Bishop’s Reflections

Reflections from Bishop Tim Smith

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

December 3rd, 2018|

Advent Symbolism and Repentance

What with all the cultural—and admittedly, in our home—Christmas glitz, we forget that Advent is one of the two penitential liturgical seasons. As Lent’s somber journey to the cross prepares us for the joy of Easter, so Advent bids us “let every heart prepare him room.” That’s why “Joy to the World” was moved back in the ELW to the Advent hymn section. (more…)

November 5th, 2018|

Some of you are quite aware of our four new vision priorities for the NC Synod—Vital Congregations, Healthy Leaders, Collaboration, and Prophetic Voice. Visions can be exciting and inspiring. Structure, not so much, but structure is really important. It’s been quite a number of years since we had a major constitutional overhaul in the NC Synod other than the required changes every three years after a churchwide assembly. Structures should serve the vision—not vice-versa. Accordingly, our staff and our Synod Council have been working for a full year on making some proposed changes to our NC Synod constitution that we believe will help us to operate more clearly and efficiently. Most of the current constitution was written with realities and assumptions of a very different church and culture 30 years ago. (more…)

October 1st, 2018|


Children’s TV personality Mr. Rogers learned from his mother that amid news of tragedies and disasters we should “look for the helpers.” Without diminishing the devastation in eastern NC wrought by Hurricane Florence, I and those affected most profoundly are indeed heartened by and are even among the helpers. I could share many details from specific situations in what is, unfortunately, quite a widespread area. I want to share just a couple of the many stories that involve both devastation and helpers. While statistics are important, stories are compelling.


September 3rd, 2018|

a path and fence with the words

Sacred trust

This month’s Bishop’s Reflection is a revision of a Facebook post Bishop Tim Smith shared last month (August 2018) in response to the findings released about the egregious misconducts against children by Roman Catholic priests.

In 2018 it should go without saying, but in truth it’s the “without saying” that in part makes possible the horrific revelations of sexual abuse and systemic institutional and personal cover-ups among priests in Pennsylvania that we learned about this week (Aug. 14, 2018).


August 6th, 2018|

worship bloopers image

Worship bloopers

“This is not a performance,” I always tell the nervous 3rd-grader in the parish the first time they go to light the candles on a Sunday morning right there in front of Momma and Aunt Maggie and the grouchy altar guild lady and God and everybody. “It’s worship, and we aren’t perfect, nor are we supposed to be. We give God and God’s people our best, but when we fall short, God does the rest.” Luther’s Sacristy Prayer essentially says the same thing. “Were it all up to me, I would bring it all to destruction.” Yep. We have this treasure in earthen vessels. (more…)

July 2nd, 2018|


Vital Congregations. Healthy Leaders. Collaboration. Prophetic Voice. These are the four pillars of the new vision and focus of the NC Synod staff and Synod Council unveiled at our NC Synod Assembly just over a month ago. Vital Congregations and Healthy Leaders also happen to be the two consensus priorities of the ELCA Church Council and of the ELCA Conference of Bishops. So what is vitality?


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