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A Communion of Saints

2020-11-16T17:00:36-05:00November 16th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Mission Support Stories|

altar with row of lit candles

A Communion of Saints

On a Sunday in 1950, Bill Milholland, Sr. walked out of the sanctuary of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC, stood on the top step looking down at the sidewalk, and saw the woman who would become his wife of 68 years. “I spied Mary Anne, and immediately Cupid shot an arrow and it hit me,” Bill said. “I walked right down the steps and asked if I could see her, and she said yes. So, our relationship began at St. John’s.”

In that moment, Bill was not yet the “Pastor Milholland” whose ministry in the NC Synod would

Life Together, Reimagined

2020-10-19T18:25:46-04:00October 19th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Mission Support Stories|

Life Together, Reimagined

“Life is a gift and we are called to life together,” says Pastor Amanda Highben of Duke Lutherans, quoting the words of Bonhoeffer that her campus ministry holds as central to its mission. “What we’ve been lifting up in this time of COVID is that we are still called, that has not changed. But the means through which we share life together have had to change for the safety and wellbeing of our students.”

Indeed, nearly all aspects of life have been changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and among the many places where community life has been upended are college campuses.

Lincolnton Little Library

2020-10-19T18:29:02-04:00October 19th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, God's Work Our Hands|

Lincolnton  Little  Library

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Salem, Lincolnton, came together to do “God’s Work” with “Our Hands.” Members of Emmanuel, Lincolnton, also joined in the project since the two congregations began worshipping together in the arbor at Salem earlier this summer.

Joyfully Gathering to Serve

2020-10-05T18:11:06-04:00October 5th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, God's Work Our Hands, News|

Joyfully Gathering to Serve

The people of the NC Synod could easily have opted for the comfortable (even understandable) choice of curling up on our sofas with Netflix instead of participating in God’s Work. Our Hands. this year. But I celebrate that instead, Lutherans across the state chose to act with holy defiance by serving in our communities during the strange era of COVID-19, boldly living out our faith and proclaiming the radical message of God’s abundant love in a hurting world.

The congregation of Morning Star Lutheran Church in Matthews safely and carefully shared two days of inspiring servant experiences; however, our activities certainly looked different from a typical God’s Work.

With God We Can!

2020-10-05T18:08:54-04:00October 5th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, God's Work Our Hands, News|

With God We Can!

In spite of challenges because of COVID-19, the partnership of With God We Can! has continued its commitment to feed people in our community of Rocky Mount, NC whose bowls are empty.

We started canning on Sunday, July 19, 2020, about three weeks behind our 2019 start date. To date in 2020, we have canned 277 quarts of tomatoes—in 2019 we canned a total of 245 quarts of tomatoes.

Operation Mask Mission

2020-09-14T19:18:21-04:00September 14th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Mission Support Stories|

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.

Born from the pandemic—something new!

2020-07-20T21:08:22-04:00July 20th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Mission Support Stories|

Born from the pandemic—something new!

“When I was a child, I had the cutest yellow dress made out of a flour sack,” Barbara Smith shared with her pastor, Vern Kinard, “and although we had many sack clothes growing up…we never had to worry about food because we lived in this community. That’s how it should be and that’s how we hope it stays.” Pastor Vern Kinard serves as the pastor at St. Luke’s in the rural community of Tyro, in Davidson County. He shared, “St. Luke’s has a passion for feeding people. We gather every Wednesday, year-round, for

Sharing God’s free gift of grace

2020-06-15T13:44:48-04:00June 15th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Peeler-Casey Fund Stories|

Sharing God’s free gift of grace

Ascension Lutheran Church in Wilson held its second annual Oktoberfest Celebration on October 13, 2018, which turned out to be a beautiful day weather-wise, making for a wonderful event. The first Oktoberfest was done as part of the 500th Reformation Anniversary Churchwide Celebration and was so well received we decided to do it again. Both were given as a gift to the community—no admission charges, no fees for food or any of the activities—only asking donations for the beer served in our BierGarten; donations which were turned over to Veterans Residential Services of Wilson.

Finding new ways

2020-06-15T13:12:33-04:00June 15th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Mission Support Stories|

Finding new ways

“I’ve heard some people say that they aren’t having church, but the truth is, we are the church. It is true that we cannot go to the building and worship corporately, have our spirits lifted in prayer, in song, in word, in communion. But we can certainly worship as the church together, apart.

A time for the Gospel in action

2020-02-17T15:09:29-05:00February 17th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, Mission Support Stories, News|

A time for the Gospel in action

‘If there was ever a time for the Gospel in action, this is it.’

McDougald Terrace is the city of Durham’s largest public housing complex with 360 apartments built in 1953. In early January, the Durham Housing Authority began an immediate emergency relocation of families living there following a number of carbon monoxide poisonings in December. Inspections revealed dangerously high carbon monoxide levels from gas stoves, furnaces, and water heaters. For almost six weeks now, about 280 families—including almost 500 children—have been living in 12 hotels across Durham County.

St. Mark’s wins “Do Good” award

2020-01-20T17:59:12-05:00January 20th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

St. Mark’s wins “Do Good” award

On December 12,2019 at the Wells Fargo Atrium, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church of Charlotte was presented the “Most Generous Financial
Gift” award by Share Charlotte, Wells Fargo, and the Charlotte Business Journal for their support of Running Works, a nonprofit organization that provides life skills training and housing to homeless people. The award is based on a total gift of $17,883 given by St. Mark’s and the Social Ministry Committee with the approval of St. Mark’s Congregation Council.

Christ the King hosts interfaith MLK worship

2020-01-20T17:53:59-05:00January 20th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

Pastor Albert Starr preaching

Christ the King hosts interfaith MLK worship

“Reconciliation without justice isn’t reconciliation at all.”

“We have inherited a big house, a great ‘world house’ in which we have to live together—black and white, Easterners and Westerners, Gentiles and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Muslim and Hindu,” Dr. Martin Luther King said in 1964 when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Dr. King would have been pleased with the very diverse crowd that attended the interfaith prayer service held Jan. 19 at Christ the King Lutheran Church as part of the Town of Cary’s “Dreamfest” events on MLK weekend.

Good Shepherd offers suicide awareness class

2020-01-06T11:15:57-05:00January 6th, 2020|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

Good Shepherd offers suicide awareness class

This September, the Reimagining Health Collaborative (RHC) team at Good Shepherd, Brevard, learned that our application for a grant from ELCA Disability Ministries had been partially funded. This funding enabled us to offer a suicide awareness training by Soul ShopTM for our community on October 24, along with refreshments. Thirty-five people attended the training, which focused on increasing people’s willingness to talk about suicide, gaining basic conversational skills to use when talking with someone they are concerned about, and connecting self and others to needed services. The training was presented by Fe Avis, a suicide prevention expert and creator of

Beth Eden brothers encourage giving

2019-12-16T15:54:41-05:00December 16th, 2019|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

Beth Eden brothers encourage giving

Samuel Calderon (pictured on left), who was nine on November 20, and Nathaniel (on right), who will be seven on December 12, celebrated their birthdays together this year at their church–Beth Eden, Newton. Instead of gifts they asked those attending to bring a donation to help the many people who have been affected by hurricanes this year if they so desired.

St. Andrew’s begins new ministry

2019-12-02T11:06:25-05:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

St. Andrew’s begins new ministry

“If you have come to me in friendship, to help me, then my heart will be knit to you.” (1 Chronicles 12:17)

Hickory, NC has been cited as having the highest population of unhoused veterans in the country. Several ministries and outreach organizations in Catawba County work to bring a sign of God’s love to members of our community–veteran and civilian–who do not enjoy the safety and security of a stable home.

Abiding Savior hosts ecumenical Thanksgiving service

2019-12-02T10:50:13-05:00December 2nd, 2019|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

Abiding Savior hosts ecumenical Thanksgiving service

On Tuesday, November 26, about 60 people gathered for an ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship service at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Durham. This was the third annual such service, but was by far the best turnout. The four congregations participating were: St. Philip Episcopal, Christus Victor Lutheran, St. Titus Episcopal, and Abiding Savior Lutheran.

Lutheran Chapel servers first responders

2019-11-18T13:33:25-05:00November 18th, 2019|Categories: Congregation Stories, God's Work Our Hands, News|

Lutheran Chapel serves first responders

Lutheran Chapel, China Grove, celebrated “God’s work. Our hands.” on Tuesday, October 29, through serving a community meal for Southern Rowan County first responders. Hamburgers and hot dogs with the trimmings were served to policemen, firemen, EMT’s, and sheriff’s department personnel from staff in Kannapolis, Landis, China Grove, and Salisbury. Special guest was Sheriff Kevin Auten from Salisbury. Members from Lutheran Chapel prepared the meal under the leadership of Council President Steve Beaver.

Story submitted by Pastor Susan Bame.

Grace, Washington’s Goat Challenge

2019-11-04T15:10:22-05:00November 4th, 2019|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

Grace, Washington’s Goat Challenge

Our small but mighty congregation, Grace, Washington, began what we call the Goat Challenge last year. We are small – about 32 members regularly attending – but are concerned about hunger issues in our world. The goat challenge began as a way to help with hunger worldwide. Two of our members are goat owners and farmers. Goats are economical, take a small space on which to live and produce well. A goat can produce a gallon of milk daily—more than enough to help feed a hungry family.

Packing purses!

2019-11-04T15:02:19-05:00November 4th, 2019|Categories: Congregation Stories, News|

Packing purses!

For their October meeting, members of the Sullivan Huddle of Women of the ELCA at First, Greensboro, participated in a service project working with “An Attitude of Gratitude.”

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