"Until the killing of black men, black mothers' sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother's sons, we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens."
—Ella Baker, 1964
June 2, 2020
From the bishop's office
Take a deep breath
“I can’t breathe.” So it was for lumps of clay at creation that God called human beings. So God breathed breath into them, animating them, empowering them—in short, giving them life. But not only life like all of the other plants and creatures. No, these creatures were special, made in the very image of God, and thus entrusted with moral deliberation and choices that would have implications for their perfect relationship with God, with each other, and with the creation itself.

Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine
In this time where we mourn and lament the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, many are wondering what we can do. Stay tuned for more anti-racism resources. For now, we invite you to a live streamed worship service on June 17 at 6:30 p.m. to commemorate the Emanuel 9 and our siblings of African Descent who have been killed at the hands of racism and hatred. Please direct questions to Pastor Danielle Kosanovich DeNise and Pastor Athena Thomasson-Bless .

Surprise! A new logo for the synod
Over the last two years the North Carolina Synod has been clarifying our purpose. Quite simply we exist for the sake of the world so that all may know the grace and love of Jesus Christ. With this purpose comes a new logo—a visual representation of this call: a call to be first centered in Jesus Christ and sealed with the cross of Christ forever AND a call to open ourselves, our doors, our scriptures to engage, radically welcome, and love God’s diverse creation. Be sure to watch the video, "We are the NC Synod" celebrating our new synod logo!
Re-Gathering recommendations
Recommendations  proposed by the synod's Re-Gathering Task Group and approved by Synod Council on Saturday, May 30, are now available. Please note that these recommendations include an extension—at least until Phase 3 in NC begins—that we  not gather as congregations indoors in groups of more than 10 or outdoors in groups of more than 25. Rationales and guidelines for whenever congregations do begin to re-gather are included.

Re-gathering Zoom call
All rostered ministers, congregation council presidents, and other congregational leaders working on re-gathering are invited to join a Zoom call with the bishop and bishop's staff on Tuesday, June 2 , at 7 p.m. CLICK THIS Zoom link  to join by computer or smartphone [Meeting ID: 912 2874 5614
Password: none] Join by phone: +1 646 876 9923 and enter the meeting ID
Holy Trinity Sunday worship
The bishop's staff will provide a video recording for Sunday, June 7, Holy Trinity Sunday, worship which can be accessed from the synod's YouTube channel and Facebook page by the end of this week. We will use the video sermon provided by Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton for this Sunday. There will be Spanish subtitles, a printed text in English and Spanish, and it will be available asap; watch the link on the COVID-19 response page. Also, the staff will offer  live worship this coming Sunday at 10 a.m. which will also feature Bishop Eaton's sermon. This worship is available by Zoom for online or call-in connection. CLICK THIS Zoom link to join.  [Meeting ID: 930 7702 1591 Password: none Join by phone: +1 646 876 9923] 
Call-in recorded option for worship
The synod office has subscribed to a call-in plan which offers a new option for folks worshiping across the synod. Call the toll-free number any time during the week (Monday thru Sunday) to hear the previous Sunday's recorded worship; you may call  833-924-1988 to access. Press 1 to hear the full worship; press 2 to hear the sermon; and press 3 to hear the prayers. Please publicize this number widely, especially to those folks who may not be able to worship online or in-person.
Agapé+Kure Beach Ministries
The Board of Directors and leadership staff at Agap é+Kure Beach Ministries have made the difficult decision to suspend all summer camp programming for resident and day camps in the summer of 2020. Watch the video announcement and read more. Learn about options like camp in a box and social distance hiking.
Novus Way Summer Camp 2020
After prayerful and informed consideration, NovusWay Ministries has made the difficult decision to suspend all scheduled camp programming for summer 2020 at Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs and Lutheranch.   Read more about this decision.  Watch the video announcement.
COVID-19 Relief Fund
Did you know? The NC Synod Council has re-allocated funds for the purpose of sharing with our congregations, rostered ministers, and agencies and institutions during this time of financial strain with priority given to keeping the rostered minister employed at the congregation at their full salary and benefits. Learn more and apply today.
Join us for Moments with Matthew
It is that time of year again! Join us for the NC Synod summer online Bible study sponsored by the synod's Engage the Bible Task Group (a Book of Faith ministry). This summer's study— Moments with Matthew—begins Sunday, July 5. To continue our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women, this year's writers are all women from across the synod. Watch for details about how to participate soon!
Of mourning
Pastor Lori Ann Van Ravestein Hefner , of Asheboro, formerly of Salisbury, (wife of the Rev. Doug Hefner), died on May 20 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro. We mourn with her family.  Read the full obituary.
Susan Jane Wilson , mother of Pastor Diane Cline (Philadelphia, Granite Falls), died on Wednesday, May 20 at the Shaire Center. We mourn with her family.   Read the full obituary.

For empowerment by the Spirit...
I pray for your heart to be broken and your anger to wake up. I come against anything that would try to separate the Gospel from your hands and your feet and your habits and your money. I pray your everyday life would become an outpost for justice to roll down. I pray for perseverance and renewal, for the dry places to bloom with flowers, for the mountains to bow down and the valleys to rise up. I pray you would be a learner, a listener, and a humble worker. I pray that as you push back the darkness, painful step by step, that you would be empowered by the Spirit for mighty deeds. And I pray for courage and humility in the awakening. Amen.
—Sarah Bessey, excerpt from Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith
News from across the church
Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric
The ELCA’s social policy resolution, "Condemnation of White Supremacy and Racist Rhetoric,” adopted by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, states: “As persons called to love one another as God has loved us, we therefore proclaim our commitment to speak with one voice against racism and white supremacy. We stand with those who are targets of racist ideologies and actions." On May 13, 2020, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton issued this pastoral message on COVID-19, racism, and white supremacy. And on May 29, 2020, the ELCA Conf. of Bishops issued this statement regarding the ELCA's reaffirmation of its commitment to combat white supremacy in light of so many senseless deaths of people of color in the last few months.
Being the church together for all
Last week, Ascension, Shelby, shared this sign (pictured) from their church lawn. It is intended as good news "for our neighbors in Shelby and Cleveland County." Pastor Nancy Kraft and Ascension, Towson, MD, provided the inspiration. Pastor Scott Anderson, St. Paul's, Durham, shared this statement on the re-gathering of congregations endorsed by many faith leaders in Durham. How is your congregation being church together for the sake of the world? Let us know!
The Rev. Barber's call for justice
On Pentecost Sunday, after a night of unrest that swept the country in the wake of the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of police, the Rev. William J. Barber II delivered what he called “a pastoral letter to America” urging that leaders hear — and heed — the calls for justice from blacks and other minorities.

Also, learn about the Poor People's Campaign's digital assembly and virtual march on June 20 by clicking here.
Resources for your congregation
Emotional Well-being of Leaders
ELCA Coaching invites you to join the weekly gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church. This week's gathering on  Wednesday, June 3, at 2 p.m. will be led by the Rev. Jeff Thieman, President and CEO of Portico Benefit Service. He will share a perspective on the current state of emotional well-being of ELCA leaders, a dive into aggregate data, and a look at the implications for holistic wellness. For ELCA Benefit Plan Members, and the general public.  Use this Zoom link to join the meeting. [Meeting ID: 180 439 412 Password: 648160]
Cultivating Generous Congregations
Compared to a year ago, many ELCA congregations have seen a decline in total revenue. While the pandemic does not stop ministry outside the walls of our congregations, it is having an impact on financial contributions. Yet, there are congregations that have maintained or increased their giving. How do these congregations continue to be generous? Join an ELCA-sponsored webinar discussing strategies and ways congregations can be proactive in nurturing generosity. Join this Zoom meeting on Thursday, June 11, at 4:00 p.m. Use this Zoom link to join the meeting. [Meeting ID: 319 941 5281 Password: none]
Free legal help for nonprofits
The North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center’s (PBRC) COVID-19 Small Business/Nonprofit Initiative will offer pro bono legal consultations to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 25 employees. These consultations will help small businesses and nonprofits with COVID-19 legal issues, such as the CARES Act relief. Qualifying small businesses and nonprofits will be offered free 45-minute consultations with pro bono attorneys who will answer broader legal questions on circum-stances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Get details and request an appointment today.
Job opening: Director of Youth Ministries
Davidson United Methodist Church, Davidson, is seeking a full-time Director of Youth Ministries.The leader of this ministry will oversee the experiences of faith formation for students in 6th-12th grades along with providing support for all college-aged young adults connected with Davidson UMC. Learn more; find the job description. (They're also looking for an Organist and an Interim Resident Musician.)
Did you know?
Have you considered using Virtual Greeters and Ushers for online worship? They would serve in worship by typing/speaking to welcome people, providing tech help if necessary, interacting with comments, watching for inappropriate comments, providing links to online bulletins and online and/or text giving options. Learn more.
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