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Assembly News2017-06-08T12:28:22-04:00

Celebrating anniversaries

July 11th, 2019|

pastors being recognized for their service

Celebrating anniversaries

Our much-anticipated celebration of anniversaries occurred on Saturday morning of assembly, just before lunch. Pastors with significant ministry anniversaries were celebrated and, for some, given certificates of recognition for their long-time ministry. Additionally, several congregations celebrated significant anniversaries in 2019.

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Conference deans are installed

July 11th, 2019|

conference deans installed

Conference deans are installed

On Saturday morning of assembly, the newly-elected (or re-elected) conference deans were installed. These pastors serve as an administrative officer of the conference in which they serve and as an extension of the Office of the Bishop in that geographic area.

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Seriously?

July 9th, 2019|

Mindy-Makant-presenting

“Seriously?”

“Seriously?”

“Eye-opening.”

“Disturbing.”

“I’m sorry that our church treats you this way.”

These were just a few of the responses at my table after we watched the “Seriously?” video at the NC Synod Assembly and were invited by Dr. Mindy Makant, deacon, to engage in some discussion.

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Detectives of divinity

July 9th, 2019|

Ruben-Duran-keynote

Detectives of divinity

The Rev. Ruben Duran, ELCA Director of Congregational Vitality, reminded the assembly of John 15:5 as he began his session on congregational vitality on Friday afternoon. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches, if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” 

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The good things God is doing

June 17th, 2019|

The good things God is doing

Planning an assembly is challenging. What ministry areas need to be highlighted? What do we hope congregations will learn that can be energizing for their own ministries? The recent 2019 NC Synod Assembly was no different. While the assembly theme, Vital Congregations, was lifted up in a variety of ways, folks also learned much more about shared ministries and the good things God is doing in this synod. (more…)

Sustainability and vitality: the congregational life cycle

June 4th, 2019|

Sustainability and vitality: the congregational life cycle

During Saturday’s morning session, the assembly heard all about mold and maggots. Yes, you read that right. Mold and maggots.

The Rev. Danielle DeNise, NC Synod Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM), reminded the assembly of the story of the children of Israel in Exodus 16, where they received manna from God to sustain them in the wilderness.

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Vice President Haywood offers concluding remarks

June 3rd, 2019|

Vice President Haywood offers concluding remarks

Newly re-elected Vice President Diana Haywood started her remarks saying, “As I say every year, North Carolina is the place to be.” She jokingly declared that she was initially both encouraged and still surprised by the assembly still voting for her until she realized she was the only name on the ballot.

The laughter from the assembly transitioned to words of agreement as Haywood highlighted the testimonies, outcomes, and opportunities provided. (more…)

Tell It! videos make Bible stories new

June 3rd, 2019|

tell-it-screenshot

Tell It! videos make Bible stories new

Each year, Engage the Bible (the synod’s Book of Faith task group) holds a video competition. Youth groups across the synod are encouraged to create a video telling a Bible story. Videos are submitted and the top ones are brought to the LYO assembly each February where they are premiered. The LYO attendees vote for their favorite video, and prizes are awarded. (more…)

The danger of a single story

June 3rd, 2019|

The danger of a single story

Dr. Shanitria Cuthbertson addressed the assembly regarding the work we are doing as a synod to address issues of bias and racism. “As toddlers, we begin to understand and conceptualize our world through difference. It’s essential in human development to note difference. The problem is in adulthood, difference and otherness are often manifested in systems of power and oppression.”

Cuthbertson continued, asserting that difference is beautiful, but the church is a place where we become one. (more…)

Life-giving relationships with God

June 3rd, 2019|

panel participating in Life-giving relationships conversation

Life-giving relationships with God

The theme of the assembly was Vital Congregations. Throughout the assembly, there were many examples of vitality in the North Carolina Synod. One of the ways in which a congregation can be vital is by breaking the molds and challenging stereotypes for what it means to be a Lutheran church. Deacon Tammy Jones West introduced Pastor Jennifer Shimota Krushas and two of her congregation members, Joy Joseph and Eileen Roberts, from Emmanuel, High Point. (more…)

Pancake bubbles and the Holy Spirit

June 3rd, 2019|

The Rev. Ruben Duran addresses the 2019 NC Synod Assembly.

Pancake bubbles and the Holy Spirit

Do you see the bubbles in your pancakes? Bubbles help us to know that the pancakes are slowly rising and browning, ready to be turned over. Ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) resembles pancake bubbles, slowly bubbling up and out into the world, as God’s people work together to proclaim the Gospel. The Reverend Ruben Duran, ELCA Director of Congregational Vitality, offered this pancake-bubble metaphor and shared with the assembly that the Holy Spirit is working in the ministry happening in the churchwide expression, our synods, congregations, and the world. (more…)

A lamentation of gun violence

June 3rd, 2019|

A lamentation of gun violence

Saturday’s assembly session opened with a meaningful litany and lamentation on gun violence. In particular, it was a time to remember and lament the fatal shooting that took place on the campus of UNC Charlotte almost exactly one month ago. We also gave attention to another act of gun violence that occurred in Virginia Beach just yesterday. Through this litany, the assembly was able to voice its sorrow and lift prayers for the many victims, families, and communities who have experienced these tragedies. (more…)

Life-giving relationships with the world

June 3rd, 2019|

Life-giving relationships with the world

To continue the exploration of the congregational vitality definition of “life-giving relationships with the world,” Deacon GeoRene Jones addressed the assembly, bringing news of the many ways the North Carolina Synod brings recovery and relief after disasters. She invited a pastor from the coastal area to share some experiences. (more…)

Affordable housing: how will you respond?

June 3rd, 2019|

Affordable housing: how will you respond?

Housing ends homelessness. Yes, it is that simple…and yet it is quite difficult when there isn’t enough affordable housing to meet the demand. The pre-assembly event on affordable housing allowed attendees to learn about homelessness and the ways congregations might get involved in solutions. (more…)

Gathering to worship and celebrate

June 2nd, 2019|

Gathering to worship and celebrate

The 2019 NC Synod Assembly participants gathered to worship despite the tornado watch and pouring rain. Lutherans trickled into First Presbyterian Church, Greensboro, to the sounds of John Alexander and his trumpeting organ filling the sanctuary.

The musical offering allowed those present to reflect on the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women of color in the ELCA. In particular, we gathered to celebrate the leaders of our own synod: (more…)

Yoked congregations find joy

June 2nd, 2019|

Yoked congregations find joy

In a season where fear has become increasingly abundant as congregations are challenged to sustain ministries and meet financial obligations, two NC Synod congregations have faithfully stepped outside of their comfort zones to participate in a Holy Innovation.

Recognizing the need for vital, vibrant congregations, the synod staff encouraged the congregations of St. John’s, Hudson, and St. Stephen’s, Lenoir, to consider partnering together in a process known as yoking. (more…)

Bishop Smith addresses assembly

June 2nd, 2019|

Bishop-Tim-2019-assembly-address

Bishop Smith addresses assembly

Bishop Tim Smith’s address to the assembly began with a video thanking the NC Synod for their giving and lifting up the many ways the synod raises up so many fine candidates for ministry: LRU, LTSS, Agape+Kure Beach Ministries, NovusWay Ministries, campus ministry programs, and LYO.

Then, he stood to address the assembly. (more…)

Being church together with ministry partners

June 1st, 2019|

Pastor Phil Tonnesen hosts the Ministry Partner Fair

Being Church together with ministry partners

Being the Church together means being in relationship together. The Reverend Philip Tonnesen, assistant to the bishop, shared with the assembly the way partners in ministry across synodical, churchwide, and community organizations are proclaiming the Gospel to those in need across our communities as well as in our companion synods of Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica. In our partnership with these ministries, we become connected with each other; caring for each other through service, financial support, and prayer. (more…)

Congregational Vitality is assembly focus

May 31st, 2019|

Bishop Tim at the podium

Congregational Vitality is assembly focus

Those entering the 2019 NC Synod Assembly today were confronted with a question: “What is Congregational Vitality?” It was on display throughout the room, on the front screens and on every tabletop. Fortunately, the answer read in bold just below the question: “Communities of Jesus that nurture life-changing relationships with God, each other, and the world.” Thus began our focus on congregational vitality. (more…)