"When peoples care for you and cry for you, they can straighten out your soul."—Langston Hughes
February 2, 2021
From the Bishop's Office
Ain't It the Truth?
The Bible lifts up competing narratives as a foundational human dilemma. While all of creation God proclaims, “very good,” God also warns the first humans that even in paradise there are boundaries, that enhance the greatest gifts of all—relationship with God and with one another. The tree of which they are instructed not to eat is the Tree of all knowledge of good and evil.

Lenten Bible Study with Bishop Smith
Back by popular demand! Bishop Tim Smith will lead a synodwide Bible Study on the book of Isaiah on Thursdays from February 11 to March 25 at 7 p.m. The class will be virtual via Zoom. Register here to receive an email with the Zoom link. If you miss a session, recordings will be available for watching at your convenience. All are welcome; spread the word!

Postponed: LYO Assembly 2021
Due to the extension of the stay-at-home order for NC, we are unable to gather in February to produce this event with our LYO Board. Thus, we are postponing LYO until the weekend of April 17-18. We hope you will be able to join us for LYO at the later date! The new registration deadline is Monday, March 15. All participants registered by March 15 will now receive an LYO t-shirt and mask!

Tell it! Youth Group Video Contest
The synod’s Engage the Bible Task Force challenges youth groups to get creative and film their retelling of a Bible story—this year all while following the synod's re-gathering guidelines. (That means outside, social distancing, wearing masks, etc.; or completely separately; or via Zoom. Talk about getting creative!) The top three submissions will be voted on at the LYO Assembly. Enter for a chance to earn cash prizes! 2021 submissions are due by March 10. Planning to submit this year? Email us.

Lutheran Men in Mission Gathering
The 98th Gathering of the North Carolina Lutheran Men in Mission (NCLMIM) will be held virtually on Saturday, March 6. First, Lexington, will host this virtual gathering by Zoom. The theme this year is "Anchored in Christ." No matter the storm we are grounded in the Gospel. We invite all men around the state to join us.

NC Women of the ELCA
The board of NC Women of the ELCA has canceled all events for the foreseeable future, including the One Day Retreat in February, all Spring Conference Gatherings, and the Spring Retreat at Kure Beach, due to the pandemic. Plans continue for the 2021 NC SWO Annual Gathering at Lenoir-Rhyne University in
June; however, LRU is currently virtual-only and will be making decisions about when to open the campus for events later this spring.

Coming Soon! Creation Care Sunday
The NC Synod’s Environmental Justice Task Force has created an environmentally-focused liturgy for your congregation to use on April 18 (the Sunday before Earth Day) or another appropriate time. In addition to worship resources, there will also be a Sunday school curriculum for students of all ages—complete with activities, Bible studies, discussion questions, and additional ways to supplement continued learning. The resources are free to use and easy to customize to your needs! If this sounds like a resource that would benefit your congregation, please complete and submit this form.
ADST Leads Census of People of Color
As we continue to lean into being a church committed to racial justice, the synod’s African Descent Strategy Team (ADST) is leading a census of people of color in our synod. Please send this form to people of color in your congregation and invite them to add their contact information. Our deep desire is to create a community throughout the synod for leaders of color to experience belonging, engage in leadership, and enrich our partnership with their voices, gifts, and presence.

Worship Service Provided for Easter 2
Please know that the synod will offer a full recorded service for the Sunday following Easter as we did with Lessons & Carols. It will be available from the shared Google folder by noon on Monday of Holy Week.
Of mourning
C. P. Shaw, father of Pastor Pierson Shaw (Bethany, Hickory) died on January 19. We mourn with his family. Read the full obituary.
Lois Wilda Shipley, mother of Deacon Holly Shipley (Holy Trinity, Chapel Hill), died on January 22. We mourn with her family. Read the full obituary.

Of healing
Pastor Tommy Lineberger (Trinity, Vale) was hospitalized with Covid pneumonia but is now recovering at home.
Pastor Linda McHenry (St. Mark's, Asheville) as she seeks treatment for her new diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis.

An evening prayer
O Lord my God, thank you for bringing this day to a close. Thank you for giving me rest in body and soul. Your hand has been over me and has guarded and preserved me. Forgive my lack of faith and any wrong that I have done today, and help me to forgive all who have wronged us. Let me sleep in peace under your protection, and keep me from all the temptations of darkness. Into your hands, I commend my loved ones. I commend to you my body and soul. O God, your holy name be praised. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
News from across the Church
Region 9's Crumley Archives Banquet Rescheduled
The 2020-2021 "Friends of the Archives" Banquet has again been rescheduled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The banquet will now be held on Friday, October 29, at Lutheridge in Arden, NC. The Friends of the Archives will honor the Rev. Don and Mrs. Brenta Poole; Lutheridge, on its 75th anniversary; and the NC Synod. More details to come.

LTSS Virtual Information Sessions
Got questions? Join Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) any Thursday on Zoom, where our Coordinator of Seminary Enrollment will be available to chat about your questions regarding the degree programs we offer. Or maybe you have questions about the way Spirit is whispering in your life, questions about discerning a call to ministry? Join the Zoom.

Living Lutheran: Davey and Goliath
For many children of the 1960s and 1970s, it was a familiar scene: Sunday-morning sunlight pouring in through the window as they sprawled on the living room floor. From the TV, a voice bellowed: “Oh, Da-a-a-vey.” The voice belonged to young Davey’s talking dog, Goliath, in the stop-motion animated series Davey and Goliath that premiered 60 years ago, in February 1961. Living Lutheran’s feature story “An Animated Anniversary” lifts up what the iconic series did for the church and includes a timeline of milestones as well as quotes from Lutherans about what the series means to them. (“Congratulations, Davey and Goliath, on 60 years of not only entertaining children but showing love and grace and heart.”)

Resources for Your Congregation
Spiritual companionship opportunities
Pastor Pam Northrup (St. Paul, Hamlet) is organizing two spiritual companionship groups that will begin on Thursday, February 18. Groups will meet on Zoom, one at 10 a.m., the other at 6:30 p.m. These two groups are for laypeople and the cost is $20. Consider adding this as a new spiritual practice for Lent. Register asap! [Rostered ministers, if you’re interested in a group with other rostered ministers, please e-mail Pastor Northrup. She is also available for individual spiritual companionship.]

Ignite the Church Conference 2021
Ignite the Church Conference 2021 has gone online! These free monthly webinars focus on key areas. During the pandemic, church leaders have been thrust into the midst of our nation’s unresolved efforts to address systemic racism and ensure equal justice for all. While the church should be a great place to cast a “common good” vision, in this season of extreme polarity engaging in honest conversation is often laced with tension. On Thursday, February 18, the webinar, Justice and the Common Good, features a diverse panel of church leaders who will share their thoughts on this important topic and participate in a Q&A following their presentations.

What do Lutherans say about...
...Gender Justice? Explore issues of faith, sexism, and justice, and learn how Lutherans are seeking justice and equity for all.

Did you know?
National Council of Churches' (NCC) Faith & Fire Conversations are worth a look. Check out the videos here; listen to the podcasts here. Also, NCC members were part of the virtual National Prayer Service during the 59th Presidential Inaugural.
Synod E-News | NC Synod, ELCA | 704-633-4861 | nclutheran.org