What Happened at New England Synod Assembly?

Editor’s Note:  Lars Johanson submitted this report on the June 7-8 New England Synod Assembly.  The Rev. Leila Ortiz served as guest preacher and was elected to  serve as Bishop of the Metro DC Synod of the ELCA at the Metro DC Synod Assembly held June 14-15.  We’ll add links to the storytelling presentation by keynote speaker Margot Leitman as well as the sermon by the Rev. Leila Ortiz when they become available.

Pastor Kyle Seibert, Rosemary Affeldt and I attended the NE Synod Assembly in Worcester, MA.  Over 500 men and women attended the two-day conference from congregations all over New England. One of the lasting impressions of the meeting was the number of women who hold leading positions within the synod and as pastors of various congregations. Many of them gave presentations and led devotions and worship.

A considerable amount of time was devoted to “church business” such as presentation of memorials and reports from Bishop Hazelwood and various components of the synod. I was very impressed with the four memorials that were approved and will be presented later this summer at the ELCA National Assembly. Two of the memorials dealt with the rights of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation and support of humanitarian aid to Palestinian hospitals. Another memorial called for an endorsement of the Poor People’s Campaign in order to encourage congregations and members to participate. The fourth memorial asked the ELCA to endorse the campaign and encourage all to participate where appropriate in organizing, advocacy, and actions.  These memorials clearly show the New England Synod’s commitment to issues of social justice, one example of God’s Word and our hands.

Another lasting impression was the topics covered by Bishop Hazelwood in his report. He reported on the four areas that have been the focus of his attention: Congregations, Spiritual Growth, Global Mission, and Finding and Funding Leaders.  It was very encouraging to hear that there were 35 new calls for pastors in the synod in the past year but very upsetting to hear that there are so many younger pastors who have substantial student loans. The bishop pointed out that the total debt is $1.75 million dollars. He encouraged all of us to participate in a campaign, Jubilee 2020, in order to help reduce this debt figure.  This is probably a subject that should be brought to the attention of OSLC’s church council and congregation.

In the area of global mission Bishop Hazelwood and others talked about the church’s activity in the Holy Land and Honduras and through groups such as Ascentria.  The latter gave a report on the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program that provides long-term foster care and other services. Once again I was impressed by our synod’s commitment to serve others.

The theme of the assembly was “What’s Your Story”. The keynote speaker was Margot Leitner, a storyteller and instructor.  She told various stories herself in the keynote address and workshop and left a lasting impression about the power of stories to develop bonds between strangers. She gave various examples of how each of us can communicate our experiences and passions to others.  These are good things to remember as we in OSLC try to know each other better and welcome visitors.

The assembly concluded with a moving worship service.  Rev. Leila Ortiz from the Washington DC Synod gave the sermon. Her background growing up in a Pentecostal church put an interesting light on her comments for a Pentecost service.






“Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow!” Bread for the World Offering of Letters

Our Savior Lutheran Church is a Covenant Church with the Bread for the World (BFW) movement. BFW currently is ecumenical in scope; but was started by a Lutheran Pastor in New York City, in the early 70s. BFW asks us to communicate with our legislators about hunger related issues throughout the year, but each year they focus on one particular issue, for an annual Offering of Letters

Reading the news, it is hard to imagine that progress has been made in reducing global poverty and hunger, but they have literally been cut, nearly in half over the past 30 years. In countries such as Ghana and Honduras, one of the effects of chronic malnutrition, developmental stunting, has been reduced by nearly 1/3rd over the past 10 years!! This has been accomplished by emphasizing good nutrition during the first 1,000 days of a mother’s pregnancy through her child’s second birthday.

But the work is not done, and we don’t want to lose the gains we have made, since worldwide nearly half of all the childhood deaths are linked to malnutrition

BFW_Better_Nutrition_Better_TomorrowThis year’s Bread for the World’s annual Offering of Letters is titled Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow!

We know what works, breastfeeding, improved access to nutritious foods, assuring adequate vitamins and minerals, clean water and sanitation.

When a country’s children survive and thrive, so too does the country’s economic outlook, this improved economic development

results in decreased poverty, and hunger; promotes political stability, decreases violence, and the need for migration.

We need to contact our Federal legislators, urging them to increase financial support for the global effort to reduce malnutrition by promoting global child nutrition programs. Personal letters to our legislators have been shown to be effective in getting Congress to act.  Here is a sample letter you can write to your Representative and your Senators. Please bring them to church on Sunday when we will offer them up at the Offertory.

2019 BFW Offering of Letters – Sample Letter

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Food Pantry Needs

Stop by one of the food pantries with your donations or bring non-perishables to worship any Sunday!


  • LISTEN’s food pantry supplies qualifying households in our service area with 1-2 weeks of groceries each month. We also have a personal care room for toiletries.
  • LISTEN relies on food drives and donations to keep the pantry in stock. We get wholesale pricing to ensure cash donations are maximized.
  • In 2016, LISTEN spent $33,285 on food for community dinners and the food pantry. 575 unique households received assistance from the pantry.
  • 3 bags of groceries can save a household $90.

Need help?  Call  Listen at (603) 448-4553
The Listen Food Pantry is located at:  60 Hanover St. Lebanon, NH 03766
Open Monday – Friday    9 AM – 5 PM

Top 5 Needed Items:

  • Canned Soups
  • Canned Fish/Tuna
  • Rice
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Snack Foods


  • The Food Shelf is committed to providing on-going, reliable access to healthy groceries once a month (including meat, dairy and produce), and unlimited access to bread and produce to anyone in need.

The Haven Food Shelf is located at:
713 Hartford Ave
White River Junction, VT 05001
802 295-6500
Food Shelf Hours: Mon – Thurs: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm; Fri: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Top 5 Needed Items:

  • Soup
  • Cereal
  • Beans (black, red, or white)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned tuna/chicken


The Rev. Lauren Heywood, Ordained October 20th. Thanks be to God!

Paul and Wendy Manganiello attended the Reverend Lauren Heywood’s ordination in Philadelphia on Saturday, October 20th. They shared with us photos from the day and words of gratitude from Pastor Lauren.  Lauren worshiped with us and served the OSLC and community while attending Dartmouth.

lauren ordination acknowledgements_001

Lauren's Ordination cr

Thanks be to God!

Ongoing Vigils in Manchester are Making a Difference. Help Ensure A Powerful Presence.

Participation in ICE Vigils is Making A Difference! 

See a special thank you for your support here.

Help Ensure the Powerful Presence Continues at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which continues to ask immigrants without documents to return for check-in meetings in Manchester, sometimes with airline tickets in hand. Our presence has made a difference in slowing down deportations especially for 60+ Christian Indonesians who came to the US many years ago. The next vigils will he held Tuesdays  June 18, and July 2. Vigils are from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. at the Norris Cotton Federal Building, 275 Chestnut Street, Manchester. Carpool departs from the CCBA at 7:15 a.m..  We will return to the CCBA by 11/11:30 a.m. Please signup here.21367040_1617111501654177_4618948390388660212_o