Bishop’s Reflections

Reflections from Bishop Tim Smith

Christ icon, Hagia Sophia

Ain’t It the Truth?

The Bible lifts up competing narratives as a foundational human dilemma. While all of creation God proclaims, “very good,” God also warns the first humans that even in paradise there are boundaries, that enhance the…

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Special Delivery

We’re just now wrapping up our 12-day celebration of Mary’s delivery of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. First day of Systematic Theology 101 with Dr. Jenson, Gettysburg Seminary, 1983: Who is God? Simple answer: God…

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Hope is Stronger Than Memory

This time of year is so very nostalgic, even sentimental for those of us so charmed or privileged. We long for what was, for our ghosts of happy Christmas Past to visit sooner rather than…

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A Note from the Bishop

To be clear, the Synod Council, Assembly Planning Team, and Bishop’s Election Committee have made no formal recommendations yet about the 2021 NC Synod Assembly, but what I can tell you is that at least…

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Elections’ Directions Reflections

If you’re reading this on November 3, we probably don’t know much if anything yet about how this year’s hotly-contested elections are turning out. What we do know is that elections produce anxiety. Regardless of…

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Church & State 101

A month from now, the 2020 election will be over. As with every election before and yet to come, some will be satisfied, and some will be disappointed. Truthfully, with the extreme polarization that marks…

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Faithful Adaptation

In 586-87 BCE King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, after a long siege, laid waste the holy city of Jerusalem, destroyed the supposed indestructible temple home of Yahweh and the ark of the covenant, deposed the…

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Sabbatical and why we are so confused

And just like that, it’s August, and my July sabbatical is a memory. While sabbatical is in the NC Synod Compensation Guidelines and I missed my scheduled fall of 2015 sabbatical in Atlanta because of…

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Three notes from the bishop

I want to share three things with you this month: 1) Just a reminder that our NC Synod Re-gathering in-person recommendations are Phase-specific and not date-specific. So, the recommendation is still in effect since the governor…

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Take a deep breath

“I can’t breathe.” So it was for lumps of clay at creation that God called human beings. So God breathed breath into them, animating them, empowering them—in short, giving them life. But not only life…

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Congregations Re-Gathering

Some preliminary thoughts on re-gathering as congregations Bless your hearts, and mine, too! A friend of mine insists that southern cliché is more mannerly code for “You’re pitiful!” Jeff Foxworthy used this example: “I do…

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“The Flowers”

“The Flowers” The rain to the wind said, “You push and I’ll pelt.” They so smote the garden that the flowers actually knelt, And lay lodged, though not dead. I know how the flowers felt….

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On turning 60

For about 10 weeks Sandra Cline and I will both be “in our 60s.” I have much, including physical health, for which to be thankful. Grandbabies. A wonderful wife. A hard but meaningful job. Almost…

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Identifying Core Values

Some of you (I hope) will recognize what we’ve referred to as our Purpose/Vision Statement or our Guiding Principles for the NC Synod. To refresh your memory, here it is: God calls the NC Synod…

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