"Let's use our hearts, our love, and our intelligence to work together, to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other." —Julia Jackson, Jacob Blake's mother
September 1, 2020
From the bishop's office
Faithful Adaptation
In 586-87 BCE King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, after a long siege, laid waste the holy city of Jerusalem, destroyed the supposed indestructible temple home of Yahweh and the ark of the covenant, deposed the Davidic dynasty, and took away all of the Jewish leaders to exile in Babylon. “Devastated” would be an understatement for ancient Israel, as their foundational and presumed eternal covenantal identities were ripped away: land, descendants, perpetual Davidic rule, and blessings evaporated.

Synod Gathering—Virtually
Our synod missed having the Synod Gathering in person this year, so here's the next best thing—virtual workshops! These one-hour learning opportunities will be held on either Tuesday or Thursday at 11:00 a.m.—almost weekly during September and October. Each session has a different topic. The first workshop is Thursday, September 10, with Elizabeth Brewington leading "The Opioid Crisis: the Faith Community Responds."

Being Church in a Digital Age
The North Carolina Synod, the Southeastern Synod, and the Virginia Synod invite you to a three-week webinar series, beginning Monday, September 14, exploring what it means to be the church in a digital age. During the three week series, author Ryan Panzer will explore:
  • Why Digital: The Continued Case for Prioritizing Digital Ministry
  • What’s Next for Digital Worship: Moving Beyond the Zoom
  • Staying Connected: Building Dynamic Church Community Online

Lutherans Restoring Creation Sunday
Lutherans Restoring Creation is preparing a creation-focused worship service utilizing the lectionary texts for Pentecost 16 (September 20) that congregations can download and use however they wish. Participants include Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, the Rev. Dr. Barbara Rossing, the Rev. Lenny Duncan, Rebekah Bruesehoff, and more.

The ELCA and leaders from The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have prepared a series of devotions for the Season of Creation 2020, Sept. 1–Oct. 4. The weekly devotions begin Sept. 6.
LWR fall in-gathering—new info
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. This week, we learned that there will be an in-gathering in Columbia, SC, on Saturday, September 19. Please e-mail Janel Johnson-Momanyl, Quilt and Kit Ministry Manager at LWR, for more information about the truck in Columbia or other in-gathering locations.

Stewardship Kaleidoscope
The theme for this year's virtual Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference is Currents of Faith: The Stewardshift of change in community, technology, and across generations. The three-day virtual event will take place on Tuesdays, September 22, 29, and October 6 all from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lutheran Disaster Response
Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) brings God’s hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the U.S. and around the world. When the dust settles and the headlines change, LDR stays to provide ongoing assistance to those in need. Currently, LDR is responding to:
  • Hurricane Laura
  • California Wildfires
  • Derecho storm in the midwest
  • COVID-19
  • and more...

Digital tool to explore leadership call
When someone feels God is calling them to make a difference in the world, the sheer number of options and questions can be overwhelming. Coming this winter, Journi is a digital tool which will equip future leaders in this church with tools to discover their gifts, practical resources to learn more about opportunities within the church, and next steps to move forward in their leadership journey.

Synod Council Summary—May 2020
The NC Synod Council gathered via Zoom on May 30, 2020. Read a summary of the minutes from that meeting. This great group of folks serves on your behalf, giving their time to listen, discern, and make good decisions. Their next meeting will be held will be September 10-12 via Zoom. 
Rostered minister transitions
Pastor Michael Weaver has transferred to the Virginia Synod effective August 9.

Deacon Stacey Troisi has been called as Campus Minister at Grace, Boone, starting September 1.
For unity
God of Unity, We come before you dismayed at our own divisions. We have struggled as your church to come to live in unity; but we are divided—along all the fault lines of our societies. The ruptures in our families, among friends, among denominations, among nations are wide and deep. When we attempt to get on the same page, we build taller walls and dig deeper trenches. God, help us! We know that Christ is not divided. We know that it is your baptism to which we have been called. It is your service to which we are compelled. You have called us to proclaim the gospel, but we even fight about what that is. Help us, God! Help us to give up our power and our privileges. Help us to yield for the sake and cause of the cross of Jesus. Help us to embrace and to live the foolishness of a life emptied of power and given to service, in the likeness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Help us to walk in salvation—in the name of the Servant Christ, amen.
—Valerie Bridgeman Davis, The Africana Worship Book, Discipleship Resources, 2006, p.85
News from across the church
Stewards of creation
Brandon and Sarah Bowers run Bowers Farm in Pomaria, S.C., on land that has been in his family since 1938. Though it’s surrounded by a farming community, Bowers Farm stands out from the rest for its sustainable practices. By not using antibiotics or chemicals and by raising animals in a way that mimics nature, they not only produce healthy food but, as farmers, pay respect to God’s creation, Brandon said.

LSC Mask Drive Challenge
Lutheran Services Carolinas needs your help to get masks to our communities by participating in LSC's Mask Drive! On September 13, ELCA congregations will observe "God’s work. Our hands.” —this year in compliance with local health guidelines. LSC is offering a chance for your congregation to complete an act of service, while also participating in a little friendly competition. "We challenge each congregation to make as many masks as they have members!" Each congregation that donates masks will be celebrated on LSC social media channels and will be in a story in their next Voices magazine.

Highben wins hymn search
The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada is pleased to announce the winner of its 2020 Hymn Search addressing the themes of death and dying. From the 51 entries submitted, “The Rain Falls in Its Season,” written by Zebulon Highben, was chosen as the winning text. Dr. Zebulon Highben, deacon, is the Director of Chapel Music at Duke University.

Nagle publishes wedding sermons
John R. Nagle (retired, Christ the King, Cary) has recently had a book released by CSS Publishing.
“That the Two May Become One” is a compilation of 36 wedding sermons that is helpful as a tool for preachers and counselors, as a gift for newlyweds, and as a resource for anyone reflecting on how life can be lived out in the love of God.

Resources for your congregation
 Virtual Choir webinar series
PRC—Practical Resources for Churches—is offering a series of FREE webinars on Virtual Choir. To learn more or register for a webinar, click on the specific topic in which you are interested:
Livestreaming: Platforms, Tech, and the Systems webinar
Looking into the fall season, there are a lot of different options to help your communities stay connected via livestreaming! Presenters Paul E. Reese and Merrill Whatley, and host, Sarah Stonesifer Boylan, will help you sort through the options for platforms, hardware, and the various broadcast systems. This FREE webinar at 3 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, will give you an introduction to what you need to know to make decisions in regards to your community and its livestream.

Word@Hand is an innovative Bible engagement app that allows you to take a six-path Journey around a book of the Bible, a theme, or a season of the Christian year. The app offers Bible translations and video presentations that are accurate, reliable, and easy to understand. Equally as engaging for the novice as they are for the scholar, Word@Hand Journeys present insights to help you thrive with God. Available for iOS and Android devices. Each path offers a video, seven daily steps, and more.

Job opening: Director of Contextual and Experiential Formation
Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, seeks an experienced and innovative ministry leader to serve as its next Director of Contextual and Experiential Formation. Learn more; apply today.
Did you know?
Labor Sabbath 2020. From the North Carolina Council of Churches, just in time for Labor Day, comes a curated list of resources to lift up workers and renew our commitment to create an economy that is just for all workers. See the Labor Sabbath resources.
Synod E-News | NC Synod, ELCA | 704-633-4861 | nclutheran.org