with the endorsement of her church for the ELCA's International Leaders scholarship program.&#160;From 2005 to 2010, she studied at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology. She admires what she calls the program's &quot;rich view&quot; – its international diversity of students. However, the greatest impact of the scholarship program for her came in its ability to open her up to larger perspectives of her faith and the world. Freedom,&quot; she emphasizes, &quot;and the concept of living in freedom with responsibility … really reshaped my life.&quot;</p><p>Patricia holds that responsibility she earned close to her heart. After completing her program, she joined The Lutheran World Federation as the executive secretary for the Latin America and Caribbean desk, helping build relationships between a variety of member churches.&#160;To Patricia, this commitment to the church and community is a natural part of faith. &quot;We are people of faith,&quot; she says.&#160; </p><p>There are many challenges along the way to mutual understanding&#58; Many Latin American women face obstacles in their studies. Forced to choose between their responsibilities to their families and their desire to learn, they continue to struggle for equality and freedom. The ELCA's scholarships have helped international women such as Patricia gain access to education, allowing them to explore new opportunities in life. But even then, International Leaders have the responsibility to return and help their community grow. For her own part, Patricia says, &quot;My plan is to contribute as much as I can to the work and mission of the member churches,&quot; making the most of the gifts God has given her.</p><p>Patricia understands and appreciates the help the ELCA has provided her in her efforts to develop as a leader. &quot;I hope that the ELCA continues thinking about leadership development in other countries,&quot; she says, &quot;because people who are trained go back to their churches – and I hope they go back – or to positions that contribute to their churches.&quot;</p><p>Through <em>Always Being Made New&#58; The Campaign for the ELCA,</em> our church has committed to help 200 more international women like Patricia gain access to educational opportunities through the International Leaders program. To make a gift or learn more, visit <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/InternationalLeaders"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/InternationalLeaders</span></a>. </p><p>----------</p><p>Fall 2013<br><strong>God has opened the door</strong></p><p> <img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Sanchita%20Kisku.jpg" alt="Sanchita Kisku.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;float&#58;left;" /> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br>Click <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/ELCA%20Fall%202013%20HIH%20newsletter.pdf"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">here</span></a> to read this story of Sanchita Kisku, an international women leader from India.&#160; </p></div>12/30/2014Youth for YAGMLanny Westphal, director of ELCA Global Church Sponsorshiphttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/459http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/HandInHand/459<div class="ExternalClass5E8FECC4A8A04B93951A97F6337ABEAD"><p> <img alt="Youth for YAGM_11-17-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Youth%20for%20YAGM_11-17-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /> <br> <br>Connect your youth with ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM)!</p><p>*&#160;Your youth group is invited to make covenants of prayer, mutual communication and financial support for a YAGM group or individual participant. (See <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/YAGMsupport"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/YAGMsupport</span></a>.)</p><p>*&#160;YAGMs are young adults (age 21-29) who serve for a year in one of eight country groups&#58; Argentina/Uruguay, Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mexico, Central Europe (Hungary), Southern Africa and the United Kingdom – and new in 2014, Rwanda! (See <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Global-Church/Global-Mission/Young-Adults-in-Global-Mission"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/YAGM</span></a>.) </p><div class="ExternalClass5E8FECC4A8A04B93951A97F6337ABEAD"><p> <strong>Connect with a YAGM!</strong><br><img alt="YAGM orientation _12-1-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/YAGM%20orientation%20_12-1-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p>These 63 Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) can be resources for your youth ministry.</p><p>While serving across the world, they are as close as email, tweets, Skype, Facebook, YouTube or a blog post!</p><p>Sponsor one of them with a covenant of prayer, communication and financial support, and watch your youth grow in faith, mission, stewardship and servant leadership.</p><p>Learn more at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/YAGMsupport"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/YAGMsupport </span></a>or contact <a href="mailto&#58;globalchurch@elca.org"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">globalchurch@elca.org</span></a>.<br>__________</p></div><p> </p> <p><br><span></span>Jan. 19, 2015</p><p><strong>Win Best Buy gift cards!</strong><br><strong> </strong>If you are at the Extravaganza (Jan. 29–Feb. 2) in Detroit, sponsored by the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, stop by the ELCA Global Church Sponsorship display and learn how your youth group or congregation can sponsor a Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) and register for a drawing to win Best Buy gifts cards.<br><span><span><span><span>__________</span></span></span></span><br></p><p class="MsoPlainText"><br>January 2015<br>The North Carolina Synod posts e-letters from the YAGM from North Carolina onto its website and then publicizes them in its synod e-letter.<br><span><span><span><span><span><span><br>__________</span></span></span></span></span></span><br></p><p class="MsoPlainText">December 2014<br>These synods are encouraging support for Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM)&#58;</p><ul><li>The La Crosse Area Synod for the two YAGM from the synod who are serving this year in the United Kingdom and Argentina/Uruguay. See <a href="http&#58;//origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102527925953-359/YAGM-Support-Nov-14.pdf">http&#58;//origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102527925953-359/YAGM-Support-Nov-14.pdf</a>.<span><br></span></li><li>The East-Central Synod of Wisconsin for the YAGM from the synod who is serving in Argentina/Uruguay. See <a href="https&#58;//mlsvc01-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/cf60508f001/f113426b-ef34-49fe-accf-e84d7e0bbdbc.pdf">https&#58;//mlsvc01-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/cf60508f001/f113426b-ef34-49fe-accf-e84d7e0bbdbc.pdf</a>.<span><br></span></li><li>The Southern Ohio Synod for seven YAGM from Ohio who are serving in Mexico, Southern Africa, Madagascar, Argentina/Uruguay, Hungary and the United Kingdom. See <a href="http&#58;//associationdatabase.com/aws/SOS/pt/sd/news_article/99876/_PARENT/layout_details/false">http&#58;//associationdatabase.com/aws/SOS/pt/sd/news_article/99876/_PARENT/layout_details/false</a></li></ul><p><span><span>__________</span></span><br><br>Dec. 3, 2014<br><strong>Illinois synod supports Madagascar YAGM group<br></strong><em>The Central/Southern Illinois Synod included a photo of the Madagascar YAGM group, along with a description of their ministry and encouragement to make gifts to support them, in its December 2014 edition of Mission Matters, reproduced below.</em></p><p>&#160;<img alt="Youth for YAGM_Madagascar_12-3-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Youth%20for%20YAGM_Madagascar_12-3-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><em>The 2014-15 YAGMS who are serving in Madagascar.</em></p><p style="text-align&#58;justify;">Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteers, ranging in age from 21 to 29, take the plunge into a life-changing year-long journey in communities around the world. As they share their gifts of service, they also receive the gifts of their hosts' hospitality, engaging in relationships of mutuality, interdependence, solidarity and trust. Applications for the program are due Feb. 15 each year for service beginning that same August.</p><p> <strong>How they serve<br></strong>Young Adults in Global Mission accompany the Malagasy Lutheran Church in social service and health ministries, leadership development and evangelism. Placements include work with children and youth, women's vocational training, health and wellness training, mental and spiritual health, health care and sustainable agriculture programs.</p><p> <strong>What they learn<br></strong>Young adults serving in Madagascar live simply in a challenging setting. Their service invites theological reflection on economic justice, hunger and poverty, since Madagascar is one of the poorest nations on earth. They also engage the complexities of life in a society of subtle ethnic and spiritual diversity.</p><p> <strong>Where they serve<br></strong>Madagascar, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is a cultural crossroads between Africa and Asia. Thanks to strong evangelism and a commitment to social ministry, the Malagasy Lutheran Church has more than 3 million members. Of the 22 million inhabitants of Madagascar, 70 percent live on less than $1 a day. Most households engage in subsistence agriculture and fishing. These livelihoods are under threat from climate change, deforestation and lack of access to world markets.</p><p> <strong>Say 'yes' to these young adults</strong><br><strong> </strong>Offerings to support Young Adults in Global Mission may be sent to&#58; Central /Southern Illinois Synod, 524 S. 5<sup>th</sup> St., Springfield, IL 62701-1822. Please write &quot;Madagascar YAGM&quot; in the memo line.<br>__________</p> <br> </div><div class="ExternalClass5E8FECC4A8A04B93951A97F6337ABEAD">Nov. 21, 2014<br><strong>Minnesota synod youth gathering supports YAGMs</strong><br>By Catherine Anderson<br></div><div class="ExternalClass5E8FECC4A8A04B93951A97F6337ABEAD"> *<br> <p> <img alt="NEMinn_Youth for YAGM_12-3-14.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/NEMinn_Youth%20for%20YAGM_12-3-14.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;float&#58;right;" />Nine hundred youth and adult leaders gathered for the Northeastern Minnesota Synod Middle School Gathering. Under the theme &quot;Forever&quot; and with speaker David Scherer of Agape, youth learned about the sacraments and their identity as a child of God. Nearly $1,500 was collected during the offering to support the synod's two young adult leaders serving with Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) this year. David Zastrow, who is serving in South Africa, shared a letter with the group to explain YAGM, his role as a missionary, and how serving connected with his baptism and growing faith. Zastrow challenged participants to live out their baptism by sharing&#58; &quot;I believe that God wants us to be missionaries wherever we are; your baptism, not a plane ticket, makes you a missionary.&quot; Youth also made cards of encouragement to share with YAGMs who are serving so far from home during this holiday season.<br>&#160;__________</p><p> <br>Nov. 14, 2014<br><strong>2015 ELCA Youth Gathering will support YAGMs</strong><br>By Lanny Westphal</p><p>In Detroit, synod youth leaders&#160;gathered this weekend from across the ELCA to prepare for next July's ELCA Youth Gathering. The theme of the &quot;synod day&quot; at the Youth Gathering will be &quot;How Jesus is good news.&quot; To illustrate this theme, Karis Ailabouni, who served last year with the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM), told a story on YouTube about how Jesus was good news to her through the people who welcomed her warmly and enthusiastically when she first arrived to serve in Madagascar. Hear her moving story at <a href="https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=r51Ex7kTItE&amp;feature=em-upload_owner#action=share"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">https&#58;//www.youtube.com/watch?v=r51Ex7kTItE&amp;feature=em-upload_owner#action=share</span></a>.</p></div><div class="ExternalClass5E8FECC4A8A04B93951A97F6337ABEAD"><p>In these months before the Youth Gathering, youth from your synod can connect to exciting global missionaries like Karis! Congregations and youth groups are encouraged sponsor a YAGM, especially those with connections in your synod, by making a covenant of prayer, communication and financial support. Learn how to do this at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/YAGMsupport"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/YAGMsupport</span></a>&#160; or contact <a href="mailto&#58;globalchurch@elca.org"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">globalchurch@elca.org</span></a>. Then consider involving your YAGM in &quot;synod day&quot; in July at the Gathering in Detroit or spend the next few months learning about what missionaries and YAGM do.&#160; </p><p>A fourth of the offering at the Youth Gathering closing worship will be used to support missionaries and YAGMs, so the coming months offer a great opportunity for youth going to Detroit to learn how their gifts will be turned into exciting global ministries.<br> __________<br><br></p><p class="MsoPlainText">September 2014<br><strong>YAGMs in Hungary</strong><br>The Northeastern Iowa Synod published an article describing how young people serving in the YAGM program are leaving their mark in Hungary through simple acts of kindness, an enthusiasm to embrace a new culture and language, and an active witness to their faith through service. See <a href="http&#58;//www.neiasynod.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/STAR_September_2014.pdf">http&#58;//www.neiasynod.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/STAR_September_2014.pdf</a>.<br>__________</p><p><br>June 22, 2014<br> <strong>Synod support in Pennsylvania</strong></p><p>The Lutheran Youth Fellowship Assembly in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod took an offering to support the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) serving with the church in Argentina/Uruguay, the synod's international companion. The Youth Assembly also passed a resolution encouraging the 2015 Synod Assembly to designate a synod account for the future support of the YAGM serving in Argentina and Uruguay.<br><span><span>__________</span></span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><br>April 25, 2014<br><img alt="Ole-mask_1-5-15.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/Hand%20in%20Hand/Browse/Ole-mask_1-5-15.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><p><strong>Ole masks at a pancake supper</strong></p><p>By Mark Anderson</p><p>At a pancake supper at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Waverly, Iowa, participants received a cardboard mask with the image of Ole Schenk, an ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission (YAGM) serving in Hungary. Those who received the masks were told about Ole's ministry and invited to take home the masks, share this information about Ole with family and friends, and then use the masks as a daily reminder to pray for missionaries.</p><p>St. Paul's is a sponsor of Ole who works with students in a parochial school of the Lutheran church in Hungary, which has a companion-synod relationship with the Northeastern Iowa Synod, ELCA. The Northeastern Iowa Synod encourages its members and congregations to sponsor the four YAGMs in Hungary, and then to make connections between these YAGMs and young people of the Synod through youth groups, confirmation and Sunday School classes.</p><p>(Note&#58; This pancake supper and the masks were originally planned for Shrove Tuesday before Lent, but were postponed due to a blizzard until the Tuesday after Easter.)<br><span><span><span><span>__________</span></span></span></span><br></p> <p><br>January 2014<br><strong>Youth for YAGM – the goals and benefits</strong><br>By Lanny Westphal<br></p><p>*&#160;Teach youth about stewardship, global mission and servant leadership</p><p>*&#160;Give youth an opportunity to teach their whole congregation about stewardship, global mission and servant leaderships</p><p>*&#160;Continue the excitement for youth who have taken part in the ELCA Malaria Campaign or the 100 Wells Challenge</p><p>*&#160;Use digital communication to foster international peer role-modeling</p><p>*&#160;Provide an opportunity for young people to consider their own vocations</p><p>*&#160;Support an exciting, growing ELCA global ministry</p><p> <strong>Youth for YAGM – three simple steps</strong></p><p>Step 1&#58; On the covenant form, write your congregation or sponsoring ministry (such as synod or campus ministry) and your youth group.</p><p>Step 2&#58; Write down the YAGM individual or group you've chosen.</p><p>Step 3&#58; Choose your level of support. It can be any amount, large or small – then send it in!</p><p> <strong>For more information<br></strong>Email <a href="mailto&#58;globalchurch@elca.org"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">globalchurch@elca.org</span></a> or call 800-638-3522, ext. 2657, to request information about YAGM groups and individuals in service. You can also request a &quot;sponsor covenant&quot; to make a covenant commitment for prayer, communication and financial support, or download a covenant at <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/resources/globalchurch"> <span style="text-decoration&#58;underline;">www.ELCA.org/resources/globalchurch</span></a>.</p></div>12/30/2014