Discovering God’s Grace
When Joy of Discovery Lutheran Church opened its doors in May 2006 in an inner city, multicultural setting in Raleigh, N.C., the congregation invited all people to come in and be richly blessed.
And from the start, members of this new start have been a blessing to others, said the Rev. Charlene Limenih, an African American woman who is the mission developer of Joy of Discovery. “Our trust in the Spirit’s work and dependence upon God is a cause for our rejoicing,” she said.
Your mission support through the ELCA North Carolina Synod and ELCA Mission Partners congregations not only helped launch this congregation, it also provided training for congregation members in stewardship and leadership.
Seven members of the congregation joined Limenih at the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA) gathering in Chicago in 2007. “We got to see other African people from across the United States and we got to see [ELCA Presiding] Bishop Hanson face to face,” she said.
One member of their group, John Cooper, was elected to the ADLA board to represent the Southeastern U.S. region.
The members felt “a greater sense of belonging” to the ELCA.
“Part of John’s role will be helping identify leaders of African Descent among the less than one percent of persons of color within the North Carolina Synod and strengthening connections with Southern Lutheran Seminary,” said Limenih.
Limenih added that following the ADLA event, the members felt “a greater sense of belonging” to the ELCA. “That experience meant so much to our call to faith and action as we continue celebrating our African roots while reaching out to everyone in our changing community,” said Limenih.