Saturday January 27 was the date of Synod Learning Ministries Day 2018: “Church as Wonder-Land.” This year’s event was held at Christ Hamilton United in Stroudsburg, a first at this location. Pastor David Danneberger led the opening worship and welcomed attendees to a day that included a keynote address, workshops, meals, and time to share ideas and excitement. Following the opening worship, keynote speaker Pastor Lori Kochanski (former NEPS Pastor and Assistant to the Bishop) gave her presentation, “Transforming Faith Communities from ‘Places to Go for Answers’ to ‘Places to be with the Big Questions.’” She talked about the places we go to seek answers, and showed participants how to find a more mindful way of observing and reflecting on issues in the church. Next, there was “something for everyone” as morning and afternoon workshops encompassed topics from Special Needs Ministries to Caring for Creation to various types of “Wonder” : Godly Wonder, Science and Wonder, and “Wonderful” Crafts, to name a few. An offering was taken, with $625 raised for scholarships to Bear Creek Camp, and the day ended with prayer.
Learning Ministries Day 2019 will be Saturday January 26, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. The theme will be “Being the Church in a Changing World: Be Not Afraid.” The keynote speaker will be Elsayed “Steve” Elmarzouky, Reading area restaurateur, past president of the Islamic Center of Reading, and chaplain in the correctional system of Berks County. The 2019 location will be Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Schuylkill Haven.