By Beth Fulmer – Messiah, Mauldin
“Lord, grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness.” Acts 4:29
As we tuned in to the closing worship service of this Synod Assembly, we heard the hymn, “Jesus Loves Me,” which accompanied a time of being shown many of our South Carolina pastors. Following, we saw and heard many hymns, presented by vocalists, instrumental musicians, and dancers from various congregations; their common theme was “going boldly, expressing the good news in words and deeds.” The closing worship was truly bilingual thanks to the participation of Latino members from across the synod.
The Rev. Virginia S. Aebischer, Bishop of the South Carolina Synod, talked about the power of words, saying that our lives are filled with words, some mattering more than others. We Lutherans are familiar with the words, “I will, and I ask God to help me.” Any challenges that we face are “doable” with the help of our God.
Bishop Aebischer went on to say that the three most common phrases are: “I love you,” “I forgive you,” and “It’s time to eat.” These phrases demonstrate that words are the building blocks of what is to come.
Jesus proclaims the good news that God loves the unlovable; He sends us out boldly to love others. To do so, the world has taught us that we must first love ourselves. This is the heart of what love really means.
God is love. God’s love and grace is for everyone; it is unlimited. God invites us to be the hearts and voices of His love. God’s news is for those who are imperfect. We can share the Word with our own bold actions and words.
Bishop Aebischer challenged listeners to ask themselves two questions:
What is one word of hope for your congregation?
How is the power of the Holy Spirit going to help complete this hope?
During this Assembly, The Rev. Emily Meredith Edenfield was installed as Assistant to the Bishop in the South Carolina Synod.
The 2021 South Carolina Synod Assembly ended with the Lord’s Prayer.