Closing Worship—Shake Us Awake

The Holy Spirit is always shaking us awake to do things we never dreamed of or hoped to do on our own.

June 7, 2022 |

Pastor Brenda Smith, the synod-sponsored pastor to rostered ministers and their families, presides at communion for the 2022 Synod Gathering Closing Worship.
Photo credit: Todd Godwin

In much the same way as it began, the 2022 Synod Gathering ended with a spirit-filled worship service. We gathered at Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Grace Chapel on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost with music, liturgy, prayers, and the sacrament of Holy Communion. All rostered ministers were invited to vest and process for the closing worship service of our time together and during the worship service, they were invited to renew their ordination vows.

For the first time in his forty years of ministry (36 ordained plus four in seminary), Bishop Smith preached on the lectionary texts for the Vigil of Pentecost. Bishop Smith reminded us that the Holy Spirit is always shaking us awake to do things we never dreamed of or hoped to do on our own…and after this pandemic that is most certainly true…the church is doing something new for the sake of the world.

“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with groanings too deep for words. And God, who searches hearts, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:14-17, 22-27)

At our annual synod gathering, we read the names of the rostered ministers—pastors and deacons—who have died since we last gathered as the church (necrology). Bishop Smith read each name and prayed for the life and service of each person. As the assembly choir and the congregation sang The Kontakion, photos of those who have joined the Church Triumphant in the last year were shared.

Pastor Brenda Smith presided at Christ’s Table as we shared another sacred meal before being sent out to serve our neighbors throughout the NC Synod and around the world.


Pebbles Cloninger for the NC Synod

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