The newly reorganized Upper Susquehanna Stewardship Team will embark on its first initiative in the coming weeks and months– a “Close Encounter” with congregations around the synod! A letter explaining this new initiative will be sent by mid-June to all congregational presidents and pastors, with team members following up with phone calls or visits. The idea is to learn about mission, outreach, and stewardship ministries that congregations are carrying out in their communities and beyond. USS congregations are involved in a wide variety of mission, outreach, and stewardship ministries; but others often don’t have a way to learn about what is happening in their neighboring church or one on the other end of the synod. The team wants to emphasize that all of these ministries are actually examples of stewardship practice and “mission support” contributions as part of the Upper Susquehanna Synod and thus reinforce the idea that money is only one part of good stewardship practice. These stories gathered through conversation with leaders will be shared throughout the synod, affirming the congregations and their ministries, and serving as inspiration and idea starters for other congregations. Congregational leaders are asked to please share with the team stories of your ministries when it is your turn for a “Close Encounter!” As part of this initiative, team members will also gather comments on what leaders perceive as the most important ministries and resources of the synod or what else they feel would be needed for consideration by the synod staff & Synod Council. For more information please contact Pr. Karl-John Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-524-9778 or Beth Yenchko at email@example.com 717-579-3845.