Bishop’s Reflections

Reflections from Bishop Tim Smith

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Bishop’s Reflections2017-01-21T13:41:19-05:00

July 6th, 2020|

Three notes from the bishop

I want to share three things with you this month:

  1. Just a reminder that our NC Synod Re-gathering in-person recommendations are Phase-specific and not date-specific. So, the recommendation is still in effect since the governor extended Phase 2 through at least July 17. The only addition from the governor’s office is that masks are now required in public. Until we get to Phase 3 (which we don’t know when or what that will look like yet), we still recommend no gatherings of more than 10 indoors and no more than 25 outdoors for our congregations. Whenever congregations do gather, we have guidelines for doing that as safely as possible. Those recommendations can be found on our re-gathering page. (more…)

June 1st, 2020|

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. (more…)

May 4th, 2020|

Some preliminary thoughts on re-gathering as congregations

Bless your hearts, and mine, too! A friend of mine insists that southern cliché is more mannerly code for “You’re pitiful!” Jeff Foxworthy used this example: “I do believe that is the ugliest baby I have ever seen…bless his heart.” In all seriousness, we might not be pitiful, but most of us have had our share of valid pity parties of late. This whole virus and what it’s precipitated on almost every level around the globe simply stinks. This virus is pitiful…and I won’t even honor it with a “bless its heart!” (more…)

April 6th, 2020|

“The Flowers”
The rain to the wind said, “You push and I’ll pelt.”
They so smote the garden that the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged, though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
–Robert Frost

We’ve all experienced those overwhelming spring thundershowers during which we quickly dash inside, only to return to lament the devastation to our lovely yet fragile tulips, daffodils, lilies, etc. Our hearts visit the surface of that grieving well within our souls that holds the accumulation of all the precious ones and things lost to us. So delicate, so helpless, so beautiful. (more…)

March 13th, 2020|

Dear NC Synod members,

As you know, the past 48 hours have been a whirlwind. COVID-19 is officially a worldwide pandemic. Cancelling March Madness and banning all travel from Europe underscore the secular seriousness. To be clear, this is no longer merely a “fear.” It is a reality that is already here and multiplying at light speed.

How do Christian communities respond most faithfully? The governor said no gatherings of more than 100, including worship. My Methodist bishop colleague in Eastern NC requests that congregations not gather, including worship, for at least two weeks. The Virginia Synod, ELCA, strongly suggested the same today. Some of our congregations have already canceled in-person gatherings for the short term. Several synod events scheduled for this weekend, including an ordination, have been postponed. (more…)

March 2nd, 2020|

Talk too much

I talk a lot. No, really. I know that you know that. I just want you to know that I know that, too. In fact, I spend so much time thinking about what I’m going to say to people in this or that sermon or this or that council or call committee meeting or this or that ELCA function or a newsletter or on social media that I sometimes feel like a machine just cranking things out, producing. (more…)

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