The Academy – February 2020

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 February’s session of The Academy.  Pastor Tony Ede will host the Rev. Dr. Brian Hughes, Rachel Sosebee, and Pastor Brad Hales on Tuesday, February 4th at 11:00 AM EST. To view on social media: Facebook Live. To register to view online, please visit:  The Academy February 2020.

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 February will focus on the key point found in Acts 2:46: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.” The followers of Jesus gathered together regularly. They worshipped together.  They had a mutual sense of obligation to be together to support one another and to share their faith in Jesus. In today’s society the average active Christian only attends worship about one-two times per month. The result is that spiritual gifts are not being put to use to build up the entire body.  We attend to see what we can get, not what we can give.


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 retired in December 2019, he is continuing to make disciples who make disciples and coaching others in the formation of discipling communities. He has begun 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.

Rachel Sosebee serves Christ’s church as needed, applying the gifts entrusted to her in various church settings, the home, and community. Previously, Rachel served in the NALC, first as a volunteer, then on staff in various positions, and is now back to volunteering for special projects nationally and serving as co-chair of the Great Commission Society Mission Connectors Team. Before the NALC, she served as the Director of Ministry Initiatives at St. Paul Lutheran Church (Columbus, OH) where she helped people discover their gifts and call for ministry in and out of the church. Today, Rachel continues to encourage people in their ministry in the church, outside the church, in their homes, and anywhere and everywhere God leads them, while focusing on her current “job” of wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and intentional homemaker.

Pastor Brad Hales is the Director of Domestic Mission for the NALC and senior pastor at Reformation Lutheran Church in Culpeper, West Virginia. Previously, Pastor Hales served as the chair of the Renewal Team, New Starts Team and Dean of the Virginia Mission District of the North American Lutheran Church. Through the power of Jesus, Pastor Hales has helped to renew several older congregations in discipleship, outreach and mission. In 2009, his present congregation was given the “Best Practices Award in Senior Adult Ministry” by the National Council on Aging. Pastor Hales has also authored multiple Bible studies and resources, including, A Covenant of Aging, published by Sola Publishing.

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

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