“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”—Ida B. Wells
September 15, 2020
From the bishop's office
Operation Mask Mission
How do 100,000 masks get into the hands of NC Synod congregations? “Ask and you shall receive!” says Deacon GeoRene (“Jo”) Jones, NC Synod Liaison for Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR). Over the last 25 days, 152 cases of cloth face coverings were distributed to congregations and affiliated agencies. Early this year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made a one-time offer to donate masks to non-profit agencies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

New Re-Gathering Recommendations
In light of Governor Cooper’s move to Phase 2.5, the NC Synod Council recently approved revised guidelines for NC Synod congregations to use as they consider re-gathering in person. The first recommendation: We recommend refraining from in-person gatherings of more than 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors until the NC governor moves us into Phase Three.

Lutheran Disaster Response Training
You are invited to join this informative webinar, "In a Nutshell: LTRG Construction and Volunteer Management" hosted by Jean and Dale Peercy with Lutheran Disaster Response Training. The webinar will be from 12 noon to 2 p.m. on Friday, September 18. Learn about the process of Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) work especially in light of COVID-19.

"Solidarity Beyond the Walls"
"Solidarity Beyond the Walls" is a ministry of The Church of the Abiding Savior, Lutheran, in Durham and its partners throughout the NC Synod, ELCA and beyond. Learn more about prison justice and get involved in this ministry yourself during an interest session on Sunday, September 20, at 1 p.m.

Synod Confirmation Classes
A new faith formation opportunity will begin Sunday, October 11! The NC Synod is excited to be hosting five monthly confirmation classes via Zoom from 4-5:30 p.m. Registration is open to ALL confirmands now through Wednesday, October 7. Get registered here today! Contact Tammy Jones West with questions and know that your patience is appreciated while awaiting her response.
Mission Support Thank-You Video
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, ELCA congregations have innovated and continued their ministry. While nothing looks the same as last year, we know the church has not been closed. The ELCA Mission Support team looks back on the last few months (and forward into the rest of 2020) with immense gratitude for the ways we've been church together. Here's their thank-you video!
2020-21 Stories of Faith in Action
Stories are the foundation of our faith. They teach us how to serve God with humility and remind us of our identity as God’s beloved children. Given the challenges of 2020, we need stories of hope and unity more than ever. That’s where the new "Stories of Faith in Action”—available digitally—comes in. This annual publication shows how God is at work across the ELCA through your generosity. It highlights how a portion of your offering (Mission Support) advances the ministry of our church.
Make NC Count: Census 2020
Make NC Count is working to ensure that every North Carolinian is counted. The census determines how critical resources and political power are distributed. It is critical that every North Carolinian is counted: if we’re not counted, we don’t exist! Complete the Census online to avoid having a person visit your address!

Telling the story, two years later
Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 14, 2018, at Wilmington, NC, affecting a total of 14 ELCA congregations across two conferences. Since then, we have collected approximately $190,000 and disbursed more $150,000 to congregations (and to other synods) for use in response at their discretion. The NC Synod is proud to lift up the efforts of our congregations who continued to serve their communities throughout their own recovery efforts. Below, we highlight just some of the results of their labors and the stories behind them.

Service of the Word with the Rite of Installation of the Bishop
Your prayers and online presence are requested on Sunday, October 4, at 3:00 p.m. for the Service of the Word with the Rite of Installation of The Reverend Virginia Solveig Aebischer as Bishop of the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In person participation is limited and by invitation only. The Service will be live streamed. Pre-service music will begin at 2:30 pm. Bishop Aebischer encourages everyone online to join in the Procession by posting a selfie using #SCSynod #Procession
Rostered minister transitions
All are invited to the Ordination of Dr. Shanitria Cuthbertson on Saturday, September 26, at 4:00 p.m. via Zoom (Meeting ID: 928 6353 9611 and Password: 584142) or join by phone (use the Zoom link to find the best number) or streaming on the NC Synod Facebook page via Facebook Live. The Rev. Dr. Cuthbertson will continuing serving as pastor at Emmaus, West Charlotte. Your prayers and online presence are requested. All rostered ministers are invited to wear their red stole.
Of mourning
Sarah Brake, widow of Pastor Denny Brake, died August 17 in Raleigh.
Pastor Frank Perry (retired, Burlington) died September 5 from COVID-19. Read the full obituary along with memorial giving information.
Eric West, husband of Tammy Jones West (Deacon, Assistant to the Bishop, NC Synod), died on September 10. Read the full obituary including memorial giving information. A Celebration of Life for Eric will be held on Sunday, September 20, at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Join using this link.
Susan Rendleman, wife of Pastor Henry Rendleman (retired, Hickory), died September 15. Additional information is forthcoming.

Of healing
Daniel Garrett, younger brother of Pastor Constance Garrett (retired, Liberty), had emergency surgery on Monday to remove an intestinal blockage and appendix in Kona, Hawaii.
Carol Hollar, wife of Pastor Bill Hollar (retired, Conover), is being treated for an infection at Catawba Valley Medical Center.

For Holy Cross Day (September 14)
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross so that he might draw the whole world to himself. To those who look upon the cross, grant your wisdom, healing, and eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.—Sundays and Seasons
News from across the church
Lutheran Youth Day at Lenoir-Rhyne
Lutheran Youth Day is an event that Lenoir-Rhyne University looks forward to each year. Due to COVID-19, our traditional afternoon filled with a football game and more is not possible this year. While this day is irreplaceable, we are offering some virtual events which youth can be a part of and learn more about LR. Nothing can replace seeing our campus in person, but we invite you to learn more from the comfort of your couch and see the energy of the typical game day at L-R. Register now for one of our fall virtual events.
Faith Reflections: Faith in Action
Pastor Emily K. Hartner (Holy Trinity, Charlotte) writes:

I took a course on public art during my first semester of college. As a class, we were asked to design a billboard for the side of a local highway. I don’t recall the specific discussions that went into that billboard design, but the message ended up being something like, “Stand up for what you believe.” The accompanying image was a hooded girl kneeling on her knees, hands folded and head bowed in prayer. The implication, of course, was that you could kneel in faith and simultaneously stand for something much larger than yourself.

Ellingsen publishes new book
Pastor Mark Ellingsen, (Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta) has published a new book, Theological Formation: Making Theology Your Own. It is a seminary/college textbook, but it is written to and for laity involved in regular Bible studies dealing with faith questions. The book will function well in such groups, giving interested parishioners and their pastors a tool to help them come to terms with what they believe.

Resources for your congregation
Long Term Care in a Pandemic
Daily life in the time of COVID-19 is difficult for many, but those who may need rehabilitation or nursing home placement face greater decision-making process challenges. In this free webinar on Thursday, September 24, at 12 noon, Alice H. Hedt, former Long Term Care Ombudsman for Maryland will look at concrete steps that those needing placement can take to help in making decisions.

Christmas pageants this year?
Join Practical Resources for Churches (PRC) as they host "Let's Talk: What will Christmas pageants look like this year?" Wednesday, September 30, at 7 p.m. is...not a webinar, but a free, virtual conversation with others asking the same questions. Share and brainstorm to discuss how Christmas pageants can be done safely in-person or virtually.

Generosity365 Academy
Generosity365 Academies are virtual events that focus on essential topics to help churches create a culture of faithful generosity. The October 2020 theme is "People-Focused Stewardship." Participants will hear from stewardship leaders during the 3.5-hour Academy on Saturday, October 10, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. Registration closes on October 8; the cost is $29.99.

Did you know?
Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming for adults, youth and children. Find hope and help 24/7 at the Hope 4 NC Helpline by calling 1-855-587-3463. Use this flyer to share this info with others.
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