RESOURCE CENTER

The NEPA Synod Resource Center

2354 Grove Road
Allentown, PA
610-266-5101

Hours

Monday – Thursday
9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

NEW ITEMS ARE JUST IN at the Resource Center

Thanks to a grant, new resources have been purchased for the Synod Resource Center and are NOW available for people to borrow!  They cover a variety of topics.  The new items include:

  • Grieving a Suicide
  • Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse:  Getting to the Other Side
  • "Across That Bridge" by former Congressman John Lewis
  • "The Sum of Us" by Heather Mcghee
  • "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson
  • "My Grandmother’s Hands" by Resmaa Menakem
  • "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

Coming Soon – all 6 volumes of “The Annotated Lutheran”

  • Vol. 1 – The Roots of Reform
  • Vol. 2 – Word and Faith
  • Vol. 3 – Church and Sacraments
  • Vol. 4 – Pastoral Writings
  • Vol. 5 – Christian Life in the World
  • Vol. 6 – The Interpretation of Scripture

 

These and many more items are available for your use at the Resource Center.  Check out the online catalog below!

HOW TO BORROW RESOURCES

There are 3 ways you can borrow resources from the Resource Center:

  1. Visit the Resource Center at the NEPA Synod Office. Resources can be checked out with Laurie.
  2. Use our online resource catalog (see button above).  Follow the directions on the search page. It is not necessary to complete every box. Sometimes a key word is all that you’ll need. When your search items pop up on a new page, you can click on the resource code number (ResCode) in the left hand column to get a description of the item and add it to your cart.
  3. If you would like to have the printed materials mailed to you, you will be charged only for the postage. If you choose to borrow rented materials, you will be charged $3.00 for digital materials (CDs, Videos, DVDs) to cover the cost of processing.

Please keep in mind that most of the resources are copyrighted. Permissions need to be sought in order to use them for groups (Videos, Curricula, etc).

USE THE RESOURCE CENTER SPACE 

Host your committee or group meeting in the Resource Center!

Whether it is your congregation’s stewardship, faith formation, world hunger, worship, personnel, property, outreach, Bible study, or youth ministry committee - there are resources available for nearly every congregational ministry.  Having a meeting at the Resource Center allows you quick access to whatever resources you may need!

BACKGROUND CHECKS

BACKGROUND CHECKS

The new law requires these two background clearances for ALL mandated reporters every 5 years.

FBI Fingerprint Record Checks are additionally required for all employees (including rostered leaders) and for any volunteers who have not lived in PA for 10 years. This is done through IdentoGo. When you seek an appointment for the fingerprinting and to submit your background information, you will need a “Service Code” in order to complete the information.

Volunteers Code – 1KG6ZJ
Employees Code – 1KG756

PA CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES LAW

At the end of 2014, new laws took effect that required all employees and volunteers working with children to receive background checks. Laws were amended in 2015 that changed the requirement from every 3 years to every 5 years and made some of the background checks free for volunteers.  If you just began this process in 2014, it is time to think about renewing these background checks.

The laws that went into effect in 2014 also put into place the new reality that our church volunteers became mandated reporters.  This means that if a church volunteer becomes aware of or suspects abuse or neglect of a child, that they are required to report it.  If your employees and/or volunteers have not been informed or trained on mandated reporting requires, please schedule one.  You can utilize the information and training resources below.  If you need additional assistance with providing such training, please reach out to the Synod office.

If your congregation does not already have a policy that outlines how children and youth [and all members] will be kept safe in your church, please begin working on one!  If your insurance carrier has not yet required you to do so, they probably request a copy of this Safety policy soon.  Our website has some model policies that will help you get started - click here.

MANDATED REPORTING

Pennsylvania state laws define “mandated reporters” to include all rostered leaders, paid church employees who work with children, and also volunteers over age 18 who work with children in activities and programs. For churches this means ALL Sunday school teachers, nursery attendants, VBS volunteers, youth group leaders, etc. are considered "mandated reporters."

Mandated reporters are those who, when they have reasonable suspicion of child abuse, are required to call the state ChildLine.  State law requires each mandated reporter to notify state authorities. Mandated reporters are required to follow up with a written report.  Please note that willful failure to report is punishable by state law.

SOCIAL STATEMENTS

ELCA social statements are teachings and policy documents that provide broad frameworks to assist us in thinking about and discussing social issues in the context of faith and life. They are meant to help communities and individuals with moral formation, discernment and thoughtful engagement with current social issues as we participate in God’s work in the world. Social statements also set policy for the ELCA and guide its advocacy and work as a publicly engaged church. They result from an extensive process of participation and deliberation and are adopted by a two-thirds vote at an ELCA church-wide assembly.

MISSION SUPPORT

SHARING MINISTRY WITH THE GREATER CHURCH

Mission Support (previously known as benevolence) describes the portion of weekly offerings given by your congregation that is shared with the NEPA Synod and ELCA Church-wide for synodical and church-wide mission and ministries beyond the local congregation. These offerings provide more than 76% of the resources that are used to fund the mission and ministry that we do together in partnership.

Thank you for your partnership in ministry!

STEWARDSHIP
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BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING

“I will bless you—so that you will be a blessing.”

The Synod Assembly of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod adopted Blessed to be a Blessing  as our stewardship approach for the coming years.

Sharing our blessings with others reflects our understanding that all that we are and that all that we have belong to God.  We hear this in God's call to Abraham as God promises Abraham "I will bless you - so that you will be a blessing."  This does not mean that God favors us or that we should expect to be blessed more than others.  But it does change our focus when we recognize the blessings in our lives - as the gifts from God they are.  In this light, we can see how God's blessings to us can be used and shared in ways so that we might be a blessing to others. 

Blessed to be a Blessing  is designed to open our eyes to our blessings and to help us grow in our grateful response to God’s abundant love. The goal of Blessed to be a Blessing  is to ground us in a biblical understanding of stewardship.

BLESSED BY GOD - STEWARDS OF GOD

Blessed to be a Blessing  is a faith-based stewardship emphasis that recognizes our call to share our God-given blessings of time, relationships, abilities, and passions, as well as our gifts of money.

We recognize that as stewards - or caretakers - we are blessed in this role we share with others and in our relationship with God.  When we remember that nothing is truly ours and that we are but temporary caretakers for God, we are freed to live generously.

Stewardship is the grateful offering of all that we have and all that we are to God’s service. We trust that everything is the gift of a loving and generous God. Thus, the gifts we return to the church can be a sign of both God’s grateful offering to us and our trust in God.

While the world around us teaches us to fear scarcity, God calls us to trust in God¹s abundance.

God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)

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BIBLICAL STEWARDSHIP

Biblical Stewardship is not about raising money to pay the church’s bills. It is about offering some portion of the material resources God has given us to others as a way of thanking God for these resources and living out God's call to love and serve our neighbors.

Nor is Biblical Stewardship about convincing people to volunteer to do jobs for the church. It is about helping disciples discover the talents and abilities God has given them and then figuring out how God is calling them to use those gifts in the church and in the world.

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NEPA PRINCIPLES OF STEWARDSHIP

Heeding the call to trust in God’s abundance, our Synod will be guided by the following principles as we invite congregations and individuals to support the mission of the church:

  • We will recognize how God has blessed us abundantly.
  • We will acknowledge that we need to give back what we have received as a way to grow in faith.
  • We will recognize that we are the stewards and not the owners of everything that God has entrusted to us.
  • We will give proportionately, calculating what an appropriate tithe is for our situation. 
  • Our giving will be significant and of our first fruits, so we experience that God provides all we truly need.
  • We will give joyfully, in grateful response to our generous God.