“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”―Julian of Norwich
November 3, 2020
From the bishop's office
Elections' Directions Reflections
If you’re reading this on November 3, we probably don’t know much if anything yet about how this year’s hotly-contested elections are turning out. What we do know is that elections produce anxiety. Regardless of your political persuasion, we can’t help but stress about, “Will ‘my side’ win? Will the other side, i.e., the forces of evil, cheat, steal, lie, and deceive the election away? Or what if ‘they’ win fair and square? Isn’t that one of the great risks of democratic elections? The majority getting it wrong?”

Election Day Support for Faith Leaders
The U.S. is entering another time of uncertainty and stress. The pandemic is intensifying as electoral tensions are growing. Join these conversations sponsored by ELCA Coaching, the NT-NL Synod, and Briarwood Camp and Conference Center throughout Election Day 2020 for uplifting prayer, dialogues on holistic wellbeing, and opportunities for one-on-one prayer, coaching, and discernment.

Eaton on Civic Engagement in 2020
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton discusses the importance of voting and our church’s relationship with civic engagement. Watch her recent video.

Also, read the social message “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy” in English or in Spanish.
Archiving Your Congregation Zoom
Join the Crumley Archives for their Archiving Your Congregation workshop hosted via Zoom on Monday, November 16, at 10:30 a.m. Learn how to curate your artifacts; organize, preserve, and digitize your records; stabilize your archival environment; and so much more! Cost is just $20 each. Email archivist Shannon Smith to register. Learn more about the ELCA Region 9 Crumley Archives by taking a peek into their Fall 2020 newsletter.

LWR Ingathering at Lutheridge
Lutheran World Relief is sponsoring an Ingathering of quilts and kits at Lutheridge this year. LWR quilts and kits may be dropped off at Bischoff Hall at Lutheridge anytime from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from October 26 to November 30 (except no drop-offs Nov 25-27)

Regarding the Boy Scouts of America
A Special e-News from the bishop was sent last week about legal issues concerning the Boy Scouts of America which includes an upcoming, November 16, deadline for action by congregations. Be sure leaders in your congregation have this information.

NC Women of the ELCA: The Bulletin
NC Women of the ELCA are busy during these pandemic days! Take a look at some of the things they are doing by reading their November newsletter: The Bulletin. Among other things, you'll find a story of Girl Scouts cleaning up the NC Vietnam Veterans Memorial. 

Gifts that Gift the Giver
One Christmas, years ago when I was a child, I tearfully told my grandmother how a close friend I’d given a gift to had gone the whole blessed holiday without giving me a thing. She flicked her newspaper, turned one page, and said, “Just remember, the Bible says it’s better to give than to receive.”

Rostered minister transitions
All are invited to the Ordination of Betsy Mitchell on Friday, November 6, at 7:00 p.m. via streaming on the Holy Trinity, Charlotte, Facebook page. The Reverend Dr. Timothy Smith, bishop of the NC Synod, presiding; Pastor Gail Henderson-Belsito, preaching. Your prayers and online presence are requested. Betsy will serve as chaplain at Atrium Health Union Hospital in Monroe.

All are invited to the Installation of Pastor Richard Hogg on Saturday, November 7, at 3:00 p.m. There will be a small in-person gathering in the sanctuary at St. Thomas, Charlotte. Your prayers and online presence via Zoom are requested. (Zoom link; Meeting ID: 830 5190 7180—Passcode: 221460). 

All are invited to the Installation of Pastor Amanda Highben on Sunday, November 8, at 5:30 p.m. She will be installed as Campus Pastor at Duke University and Associate Pastor at St. Paul's, Durham, during the Duke Lutherans Evening Prayer Service. Join via Zoom (Meeting ID: 912 4520 7399). If you'd like to participate, please email Pastor Amanda to receive the bulletin. Your prayers and online presence are requested.
Of mourning
Pastor Perry Lane Sloop (retired, Lincolnton), died on October 19. We mourn with his family. Read the full obituary.
Ella Mae Greene, mother-in-law of Pastor Sharon Schulze (South Durham Connections, Durham), died on October 26. We mourn with her family. Read the full obituary.
Terry Renee McDaniel Fisher, mother of Deacon Liz Fisher (Kimball, Kannapolis) and sister of Pastor Susan Bame (retired, Kannapolis), died on October 31. We mourn with her family. Read the full obituary. Please plan to attend via livestream as they are limited to 60 people in worship.

Of healing
Pastor Larry Hartsell (retired, Asheville) is recovering from a heart attack and is hoping to go home today.
Pastor Jeff Hoffner (Luther's, Richfield) had knee replacement surgery on October 26, is recovering at home, and doing physical therapy.
Carol Hollar, wife of Pastor Bill Hollar (retired, Conover), is now at Trinity Village under Hospice care.

For Election 2020
Almighty God, guide us as a country to guard the rights of one another, to protect the integrity of the election, and to fulfill your purposes for our lives, as we truly strive "to form a more perfect union”; and to together build a more radically just and loving nation. Through Jesus Christ, our loving Lord and reigning Redeemer. Amen. —from Sojourners
News from across the church
Jesus and the Election
I think this is almost invariably (note the tiny escape clause) an accurate statement: Lutheran pastors do not tell parishioners how to vote. Not only is this technically illegal but also probably unwise. I can’t recall who said, “Overtly partisan sermons only reveal which newspapers arrive each week at the parsonage.” I haven’t lived in a parsonage since 1987 in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, but you get my drift. All political candidates are flawed—some more flamboyantly than others. Allegiance to a political party and its candidates cannot be blindly synced with faithfulness to the kingdom of God.

The Blessing of Clean Drinking Water
The Brahmaputra River, one of the great waterways of India, flows through the state of Assam and into Bangladesh. But this doesn’t mean the people living along the river are blessed with water. The people of Konsaigaon, in particular, have always had to walk far from their homes to get water. They often have to drink unsafe water, which causes gastrointestinal diseases that can be fatal.

You're invited: Hope for the Holidays!
Join Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) in spreading Hope for the Holidays! Each year, with help from our hundreds of partners across the country, LIRS collects handwritten holiday cards and donations for gifts to share hope with children
and families affected by immigration detention. We call it Hope for the Holidays—and last year, we were able to raise over $30,000 to support migrant families, send more than 14,000 cards to our migrant friends, and make sure that nearly 1,500 children had a gift to open on Christmas day.

Resources for your congregation
PPE specifically for musicians
J.W. Pepper and Son, Inc. is sharing new masks, plexiglass shields, room dividers, and mobile teacher carts that are designed specifically with musicians in mind, making them ideal for upcoming rehearsals, classrooms, and church services.

Advent: A Season of Hope (LWR)
You’ve been busy reinventing the way your congregation does ministry. Let Lutheran World Relief help you this Advent. Lift up the experience of our neighbors in each of the regions your love reaches: Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. LWR will provide you with a full suite of resources that can be used digitally or in-person each week: sermon illustrations, powerful videos, candle lighting litany and at-home engagement.

Seasonal curriculum units for children
The next six units of Growing in God's Love: A Story Bible Curriculum are here! These essential units provide you with all the material you need to continue faith formation through the major seasons of the church year. Each unit also provides an at-home kit guide that helps you put together a kit to drop off at each family's doorstep. Each guide provides instructions for creating a kit for each unit of the curriculum. In the kit, you will include supplies and instructions for different activities that families can do together at home.

Did you know?
Last week, SALT shared a video, "Kid Advice for the Next President." Watch it—saints come in all shapes and sizes. Download it via the download button (look for the button just below the film, to the right of the description). "And a little child shall lead them!"
Synod E-News | NC Synod, ELCA | 704-633-4861 | nclutheran.org