Resolutions of the 2019 Central States Synod Assembly
SA 19.01 Lutherans Restoring Creations Adopted 306 – 25
Therefore, be it resolved that the congregations of the Central States Synod will
continue to commit to become “green congregations” with the formation of Green Teams (or Creation Care Teams),
educate members about new partnerships between the ELCA and ecoAmerica through its Blessed Tomorrow program (https://elca.org/Our-Work/Publicly-Engaged-Church/Advocacy/Environment) and between the Central States Synod and Kansas Interfaith Action (https://www.kansasinterfaithaction.org/news ),
utilize those partnerships to provide guidance, resources, and empowerment for advocacy and action on behalf of those most affected by the effects of climate change,
connect with the CSS Lutherans Restoring Creation Mission Table* to share your stories as we continue to create a network of Creation Care across the Synod,
strengthen our personal and communal commitments as stewards of God’s Creation, and to utilize the ELCA’s Caring for Creation Coaching to increase and inspire progress while raising up new leaders.
SA 19.02 Lutheran Senior Services Adopted by Voice Vote
Therefore, be it resolved, all congregations of the Central States Synod will use the provided bulletin inserts or other materials, and the suggested intercessory prayer on the third weekend of September 2019 as a way of informing our brothers and sisters in Christ of how God is at work through this ministry with seniors.
And be it further resolved that we offer a loud and boisterous “Because Jesus Lives, We Love and Serve! Alleluia!” for the work of ministry being done through Lutheran Senior Services.
SA 19.03 Designation of Bethany Lutheran Home Association Sunday Adopted 306 - 10
In an effort to enhance the gifts given by our Central States Synod congregations and take advantage of Match Madness matching gift opportunities in the Salina, Lindsborg, and McPherson area, the Board requests your continued prayers and financial support, and Further, the Board requests adoption at the 2019 Central States Synod Assembly that Bethany Home Sunday be observed on March 1, 2020, in support of our mission as a ministry partner of the ELCA.
SA 19.04 A Season of Global Awareness Adopted by Voice Vote
Be it resolved that the Epiphany Season be designated as a “Season of Global Awareness” for all congregations within the Central States Synod and that congregations intentionally lift up the church around the world through prayer, song, publicity and in any way appropriate to the context of the congregation.
Be it also resolved that the congregations of the Central States Synod designate at least one Sunday during the Epiphany Season as a “Sunday of Celebration for the Global Church.” This Sunday would focus not only on our Companion Synods in Papua New Guinea and Russia, but also the Global Ministry we share in through the Global Mission Arm of the ELCA such as Missionary Sponsorship, Young Adults in Global Mission, and our support of Projects that promote the witness of the Gospel, works of compassion and Justice ministry around the world.
Be it also resolved that Sunday, October 6th, 2019 shall be designated as a Sunday of solidarity with and prayer for our Companion Synod in Russia, the “Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Urals, Siberia and Far East” (ELCUSFE) with a special focus on the Far Eastern Deanery. This date was chosen because the first Sunday in October is widely observed by the churches in Russia as a harvest Sunday when they give thanks and celebrate the completion of the fall harvest.
Be it also resolved that Sunday, April 26th, 2020 be designated as a Sunday of solidarity with, and prayer for our Companion District, the Kotte District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG). This date is chosen because it is Easter 3 when the story of the Walk to Emmaus is often read, a story often used to illustrate the Accompaniment Model of Global Mission. Another lesson often read is the story of Jesus having breakfast with Peter and the Disciples on the shore of lake Tiberias and calling on Peter to “Feed my sheep.” This is also a lesson that reminds us of our vocation to feed God’s sheep throughout the world.
The Central States Synod Companion Synod Team will provide resources for mission education and worship for the Epiphany Season, and additionally, prayer requests, recent news and communications from our Companion Churches prior to the two Companion Synod Sundays to help us to “accompany one another” in our journey as followers, servants and witnesses to Jesus Christ in our respective parts of God’s world.
SA 19.05 Memorial for Increased Accountability in Cases of Sexual Misconduct Adopted 237 - 72
Be it resolved that the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) clearly and explicitly renounces sexism and sexual misconduct in all its forms and its continued impact on the church and the communities that we serve. Further, we repent of all the ways in which we have been complicit, either explicitly or implicitly, in acts of sexism and sexual misconduct. We also commit to higher standards of accountability for those who commit acts of sexism or sexual misconduct, thus fulfilling the promise of Jesus that the truth has the power to set us free of the powers of sin and evil that attempt to bind us.
Be it further resolved that the Central States Synod memorializes the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA to clearly and explicitly renounce sexism and sexual misconduct in all its forms as well as its continued impact on the church and the communities that we serve.
Be it further resolved that the ELCA Churchwide Assembly is called upon to repent of all the ways in which we have been complicit, either explicitly or implicitly, in acts of sexism and sexual misconduct and then commit to higher standards of accountability for those who commit acts of sexism or sexual misconduct, by enacting the following measures:
Direct the crafting of “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God”, or equivalent guide to clergy conduct in a timely manner including voices from women, non-gender conforming persons, lay and rostered leaders, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and people representing multiple generations, so that it frees and empowers victims of sexual misconduct, who are either in candidacy or rostered, to come forward without fear of being removed from the candidacy process/roster or experiencing other forms of recrimination.
Direct the seminaries and colleges/universities of the ELCA to take steps to increase the visibility of Title IX policies. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that provides: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.)
Commit to a renewed diligence on matters pertaining to sexual misconduct which prevents misconduct from being dismissed or hidden.
SA 19.06 Retirements Adopted by Voice Vote
Retired: Rev. Bruce Freeman, Rev. Bruce Adamson, Rev. David Miller, Rev. Brian Elster, Rev. Steven Little, Rev. David Fulton, Rev. Kendra Nolde, Rev. James Bennett, Rev. Lawrence Block
Resolved, That the Central States Synod in Assembly expresses appreciation to the above-named retired persons by standing and giving applause in thanksgiving for them and their service to the Church.
SA 19.07 Faithful Departed Adopted by Voice Vote
Resolved, That the Central States Synod in Assembly stands to sing praise for our faithful departed rostered leaders, in the words of the hymn, "Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service” verses 1 & 4.