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Highlighted events and information.

Thankfulness in all things

2017-11-05T17:34:48+00:00 November 5th, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

thanksgiving-fruits-veggies

Thankfulness in all things

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Martin Rinkhart was a Lutheran pastor in Germany in the early 1600s. The Thirty Years’ War was raging throughout his ministry at Eilenberg, a tragic fallout from the Reformation we just commemorated that pitted not just theologies and pieties but weapons of war, Lutheran against Catholic. Eilenberg was a walled city, so thousands sought refuge there from the horrors of war. The resultant overcrowding caused both hunger and disease.

Caribbean Disaster Relief

2017-10-02T15:22:54+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

Caribbean Disaster Relief image Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for the Washington Post via Getty images

Caribbean Disaster Relief

I write to you this month from the ELCA Conference of Bishops, where we have been eagerly awaiting word from our colleague Bishop Felipe Lozada of the ELCA’s Caribbean Synod, which includes the devastated U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico. The destruction was so very great from the two Category 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria that we did not hear from him until this past Friday.

Together?

2017-09-04T21:52:31+00:00 September 4th, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

four-hands-clasping-each-other

Together?

I was privileged during the summer between high school and college to attend 23 days of Outward Bound in the Colorado Rockies. I was told that we would be climbing 14,000-foot peaks with very thin air, carrying heavy packs, and surviving on minimal food. Though I was a serious high school athlete in very good shape, I took seriously Outward Bound’s advice to run in our boots in advance to break them in. By the time my flight left for Denver from Charlotte, I was jogging on average 8 miles a day, 5 days a week, in my hiking boots.

A pastoral message from Bishop Tim Smith

2017-08-15T21:27:18+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

Smith

A pastoral message from Bishop Tim Smith

When Wendy and I lived in Berlin on our seminary internship in 1984 and 1985, horror stories of the Nazi Regime of the ‘30s and ‘40s in Germany regularly shocked us. There was the spouse of a retired pastor whose reach across the dinner table to pass us the bread revealed her concentration camp serial number tattooed on her wrist.

All she had…

2017-07-31T09:34:34+00:00 July 31st, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

image of red heart on faded wood wall

All she had…

Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44)

Partners congregational visits

2017-07-05T11:40:54+00:00 July 2nd, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

Partners congregational visits

Synod Council members at our December 2015 meeting lamented that Mission Support receipts were nearly $178,000, or about 10%, behind budgeted expenses. The Council directed the NC Synod staff to develop a program whereby representatives would be trained to go to all of our congregations to lift up the many vital ministries of the synod in hopes of a much needed uptick in mission support.

Still, as I traveled about the synod, I realized how many of our congregations are struggling.

Holy Week

2017-04-04T09:40:31+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

Jesus carrying the cross artwork

Holy Week

My father-in-law always intrigued me with the stack of novels he brought to the beach for family vacations. Even more interesting was his habit of reading the last chapter first, wanting to know how the story ended, 

A culture of call

2017-03-16T11:57:24+00:00 March 6th, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

A culture of call

A Culture of Call

As I write from the ELCA Conference of Bishops in Chicago this first week in March, there are many blessings to celebrate, yet many obvious and pressing challenges facing this church.

Prophetic voices

2017-02-07T11:59:12+00:00 February 6th, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss, Reflections|

image of loudspeaker

Prophetic voices

If your measuring stick is the number of phone calls to the bishop’s office in the NC Synod to register complaints about their pastor, the first week in February is the winner thus far in my 18-month tenure. The reason?

Don’t miss Bold Like Jesus!

2017-01-23T13:33:28+00:00 January 21st, 2017|Categories: Don't Miss|

Bold Like Jesus logoDon’t miss this year’s Bold Like Jesus event: ‘Cross’ing Borders. Jesus dined with prostitutes, touched lepers, and included women. In doing so, he was highly offensive, intentionally inclusive, and radically bold. He broke down barriers, built bridges and blessed the outcast. As Jesus says, “Follow me,” what barriers can you break down? How can you be bold like Jesus? Join with our ecumenical brothers and sisters  at Trinity AME Zion Church in Greensboro, February 2-4.

Learn more about this BOLD event.