Southeastern Synod ELCA

News Archive

Chandler Carriker joins NovusWay as VP of Program and Engagement

Chandler Carriker joins NovusWay as VP of Program and Engagement


I am pleased to share with you the exciting news that Chandler Carriker will be joining our team as Vice President of Program and Engagement effective April 1, 2019. We are truly blessed to have someone of his caliber and experience base stepping into this important role.   Chandler is a deacon in the ELCA, an alumnus of NC State University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Chandler worked 8 summers on staff at Camp Lutheridge and Camp Lutherock including two summers as Associate ...

2019 ELCA Southeastern Synod Assembly

2019 ELCA Southeastern Synod Assembly


Logo created by Ms. Linda Few, St. Mark, East Point, GA   Under the theme "Together in Spirit. Forward in Faith.", the ELCA Southeastern Synod will hold its 2019 Synod Assembly, May 31 - June 2, 2019, at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter Street, Chattanooga, TN. Together in spirit, at the 2018 Assembly, we prayerfully responded to the call of a year-long conversation about the Southeastern Synod Bishop of the future. We continued conversations in our deaneries, discerning the needs...

Montgomery Pilgrimage


Join Bishop H. Julian Gordy, and fellow Lutherans and friends from across the synod on a pilgrimage to Montgomery, Alabama, Saturday, April 27, 2019. Our purpose is to experience The Legacy Museum, and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice followed by a period of reflection and conversation with Bishop Gordy and members of the Equal Justice Initiative. The agenda for the day is as follows: Tour The Legacy Museum in the morning. Break for lunch at a nearby eatery of your choice. Tour The ...

Godspeed to the Ridenhours

Godspeed to the Ridenhours


NovusWay Ministries thank Kara and Jacob Ridenhour for their years of faithful service in this ministry. Kara has recently accepted an exciting position with Outward Bound right here in Asheville. With her resignation and due to the co-director model, NovusWay Ministries has lost not just one, but both Ridenhours. Kara and Jacob leave a lasting mark on NovusWay, in particular, at Lutherock where they have been directors for the past five years. Kara and Jacob have themselves been shaped by the ...

Troutman-Gordy Pavilion Dedication


St. John’s Lutheran Church and the ELCA Southeastern Synod held its ribbon cutting and dedication of the Troutman-Gordy Pavilion, Saturday, January 19, 2019.  Approximately 150 Lutherans, neighbors, and friends gathered for this auspicious occasion. The Troutman-Gordy Pavilion is an addition made to the existing structure of St. John’s as a part of the Synod’s new office. The Pavilion honors two beloved leaders who have inspired and encouraged us as people of faith.      The Rev. Dr. Gerald S....

Happening Soon!


New to our website is a list of upcoming events, to include Reformation Day at Emory, seminars, workshops, recitals, and broadcasts. We will update the list continuously upon receipt of information. It is our hope that this page will serve as a readily available reference and a means to ensure that information is provided in a timely manner.

2018 Leadership Convocation - First Things First: Proclaiming the Good News as the Call of the Church


The 2018 ELCA Southeastern Synod Leadership Convocation will be held October 16 - 18, 2018 at Lutheridge, Arden, NC.  Rostered ministers and lay leaders are encouraged to attend. Keynote Speaker:  This year we welcome the Rev. Michael L. Burk, Bishop, Southeastern Iowa Synod, as our Keynote Speaker.  Rooted in the gathering of God’s people around the means of grace, we will explore what it means to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in a persistently changing landscape. Informed by ...

2018 Southeastern Synod Assembly Highlights


Assembly Highlights The 2018 ELCA Southeastern Synod Assembly met June 1 - June 3, 2018 at the Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN.  Under the theme of Reformation 500…Now What? the Assembly began to consider who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do into the future.  Read Bishop Gordy's spoken report to the Assembly here. The Southeastern Synod elected a new Vice President.  Mr. Imran Siddiqui (left) was elected to serve as the Vice President on the first ballot. ...

Come to a Hearing on the Draft of the Social Statement on Women and Justice!


The ELCA Southeastern Synod will be hosting a hearing on the text of the “Draft Social Statement on Women and Justice” at its Synod Assembly on Saturday, June 2, 2018, 11:00 a.m. in Meeting Room 18 at the Chattanooga Convention Center. This hearing is a special opportunity to respond to the text of the draft statement and to hear the perspectives of others, as well. A representative of the ELCA Task Force on Women and Justice: One in Christ will be present at the hearing. An appointed recorder...

Ribbon Cutting a Big Success

Ribbon Cutting a Big Success


On Wednesday, February 21 at noon, Lutheranch Camp and Retreat Center opened its doors to officially welcome the Haralson County community for its Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening, an event sponsored by the Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce.  Nearly fifty guests from area businesses and churches as well as representatives from ELCA congregations were in attendance, making it among the most well-attended ribbon cutting in Haralson County. Guests gathered in the McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center...

NovusWay Ministries Elects Bo Harris, IV to Executive Director

NovusWay Ministries Elects Bo Harris, IV to Executive Director


Arden, November 20, 2017- NovusWay Ministries today announced that its Board of Trustees has elected Boyd W. Harris IV as its executive director and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2018. Harris succeeds Keith Johnson, who had earlier announced his intention to retire at December 31 after 24 years as its executive director. Mr. Harris (Bo) has successfully led businesses and ministry organizations through times of transition, growth and change. Three guiding principles have been ...

Catholic-Lutheran Dialogue and Prayer Service


Sunday evening, January 22, 2017, was a hallmark day in the Catholic Archdiocese of Mobile, AL and the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Jointly sponsored, Our Savior parish in Mobile hosted “From Conflict to Communion: 5 Ecumenical Imperatives.” The guest speakers for this dialogue were Dr Michael Root of the Catholic University of America (pictured far left) and Presiding Bishop Emeritus Mark Hanson of the ELCA (pictured far right.) They spoke separately,...

Lutheran Services of Georgia Names John Moeller as Chief Executive Officer


Atlanta, Ga. (January 30, 2017) – Lutheran Services of Georgia (LSG), a nonprofit social services agency, recently announced the selection of Rev. John Moeller as its new Chief Executive Officer. In this key leadership role, Moeller will steer the statewide organization as it looks to expand and enhance its services and programs and to strengthen its position as an industry leader. Moeller will begin his new role effective February 15, 2017. At that time, Gary Johnstone, who has served as ...

Lutheranch Ground Breaking: McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center


Lutheranch Ground BreakingMcKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center5/29/16In a year already filled with significant accomplishments at Lutheranch, Saturday, May 28, 2016 will long be remembered as a truly historic day when ground was broken for the McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center. The service began at the Southeastern Synod Assembly in Birmingham. Paul Schabacker, who chaired the Site Selection Team highlighted how God’s hand was evidenced throughout the ten year journey that began in 2006 when hundreds ...

Dedication Day at Lutheranch


March 12, 2016 will long be remembered as the day when Lutheranch took a giant step forward in ministry with the dedication of the Stender Campus, the Lake Stender Worship Area and St. Timothy Outdoor Chapel. Bishop H. Julian Gordy presided at the dedication, along with Bishop Herman Yoos, South Carolina Synod and the Rev. Darrel Peterson, Marietta, GA.The Lake Stender Worship Area was named in memory of the Rev. William Harold and Roberta MacDougalStender (right). Pastor Stender’s ministry ...

Cross and Crown, Chamblee, GA Leaves Legacy at Lutheranch


On August 9, 2015, Cross and Crown Lutheran Church conducted its final worship service and fellowship meal, and the buildings and property were sold on December 7, 2015. This concluded several years of efforts to “turn around” the ministry of Cross and Crown church, which also operated a preschool. Pastor Gary Christensen was called as pastor in December 2008 following his service as Mission Director for the ELCA in the Southeastern Synod. Despite their best efforts, the “turnaround” wasn’t ...

Lutherock Conservation Easement News Release


NovusWay Ministries recently entered into a conservation easement on 518 of the camp’s 750+ acres. This step culminates a seven year process of working with the Blue Ridge Conservancy to find a way to preserve and protect the wilderness nature and character of the camp for future generations. Designated by the state of North Carolina as “Lutherock Natural Area,” this camp represents one of the top areas in the state to preserve and protect. With two globally endangered ecosystems (Northern ...

McKanna-Sandrock Retreat Center Named at Lutheranch


When Dr. James Andrew McKanna (pictured left with his wife Vivien) learned that funding wasn’t yet in place to build the full 40-room retreat center at Lutheranch and the Board was considering phased construction, he became very concerned. McKanna had been a NovusWay donor for several years, and he was part of the major gifts team in the Nashville area for the “Standing on the Promise” campaign for Lutheranch. Based on his own camping experience at Long Lake Lutheran Camp in Wisconsin, McKanna ...

Hardscape Plan for Lutheranch Being Developed


Two landscape architects are volunteering their time to develop a “hardscape” plan for Lutheranch that will include the roads, trails and site features. It is important that these features be in place prior to construction of the new retreat center. With the architect authorized to develop detailed plans and construction drawings for the center, Lutheranch is very fortunate to have two volunteers step forward to begin work on the plan. Stephen Schrader is from Birmingham, Alabama where he is a ...

LSTC student Louis Tillman tapped as leader for climate justice


Mr. Louis Tillman is a member of Christ the Lord Lutheran Church, Lawrenceville, GA. This LSTC press release was originally published in July of this year.Last month, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago student Louis Tillman joined thousands of marchers to thank Pope Francis for his recent encyclical on climate change. The march, “One Earth, One Family” brought together people of diverse faiths from around the world. It was organized by OurVoices,, FOCSIV, and others. Marchers carried...

Trout Named NovusWay Director of Development


NovusWay Ministries, the new name for the joint ministry of Lutheridge, Lutherock, Luther Springs and Lutheranch, recently announced that Danny Keith Trout assumed the Director of Development position effective August 3, 2015. Trout comes to NovusWay having enjoyed professional successes in leadership, management, faith-based non-profit operations and financial development. His responsibilities will be to lead the comprehensive development program and supervise deployed development ...

Luther Springs Now a Part of NovusWay Ministries


In November 2009, the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Florida (LOMF) and NovusWay (then known as Lutheridge+Lutherock Ministries) boards signed an eight-step agreement to guide the relationship of the two ministries. The purpose was to find a way to enable more Floridians to benefit from sharing in camp programs and to bring stability to Luther Springs. The eight steps have been largely accomplished which led to formal consolidation when the two boards conducted a joint retreat at Luther Springs ...

Lutheranch Campaign Update


The “Standing on the Promise” campaign continues in congregations throughout the ELCA-Southeastern Synod. To date, totals in pledging/giving are $2.7 million. Recently, Lutheran Church of Redeemer, Savannah, GA ran a congregational campaign for Lutheranch, with Susan Tellefsen serving as the congregational leader. Redeemer’s average attendance is 75. Their total giving/pledging for the campaign totaled $25,720.00.The Rev. Steve Hilgeman, pastor of Redeemer, shared his thoughts concerning the ...

Hamilton to Serve at the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue


The Rev. Dr. Ruth E. Hamilton, pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church, Atlanta, and synod secretary, has been invited to serve as recording secretary for Round XII of the U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue. The invitation was extended by the co-chairs of the dialogue, the Most Reverend Lee A. Piché, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, former secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Round XII of the dialogue, “Faithful ...

Michael Rhyne elected bishop of the ELCA Allegheny Synod


14-36-JL*CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Rev. Michael L. Rhyne, East Freedom, Pa., was elected June 7 to a six-year term as bishop of the Allegheny Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) during the Synod Assembly June 5-7 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, Pa. Rhyne was elected on the fifth ballot with 139 votes to 113 votes for the Rev. Lynn M. Miller, assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Allegheny Synod, based in Altoona. On this ballot, 252 votes were cast and 127 votes...

ELCA, Episcopal leaders support proposed rule on carbon emissions


14-37-MRCCHICAGO (ELCA) — In support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on carbon emissions, the presiding bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Episcopal Church said in a June 5 joint statement that the rule is a “critical step toward safeguarding the lives and livelihood of future generations.” In their statement, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton and Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori noted that recent ...

Prayers for Bishops and Synods Across the Nation


Please hold the following Bishops and Synods in your prayers as they gather for their synod assemblies on the following dates: Bishop Robert Rimbo, Metropolitan New York Synod, May 29 – 31, 2014 Bishop Herman Yoos, South Carolina Synod, May 29 -31, 2014 Bishop Jeffrey Barrow, Greater Milwaukee Synod, May 29 – 31, 2014 Bishop R. Guy Erwin, Southwest California Synod, May 30 – 31, 2014 Bishop Brian Maas, Nebraska Synod, May 30 – 31, 2014 Bishop Wayne Miller, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, May 30 – ...

Former Synod Pastor Publishes Book on the Black Lutheran Experience


The Reverend Lonnie Branch, who served as pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Atlanta, from 1989-96, has recently published Reflections of Light: The Odyssey of a Black American Lutheran Pastor During the Civil Rights Years. (Kirk House Publishers []). Pr. Branch is remembered by many in the synod as a strong leader among its pastors. Chapter 14, in which he describes his years at Atonement and his leadership in the Southeastern Synod will be of particular interest ...

Ronald T. Glusenkamp Named Director of ELCA Campaign


ELCA NEWS SERVICEMay 1, 201414-26-MRCCHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Ronald T. Glusenkamp will become director of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) effective June 16. Glusenkamp is senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.Approved by the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August and officially launched Feb. 1, 2014, the five-year campaign seeks to raise $198 million in designated funding for new and expanded ...

ELCA Offers Prayers and Support for Those Impacted by U.S. Tornadoes


ELCA NEWSApril 29, 201414-25-CHBCHICAGO (ELCA) – Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are offering prayers and support for survivors and communities impacted by tornadoes and severe weather that struck the Midwest, southern and eastern parts of the United States. To date, 28 people are confirmed dead, and thousands have been impacted by storm systems since April 25. There are no reports of any ELCA congregations with property damaged by the severe weather. "Our prayers ...

ELCA awards grants to support U.S. anti-hunger ministries, organizations


ELCA NEWS SERVICEApril 23, 201414-24-CHBCHICAGO (ELCA) -- In an effort to support hunger-fighting organizations in the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) awarded 401 grants totaling nearly $1 million through its ELCA World Hunger program. The annual domestic hunger grants support ELCA congregations, social ministry organizations and community-based nonprofits working to address poverty, hunger and related social justice issues. More than 800 million people in the ...

The 46th Anniversary of the Assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Louis Tillman, Christ the Lord Lutheran, Lawrenceville, GA, is a Masters of Divinity student at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Chicago. The following is an excerpt from a letter sent to Bishop H. Julian Gordy.The World Student Christian Federation of North America recently had their SCM-USA National Leadership Training Program (LTP). The SCM-USA National Leadership Training Program was held on April 3-6, 2014 at the 4H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD near Washington, D.C. This gathering ...

ELCA members make plans for “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday


CHICAGO (ELCA) – As a church that believes “God is calling us into the world together,” members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will participate in “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, Sept. 7 – a day dedicated to doing service work alongside neighbors in communities across the country. In 2013, the 4 million-member ELCA celebrated its 25th anniversary with the first “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday. ELCA members of all ages engaged in service projects that helped address ...

Volunteers Serve Refugees at the 2014 Lutheran Day of Service!


Learning to speak a hard truth


Needle barely moved on ELCA becoming a diverse churchBy Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton Consider this: how many of you are left-handed? Of those of you who are, how many times a day are you reminded that you are left-handed? At every meal when you sit next to a right-handed person and bump elbows? When you use scissors? When you write? When you shake hands? Now, how many of you are right-handed? Chances are you never have to think about being right-handed. Most of us are right-handed. The ...

NovusWay Announces Staff Changes


Keith Johnson, executive director for NovusWay Ministries, has announced that the Rev. Mike Ward (pictured at left) will be changing his work status effective January 1, 2014. For the past 12 years Ward has served first as Development Director and later as VP of Advancement with responsibility for financial development and marketing. Ward will continue to be responsible for marketing on a part-time basis. The change will enable him to serve as a consultant and partner with GSB Associates where ...