2021 Synod Assembly --

June 4-5, 2021

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2021 Walking Together

Reports of the ministries of the Central States Synod

Summary of the Synod Assembly:  

 

Assembly began Friday evening, June 4 with a worship service inviting us to journey through the waters and give thanks for our baptism. The music selections were from the new ELCA hymnal “ All Creation Sings.” 

 

View the worship service here :

Then Judith Roberts, Sr. Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the ELCA invited us into “sacred circles” to talk about the complex dynamics of racism and our call as people of faith to address the injustice of racism.  Even though it was adopted by the ELCA in 1993, the Social Statement: Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture   continues to express the ELCA’s calling to celebrate culture and ethnicity.  This calling commits the ELCA to confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation on these matters, and to advocate for justice and fairness for all people.    Ms. Roberts encouraged us to continue the conversations, even in the midst of the uncomfortable feelings it may raise, for there is much to learn as we listen to one another, there is much work for us to do to do.

 

View Ms. Roberts' presentation here :

On Saturday morning, we took the “business” agenda of the assembly. 

  • We amended our synod constitution to bring our by-laws into conformity with the required provisions approved at the 2019 churchwide assembly including the following:  No more than 50% of lay voting members of the assembly shall be of the same gender.

  • We approved Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers for 2022, which encourages congregations to use a worksheet to calculate compensation.

  • We received the report from the treasurer which indicated that mission support from congregations increased in 2020 and the response to the annual appeal was the largest we had ever seen. In the words of our treasurer, “I am always grateful for the support that we receive from our congregations but this year that gratitude is mixed with surprised, administration, and an affirmed spirit of partnership.” 

  • We approved a budget of $1,674,534 which includes the release of $63,634 of restricted funds from the surplus from 2020.

  • The DEMs, Kendra Nolde and Donna Simon, gave a presentation regarding Faithful Innovations to invite congregations to listen, act, and share.

  • We passed the following resolutions:

    • A Season of Global Awareness which designates the Epiphany season as a time for congregations to lift up the church around the world; October 3, 2021 as a Sunday of solidarity with our companion synod in Russia; April 24, 2022 as a Sunday of solidarity with our companion synod in Papua New Guinea

    • Embracing the Earth Charter which calls congregations to become acquainted with the Earth Charter (link), consider joining its implantation initiative in our synod, and prayerfully consider what actions to take to become better stewards of creation.

    • Calling for a Social Statement on Child Protection which memorializes the ELCA to develop and adopt a social statement on Child Abuse and Children Protection and encourage all congregations to adopt child protection policies and engage in education on effective discipline for children.

    • Racial Justice which commits us to being communities of repentance and transformation, working for reconciliation and restoration for the harms of racism due to our church and society; commits rostered ministers and SAMs to engage in anti-racism training every two years; encourages the recognition of Juneteenth, June 19th commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the US in 1865 and endorses and empowers the Racial Justice Team of the synod to continue this important work.

    • Thanksgiving for Ministry lifting up the names of those rostered ministers who have died this past year, who have retired, and those congregations which closed or left the ELCA.

  • Elected the following people:

    • Synod council – David Frerichs, Janice Hawley, Terrance Freeman, Chelsea Deines. (We still need to appoint a lay male from Western KS Conference and a female youth.)

    • Consultation and Disciplines Committees – Dan Glamann, Rhonda Templing and Ann Rundquist. (We still need to appoint two lay males and one clergy.)

    • Churchwide Voting Members to the August 2022 Assembly – Melissa Woeppel, David Stock, Zac Sturm, Chris Deines, Donovan Lucas, Joanie Saltzman, Linda Lockhart, and Becky Keil. Bishop Candea and Vice-President Nancy Nagel will also be attending.  (We still need to appoint a lay male from Western KS Conference and a lay male youth or young adult.)

We ended the assembly with a brief worship service in which we heard prayer that we may answer you call, and to which we all responded  “ Yes, Lord.” 

 

View the sending worship here :

Many thanks to all the staff, synod council officers, and volunteers who made this assembly possible. As we go forward from this assembly, we pray:

 

Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and extend to us your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

 

Amen

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