By Raymond Morris Jr.
It was a pleasure to have The Rev. Keith Fry, an ELCA representative, to join the gathered faithful and address those of us who were finally able to gather again in person after the peaks of COVID-19 prevented in-person Assembly gatherings. Pastor Keith remarked that wonderful stories were being shared by the speakers at Assembly and he was delighted to be able to participate in the storytelling.
Pastor Keith shared a video from Presiding Bishop Eaton. The theme of her video was that no human action can allow us to be justified in the eyes of God, but that’s alright because Jesus makes us justified, and that good news is something that should be shared with everyone. Luther translated the Bible so that the common people could read of their salvation. Bishop Eaton said that we need to find ways to be radically relevant and “translate the good news into the common vernacular of today” so that everyone can know of the amazing love and grace given to us by God.
Pastor Keith then began offering thanks for the various ways that the SC Synod provides for those in our communities and around the world who are in need. From ELCA World Hunger to Lutheran Disaster Response, the congregations in the SC Synod have provided $1,031,644 in support of joint ministry. These dollars went to help those who need it most, those who absolutely need God’s work performed through our hands.
Towards the end, Pastor Keith gave thanks for the various activities happening in the SC Synod. He lifted up Restoration Chapel, Greenwood, and Parroquia El Mesias, Mauldan as examples of new life that continues to spring up in the most unexpected of places. He spoke about candidates like Joel Antley and Laura Henrickson who are supported by Fund for Leaders and gave thanks for candidates entering into ministry. While there were many other activities covered, Pastor Keith offered special thanks to the SC Synod, noting that we support more missionaries in the companion synods than any other synod.
Pastor Keith closed his address with thanks for our faithfulness, generosity, and our daring to dream about new ways to tell the old, old story. He prayed that the fire and wind of the Spirit of God stir, send, and use us to tell the story of Jesus and his amazing love.