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Meaningful Worship

By The Rev. Shannon Mullen

Both evenings of the South Carolina Synod Assembly 2022 were marked with wonderfully inspirational worship services, both reflecting the assembly theme, “I Love to Tell the Story.” The Rev. Andrea Rice and the Rev. Nathan Rice served as co-chairs of the worship planning team.

On Sunday evening, the Synod gathered at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. The Rev. Rebecca Wicker, Associate Pastor for Outreach and Evangelism served as host, welcoming the Synod to the historic downtown congregation. The Rev. Ginny Aebischer, Bishop of the SC Synod ELCA, preached. Her sermon featured a story of a group of people asked to form a circle, who, with some creative coaching, were led beyond a traditional inward facing, hand-holding circle to a shoulder-in circle which allowed those standing in it to see others both in the circle and outside of it. She encouraged those who gathered to consider new ways that we might both see and care for those in the circles of our congregations and those around us who are outside of our communities.

The service was filled with beautiful music, directed by Justin Wham, Director of Music Ministries at Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, Charleston. The special musical offerings included a mass choir of singers from SC Synod congregations across the state, the English Handbell Choir of Holy Spirit, the Charlestowne Brass Ensemble, and of course, St. Matthew’s 61-rank Austin Gallery Organ, played by Mr. Wham.

Monday evening’s worship was held at the Charleston Marriott, where the assembly was held. The Rev. Mary Canniff-Kuhn, who served as storyteller for the three-day gathering, shared a story proclaiming the power of the Good News of God to bring joy to our lives. The Rev. David Coffman served as synod necrologist, offering a deeply prayerful and moving time of prayer and reflection, honoring rostered ministers and spouses who died since the time of the last in-person Synod Assembly, which was held in 2019.

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ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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