World Is About to Turn ADVENT_1x1

Season 2: The Gifts of Advent

In the second season of The World is About Turn podcast presented by the Metro D.C. Synod, Bishop Leila Ortiz sits down with representatives from the Gifts of Hope beneficiary organizations to reflect on the gifts the season of Advent can bring to our lives and our missions in the world.

Gifts of Hope is the alternative-gift giving program of the Metro D.C. Synod which has been supporting God's work through local organizations since 1992!

The first of six episode series will drop on Saturday, December 2 as we prepare our hearts and the world for the coming of the Savior!

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The Gifts of Advent Episodes

Episode 1

The Gift of Patience

Waiting is hard. We eagerly anticipate the desires of our hearts and want them to come soon. We wait for the first day of school or the first snowfall. We wait to see a loved one or to hear a doctor’s news. Just as the farmer waits for crops or the fig tree waits for summer, we are reminded to be patient until the coming of the Lord.


Episode 2

The Gifts of Speech & Silence

Encountering the angel of the Lord, Zechariah was struck speechless. His imposed silence became a time to reflect on the wonders of God. Like Zechariah, we are called at times to be silent and listen, at other times to shout with joy.

In their ministries with refugees, asylum seekers and low-income elderly, our partners share why it is incredibly necessary to listen to those we advocate for FIRST before we lift up our voices for justice and peace on their behalf.


Episode 3

The Gift of Hope

Hope is not passive, it is active. Hope is also not an individual act but a communal call.

In the prison system which can seem so incredibly hopeless, the Community of St. Dysmas works to share the gifts of hope and forgiveness for all of God's beloved people. Rev. Beck shares actual responses from the congregation about what they believe hope is and can be.

Langley Park, Maryland has become a safe haven for migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and other countries of Central America. Several organizations are sharing resources to serve this community through many meals, ESL classes, and worship to offer a new home of faith and hope.


Episode 4

The Gift of Family

The Gospel of Matthew begins with a family tree from Abraham to Jesus. Between the recitation of names, we also hear the story of God at work in our world from generation to generation. The Advent and Christmas seasons highlight the significance of family and chosen family who support us through it all.

These organizations are building healthy families by providing accessible housing, outdoor programs & family retreats, as well as emergency shelters for those experiencing domestic violence. Through education and funding, families can truly thrive as they loved on and provided a safe space to live out their call.


Episode 5

The Gift of Time

Bishop Ortiz leads us in devotion based on the scripture of 1 Kings Chapter 19-Elijah Flees. For you, this year, and even the last 5 years, may have been filled with grief, loss, trauma, and frustration so the temptation to figuratively lay under the broom tree and simply give up was great! We have all understood this temptation firsthand. Yet we also understand the Lord’s imperative, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” Time apart in prayer is like bread and water in desert land. You are invited to be nourished by coming to the One who holds our days and tomorrows in their hands.

Episode 6 - Jan. 6

The Gift of Light

Bishop Leila shares the scripture of the three magi who come to visit the new born Jesus as we celebrate Epiphany. Also known as "Three Kings' Day", epiphany is a special time of celebrations, music and fellowship for the people of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Bishop Ortiz shares her love for this special day and what it means to come together because of our differences, not in spite of them.

Synod Podcast for Those Who are in need of Inspiration

God has called this synod and Church together in mission. And since the adoption of the synod's missions statement in 2019, much has changed. It is now that the Holy Spirit invites us into hard conversations and truths for theological and soul liberation for all.

This podcast is for the curious and for those seeking honest conversations about life and ministry.

It is also for those who are fully aware that we are living in a time that demands our attention and our intentionality.

It is for those who wish to be co-conspirators with the Holy Spirit!

Bishop Leila Ortiz shares how this podcast can be a resource for those
looking to meet the demands of the Gospel. 

Season 1: Living Our Mission

Episode 7 with Natalie Cain and Brother Ken Taylor

Beloved Creation

In the final episode of the series focusing on the Metro D.C. Synod mission statement, dive into the symbiotic relationship between caring for creation and caring for humanity. Natalie Cain, Director of Gifts of Hope, and Brother Ken Taylor, Pastor of Saint Nicholas Lutheran Church, join Bishop Leila Ortiz to discuss the responsibility we have as followers of Jesus to care for all of creation and what that looks like in our daily lives.

Explore how we are called to care for the earth and that while our individual actions may seem too insignificant to have an impact, if we join together, even over something small like water bottles, the collective actions of our faith community can make a difference.

Episode 6 with Pastor Betty Landis, Deacon Dave Larrabee & Deacon Debra Haynes

To be Love

Deacons Deb Haynes and Dave Larrabee are called to serve at The Lamb Center, a day shelter for people experiencing homelessness. Pastor Betty Landis is passionately involved with the Poor People’s Campaign and serves at Saint Stephen Lutheran Church.

In Episode 6, hear how these leaders have engaged with others as if they are not a stranger; offering true welcome and love for people who have been marginalized and regularly outcast by society. Despite what the world tells us, we need Jesus’ love to be bold and boundless in our work to live out the Gospel each and every day.

Episode 5 with Pastor Ben Hogue & Jennifer Slagle Peck

Bold and Boundless in Your Own Way

What would it look like for you to truly be bold and boundless in your daily life?
Pastor Ben Hogue and Jennifer Slagle Peck share how they have been inspired by the authentic acts of others to boldly follow Christ in and through their leadership roles within the Metro D.C. Synod. Sometimes being bold in our discipleship looks like the small but impactful steps we take every day to “call people out or call people in” to the work of the Holy Spirit.
We must be bold enough to disagree, yet boundless in our love for God’s people that we continue in relationship with one another for the sake of the Gospel.

Episode 4 with Pastor Carmelo Santos & Deacon Julie Stecker

To Cultivate Brokenness into the Fullness of Life

When you hear the word “cultivate” you may think of a farmer or planting seeds and watching them grow. But not everyone believes they have a green thumb, in a garden or spiritually! 

Rev. Dr. Carmelo Santos and Deacon Julie Stecker share with Bishop Leila Ortiz the ways they have found the Holy Spirit cultivates incredible things with and through us even in the midst of “poor” growing conditions and the brokenness within our communities. They also share what needs to die, what we need to let go of, so that God can grow more fruit for the sake of the entire garden to flourish.

Episode 3 with Pastor Julie Bringman, Katie Evans & Carrie Pritts

To be (or not to be) Called

Pastor Julie Bringman, Katie Evans, and Carrie Pritts join Bishop Leila to delve into how they have felt God stirring and moving in their lives, and formalized their listening during a six-month period of discernment.

As they felt the nudge of the Spirit, each of these women took the leap to of faith to participate in a discernment cohort offered by the Metro D.C. Synod. Not all discernment leads to enrolling in a seminary or a rostered call, yet the Spirit is still at work.

Our world can be quite loud and distracting. How and where do you find space to "turn it off" and to intentionally listen for God's call?

Episode 2 with Pastor Kevin Vandiver

Inspired by the Holy Spirit who Disrupts Everything

Pastor Kevin Vandiver, Senior Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington D.C., discusses with Bishop Leila Ortiz what it means to be "Inspired by the Holy Spirit".

Not just what it means to be inspired in ministry, but as human beings in our daily lives. To be inspired not only as a pastor but as a spouse, parent, and person in a hurting world who has experienced their own trauma and hurt.

Who is the Holy Spirit to you?

Episode 1 with Metro D.C. Synod Staff

Living Our Mission and Purpose

Bishop Leila Ortiz talks with Pastor Lamar Bailey and Pastor Sarah Garrett Krey, who serve as Assistants to the Bishop in the Metro D.C. Synod, about being "Inspired", what it means to serve on Synod Staff, and the overall Metro D.C. Synod mission statement which was adopted in 2019 before the world turned.