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June 3, 2016, 7:54 AM

Synod Assembly Recap

This year, Synod Assembly was held May 13-14 at Shalom Lutheran Church in Pinckney.  The Assembly was pleased to welcome three plenary presenters:

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton presented on “Called Forward Together in Christ.” We broke into small groups and discussed what we thought should be the top priorities of the ELCA as a whole and how we use our resources.  For more about this, see: http://www.elca.org/future.

Pr. Mike Ward presented on Stewardship, the “Rise Up!” Synod capital appeal and the Stewardship for A Seasons Program.  Holy Spirit and nine other congregations are working with him to pilot this program in the Synod.

Pr. Wayne Muller presented on the concept of Sabbath out of his own experiences as a pastor and chaplain in New Mexico working with people suffering abuse, poverty, illness and loss.  He invited us to reclaim Sabbath time to focus on God in our own lives as a form of lay leadership development.  Instead of sharing summaries of the reports and elections, they are available online at: http://www.semisynod.com/cms/index.php/informationfind-out-morehome/synod-assembly;

Bishop Kreiss shared his thanks to all who helped make the Youth Gathering a success as well as his willingness to stand for re-election as Bishop next year. 

Bishop Eaton presented the ELCA Church-wide report and again affirmed the ELCA’s support for Flint. As of the end of the Assembly, over $220,000 has been raised for Flint from ELCA congregations and members from around the country. For a brief video message shared at all the Synod Assemblies, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IGct76lKJM.

There were five Resolutions passed by the Assembly:

Resolution 1 – “Flint, Michigan, Water Crisis” expressed its gratitude to congregations and individuals who have responded to the water crisis.  It also requested continued prayer, ongoing financial support, and urged individuals to sign up for ELCA Advocacy alerts.

Resolution 2 – “Urging Action Regarding the Thrivent Choice Neutrality Policy” requested Bishop Kreiss to urge Thrivent to allow for individual freedom and choice in supporting charitable giving without restriction through its Thrivent Choice program.

Resolutions 3 and 4 – “Increased Advocacy for a Just Peace in the Holy Land” (and a supporting memorial (Resolution 4) to the 2016 Church-wide Assembly) called upon the Synod Council and Bishop to petition the US Congress to recognize Palestine as a “state” within the United Nations, ensure that Israel comply with United States laws for countries receiving financial and military aid to not engage in human rights violations and make future US  financial and military aid contingent on the cessation of illegal settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Resolution 5 – “African Descent Lutheran Lives Matter” memorialized the 2016 Church-wide Assembly to reaffirm our commitment to growing by 10% the number of African descent leaders in the ELCA as well as encouraging ELCA Seminaries to incorporate Black Liberation theology in their coursework. Next year, the Synod Assembly will be in Port Huron at the Blue water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau from May 4-6, 2017.

 


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