Summer Worship

We are thankful to the following congregations who have shared their recorded worship with the whole synod for worship this summer.

July 5          Epiphany, Winston-Salem
July 12        Mt. Zion, Richfield; St. Stephen’s, Gold Hill; Mt. Gilead, Mt. Pleasant; St. Martin, Concord
July 19        Mt. Pisgah, Hickory
July 26       Good Shepherd, Goldsboro
Aug. 02      Shepherd of the Hills, Sylva:   Watch on YouTube

Watch via Facebook on Sunday morning at Noon. (Note time change for this Sunday!)

To listen to Worship anytime, call toll-free:


          • Press 1 to hear the full worship.
          • Press 2 to hear the sermon.
          • Press 3 to hear the prayers.
Get synod staff sermon recording (new each Wednesday).


Wednesday, August 5, 11:00 a.m.—Weekly Zoom Call for All Rostered Ministers

  • Rostered ministers should check their Monday email from the bishop for each week’s Zoom invitation.

Thursday, August 13, 2:00 p.m.—Confirmation in a Pandemic, Part II


See boxes above for upcoming and previous weeks’ worship information.

Zoom Worship Recordings: View past live worship experiences led by synod staff


Listing of those gathering around our synod for worship online, etc.
Add your congregation to the list here.



NC Synod Re-Gathering Recommendations – May 30, 2020

ELCA Administration Matters: Index of July 2020 Issue

Guidelines for Virtual Communion:

Considerations for Remote Council and Congregation Meetings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Digital Worship and Sacramental Life in a time of Pandemic by The Lutheran World Federation.

Making Funerals Meaningful in the age of COVID-19 FREE webinar on Friday, April 3, by Hospice of America

Guide for Christian Funerals during COVID-19  by Massachusetts Council of Churches

Helping Churches Thrive During COVID-19 – Resource site of ACS Technologies

Ministry Impact Resources from ACS Technologies

Easy “Work From Home” Tips

Tech Soup – NC synod partnership to access the best technology options at the most affordable cost

HR Matters: Best Practices for Managing during Quarantine – a video resource

Free 45 minute legal consultation for nonprofits









Another round of PPP loans might be approved by Congress as early as Thursday, April 23. Read the 4/22 Special E-News.
Do you bank with Wells Fargo? Note that, when filling out PPP loan forms, Tom Cunniff, ELCA General Counsel, says “We have heard and are advising congregations to put in the name of an officer and indicate that they are an officer, not an owner.” For more details, see Question 14 on the ELCA FAQ document.

NC Synod Launches Relief Fund  Read more about the synod’s COVID-19 Relief Fund launched on April 13, 2020.

The ELCA Credit Union can be a Paycheck Protection Program resource for your congregation or ministry. Visit the special Paycheck Protection Program page on the Credit Union’s website.

Online Giving Assistance: If your congregation does not have online giving, the synod can help. We will send checks to congregations who receive funds through our online giving system. We will cover the credit card fees. Here’s how to make that happen:

  1. Go to our NC Synod website 
  2. Click the Donate button on the top right of your screen.
  3. Enter the amount you would like to give.
  4. Select a fund – “Where needed most”
  5. In the Optional Memo – put the name of your congregation and city. (You have 23 characters. Abiding Presence, Fuquay-Varina won’t fit. Try AP, Fuquay. Be creative but PLEASE include the city and at least an abbreviation of the church name. We can’t send checks if we do not know.)
  6. Include your email address and then click continue.
  7. If you are a rostered minister, the system may recognize you. Click continue.
  8. The system is set to a frequency of one time. You can change that to once a week, etc. Pick a date to make your donation.
  9. Fill out your credit card information and click Give.
  10. Your congregation will receive a check each month with the amount given online through this portal.

Small Business LoansApply here.

SBA FAQs related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for faith-based organizations

Find Eligible Lenders tool from – Use this tool to find a nearby lender eligible to issue a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

CARES Act FAQs answered by ELCA Attorney Tom Cunniff:

  1. Are churches eligible?  Yes. There is some misinformation out there and some lenders are confused, but churches are eligible.
  2. What is the application period for the Paycheck Protection Plan loans/grants?  It opens tomorrow, April 3.  There is no close date we are aware of, but because the pool of money is limited, applicants should start soon.
  3. If you take the loan/grant, do you have to submit to an audit to get forgiveness?  Not likely.  You will have to document through payroll records, canceled checks, etc., that you spent the money as allowed, but that is a far cry from an audit.  The SBA’s ability to audit individual claims is going to be severely limited.
  4. Who is the owner of the congregation/synod?  NO ONE.  The space on the application for ownership of 20% or more of the entity does not apply and should be left blank. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT say that the synod or the ELCA owns a congregation, or that the ELCA owns a synod. IT IS NOT TRUE. Also, if we are improperly lumped together, it will put us over 500 employees and no one will get it.
  5. Do we share common management or ownership (question 3 on the application)?  NO.
  6. Do we need a congregational meeting to approve borrowing money?  Maybe. One option is to hold a remote meeting; our remote meeting guide is up on the ELCA public health page [and has also been copied to NC Synod COVID-19 Resource page under Online Giving/Meetings]. If timing is an issue, the congregation can start the application process and ratify when they can hold a remote meeting. Another option is to treat it as a grant application (assuming the congregation is going to comply with the rules for forgiveness) so a meeting is not necessary. If no meeting is held now, we strongly recommend having a meeting when the congregation can to ratify the action.

Summary of CARES Act Provisions by Church Alliance

The CARES Act: A Helpful Description by Horizons Stewardship

Families_First_Coronavirus_Response_Act  – United Church of Christ memo

Mission Investment Fund letter to customers

Federal Tax deadline extended until July 15 with no penalty or interest. NC tax deadline extended until July 15 with no penalty BUT with interest.

Preferred ELCA vendors

Facebook – social good – Nonprofits using Facebook’s payment platform to process donations pay no fee – 100% of the donations go to the charity.

10 ideas for church financial leaders amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Response to COVID-19 from ELCA presiding bishop Elizabeth Eaton

Update and Resources on COVID-19 Related Benefits from March 30, 2020

NC Unemployment Insurance Information: Changes Due to COVID-19

Coronavirus Unemployment Benefits: Q&A

FAQ on Paycheck Protection Program Loans – updated April 6, 2020

Comparison of some popular online giving platforms for churches

Financial giving in a time of crisis – an ELCA resource

Nonprofit PPP Loan Forgiveness – How does it work? – Inside Charity


Key ways to Keep Stewardship Strong in Uncertain Times by Pastor Mike Ward.


  • Consider setting a common prayer time, so folks know they are praying together even if they can’t gather in person.
  • Divide up your church membership contact list among other leaders and call everyone to check in.
  • Identify folks who need support re: grocery & supplies. Encourage sharing of supplies.
  • Send cards to those who are isolated.
  • Send notes of thanks and care to people, especially workers on the front lines and local care facilities like nursing homes and hospitals.



Children, Youth & Family Resources

IDEAS FOR CONNECTING from Youth Ministry Staff


We pray…
Forming God, you call us to a place where we feel so ill-equipped to lead. Give us the voice that Moses didn’t know he had. Give us friends like the paralytic that make us see Jesus regardless of the chaos. Give us time away like Jesus to stop, pray, and recenter our worlds that are spinning far too fast. Remind us, God, that we don’t have to fix this and we can’t. Help us remember that your love and grace are never changing even when our reality changes daily. Guide us, walk with us, sustain us in all that we do. Etch upon our hearts to be still and know that you are God. In Christ we pray. AmenDeacon Tammy Jones West


Knowing that God is calling us to walk alongside one another, here are opportunities for walking together as the NC Synod this coming week: 

  • Online Service of the Word available on our YouTube channel and on our Facebook page for anyone to join. We anticipate providing this through June. 
  • Prayer texts: Bishop’s staff members will be sharing prayers with you via text each day. May it be a reminder of God’s presence, our partnership, and your call to lead in this time. Email to sign up. 
  • Next week and in the weeks ahead, you will continue to receive weekly communication on Mondays from the bishop, the bishop’s staff, and synod council with updates and decisions affecting the ways we journey together. Email if you are not receiving Monday emails.
  • Weekly Zoom calls with rostered ministers and bishop’s staff take place each Wednesday at 11 a.m. Stay tuned to the Monday email for login information. Previously-recorded calls are here:
    • April 22
    • April 29—camp directors, Deacon Randy Youngquist-Thurow and Bo Harris, join the call
    • May 6—re-gathering considerations
    • May 13– trauma



Just a few benefits that can meaningfully help ELCA-Primary health plan members toward greater well-being.

• Being – is a holistic, faith-based, educational platform offering expert-led videos on a wide range of well-being skills – such as longevity, purpose, resiliency, and more.
• Learn to Live – is a self-directed online mental health support program designed to help manage stress, depressions, social anxiety, insomnia, and substance us.
• 98point6 – a service that delivers 24/7, text-based primary care services with U.S. based, board-certified doctors. Receive on-demand consultation, diagnosis, and a treatment plan. Doctors can also prescribe medication (except controlled substances) and order lab tests. Visits are $0 for members with Platinum+ or Gold+ options; $5 copay for Silver+ and Bronze+ options.
• Doctor On Demand – provides on-demand, online appointments with board-certified physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. You can see a therapist through Doctor on Demand for stress, anxiety, relationship issues, depression, changes in mood, alcohol and tobacco addictions, and eating disorders.

A concern was raised about Telemedicine services for mental health conditions:
Given current guidance and standards, the ELCA-Primary benefits plan will now cover medical and mental health telehealth/virtual visits the same as any visit in a clinic or brick and mortar location (subject to our current health plan deductible limits and eligible providers). This will provide consistent care for our rostered ministers and leaders who have established, relationships with primary caregivers.

Find out more on the Portico website.

Portico COVID-19 Support – Updates 4.15.20



From Bishop Tim Smith

Three notes from the bishop

I want to share three things with you this month:

  1. Just a reminder that our NC Synod Re-gathering in-person recommendations are Phase-specific and not date-specific. So, the recommendation is still in effect since the governor extended Phase 2 through at least July 17. The only addition from the governor’s office is that masks are now required in public. Until we get to Phase 3 (which we don’t know when or what that will look like yet), we still recommend no gatherings of more than 10 indoors and no more than 25 outdoors for our congregations. Whenever congregations do gather, we have guidelines for doing that as safely as possible. Those recommendations can be found on our re-gathering page. (more…)

From ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

Title image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay

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