"The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall."—Nelson Mandela
August 4, 2020
From the bishop's office
Sabbatical and why we are so confused
And just like that, it’s August, and my July sabbatical is a memory. While sabbatical is in the NC Synod Compensation Guidelines and I missed my scheduled fall of 2015 sabbatical in Atlanta because of a Holy Spirit glitch, I’m keenly aware that sabbatical isn’t something most of our rostered ministers ever get. For that matter, few outside of academic settings ever do. I’m grateful. If not sabbatical, I hope you have had or will soon have some time away this summer to rejuvenate.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaias
As this publication is being assembled, Isaias is a Tropical Storm with the potential to re-organize and make landfall as a hurricane somewhere on the coast of the Carolinas. If you, your church building, or your congregation members experience damage from this storm, please be in touch with your conference dean and/or the synod office to keep us informed.

Face coverings are now available
Earlier this year, the synod followed up on an offer from FEMA to request face coverings (masks) for use by congregations "in the operations of their organization." In the past two weeks, a phenomenal crew of folks at St. Luke’s, Mt. Ulla, received our synod-requested supply of 200 boxed units (500 masks per box) into their multi-purpose building. The masks are now available for NC Synod congregations to request and receive. Follow these steps:
  1. Read the attached information to ensure you know the details.
  2. Complete and submit this form by AUGUST 15 (only one form per congregation).
  3. In mid-September, pick up your congregation's masks from the pick-up location identified for your conference.
Questions? Email Deacon GeoRene Jones, NC Synod Liaison for Lutheran Disaster Response.

“God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday
On Sunday, September 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. This year, we encourage you to participate in acts of service in compliance with local health guidelines. Acts of service can happen online, or you can contribute to a project from your home or from a safe physical distance while wearing a mask. As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors—even if these acts of service look different this year.

YouthQuake 2020 is canceled
We regret that, due to COVID-19, we are canceling YouthQuake 2020 for this fall. We will reassess in early 2021 and hope to be surrounded by our favorite 3rd-5th graders soon. Your continued patience and understanding is appreciated.
Call-in for recorded worship
Did you know you can call-in to listen to worship offered by congregations across the synod? This toll-free number is available any time during the week (Monday thru Sunday) to hear the previous Sunday's recorded worship. Call 833-924-1988 to access. (Press 1=full worship; press 2=sermon; press 3=prayers.) Share this number widely with those who are not able to worship online or in person.
Rostered minister transitions
Pastor Jason Huebner has been called as associate pastor at Saint Peter, Southport, beginning on August 16.
Pastor Paul Myers has been called as pastor at Church of the Abiding Savior, Durham.
Pastor Tim Kneuss has been called as pastor at Mt. Moriah, China Grove. He is transferring from the SC Synod.
Pastor Grace Gravelle has been called as pastor at Holy Trinity, Raleigh, beginning on August 24. She is transferring from the Minneapolis Area Synod.
Pastor Kenneth Lane has transferred from the Virginia Synod, now living in Weaversville.
Pastor Ralph Heller has transferred to the Metro DC Synod.
Pastors Sharon and Tim Taylor have transferred to the Florida-Bahamas Synod.
Pastor David Kiel has transferred to the Lower Susquehanna Synod.
Of mourning
Bonnie Edwards Bost (Salisbury), widow of Pastor Floyd Bost, died on July 19. We mourn with her family. Read the full obituary here.
Sharon Annette Stancher, mother of Pastor Laura Henrik (St. John's, Salisbury), died on July 23. We mourn with her family. Read the full obituary here.
Pastor R. Douglas Fritz Sr. (retired), uncle of Pastor Dick Fritz (retired) and Pastor Mike Riley (retired), who served several congregations in NC, died on July 28. We mourn with his family. Read the full obituary here.

Of healing
Sandra Lewis, mother of Pastor Judy Drysdale (Old St. Paul's, Newton), and mother-in-law of Pastor David Drysdale (Zion, Hickory), is out of ICU and breathing on her own, but the family asks for prayers as they struggle with consistent nursing care.

Of celebration
Sandra Cline (NC Synod Call Process Coordinator) was recently welcomed as one of two new directors to the National Lutheran Choir Board of Directors for a three-year term.

In a time of conflict, crisis, disaster
O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. —Evangelical Lutheran Worship, prayers for worship
News from across the church
SC Synod elects new bishop
The Rev. Virginia Aebischer was elected July 25 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South Carolina Synod of the ELCA. The election took place during the synod assembly, held July 25 online.

The Rev. Virginia Aebischer was elected on the fifth ballot, with 280 votes. The Rev. Jacqueline Utley, received 211 votes.

Stewards of our bodies at every stage
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

At 6:30 a.m., my son approaches me. “Dad, can I do some yoga?” All of 6 years old, he’s hauling out his yoga mat from behind the living room chair. “Sure, buddy,” I say. He rolls out the well-worn mat while I turn on the recorded guide.

LRU's Equity and Diversity Institute
Dedicated equity advocates work tirelessly to untangle their connections to bias. They eagerly face challenges and actively pursue positive change. To help inspire social change, Lenoir-Rhyne University has launched the Lenoir-Rhyne Equity and Diversity Institute (LRED) certificate program. "Essentially, it will be a training program for companies or individuals who want to infuse equity into the work they do," said Dr. Michael Dempsey, dean and director of the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville. "I also envision it as a learning opportunity for individuals who simply want to improve their community."

Resources for your congregation
Bless students' devices
For many churches, one of the markers of the beginning of the fall program year is the “Blessing of the Backpacks.” It is a ritual that helps our faith communities bless children as they return back to school, assures both children and adults that God is with them wherever they go, and reminds us, as Martin Luther wrote, that everything inside that backpack can be a means by which we can serve and bless our neighbors. With the possibility that some students will be learning online this fall, it's also appropriate to bless the digital devices that facilitate teaching and learning.

Retirement and Taxes webinar
Join the Thrivent Member Network for an exclusive online webinar, Retirement and Taxes, with guest speaker, Ed Slott, on Thursday, August 6, at 8:00 p.m. This webinar is for you if you have spent a lifetime saving for retirement and now want to know how taxes will impact those savings and what you can do about it. You will gain insight on balancing your retirement security with the impact of taxes. Ed Slott combines his extensive IRA tax knowledge with humor and stories that anyone can relate to.

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.

Wurlitzer organ donation
Wurlitzer electronic organ 44” wide x 25” deep x 36” tall. Includes bench and user manual. Located in northern Durham county. Must pick up. Questions? Contact Bob and/or Betsy Ellington-Boynton. See photos here.
Job opening: Director of Youth & Children's Ministry
Holy Cross, Athens, Georgia, is seeking a Director of Youth & Children's Ministry. Learn more, find the job description and application process here.
Did you know?
Gleaning for the World, based in Concord, VA, shares the love of God at home and around the world through the efficient delivery of high quality, life-saving supplies to victims of poverty and devastation by connecting corporate surplus to critical needs. Learn how they've responded in the first half of 2020.
Synod E-News | NC Synod, ELCA | 704-633-4861 | nclutheran.org