Vice President Diana Haywood’s reflections
Vice President Diana Haywood opened her reflection with the prayer that God would equip, help, and guide her as she serves God and the church.
Continuing her remarks, she noted that the NC Synod is blessed with committed volunteers and staff, rostered and lay leaders. Specifically, Vice President Haywood highlighted the work and service of Deacon Tammy Jones West, who has been the synod assembly manager for years, saying, “Tammy Jones West—Thank you! You rock!” And, knowing that Michael DeNise is taking over the responsibility of managing the synod assembly from now on, she said, “Michael DeNise, thank you for what you are going to do!” The entire assembly applauded both synod staff members for their exemplary service.
Vice President Haywood reminded us that we gathered around the theme “We are Church Together for the Sake of the World.” She called this assembly “spirited, spiritual, purpose-filled, and with a focus on being the church.”
As she attends meeting such as this, Vice President Haywood takes note of things she has heard and seen that bear remembering. She calls these Notables and Quotables and invited us to consider what God revealed to each of us as we gathered here in the name of Jesus. She wondered if our Notables and Quotables might be the same as hers, then shared quite a list!
The reports from our Agencies and Institutions, the story about a child whose life was changed forever at summer camp, the visual of someone served by Lutheran Services Carolinas, the enactment of a Bible verse (in a youth video), Pastor Alfredo Oviedo’s words, Dr. Shanitria Cuthbertson’s vision, the Glocal singers, the installation of Tammy Jones West as Assistant to the Bishop.
Vice President Haywood also quoted phrases and statements she had heard during assembly (apologizing if she was not quoting them exactly):
“Pray for your students, your teachers, your principals.”
“Prayer doesn’t cost us anything, and it can move mountains.”
“We have to accept leaders for who they are – authentically who they are.”
“We can unclench [our fists]. This is how we receive: water, bread, wine, and the least of these.”
“Justice and equality aren’t right if they are just right for some.”
“I believe in the commitment of our churchwide to be serious about inclusivity and justice for all.”
“One of the best ways to be vital is to do it together.”
“It is never too late to be a little more like Jesus, to follow his example, to live an honest, decent, human life as Christians.”
After reading this beautiful list of what she heard the people of God say during the last couple of days, she asked the assembly, “What did you hear? Where might the Spirit be speaking to you? What was your notable? What was your quotable? I hope you heard loudly and clearly that we are church for the sake of the world.”
In closing, Vice President Haywood led us in prayer.
Story: Jennifer Shimota Krushas is pastor at Emmanuel in High Point.
Photo: The Rev. Ray Sipe, Chaplain Trinity Place, Albemarle; Pastor Mt. Gilead, Mt. Pleasant and St. Martin, Concord.