March 25, 2020
Dear Advent Family,
As of writing this letter, Mecklenburg County has issued a shelter in place mandate that begins tomorrow (Thursday, March 26). On Monday, I was notified by Bishop Tim Smith that all congregations in the NC Lutheran Synod should not resume gatherings larger than 10 people until after May 12. This notification follows directives from both the CDC and Governor Cooper as our country takes necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID19.
As a community of faith, who loves God and serves neighbor, we understand the necessity of these directives; however, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge my own sadness (perhaps selfishly) that we will not be able to gather together "physically" on Easter Sunday.
Nevertheless, the good news of Jesus Christ's resurrection cannot ever be quarantined and our "Alleluias" will be raised on Easter no matter where we are . . . declarations of new life and hope for the world!
So in the weeks ahead, how do we share our lives together even when we are apart?
Here are several pragmatic steps we have taken to support the life of our community.
- The church staff will still be checking e-mails and phone messages from home. Please contact us if you have any needs.
- Prayer concerns can be sent to Pam Rhynes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prayer concerns will be added to the abbreviated eNews each week.
- Pastoral concerns will be fielded by me (Pastor Ward).
- Other needs, such as physical or financial, will be fielded by Sharon Thrower.
- A plan is underway for each Advent family to be contacted weekly by someone within our church community, who may be a fellow board member, Sunday school teacher, small group leader, or perhaps another brother or sister from your Advent community. The primary purpose of these contacts is to stay in touch and to make sure all members are supported if any needs arise.
- Board meetings, small groups, and Sunday school classes are being conducted by ZOOM which is available on the internet. If you are interested in joining an ongoing class, we can walk you through the steps to set up ZOOM.
- Modified worship services will be available each Sunday morning at 10:00am on FaceBook (search Facebook for Advent Lutheran Church ELCA Charlotte NC) and then will be linked to our website shortly after.
- Creative ways to lead and post the final Wednesday Lenten service (April 1) as well as Holy Week and Easter services are currently being explored. We will inform the congregation when a plan has been implemented.
- The two primary points of contact and communication with the Advent community will be the church website (www.adventlu.org) and eNews communications. Stay in close contact with both.
- The 2020-21 stewardship campaign has been put on hold until further notice.
The entire pastoral staff is working faithfully to keep us all connected through worship, spiritual development, small groups, and pastoral care. Our minds are working overtime as we continue to dream new and creative ways to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another.
As I close, know that I feel a certain emptiness in my life because we have not been able to gather for worship as one body. I dearly miss watching our congregation sharing the peace with one another, holding hands during the Lord's Prayer, and sharing the gift of Holy Communion as we gather around the altar and beneath the glorious outstretched hands of the risen Christ who greets us each time with enter the sanctuary. But, this season is not forever and I am confident that our coming together as one body for worship (when that day arrives) will be far sweeter and dearer than we can even imagine!
Finally, I know that many of you miss sharing Holy Communion together, so I have written a short blessing to remind you of the gift of Christ that you always carry with you.
Christ, you have met us at this very Table so many times before.
Now we ask for a sense of your promised presence once more.
In this time we must wait our turn to taste your holy feast;
But as we gather at other tables, fill us with your gracious peace.
Pastor Ward Misenheimer
Advent Lutheran Church
Back in 1527, a deadly plague hit Martin Luther's (the theologian) town of Wittenberg and he wrote a letter to a friend (Volume 43, Pg. 132) explaining how churches should deal with such complicated circumstances. Here's what he said:
"I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me and I have done what He has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God."
WORSHIPPING IN THE ADVENT WAY DURING DIFFICULT TIMES!
Sunday morning worship, March 29, 10am
Available live at 10am on Facebook -- Search Facebook for Advent Lutheran Church ELCA Charlotte NC (not Advent Friends)
on YouTube (search for Advent Lutheran Church Charlotte)
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
SUNDAYS by Zoom.
This is a continuation of "Entering the Passion of Jesus".
Carol will communicate with those who normally attend with details on how to connect online through Zoom.
If you would like to join the group for the first time, contact her at
. See article below on Congregational Lenten Book Study for description of book.
WEDNESDAY LENTEN PROGRAMS
Available on Advent Friends by 12 noon on Wednesdays
WEDNESDAYS -- LUNCH AND LEARN
Wednesday 'Lunch and Learn' will now be 'Zoom and Learn' at 11:45.
Carol will communicate with those who normally attend with details on how to connect online through Zoom.
See article below on Congregational Lenten Book Study for description of the book.
Plans are underway for doing a children and youth Sunday School online. More information coming when available.
Our prayer list will continue to be updated.
Look for prayer updates in the Prayers Requested section at the bottom of this and all eNEWS publications.
GIVING DURING THIS TIME OF LIMITED CHURCH OPERATIONS
Any ongoing help and support will be greatly appreciated during these times
- 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.
- You may use bill pay through your personal bank or credit union.
- You may use Online Giving. See the info below for details on using this tool.
- 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:
- 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.
- This tool allows you to use a credit card, debit card, or bank checking or savings account payment.
- 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.
- 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.
- To use this tool you can go to the Advent website (adventlu.org) 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.
WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S BEEN GOING ON AT ADVENT THIS WEEK??? TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PHOTOS ....
No eggs!!! No problem! Found some bread (but it was hard) and found willing workers! Made 200 PB&J's. These sandwiches and a tray of cookies are being delivered to Urban Ministry this week. In addition they added a dessert to our existing Advent Has Heart bags which will be used for "grab and go" lunches for homeless neighbors and others in need. Then the rest of supplies were loaded up to take to another location where an assembly line will be formed to make even more "grab and go" lunches that will be used after this week. Many of these teenagers help each week with the egg salad ministry under the watchful eye of Kera Hebert. Many many thanks to Emily,
Trevor, Nemo, and Kyle, for their help today along with Ben, James and Corn who are also regular helpers. God's love with skin on!
CONGREGATIONAL BIBLE STUDY FOR LENT
SUNDAY MORNINGS AT 11 AND WEDNESDAYS AT 11:45
ALL CONDUCTED VIA ZOOM
All the congregation is invited to participate in a congregational Lenten Bible Study that is underway covering the book "Entering the Passion of Jesus". If you miss a session, you will still be able to participate in other weeks. The book is available on Amazon or other bookseller. The 6 chapters of this book are being discussed. They are:
Jerusalem, Risking Reputation
The Temple: Risking Righteous Anger
Teachings: Risking Challenge
The Fist Dinner: Risking Rejection
The Last Supper: Risking the Loss of Friends
Gethsemane: Risking Temptation
"MEAT" THE NEED FOR MARCH
(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 always need canned meat due to it typically being 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!
TO ALL WHO HELPED WITH THE CHURCH CLEAN-UP ON SATURDAY, MARCH 14!!!!
Property is very pleased with all the many tasks that were accomplished. Stay tuned to the announcements for another work day happening during the summer!
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.
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.
Come and join the Advent Book Club. Meeting at
at University Panera on dates specified. All are welcome. Contact Jennie Henderson (
April 17 -- "The Soul of an American President: The Untold Story of Dwight D. Eisenhower's Faith" by Alan Sears (will be done by ZOOM)
May 15 -- "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury
June 12 -- "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery" by Scott Kelly
(Note: Book titles are subject to change)
PRAYER AND MEDITATION OF THE DAY
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.
ADVENT PODCAST UPDATE
There are 3 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
ADVENT SMALL GROUPS
"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.
COMMUNICATE AND CONNECT:
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
USE "SMILE" WHEN SHOPPING ON AMAZON.COM
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.
BENEFIT ADVENTURE PRESCHOOL
If you shop at Harris-Teeter, be sure your VIC card is linked to our Adventure PreSchool ... we are group #5494.
GIVING ENVELOPES IN THE PEWS
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.
USING YOUR VOICE TO SHAPE LEGISLATION
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
To stay "in the know" about our Youth, please join our new Remind App by signing up here:
UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS
AUGUST 4-7, 2020 9AM-NOON
REGISTRATION FORMS AND VOLUNTEER SIGN-UPS SOON TO FOLLOW.
CONTACTS: CAROL SCHIERLMANN OR BROOKE SUMMEROUR
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 (
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
Peggy Buckstad, member
Lynn Butts, extended family of Harriett Easley
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
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
Chris Jackson,frequent visitor
Billy Johnson, son of co-worker of Jennifer Cannipe
Mark Johnson, co-worker of Jennifer Canipe
Christian Jones, grandson of co-worker (no member name provided)
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
Gerald Lee, friend of Marylou Kuklentz
Phyllis Lester, mother of Sharon Thrower
Ray Matthews, father of Jesse Priser
Matamba Mbayabu, friend of Advent
Hilda Mertz, mother of Diane Jowers
Justin Mertz, nephew of Diane Jowers
Angelina Messina, mother of Rick Messina
Rick Messina, member
Misenheimer Family, members
Dick Moser, the uncle of Sharon Thrower
Charlotte Nodine, Mother-in-law of Sarah Beth Mortensen Nodine
Chip Priser, member
Dolores Reid, daughter-in-law of Gene and Brenda Reid
Shannon Roberson, member
Doug Robertson, brother of Anne Brown
Donald Roth, nephew of Kalvin Roberson *
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
Cheri Strickland, member
Mary Faith Strickland, member
Dale Trabilsy, grandson by marriage of Peg Buckstad
Harold Twitty, member
Herbert Watson, member
Leah Weist, niece of friend of Diane Jowers
Beverly Williams, member
Lewis Williams, member
Renaté Wilson, mother of Tanya DeGrace
Cedric, friend of Lisa Williams
Birth of Lily Grace Stimac, born February 29, daughter of Jesse & Jasmine Stimac, grand-daughter of Laurie Stimac
Praise and thanksgiving for God's mercies to the Mertz family
Deaths -- We remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died, e
Richard Lester, father of Sharon Thrower on March 3
Marie von Seggern, mother of Karl von Seggern on March 9
Richard Graven, father of Richelle Draper on March 13
Emma Jean Watson, mother of Herbert Watson on March 20
Catherine Jacobs, extended family member of Dwight & Susan Hartsell on March 22
Theodore Watson Sr., grandfather of Brooke Watson-Summerour on March 24
Always keep ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and NC Synod Bishop Tim Smith in your prayers.
For additions or updates to this listing: