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Gifts that Gift the Giver

2020-11-02T14:54:34-05:00November 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|

Gifts that Gift the Giver

by Stephanie Burke and the Rev. Keith Pearson, ELCA Foundation 

One Christmas, years ago when I was a child, I tearfully told my grandmother how a close friend I’d given a gift to had gone the whole blessed holiday without giving me a thing.  She flicked her newspaper, turned one page, and said, “Just remember, the Bible says it’s better to give than to receive.”

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.

From daily bread to abundant thanks

2020-05-18T22:23:30-04:00May 18th, 2020|Categories: Mission Support Stories, News|

From daily bread to abundant thanks

“People are often overwhelmed with thanks, tears in their eyes, and joy in their hearts as we bring an abundance of food to them.”

The Rev. Chantal McKinney, pastor of Christ’s Beloved Community (CBC), Winston-Salem, shares reactions from neighborhood folks who received food from the CBC food pantry. Amid the difficult news and hardships all around us, there is good news to share in the NC Synod this Easter season! We have eight congregations throughout the synod who received $500 ELCA World Hunger Daily Bread Grants.

NC Synod launches Relief Fund

2020-04-21T09:45:22-04:00April 13th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

Synod launches Relief Fund

The NC Synod Council has re-allocated funds for the purpose of sharing with our congregations, rostered ministers, and agencies and institutions during this time of financial strain with priority given to keeping the rostered minister employed at the congregation at their full salary and benefits. The goal of these funds is to help congregations from a cash flow standpoint.

Holy Week and Easter

2020-04-09T18:52:34-04:00April 6th, 2020|Categories: News|

Holy Week and Easter

Even as we cannot gather in person during this time of social distancing, we are gathering online—with live worship using Zoom and by pre-recorded video. Below are worship options available from the synod office and congregations across the synod as we move through Holy Week toward the celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord on Easter Day.
Come, Lord Jesus!

Worshiping online together during COVID-19

2020-08-21T10:03:58-04:00March 21st, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |

Worshiping online together during COVID-19

During this time of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, when we long to worship together and cannot, the synod website will be a place to gather information about Livestream or recorded opportunities for worship or devotions across the synod. Please see the list below.

“We ask God to help us!”

2020-03-16T21:21:11-04:00March 16th, 2020|Categories: News|

“We ask God to help us!”

Deacon Katie Rivers (St. Mark’s, Asheville) attended one of the Chrism Masses hosted by the synod for rostered ministers prior to the Lenten season; she shares her story.

On Tuesday, February 25, Facebook reminded me of my commissioning service as a Deaconess in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS). A picture popped up of me in my awful navy blue uniform, my mother with her eyes filled with tears of joy, and a proud look on my father’s face in that Minnesota church. It seems like a lifetime ago, and yet, some days like yesterday.

“God is in the room”

2020-03-17T17:13:21-04:00March 16th, 2020|Categories: Mission Support Stories, News|

“God is in the room”

Almost five hundred middle and high school students gather in a ballroom in Greensboro on a weekend in February. Some are laughing and chatting with their friends from church, some are anxiously waiting to see what this is all about, some are greeting old and new friends across the room, and some are hanging out in the hallways. And then the music starts…it might be a familiar camp song with a slightly different sound thanks to a full band. Maybe it’s Head to the Heart”, “Old Church

Kure Memorial’s Sunday Lunch

2020-03-02T22:05:32-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Categories: News, Peeler-Casey Fund Stories|

Kure Memorial’s Sunday Lunch

Sunday Lunch. It’s the meal of the week that is a bit special. For some of us, it was the big meal after church; a time to gather without other activities imposing on the time together. However, for hungry folks in Carolina Beach, Sunday means no other area food kitchens/providers are serving.

Celebrating women’s ordination

2020-03-02T15:26:58-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Categories: News|

Celebrating women’s ordination

Something special was happening at St. Luke’s, Conover, on the afternoon of Sunday, February 25! United in the bond of Jesus the Christ, voices gathered together to remember, confess, celebrate, pray, sing, and encourage one another in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in the ELCA. A team of women—pastors, deacons, lay people—led worship, graciously hosted by Pastor Russell Makant and the congregation of St. Luke’s. Deacon Mindy Makant preached a good word on the story of the woman who grasped at the hem of Jesus, trusting in his healing power.

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.

Niner United groups serve, grow

2020-02-17T12:57:46-05:00February 17th, 2020|Categories: News, Peeler-Casey Fund Stories|

Niner United groups serve, grow

Puerto Rico Mission

Fifty-one students from UNC Charlotte’s Lutheran campus ministry, Niner United, traveled to Puerto Rico in March 2019 to help with rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Maria. While we were there, we focused on the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the communities we partnered with. The students served, grew in the faith, and built on their leadership capacities.

“I believe that I am a better pastor…”

2020-01-20T18:32:16-05:00January 20th, 2020|Categories: Mission Support Stories, News|

“I believe that I am a better pastor…”

Pastors Mary and Tim Canniff-Kuhn concluded their final summer as program directors at Lutheridge in 2019. For 25 summers, they nurtured, trained, and equipped an entire generation of summer staff with skills that have changed the church, our synod, and the world well beyond the boundaries of camp. “I believe that I am a better pastor for having spent summers under their leadership and guidance,” says Lauren Carlson, pictured above as a counselor and now serving as pastor at Calvary, Morganton.

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.

We’re back for phase 2!

2020-01-17T09:53:38-05:00January 13th, 2020|Categories: Faith-Finances-Freedom, News|

We’re back for phase 2!

Program Director, Pastor John Mocko, and Program Assistant, Caroline Mocko, are excited to share some good news, “We are excited to share that Phase 2 of Faith+Finances+Freedom/The Lifeline Fund has begun!” Lily Endowment, Inc. approved a scaling grant which includes sharing the grant amount of $500,000 with four other synods in Region 9: Virginia, South Carolina, Southeastern, and Caribbean. In this phase, two components will be continued: education debt relief and congregational stewardship programs. Additional details—including the application form—will be ready soon.

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.

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