Reflections

>Reflections

Posts of Bishop Tim Smith’s reflections

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.

Lenten message from the bishop

2017-02-07T10:40:56+00:00 February 6th, 2017|Categories: Reflections|

Lenten message from the bishop

Editor’s note: Though Lent doesn’t begin until March 1, Bishop Tim wrote this in time for congregations to include it in their March newsletters or Lenten bulletins.

“Lent” actually comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word “Lencten,” which we would translate “lengthen,” referring to the lengthening of days or springtime.

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?

What does a bishop do, anyway?

2017-01-11T21:49:20+00:00 January 11th, 2017|Categories: Reflections|

What does a bishop do?

Okay, so what does a bishop do anyway?

Or for that matter, what does a synod do? I’ve noticed that several of my colleagues regularly post their weekly schedule on Facebook or in a newsletter. I won’t bore you each week with that just yet, but it might be helpful for you to have this snapshot into my month of January:

Polarities

2017-01-11T21:51:28+00:00 December 6th, 2016|Categories: Reflections|

Plus and Minus signs

Polarities

At the ELCA/Alban Institute “Head of Staff Seminar” in 2000, Roy Oswald spent an afternoon talking with the group about polarities. He drew a big “plus sign” or cross on the board, put “plus” signs in each of the two upper quadrants and “minus” signs in each of the two lower. Then he said something like,

Advent/Christmas

2017-01-11T22:23:24+00:00 November 15th, 2016|Categories: Reflections|

Advent Magi scene

Advent/Christmas

Yes, it’s only mid-November, and yes, I’m not one who tolerates well a Christmas focus before Advent and Thanksgiving. Consider this article like the choir that needs to start on its Christmas music preparation several weeks in advance.