Synod Gathering Opening Worship Celebrates Ordained Women

It looks like Jesus just has this thing for empty tombs and open doors.

June 2, 2022 |

Pastors Lauren Carlson, Beth Kearney, and Nikkeya Berryhill are ready for opening worship!
Image credit: Angel Owens

The 2022 Synod Gathering began with a stirring worship at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Hickory, celebrating the 50th (plus two!) Anniversary of the Ordination of Women. The joy of gathering in person for worship after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus was palpable and the gifts of women were showing at every turn. Rostered women—pastors and deacons—processed, presided, and prayed. The worship was carefully crafted to reflect the celebration with hymns and prayers written by and lifting up women.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton was scheduled to preach but had an unplanned change of schedule. Stepping in ably, the Rev. Dr. Mary Shore, rector and dean of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, preached powerfully on John 20:1-18, urging us to live into our calling no matter how much fear and death we face. Jesus gives the confidence to do that: “It looks like Jesus just has this thing for empty tombs and open doors.”

Singing together, sharing the holy meal together, and celebrating the gifts of women in ministry together, were the perfect way to begin Synod Gathering—our first time together as a synod since Synod Assembly of 2019. We were sent from St. Andrew’s with the words of ELW 548 “Rise, O Church, Like Christ Arisen.”

Rise, O Church, like Christ arisen, from this meal of love and grace; may we through such love envision whose we are, and whose, our praise.
Service be our sure vocation; courage be our daily breath; mercy be our destination from this day and unto death.
Alleluia, Alleluia; God, the wonder of our days.

The celebration of the 50th (plus two) Anniversary of the Ordination of Women was continued later that same day when, following dinner, attendees were welcomed to a dessert reception hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University president Fred Whitt and his wife, Donna, at University Commons. Despite a brief downpour, most everyone stayed dry and had a wonderful time sharing conversation and beautiful sweet treats!


Synod Staff

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