Headlines: Leadership Days, LARCUM, Prayer Retreat, and more.
Joining neighbors, serving boldly, loving all, through Christ.
The South Carolina Lutheran eNews
LARCUM Bishops Send Letter to Governor 
The bishops of The Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and United Methodists in the State of South Carolina (LARCUM). Have sent a letter to Governor Nikki Haley in regards to refugee resettlement. Additional letters were sent to Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., President Pro Tempore of the SC Senate and James H. Lucas, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The text follows.
Dear Governor Haley,
We the South Carolina Bishops of LARCUM, Lutherans, Anglicans, Roman Catholic and United Methodists are concerned about anti-refugee resettlement legislation that is being considered at this time.
Our denominations have a long history of welcoming refugees who are fleeing persecution, famine and war. We have helped settle into our communities Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and those of many other religious backgrounds. Our congregations have helped provide jobs, housing, school enrollment, language classes and transportation. Over the years we have also experienced the joy of watching lives being transformed into those of productive citizens. Aiding those in need of settlement is central to our Biblical understanding of what it means to love God and one's neighbor. As Jesus says "when you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me."
We believe that there are multiple levels of vetting and accountability currently in place by our government including Homeland Security that are sufficient and have served our nation well. Most of the refugees who come here have lived in camps between two and four years before the vetting process is completed.
Of course, we understand the climate of fear in our country today that causes some people to want to limit certain religious groups from being settled here in South Carolina. Our prayers are that you will not support legislation that seeks to restrict the resettlement of refugees based upon anyone's religious background. It is important for us as leaders of almost 500,000 baptized believers that we do not encourage such exclusion.
In gratitude for your service,
The Rev. Dr. Herman R. Yoos, III, Bishop
SC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Rev. L. Jonathan Holston, Resident Bishop
SC United Methodist Conference
The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of Upper SC
The Most Rev. Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop
The Catholic Diocese of Charleston
The Rt. Rev. Charles vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop
The Episcopal Church in SC
Bishop's Day Leadership Event
Lay leaders, Council members, Pastors, AIMs, Diaconal Ministers, Deaconesses, and Seminary Students are invited to join Bishop Yoos on Sunday, April 17 from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Zion, Lexington.
The Keynote speaker with be Dr. Mark Tidsworth and the topic will be based on his book Shift: Three Big Moves for the 21st Century Church. The cost to register of $15 per person is to cover the meal which is included as part of the event.
How to register:
An email invitation will be sent to Council Presidents and Rostered Leaders with instructions on how to register or you may call the synod office at 803-765-0590 with the number of people who will be attending.
ELCAvotes initiative
By Tia Upchurch-Freelove, ELCA Advocacy's Program Director for Communications and Grassroots Outreach
We are called to conversation and prayer around our role as U.S. residents and as people of faith in ensuring our election systems promote dignity and respect for all.
We are called to act by speaking out as advocates and engaging in local efforts to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens.
To sign up for up-to-date information on ELCAvotes, visit: https://goo.gl/xg7gNk
ELCAvotes is an initiative to:
  1. Expand the role of the church in encouraging faithful and non-partisan voter participation by providing faith based resources around voting; 
  2. Provide a framework for all Lutherans to understand and speak out about the intersection of voting/elections, racial/gender and economic justice; 
  3. Provide young adults the tools to understand and speak about what it means to be a young person of faith who is civically engaged; and 
  4. Engage with and equip ethnic communities to talk about voting rights and race and their connection with elections today.
From the Social Policy Resolution, "Voting Rights to All Citizens" adopted August 2013
"[It is] resolved, that members, congregations, and synods of this church be encouraged to "promote public life worthy of the name" by speaking out as an advocate and engaging in local efforts such as voter registration and supporting legislation to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens..."
Selma Event in NE Columbia Area
You are invited to a community dialogue and Selma movie event. Join together with others from around the Northeast Columbia area on Sunday, February 28 at 3:00 p.m. at Journey United Methodist Church.
Come together to view the acclaimed more, Selma, and join in a time of shared fellowship, dialogue and Bible study as we seek to further break through barriers of race to build unity, increase understanding, and foster reconciliation in our communities!
Sponsored by congregations of Northeast Columbia including Adams Northeast AME, Journey UMC, Impact Church, Living Springs Lutheran Church, Northeast UMC, Pleasant Springs-Christ Mission, Rehoboth Baptist and in partnership with the ELCA South Carolina Synod.
Growing in God's Mission Community Engagement Grant
The Growing In God's Mission Community Engagement Grant committee awarded 5 grants totaling $20,000 to the following congregations during the 2015 Fall Grant cycle:
  • Crossroads Lutheran Church- $7,500.00 
  • Gethsemane Lutheran Church- $1,000.00 
  • Sagrada Familia- $4,500.00 
  • Our Savior Lutheran Church- $1,000.00 
  • St. Matthew's Lutheran Church- $6,000.00
The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is pleased to announce the request for 2016 spring applications for GROWING IN GOD'S MISSION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GRANT. Because of the generous gifts from congregations in the South Carolina Synod, ELCA to the Growing in God's Mission appeal, funds are available to SC Synod congregations to initiate new, meaningful connections and relationships with their community.
Applications for the GROWING IN GOD'S MISSION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GRANT should be completed in full for request to be considered. Completed applications are due MARCH 1, 2016. Applications are available online at www. scsynod.com. Locate the cover letter and application by going to "Deepening Discipleship," scroll down to "Growing In God's Mission", access the 2016 Growing in God's Mission Cover Letter and the 2016 Growing in God's Mission Grant Application. Completed applications must be MAILED to the South Carolina Synod. Congregations will be notified of their award status by April 1, 2016. Submit completed applications to:
South Carolina Synod
Growing In God's Mission Community Engagement Grant
1003 Richland St.
Columbia, SC 29201
Contact Melanie Wessinger, Growing in God's Mission Grant Committee Chair, with questions regarding the grant application process. Melanie may be reached by email at pwessinger@aol.com or 864-228-0368.
Concerned your congregation won't be ready to submit an application by March? No problem! There will be another request for proposals in the fall of 2016.
Help Wanted: Part-time Office Administrator - Pilgrim, Lexington
Pilgrim Lutheran Church, in Lexington, SC, is seeking to hire, preferably from outside our Congregation, a part-time Office Administrator. Job duties include: answering the telephone, greeting and assisting visitors, copying, filing, communicating via email, ordering supplies, directing maintenance issues to the appropriate party, preparing publications, maintaining the church calendar, and other administrative tasks. This is a part-time hourly position. Required hours areMonday-Thursday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, and Friday, 9:00-12:00. Applicants should email a cover letter and resume, including two references, to Michelle Nienhius at mnienhius@gmail.com. Deadline for applications is midnight, February 22nd.
Help Wanted: Part-time Organist/Choir Director - Faith, West Columbia
Faith Lutheran Church (1717 Platt Springs Rd), in West Columbia is seeking a part time organist/choir director. Sunday morning 11:00 A.M. Service with Wednesday night rehearsal. The organ is a two manual Viscount Electronic Organ with pedals. Salary is negotiable. Contact: Rev. M. David Kiel: 682-241-7290.
Looking for Hunger Team Leaders
The Community Outreach Network also has a great opportunity for folks who have a passion for feeding hungry people in their communities and abroad. We are looking for folks to serve on the Domestic and World Hunger Task Force. We need both lay and clergy who are passionate about helping our synod make systemic changes in this area. If you are interested in serving on this task force, or would like more information please contact Rev. Nathan Rice by email: pastor.nathan@sllc.org
2016 ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking Grants Are Available!
ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking Grants are designed to support local projects and programs in ELCA congregations, groups and/or synods. The grant opportunity encourages ELCA congregations, groups and/or synods to think creatively about educating, mobilizing, and expanding their networks to increase awareness of and engagement with the root causes of and solutions to hunger.
Assmebly Update
Need to know many voting members your congregation is eligible to send? Click here. If your congregation is not listed, it means that we are still waiting for your annual report. Reports were due by February 15th. Thank you to all who have completed and submitted them already.
Resources for your congregation
The Lifelong Faith Formation Network has compiled a list of resources for congregations. They may be found on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/Lifelong-Faith-Formation-Network-SC-Synod-683704651757922/ . For more information contact Deborah Poole (deborah@pisgahlutheran.org or 803-359-2223. There are two other Facebook groups in which you might also be interested - SC Synod VBS Exchange and SC Synod Curriculum Share.
Vacation Bible school in Colombia
Missionaries Katie and Curtis Kline have been blogging about their time spent in Colombia. In this reflection, read about how in many ways their vacation Bible school experience in Colombia is very similar to vacation Bible school in the United States. The week includes song, dance, crafts, and of course, Bible study. One difference, due to the difference in hemisphere, is that their program was in the summer over Christmas break. Their week concluded with a Christmas program, which the children worked hard to put together.
Walking with Grief Education Series Continues
Join us Tuesday, March 8, for Walking with Grief Education Series at the Heritage at Lowman. This session will focus on the diversity of grieving responses and the various factors influencing these responses such as gender, personality, the type of loss, one's culture, previous losses, and the nature of the relationship. Incorporated in the discussion will be the variety of feelings and experiences within the grief process.
For more information and/or to register for the March 8th session please call 803-732-8800.
Sundays at Lowman Concert Series
Join us, Sunday, March 13 at 3:00 p.m. for an afternoon of music at the Heritage at Lowman. Performing will be Ryan Knott on the cello. Ryan Knott is an actively performing cellist from the Columbia area and is currently pursuing a Bachelor degree in cello performance from the University Of South Carolina School Of Music under the study of Dr. Robert Jesselson. He is a founding member of the ARSnova Trio, and performs with South Carolina Philharmonic and USC Symphony Orchestra. With a passion and focus for chamber music, Ryan has competed and held titles with his piano trio and has performed at several venues across New York and Vermont with his string quartet as part of the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival.
The concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about our concert series please call 803-451-7414.
The St. Paul's Players will present "The Living Last Supper"
The St. Paul's Players, featuring music by the Taylor String Trio, will present "The Living Last Supper" Drama on March 22,23,24 at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free. This performance is recommended for ages 5 and above. See a Dramatic Production of "The Living Last Supper" at St.Paul's Lutheran Church on the corner of Bull and Blanding Streets, Columbia. Visit Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" painted for the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie in Milan in 1490. Witness what Jesus and his Disciples might have said as they shared their last meal together. Experience the Love, Loyalty, Grief and Sadness as his Disciples tell their relationship with Jesus. Communion will be served to the audience members by "Jesus and the Disciples" to those who would partake. Groups of 10 or more are asked to please call the Church (803) 779-0030 to tell which performance you will be coming.
Lutherock Conservation Easement
NovusWay Ministries recently entered into a conservation easement on 518 of the camp's 750+ acres. This step culminates a seven year process of working with the Blue Ridge Conservancy to find a way to preserve and protect the wilderness nature and character of the camp for future generations.
Christian Holistic Community Development Event at LTSS
Join Bill Stanfield of Metanoia for a full day of asset mapping and planning to ensure your organization is meeting the needs of its target audience effectively. The event takes place on Friday, February 26 from 10:00 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Stavros Lecture Hall at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.
Have You Taken Your Health Assessment?
The start of a new year reminds Portico health plan members and spouses to take their health assessments by logging into their My Portico accounts. Completion of the assessment earns you $150 in wellness dollars, with the opportunity to earn $250 more in follow up activities. Taking the assessment also helps the synod reach its 65% participation goal, saving your congregation 1% in health contributions.
And a time to laugh...
A little Lenten humor
A son said to his father, "I'm giving up school work for Lent." The father said to the son, "Okay, then I will give up anything giving you an allowance." The son then replied, "Okay, never mind."
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