The 2018 Bishop's Convocation explored Sharing in Hope via the proclamation of the church.  Dr. Anna Carter Florence of Columbia Seminary, Decatur, Georgia, led us in thinking about Preaching as Testimony.  How do we share the faith that is within us?  How do we lead congregations and other ministries in considering the faith that is within them?


Guest Speaker: Dr. Anna Carter Florence 

Our own Dr. Jim Brandt of St. Paul School of Theology in Leawood, Kansas, led us in thinking about theology, especially the core theology of atonement.  How do we understand the cross and how are proclaiming that central theology of the cross?  How are we leading our ministry sites to consider their own theology of the atonement?


Guest Speaker: Dr. Jim Brandt


Thank You for Attending Bishop's Convocation 2017
November 14–16, The Lodge of Four Seasons, Lake Ozark, MO

Many thanks to all of you who joined us at Bishop's Convo 2017, to Bishop Guy Erwin, and to our worship team: Stephen Zeller, Joshua Brecht, and Del Strecker. Here are a few comments we've received:

"Bishop Erwin's presentations were profound, yet easy to follow."

"Bishop Erwin demonstrated insight, intelligence and clarity without academic language. The Q & A was excellent."

"To have substantial discussion about the present, we need to review the past, name our realities, and then begin brainstorming solutions about now and the future. Bishop Guy Erwin did an excellent job of that. We as leaders have to figure out together and in our contexts what God wants us to take or not take transformative steps in our congregation, not the speaker or the Bishop."

"Bishop Erwin was informative and thought-provoking. He spurred me to look at a lot of things in a different light."

"Enjoyed participating in worship. I like that each service was creative and nuanced a little to share how pastors can lift up the liturgy as a force for change in their congregations."

"I really enjoyed Bishop Erwin's presentation about the challenges that Lutherans and other Christian denominations face in the 21st century. For me the key comment was 'There is great hope for the Church because we are in an era of transformation, not disintegration.'"

"Bishop Erwin's message and counsel was well-appreciated and received. Biggest take-away from both Bishops was 'change' is happening, embrace it and learn or languish. Not an apocalyptic message from either, just find the hope in the Spirit to change."

"I always appreciate and value Bishop Roger's sermons. I appreciated the worship/prayer service that had opportunities for self-reflection including the prayer stations."

Click here to download Bishop Roger Gustafson's sermon.



Noted Luther Scholar Bishop Guy Erwin Was Keynote Speaker
His presentation focused on Discipleship, through the lens of Martin Luther. Bishop Erwin is a leading authority on Lutheran Theology. He earned a doctorate and two master's degrees at Yale University and a bachelor's degree at Harvard University. Most recently he was the Gerhard and Olga Belgum Professor of Lutheran Confessional Theology at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA and served as part-time interim pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Canoga Park, CA. Bishop Erwin has served as the ELCA representative to the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches since 2004.

This year we also invited our Youth and Young Adult Leaders to participate in Convo. This gathering was part of our continuing effort to build a youth ministry leader network in our synod so leaders may collaborate, build community and get support. 

Click here to view the Convocation Schedule and descriptions of the sessions:
• Sin, Trust, & Love: Discipleship and Service in Lutheran Perspective 
• Disciples Leading Disciples: The Challenge for Rostered Ministers
• Belonging, Believing, Behaving: Discipleship in Our Congregations 
• Where Do We Go from Here? 
• Q & A with Bishop Erwin and Bishop Gustafson


2016 Bishop's Theological Convocation 
Speaking of Stewardship

October 18-20
Bishop Craig Satterlee was our main presenter at this year's Bishop's Convocation held at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, MO. Craig Alan Satterlee is bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Craig is also adjunct professor at Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Craig served as the Axel Jacob and Gerda Maria (Swanson) Carlson Professor of Homiletics at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for thirteen years, Dean of the ACTS Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program for eleven years, and adjunct professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame for nine. 

In 2011 he published the book Preaching and Stewardship: Proclaiming God's Invitation to Grow.  In this book Shatterlee "shakes us loose from all mundane notions of stewardship in favor of the claim that the way we use money can be a bold 'act of resistance to the powers at work in the world that are opposed to God.'"  (Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Chandler School of Theology.)

Click Here to View 2016 Bishop's Theological Convocation Agenda
Here is feedback we received from attendees of the 2016 Bishop's Convocation:

I had the opportunity to attend the Bishop's Convo this year for the very first time. I have to say I was impressed. I enjoyed the worship services, meeting new people and catching up with friends. I really enjoyed the stewardship presentations. Stewardship is something I am very interested in so everything that was talked about really hit home to me.  I hope the other attendees got as much out of the time spent at the lake as I did.  I plan to attend again in the future.
-- Rhonda Templing, Seeds of Faith Parish

I always find the Bishop's Convo an interesting and enjoyable experience. The theme of "Speaking of Stewardship", although a familiar topic for us, was informative. Bishop Satterlee made some excellent observations as he spoke about the myths of stewardship. As always the worship services were the highlight of the convo for me. It is so uplifting to be able to worship as we do when we gather together. I wish that everyone in our churches could have that worship experience. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of the opening worship.
-- Jim Winter, PMA

The Bishop's Convocation provides a wonderful, relaxing time for fellowship and renewal of friendships: of "old" colleagues, Bishop Roger and associates, synod staff, and to get acquainted with new colleagues in our synod. The Four Seasons provides great accommodations with delicious food and relaxing atmosphere. The Women's Retreat option is an added bonus that brings women together to discuss the particular issues of women in mission/ministry. This is a worthwhile connection that should continue to be included in the Convocation agenda. The stewardship topic gave me ideas on approaches for lifting up stewardship in the churches I serve. I used the MM exercise in church Sunday with success.
-- Judy Hill PMA