Our Story Blog

Flood Recovery Update from Lutheran Services Carolinas

In October 2015, South Carolina experienced a devastating and destructive 1,000-year flood. As a result of hurricane Joaquin more than 11 trillion gallons of water engulfed the area and swallowed everything in its path – including thousands of homes in Richland and Lexington Counties. There were nearly 25,000 FEMA registrations in Richland and Lexington Counties alone.
There are more than 1,200 families in Richland and Lexington counties who still need help repairing their homes.

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Hispanic Heritage Celebration at Nuestro Salvador

Last Sunday, the people from Parroquia Nuestro Salvador in Greenville had for the third time their Hispanic heritage celebration. In this ocassion, this important celebration started with our traditional worship service at 3:00 p.m. with more than 80 people in attendance and a baptism of a 15 year old girl whom with her family who were new to Christianity. As usual, the youth group actively participated leading the liturgy along with their pastor Alejandro Mejía. Afterwards, there was a fellowship hall full of delicious and authentic Latino food, prepared by the families of the mission congregation, waiting for all attendees to enjoy and celebrate their Latino roots and also to give thanks for the opportunity God has given to them to be in this nation.

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Financial Stewardship in the Digital Age

Digital technologies are woven into the human experience and they have transformed how we live, work, relax, and interact. They have even affected the ministry to which Christians are called. Not surprisingly, how American Christians access money to meet financial commitments has changed dramatically with this transformation. Many of us no longer carry checkbooks or appreciable amounts of cash, opting for the convenience and security of credit and debit cards instead.

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Supporting Public Education

First and foremost, I am a child of God. I am also a Lutheran, and I am eternally grateful that, by the grace of God, I have been saved through faith. Next year I, along with Lutherans worldwide, will be celebrating “500 years of God’s grace in action”.* I am also a member of South Carolina Women of the ELCA (SC WELCA). Our purpose statement says we are a community of women created in the image of God, called to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit. As disciples of Christ, we are called to love and serve our neighbors.

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To Provide Men with a Meaningful Relationship with Jesus Christ

I have been reading passages in Exodus regarding the presentation of the Ten Commandments to Moses. Exodus 24:9 states that Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu and Seventy of the Elders of Israel went up and they saw the God of Israel. As the story goes then Moses went up on Mt. Sinai and spent forty days receiving the Ten Commandments. Here is what I find interesting: Aaron had spent a lot of time with Moses and had seen the miracles in Egypt, in the desert and now had seen God, yet forty days later he was making a golden calf for the people of Israel. I can’t help but think about the old cliché “what have you done for me lately”. I find this to be true today. No matter how many times we see God at work we tend to forget all that He has done for us.

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Of Mustard Seeds and Children

According to a Kids Count survey, the state of South Carolina ranks 41st overall in a child’s chances of succeeding based on four key indicators: economics, education, health and family, and community. Last year we ranked 42nd so there is some slight progress even though more than a quarter of South Carolina’s children still live in poverty, about 289,000.

What difference if any can we make as Lutherans in the face of those statistics? We might be tempted to say nothing at all, but that is where Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed comes in. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which when planted grows to be the greatest of shrubs.” Matthew 13:31

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Martin Luther Visionary Reformer: Understanding Luther and the Arts in the World Today

Join the Academy of Faith and Leadership and the South Carolina Lutheran Synod, ELCA in a commemorative event of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This day-long celebration will feature the Rev. Dr. Scott H. Hendrix, Emeritus Professor of Reformation History and Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer. Dr. Hendrix will address what Luther wanted and why it was hard for him and us to achieve it. Rev. Dr. J. Clay Schmit and Dr. M. Patrick Graham, the Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography and Director of Pitts Theology Library at Emory University, will make presentations on Luther and the Arts: Utilizing the Arts in Ministry and Worship Today.

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How will people know?

On Wednesday, Aug. 10, the voting members of the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly received the document “Declaration on the Way.” More than 99 percent of us affirmed this significant ecumenical statement in which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have achieved agreement on 32 issues regarding communion, ministry and the church, declaring that these are no longer church dividing (page 16). Fifty years of ecumenical dialogue in the United States and around the world led to this point.

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