ADVENTure eNews
     Weekly Publication
from Advent Lutheran Church
Charlotte, North Carolina
(Submission Deadline: Noon Wednesdays)


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April 21, 2020

Dear Advent Family,

Alleluia! Christ is risen . . . Christ is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

As of writing this letter it has been 6 weeks since we were last able to physically gather for worship in the sanctuary of Advent.   This means that we have not celebrated Holy Communion together in a month and a half . . . this is the longest I have ever gone without taking Holy Communion since being ordained. I confess that I miss it greatly, and I am sure you feel the same.

After some thought and prayer, here's what we are going to do. We are going to celebrate Holy Communion by means of ZOOM this upcoming Sunday, April 26 at 10:30am.

Before I get to the logistics, the Gospel for this Sunday is the road to Emmaus ( Luke 24:13-35). Although there are many powerful aspects in this passage, it is the moment in which Jesus blesses and breaks bread that his two disciples realize that it is the resurrected Lord who is at their table! This Gospel is more than appropriate as we celebrate Holy Communion together on Sunday.

Now to the logistics:
  1. I am adding the ZOOM link below. If you have never used ZOOM it is quite easy.
  2. You will need to purchase bread and wine/grape juice . . . ZOOM is a great platform, but it doesn't have an option to teleport the Communion elements to you! I would suggest pita bread as it is easy to work with. Those of you with gluten allergies, I am sure you know what will work best.
  3. You will need to have the bread and wine/grape juice set when we begin. The setting does not need to be fancy, but I would encourage you to be deliberate in creating a sacred space for a holy experience.
  4. I am putting together a short Communion service that will include any responses that you will need to speak. It will also have the words you can use to share Communion with any member of your family or person in your household. This service will be on our website by Saturday for you to print or download.
  5. If you have never spoken the words, "The body of Christ given for you" while placing the broken bread into the hands of another person, then you are in for a true blessing!
  6. I realize that some of you live alone, but that is why we are celebrating Communion via ZOOM. You will not be alone. We will be together and sharing the same experience (even if it is virtually). As you commune yourself, know - without question - that Jesus Christ is present with you at your kitchen table giving you his very life!
  7. After Communion, you can either eat all of bread and drink all of wine/grape juice or you can go outside and find a place to scatter the elements. Give thanks for the way God uses the ordinary the gifts of creation to give us the extraordinary of new creation.
  8. Finally, and this is the most important word I can offer . . . you cannot make a mistake. You cannot mess this up! The Lord Jesus is the consummate Host and you are his guest of honor. Rest in that truth, do not worry, and enjoy the moment.
  9. Here's the ZOOM information and the link. 
Topic: Advent Lutheran Church 3rd Sunday After Easter Communion Service
Time: Apr 26, 2020 10:30am Eastern Time (US and Canada)

There are 2 options to join the Zoom meeting:

Click the following link.


Go to , click JOIN MEETING and enter in the following info:
Meeting ID: 933 4429 5511
Password: 241023
  • ZOOM will work best if you use a computer or tablet, so that you will be able to see more people. 
  • When you login to ZOOM, we will initially have everyone muted. This will make a big difference in eliminating background noise. However, you can hold the SPACE BAR down when you want to speak and then when you're finished you can release the SPACE BAR and you will be muted again.
Blessings to you all as we continue to be the body of Christ in the world, for the sake of the world.

Pastor Ward



APRIL 26, 2020
3rd Sunday of Easter
Communion at 10:30 (see Pastor Ward's letter above)

Go to and click on the link for the worship service on the home page
Bulletin available prior to worship on the website

All are welcome!
"Faces of Faith" begins this week!
To connect:  Go to  ---  click on About Us --- Member Dashboard -- zoom links -- look for Sunday School and click there

(A full description of this class is shown below)


This is the study of the final chapter of  "Entering the Passion of Jesus"
To connect:  Go to  ---  click on About Us --- Member Dashboard -- zoom links -- look for Wednesday Spiritual Development Class and click


Each week, we will have a devotion and community prayer on Thursday at 7:30pm.  The thought prompt for the week will be posted on the website by Wednesday but you don't need to read ahead to join.   (When you go to the website, scroll down on the home screen to Weekly Devotion and click on "What's In A Name". ) 

This week, we will be discussing a passage from the lectionary text using the ancient practice of Lectio Divina, divine reading. Go to home page for the link that will walk you through all the steps to this practice. On Thursday's Zoom call, we will discuss the thoughts that came up for you as you meditated on John 20:19-29. No time to meditate before the call? Join us anyway.  

To connect:  Go to  ---  click on About Us --- Member Dashboard -- zoom links -- look for Thursday Weekly Prayer and Devotion and click

If you have a devotion you would like to share with the community, email Carol Schierlmann at 


Now available by link on the website main screen


Faces of Faith
Join us for a new devotion-based study on 16 of the lesser-known stories of the Bible that have shaped our faith.
There are many heroes of the faith, people we admire and wish to be. However, there are even more ordinary people of faith-those doing what they can with what they have to make a difference. This study concentrates on 16 bold stories of those often overlooked in our biblical narratives. Using visual art and prompts for reflection, we hope to dig deep into the worlds of these characters, entering their stories with curiosity and openness to what they might teach us.
This study has arranged the stories so that they have a narrative arc beginning with Genesis and the Hebrew stories, moving to the minor characters in the backdrop of Jesus' birth and death, and concluding with the apostles and Christians who emerged in the years after the resurrection. We will try to tackle these stories in 4 weeks but will slow down if needed.
The Wednesday class will begin April 29 and run through May 20. This is a "lunch and learn class" so join us from 12:00-1:00 via the Zoom link on the website. C lick on About Us >>> Member Dashboard >>> zoom links.
The Sunday class will begin April 26 and run through May 24 with a break for Mother's Day. We begin at 11:00 on Sunday mornings and you will find a Zoom link on the same spot as described above.

Class is open to all interested persons
Our Wednesday Lunch and Learn group asked to dive into a Biblical study of women. I offered the study "Encountering God in T yrannical Texts"  as an option and they chose to dive in.   This will be a study in which we struggle together with some of the biblical references to women and how we are to interpret them in a faithful manner. To be clear, this is not a women's study - Pastor Ward is planning to join us as well. The description of the book and one of the reviews is below. Like any book, we are prepared, as students, to hear the voice of the author and then wrestle with it to our own conclusions. Frances Taylor Gench is a favorite of the Union Seminary students in Richmond. All interested persons are invited to join in the class.  If you would like to join us, go ahead and order your book on Amazon now because the shipping for books is a bit delayed. We will likely start the study mid-end of May at our regular time slot - Wednesday 12:00-1:00, and it will run about 6 weeks.  If there are questions, please contact Carol Schierlmann at
Description: The Bible includes any number of texts that have proved to be profoundly problematic; among them are Pauline texts that have circumscribed the lives and ministries of women throughout Christian history. What are people who honor Scripture to do with such texts, and what does it mean to speak of biblical authority in their presence? In "Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts", Frances Taylor Gench provides strategies for engaging such texts with integrity- that is, without dismissing them, whitewashing them, or acquiescing to them-and as potential sources of edification for the church.
Gench also facilitates reflection on the nature and authority of Scripture. "Encountering God in Tyrannical Texts" provides access to feminist scholarship that can inform preaching and teaching of problematic Pauline texts and encourages public engagement with them.
"Frances Taylor Gench tackles Paul's thorniest texts about women with trenchant criticism, in the best sense of the word. Steering a judicious course between blatant dismissal and blind acceptance, she honestly and respectfully assesses both the harmful and helpful dimensions of these passages for the body of Christ in Paul's day and ours. As useful as this book is, however, for understanding a set of controversial Pauline texts, it is even more valuable as a sterling model of biblical interpretation-of how to wrestle with God's word with full integrity. Written in an engaging personal style (this stuff really matters to Gench!) intertwined with first-class scholarly analysis, this work provides an ideal resource for seminary, university, and parish study. A must-read for men as well as women, guaranteed to stimulate much lively learning and discussion."
-F. Scott Spencer, Professor of New Testament and Biblical Interpretation, Baptist Theological Seminary


Our prayer list will continue to be updated and prayers shared in the Sunday morning recordings.
Please send any new requests to either Pastor Ward ( or to Pam Rhynes (
Look for prayer updates in the Prayers Requested section at the bottom of this and all eNEWS publications.



Carol received her Master of Arts in Christian Education on Saturday, April 18
from Union Presbyterian Seminary

Here is a photo of Carol and her husband, John, celebrating at their home after the virtual graduation ceremony!  



We're excited to invite you to a special Holy Land ADVENTure, January 19-29, 2021!

Journey into the stories of our faith, walking where Jesus walked, boating along the Sea of Galilee, quietly sitting where crowds listened to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. The itinerary is outlined in  this brochure, but you'll be amazed at how the story of faith will come alive in new and exciting ways.

Please contact Esther Abdel-Hameed, esther_uae@hotmail, for more information, or talk to former pilgrims, who traveled to the Holy Land in 2019: Pastor Ward, Jim Hintz, Susan and Dwight Hartsell, Sonya and Dale Tyson, Natalie Eklund, and Chris Connelly.

We hope you will join us.


New to the Radical Love Endeavor - short guided meditations. Try this 10 minute meditation on compassion .

Listen on your phone
Listen through the Advent website.
Go to >> Click Connections >> click Advent Podcast 
Scroll down the left side of the screen to April 20, 2020 - RLE Meditation on Compassion. 


Keep abreast of news from our North Carolina Synod


In case you missed it before .....

We Reached Our Goal!!

Thank you!! Advent's Sandwich-Making Ministry has reached its fundraising goal, thereby qualifying for a matching grant of $500 from ELCA World Hunger - and we surpassed that goal 10 days before our deadline! With the ELCA grant and your donations, we now have much-needed funds to help feed those who are in need during and after the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Thank you to everyone who donated so bountifully. As one person reminded me, "Of course we met our goal. We have always had a generous congregation!!".

You can still give, and all future gifts should be made directly to Advent.  
For checks, write Sandwich-Making on the memo line.
 and select "Other Special" and type in "Sandwich Making"


(This will continue to be a great need during this time)
(You will need your FOB to bring this to the church.   Place donations on the chairs right inside the double red doors to the office area.)

Food pantries and those impacted by Coronavirus need canned meat as it is typically more expensive than vegetables and beans. With the exception of the vegetarians out there, meat forms the basis for most meals and provides needed protein. 

Please bring canned chicken, pork, beef stew, beefaroni, Spam, and Vienna sausages. Sardines, tuna, and salmon are also quite welcome!  People also enjoy healthy snack foods such as granola bars, almonds, mixed nuts, beef jerky, and trail mix. 



Our adult class is wrapping up a study on the Passion of Jesus. As a concluding exercise, we are writing prayers to send to folks who are working in high-risk jobs during the pandemic. Upon reflection, we decided this would be a great project for everyone at Advent to participate in. Folks of all ages who are artistically inclined could make the cards beautiful and we can all offer words of gratitude and prayers. It can lead to some great family time or give someone who is in quarantine alone a good way to be a part of something that connects us all - God's love. As the beloved Mr. Rogers reminded us, whenever the world is in trouble, look for the helpers - they are always there. I know this will mean so much to the people who receive them.

If you or someone you love is a healthcare worker, first responder, hospital chaplain, or working at high risk essential jobs like police, fire, grocery stores and pharmacies, please email the name and address to me with the headline "Cards for Helpers." (If you think of other categories I may have missed, please send them too!) If you would like to get some names and write cards, send an email entitled "I Want to Help with Cards". Please use the email  . I will match up the names with the card writers and make sure everyone gets at least one card. Let's share God's love with the people who are working so hard to keep us all healthy, safe and fed. 

If there are any questions, please let me know.   Carol Schierlmann (



Social Ministry has provided a document with a number of ways we can serve our neighbors during this "Stay At Home" time of Coronavirus. 
Click here for the link to the document.



There has been a lot of publicity about people making face masks at home.   We received information produced by Atrium on how to go about doing this but the file is too large to add into this document.    If you are interested in learning how, send a note to and Pam will send the file to you.  

Any ongoing help and support will be greatly appreciated during these times  
  1. You may mail a check to the church at 8840 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28213. All offerings received will go to General Fund unless otherwise designated on the memo line.
  2. You may use bill pay through your personal bank or credit union.
  3. You may use Online Giving.   See the info below for details on using this tool. 
  4. If you have a FOB and want to bring your offering by the church, please place it on the counter near the door to Pastor Ward's office.
Using Online Giving:
  1. You may make a one-time gift through Online Giving or you may set up recurring donations which you can modify or cancel at any time.
  2. This tool allows you to use a credit card, debit card, or bank checking or savings account payment.
  3. The church does pay a small fee for payments made through cards and American Express is not permitted because their fee is too costly.   The tool asks if you'd like to add a small amount to offset our cost.
  4. You can also designate where you want your gift to go.... General Fund for operating expenses or other special fund. A number of special funds are built into the tool already but if your choice is not listed, you can choose OTHER and type the name of the fund you want to get credit. You can do multiple donations in one entry.
  5. To use this tool you can go to the Advent website ( and click on GIVE in the upper right-hand corner of the main screen, OR you can click on the icon here in this note, or you can click on the GIVE symbol that is in each weekly eNEWS.  



Office closed because of the Shelter in Place mandate.  T he church office normally would be open 10 hours a day, Monday through Thursday and closed on Fridays.  Contact staff by email or phone as both are being monitored by staff from home.

Making plans for an event at Advent, are you the leader of a small group or ministry leader with monthly meetings?  Whatever the event or gathering, be sure to let the church office know the date, time, and room or space.  Doing so is a big help in keeping the church online calendar current while communicating Advent activities and avoiding the possible mishap of overbooking a particular area.   Call us at 704-549-1555 or email Harriett ( or Pam  ( ).    Thanks, we appreciate your help.



Spiritual Development 

Come and join the Advent Book Club.   Meeting  normally at  6pm  at University Panera on dates specified BUT BECAUSE OF STAY AT HOME MANDATE, WILL BE ZOOMING AS LONG AS NECESSARY.   See connection info below.  All are welcome. Contact  Jennie Henderson ( ). 

April 29 -- Group will discuss what they are reading -- via Zoom
       Join Zoom Meeting:
        M eeting ID: 898 7721 6896   Password: 020339 

May 15 -- Group will discuss what they are reading -- via Zoom
       Join Zoom Meeting:
       Meeting ID: 872 9545 7901      Password: 003274  

June 12 -- "Endurance:  A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery" by Scott Kelly
           (Note:   Book titles are subject to change)

If you are interested in receiving short daily prayer and devotions, please email  with the name, cell phone# and email or you may sign up online at under the Prayer of the Day tab.

There are more Radical Love podcasts available.  Please take some quiet time to listen to these messages that have been created as a labor of love from your Spiritual Development and Worship Teams.  You can find a link to the podcasts on the website or you can access via ITunes or your podcast app on android phones. Feedback is welcome.  

Nurture, Support & Fellowship 

"A great way to connect with people"
"I love applying the Bible to my daily life"

NOTE:   Small groups can continue to meet using the church subscription to Zoom.  Contact the church office to make your request and schedule the day/time.

For men:  What does it mean to be a man in contemporary American society?  This group meets one Tuesday night a month in the evening and will discuss current events, read books and consult the ancient texts as they seek each other's wisdom and friendship.  See Pastor Ward for more info.

Theology on Tap:  This group meets with new friends from Newell Presbyterian Church monthly at the Armored Cow Brewery in the Sam's University parking lot at 7pm to discuss contemporary topics.  Upcoming schedule is as follows:  March 24, April 28, May 26.  Please see Pastor Ward or Carol Schierlmann with questions.

Micah 6:8 Ministry (new name for Social Justice group):  This group focuses on issues of racial and social justice.   They take advantage of local opportunities to learn about and advocate for social justice.   Meeting dates and times are at 7pm on the 4th Tuesday of the month.   Beginning book study of "America" Original Sin" by Jim Wallis.  Contact is Diane Wassum.

Bible in Action:  This group will study the Bible together utilizing many different platforms.    Contact is Pastor Ward. 

Join the closed "Advent Friends" Facebook group to stay abreast of events and see photos.

If you would like to receive occasional important Advent news via text message on your phone, please text 'Advent' to 96362 or scan the QR code on the notices posted around the building. 
(Please note:  you must be at least 16 years of age to participate in the program.  You may receive up to five (5) text messages per month for which you may be charged by your mobile phone carrier.  You may opt out of this service at any time by texting 'stop' to 96362 or by emailing

Don't forget - when shopping on Amazon, access the site through , and simply do all of your Amazon on-line ordering through Smile.Amazon.   Amazon will donate 0.5% of what you buy to Advent - not much, but if you're shopping anyway with Amazon, why not use Smile.  Every penny will be used in service to God and His people.

If you shop at Harris-Teeter, be sure your VIC card is linked to our Adventure PreSchool ...  we are group #5494.

Advent appreciates all gifts, but we also want to give credit where credit is due! If you give cash using the blank envelopes in the pews, please put your name on the envelope so we can properly record your donation. If you want part or all of your gift to go to any special fund other than the General Fund, please note that on the envelope also.


Your US Representative is determined by which district you live in. To find yours, use this link and key in your zip code:
The same goes for your NC state Senator and Representative. To locate yours, go to this site and key in your full address:

Some may prefer contacting local level leaders such as city council, county commissioners, and school board members. Here are sites at which to find such information. Mecklenburg County:

In our world of constant turmoil, we as Lutherans may be assisted in our mission to follow Christ by studying the ELCA's guidance on "Addressing Social Concerns".

As Scripture teaches, faith is active in love, and love calls for justice in the relationships and structures of society. Our grateful response to God's love and grace motivates us to live lives that demonstrate our responsibility for the well-being of society, communities and the environment.

In response to the ELCA call for working for social justice our Advent Social Ministry Board is expanding our mission to more intentionally support our congregation and our community in addressing social justice issues.  We now have a small group dedicated to that initiative called Micah 6:8.   If you are interested in getting regular updates on what's going on with social ministry/social justice initiatives in our church and in our community please join our AAA Google Group (Advent Advocacy Activities). You can join the Google Group by contacting Shannon Homesley at .

If you wish to financially aid those devastated by hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, or other natural disasters, Lutheran Disaster Response will directly reach the victims.  To donate, make your donation payable to Advent with disaster relief in the memo line, and we will send your contribution in with any others received.   

Youth at Advent         


Now available by link on the website main screen

To stay "in the know" about our Youth, please join our new Remind App by signing up here:


AUGUST 4-7, 2020     9AM-NOON


Prayers Requested 
Before adding someone to our prayers, please be sure you have the person's permission.  Please let us know when prayers may no longer be needed.  Names will be removed from the list after two months unless updates are received.  An asterisk (*) after a name means an update is needed.    Please contact the church office with updates ( or

Illness or Other Needs

Bill Aldred, friend Marylou & Dick Kuklentz 
Josh Baker, nephew of Abby Bostian 
Lemont Bell, friend of Gene Reid
Lauren Bradshaw, friend of Sarah Sue Hardinger 
Freddie Bridges, mother of Michelle Hagle 
Cedric, friend of Lisa Williams
Steve Cheyney, Campus Pastor
Ida & James Chisolm, members
Freda Christ, member 
Marie Cochran, member 
Carol DiRe, member
Angel Duggins, sister to Laurie Stimac's daughter-in-law 
Harriett Easley, Advent staff member
Charliese Eichler, sister of Marylou Kuklentz 
Mike Eleazer, father-in-law of the McKittrick's daughter 
Ann Farabee, sister of Abby Bostian
Eileen Folkerth, mother of Susan Goerke
Jennifer Gazda, member  
MaryJo Gouge, friend of Janet Rasmussen 
Michelle Griffin, friend of Jennifer Canipe 
Consuella Harge, friend of Marie Cochran 
Dwight Hartsell, member
Billy Johnson, son of co-worker of Jennifer Canipe 
Jeannie Jones, former Preschool teacher & friend of Marie Cochran 
Bill Kirkpatrick, friend of Gene Reid
Dick Kuklentz, member
Waylon Kuklentz, grandson of Dick & Marylou Kuklentz
Bobbi Larson, member
Phyllis Lester, mother of Sharon Thrower 
Ray Matthews, father of Jesse Priser
Matamba Mbayabu, friend of Advent
Hilda & Kenny Mertz, parents of Diane Jowers
Justin Mertz, nephew of Diane Jowers
Angelina Messina, mother of Rick Messina
Rick Messina, member
Dick Moser, the uncle of Sharon Thrower 
Charles "Ned" Patterson, uncle of Deloris Bainbridge
Dolores Reid, daughter-in-law of Gene & Brenda Reid
Doug Robertson, brother of Anne Brown 
Eric Sanburg, former member *
Richard Schulz, brother-in-law of Dan & Jan Otolski
Schwarzer family, family of Tanya DeGrace
Pam Simyon, daughter-in-law of Dick & Mary Lou Kuklentz
Myra Steele, sister-in-law of Jennifer Frisina
Wylee Stephens, grandson of Harriett & Darrell Easley
Cheri Strickland, member
Mary Faith Strickland, member
Dale Trabilsy, grandson by marriage of Peg Buckstad 
Laura Tucker, friend of Marylou Kuklentz
Harold Twitty, member
Connie Van Brunt, mother of Ayisha McMillan-Cravotta
Herbert Watson, member
Beverly Williams, member
Lewis Williams, member
Renaté Wilson, mother of Tanya DeGrace
Gerry Wisner, brother of Terry Wisner


Deaths  -- We remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died, e specially ....

Kenneth Efird, cousin of Ed Efird on April 4
Louise Bekkenhuis, step-mother of Brenda Cicenia on April 4
Vance, friend of Jennie Henderson & Stephanie Estrella

Always keep ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and NC Synod Bishop Tim Smith in your prayers.  
For additions or updates to this listing:
Please contact Pastor Ward at, or 704-549-1555 ext. 102
or Harriett Easley at, or 704-549-1555 ext. 101 or Pam Rhynes at ext 103