The Upstate New York Synod is a Resurrection People who Pray First, Walk Together, and Change Lives. We believe that the power of God that raised Jesus Christ to new life on Easter is alive in us and in our world today. We prayerfully seek to live with Christ at the center of our lives; to journey together in and with Christ; and to participate in and bear witness to the ways in which God changes lives.
Feed the Roots supports sharing and growing this faith with our young people through outdoor ministry programs offered at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center, Vanderkamp and the coordination of camping programs with Camp SonRise and Camp Fowler in the eastern area of the synod. The campaign will address significant capital and program improvements.
The campaign will ‘feed the roots’ of campus ministry programs across our synod as they nurturing discipleship among faith-filled students and seek to proclaim God’s unconditional love to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ. Funds will strengthen campus ministries in Syracuse, Buffalo, Albany, and Ithaca, New York.
Feed the Roots campaign also supports Seminary Education at our ELCA seminaries as they identify, gather, teach, educate and nurture the church leaders of the future. Scholarship dollars will also support seminarians in our companion synods - the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa).
Recently, Rev. Jeff Hedin wrote the following tribute to his congregation in order to lift up outdoor ministry.
We have asked you to help Feed the Roots of Leadership by supporting Philadelphia Seminary, Camping Ministry, and Campus Ministry. I am now completing another Confirmation Camp at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center. It offers not only 150 acres of beautiful lakeside property for all kinds of outdoor adventure, but the program led by their staff offers more instruction in one week than most will get in a year of Sunday Church School. In an age when it is easy to find other priorities than keeping in touch with God, the camping experience offered at Lake Chautuaqua allows me and others to get back to basics and sense the power God offers us when we are open to God leading our lives. Whether you have hiked in the mountains or just slept under the stars in your backyard, you know that "This is My Father's World", and God is good all the time. Please consider a large contribution over three years to the Feed the Roots of Leadership Campaign so that all can know the power of God in their lives as well.
Please take a moment to consider supporting the Feed the Roots of Leadership campaign today and help grow the leaders of tomorrow.
Courtney Weller, a member of Good Shepherd, Glenville who participated in a Project Connect internship (see story below) with Pastor Amber Malone, was Upstate New York's first "Fund for Leaders" Scholar in 2010. Courtney has completed her first year at Gettysburg Seminary. This year Courtney will be participating in the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program of the ELCA. She begins service soon in Jerusalem and Palestine. We invite your prayers for her during this year and for the other twelve Upstate New York Synod Seminarians as they prepare to begin another academic year.
The Fund for Leaders provides scholarships to seminarians to attend any ELCA seminary. Upstate New York Synod has its own Fund for Leaders account. Our goal is to increase its principal so that more scholarships are available. Part of the gift from the closing of Friendship Lutheran will go to the Fund for Leaders in memory of Pastor Arnold Nicholson.
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is the Region 7 seminary with which Upstate New York Synod is in a formal supporting partnership. Gifts to the Feed the Roots Capital Appeal will also increase scholarship support for seminarians attending "our" seminary.
I'm supporting the Feed the Roots Campaign because of how it will enable the seeds of leadership to be planted for the sake of the church now and in the future. I can't think of a better way to plant those seeds and nourish those roots than by focusing on a continuum of ministry from youth camping, to campus ministry, and finally to rostered leadership through seminary education.
It definitely takes a village to raise a church and the success of this campaign will provide for the ongoing improvement and development of our village of faith here in the Upstate New York Synod. I might not be around to see what the seeds of leadership grow into but it's still worth my supporting today.
Submitted by Lee Lindeman, Executive Director of Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center
Imagine this: bike riders from all across the Upstate New York Synod, some riding several hundred miles, converging on our Synod Assembly in Rochester on June 5th!
Imagine this: those same bike riders stopping at congregations in all of our conferences telling the stories of why they are crazy enough to do this ride, the stories of how camping ministry, campus ministry and seminary education are growing our leaders for the present and the future; and sharing information on how we can all help continue and enhance those ministries through the Feed the Roots of Leadership capital campaign.
Imagine this: Riding along for all or part of the Synod Spokes Persons Ride!
Imagine this: Hosting and celebrating with the Synod Spokes Persons at your church. Have a meal, do a worship service, host a fun event, use your imagination.