"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world."—Helen Keller
August 18, 2020
From the bishop's office
Solidarity Beyond the Walls
When members of the Church of the Abiding Savior, Lutheran in Durham began discussing prisons in their adult Sunday School class in early 2018, they did not know that life-changing new relationships would come from it. But that is what happened.

Would you like to learn more? And perhaps assist in the ministry? Attend an orientation session on September 12 or on September 20.
God's beautiful dark works
In her August column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton says, “Darkness and blackness and night are too often contrasted with lightness and whiteness and day, and found deficient.” She wants us to “consider the beautiful dark works of God.” Read her column in English or in Spanish.
Bible Study with Bishop Smith
Have you been missing your adult Sunday school class? Or maybe you wanted more after the synod's summertime journey through Matthew? Join this first-ever synodwide study of the Gospel of Mark led by Bishop Smith every Wednesday in September and October (beginning Sept. 9) from 7-8 p.m. The online class will be taught via Zoom.

"God's work. Our hands." Sunday
On Sunday, Sept. 13, congregations will observe “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. This year our church — and our world — are living through the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing has changed the way we worship and serve. But the need is great, and God’s church is at work. We encourage you to plan your day of service in compliance with local health guidelines. Watch an invitational video from Bishop Eaton. Find ideas for "Service in the Time of COVID-19" along with other resources for the ELCA's day of service.
Hunger in the Time of COVID-19
Rick Steves, guidebook author and travel TV host; the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA; and the Rev. Shelley Bryan Wee, bishop of the NW Washington Synod; invite you to an online benefit for ELCA World Hunger with hopes of raising $250,000 to confront hunger in the time of COVID-19. This Zoom virtual fundraiser is Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. Learn more; register today.
Moments with Matthew
The synod's Engage the Bible Task Group is grateful that so many of you encountered God's imagination with us through the synod's summer Bible reading plan, Moments with Matthew. We hope you were challenged and inspired. If you'd like to see any of the readings again, they are gathered on our website and have been gathered into a PDF. We especially appreciate all of the women who wrote this year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women!

LWR fall in-gathering postponed
Due to the virus and our “new normal,” the NC Synod Women of the ELCA have made the decision to postpone the in-gathering of quilts and kits for Lutheran World Relief (LWR) this fall. Many of you are quilting and assembling kits for LWR and your efforts are greatly appreciated. If you do not have room to store the items already prepared you can ship them directly to LWR.

Quilts and kits lost in Beirut explosion
Lutheran World Relief (LWF) recently learned that three 40-foot shipping containers filled with thousands of handmade quilts and school, personal, and baby care kits were destroyed in the devastating August 4 explosions at the port of Beirut, Lebanon.
The shipment was destined for refugees living in Lebanon, principally from Syria and the Palestinian territories.

Of mourning
Pastor Dick Dallman (retired, Matthews) died on Saturday, August 8, from complications due to the coronavirus. We mourn with his family. Read the Special e-News here.

Of healing
Ray Barnhardt (retired, NC Synod staff; member, Beth Eden, Newton), is slowly recovering at home after a medical scare and stay in the hospital (not COVID-related).
Bob Northrup, husband of Pastor Pam Northrup (St. Paul, Hamlet), was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. They covet your prayers as they wait for a clearer diagnosis and a treatment plan.

For schools
O God, source of all goodness: we give you thanks for the gift of reason and the opportunity for education. Bless our schools, that they may be places of learning and safety where teachers challenge the minds and nurture the hearts of students. Grant that teachers and students may work together in mutual respect and find joy in the challenges of academic life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.—ELW prayers
News from across the church
A different kind of Homecoming
Our members say, “We are small in number but large in love, and are happy to have the little antique organ back home to help us worship God.”

St. Paul, Statesville, usually celebrates Homecoming the second Sunday in September each year but it will be quite different this year.

Pastor Rich Hites publishes novel
Pastor Rich Hites (retired, Hickory) has written his third and final novel in a three-book “Gospel Series.” This newest novel is titled “Great and Beloved Physician,” and is an action/adventure fiction of “what might have been” in the shaping of St. Luke, the Gospel writer. The saga has betrayal, kidnapping, and political intrigue and protests not unlike our own 21st century news.

Trinity Landing begins construction
After 38 years of planning and dreaming, Lutheran Services Carolinas is happy to announce that Trinity Landing, a waterfront senior living community in Wilmington, has begun construction. The project is slated to be complete in 2022.

The dream of Trinity Landing began 38 years ago with a donation of 30 acres of land on Masonboro Loop Road by Abba Lossen Crumpler and her niece Mae McFarland in memory of Captain Tom and Annette Lossen and their children. Crumpler was a member of St. Paul’s, Wilmington.

Resources for your congregation
Books of the Bible animated video
Sparkhouse released this Books of the Bible video last week. Warning: it is very, very catchy thanks to the masterful songcrafting of Justin Roberts and the tasty production decisions of John Hermanson. The animation was created by Paavo Rundman, age 16, from Edina, MN. (If you recall the original covers of Splash! curriculum, he was the baby on the cover.)

Engaging "Zoomed Out" Youth
Are you struggling to keep young people engaged online? Join Sarah Leer and youth from her congregation to talk about how they keep online connections fresh and fun, but also how they engage each other safely offline in this season of life in this FREE webinar on Wednesday, September 2 at 7:00 p.m.

Lay School goes digital in NW WI
The Northwest Synod of Wisconsin has a strong Lay School of Ministry with 28 years of experience in training insightful lay people to be faithful in their daily lives. This year the whole program will be taught on Zoom and lay people from across the church are invited to register and learn with them. They offer two levels of training as well as continuing education yearly. If you are a lay person who would like to learn more about the Bible, the church, and your call to faith, consider applying today.
Did you know?
Let's celebrate together! Since our synod didn't gather for an assembly or a gathering, we didn't get to celebrate the milestones—anniversaries, retirements, and lives well-lived—that normally come with getting together. Here they are!
Synod E-News | NC Synod, ELCA | 704-633-4861 | nclutheran.org