The Academy – December 2019

The NALC is committed to the renewal of all our congregations, working to develop and deliver resources that challenge and open the NALC to the work of the Holy Spirit in our ministry and mission.

Bishop John Bradosky writes: “Instead of talking about the process of discipleship, we would like to examine the context of discipleship.  What is the nature of Christian community that nurtures people as faithful followers of Jesus, equips them to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus and provides for their growth and development as disciples of Jesus?  Following the amazing miracle of Pentecost, Peter’s bold preaching, explaining who Jesus is and what He has done for them and the transformation of more than 3,000 people who came to faith in Jesus we read these important words about the formation of the community that was able to sustain and grow the Church, the body of Christ.”*

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:42-47

Join us for December’s session of The Academy.  Pastor Tony Ede will host the Rev. Dr. Brian Hughes, Pastor Karen Heist, Pastor Melinda Jones, and the Rev. Dr. Paul Gossman, on Tuesday, December 3rd at 11:00 AM EST.

We will continue to take the next steps in the vision Bishop Bradosky laid out for Life-To-Life Discipleship and mission, as well as dive headlong into Acts 2:42-47. The month of December will focus on the third key point found in Acts 2:43: “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.” The followers of Jesus expected Jesus to act, and He did. As they experienced the miraculous when they were with Jesus, when they went out to do ministry in His name, so in the church, that same miraculous power was manifest. Join us as we wrestle with some difficult questions. Do we still expect the miraculous today? If someone experienced Jesus call to follow Him in one of your worship services how would you know? Do we care?  Do we really expect Jesus to show up? If we don’t believe He is truly present, why should anyone else? How does this connect practically to our every day lives?

To register for this Panel Q & A Webinar, please visit: December 2019 Academy Webinar.


Pastor Tony Ede graduated from Waldorf College, where he earned an associate of arts in electronic communications and a bachelor of arts in multimedia communications. Graduating from Luther Seminary in 2006, Tony worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the homiletics department, helping to teach classes on using media and technology in worship and preaching.  Pastor Ede has served at Bethany Lutheran Churches in the Danish Village of Kimballton, Iowa; as the teaching pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Webster City, Iowa; and currently serves as the senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran in Manchester, Iowa. As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Tony earned an MBA in 2017 from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, with a concentration in organizational development. Following a long family tradition, Tony is a nationally certified firefighter and EMT and has used these skills to serve in the community, as well as in disaster response statewide. Tony was married to LeAnn at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, Iowa, on August 17th, 2002. They have three sons that keep them busy: Carver, Liam and Burke.


Pastor Brian Hughes is an adventurous visionary whose lifework has been to coach and equip others on the same journey. After leading prevailing Lutheran congregations in such diverse places as Capitol Hill, Washington DC, the rust belt of Southwest Pennsylvania, the Bay Area of California, and most recently in Central Maryland, Pastor Brian has heard the call to do ministry with those tired of the institutional church. As Pastor Brian officially retires in December 2019, he will be continuing to make disciples who make disciples and coaching others in the formation of discipling communities. He will also begin a new adventure with “Road Church” – a new NALC Mission Start. Pastor Brian is married to the lovely Christine Hughes and enjoys time with his family. He is also an author, Harley rider, Scuba diver, submarine owner, and gear head.

Pastor Karen Heist, Discipleship Pastor, St. John Lutheran Church, Columbia, Maryland. Pastor Karen has a long history of leadership and coaching both laity and ordained. A dedicated “horse whisperer” in the equestrian ring, she just as effortlessly balances Invitation and Challenge to bring significant breakthrough with those she has coached. Basic Discipleship coaching, Accessible Prophecy, and learning how to be Naturally Supernatural are just some of the tools she can bring to the table. More information about her congregation can be found here:

Pastor Paul Gossman has long understood himself, together with his wife Priscilla, to be called to mission. After Paul’s graduation from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, they served as missionaries in the tribal highlands of the Philippines, training leaders and planting churches. Along with their daughter Sarah, they later served with WMPL in Peru, doing similar work among the poor in the city of Chiclayo. Since their return to the U.S. in 2000, the Gossmans have served in bilingual and multiethnic parish and parachurch ministries in Illinois, Washington, and Oregon. Paul also holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He headed that department at Trinity Lutheran College from 2005–2008 and has been an independent instructor and consultant in a wide variety of countries and settings, currently serving as the director for the World Mission Prayer League.

Pastor Melinda Jones serves as pastor of Advent Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Charleston, South Carolina. Along with the joy of ordained ministry to Word and Sacrament, Pastor Jones ministers to her parish neighborhood which is in the most urban, economically challenged area of the “Low Country.” Homelessness, alcoholism, drugs, human trafficking and poverty are some of the scars on those to whom Advent witnesses; Pastor Jones works with the sherrif’s office, the attorney general’s Office, and other local agencies to help bring awareness and the hope of combatting the suffering in this environment. Pastor Jones is secretary of the Executive Council of the North American Lutheran Church, which has afforded her opportunities to visit many NALC congregations. For the past nine years, she led and taught annual women’s retreats in Rincon, Georgia, for Lutheran congregations in the NALC, LCMC and ELCA. Pastor Jones and her husband (Jim) of twenty-nine years live in Summerville, SC along with their two teenage sons (Jade and Vasa).

*To access Bishop Bradosky’s quoted presentations, please visit:

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