Traditionally, synod assembly has been a time to celebrate together special anniversaries. This year’s gathering was no different; even as those celebrations made their way to an online format.
Bishop Tim Smith read the names—and photos were shown on the screen—of rostered ministers (pastors and deacons) with significant ordination anniversaries: 25 years, 35 years, 50 years, 60 years, and 65 years. One pastor, the Rev. Glenn Reichley, celebrated 71 years! Bishop Tim also shared all the names (no pictures for these) of all rostered ministers who have served over 50 years in the Gospel ministry. The bishop challenged participants to add together all those years of faithful service; that’s a very big number!
Because the synod did not gather for Synod Assembly in 2020, and the Synod Gathering which was planned had to be canceled due to the pandemic, anniversaries celebrated in both 2020 and 2021 were listed.
Similarly, when it was time to mark congregational anniversaries, both 2020 and 2021 anniversaries were named. Significant anniversaries included Shepherd of the Sea, Atlantic Beach, celebrating 50 years, and both St. John’s, Concord, and Friedens, Gibsonville, celebrating 275 years of ministry. Thanks be to God for the many wonderful years of ministry in these faithful congregations!