Like all days here in Minnesota at the Churchwide Assembly, the day started early. Voting members were up and at breakfast with their prayer partners at 7:00AM. They then moved into what is called a quasi-committee of the whole—first in small groups around tables and then in the plenary hall. This was a time dedicated to open discussion, not for votes or amendments.
After the morning’s discussion was complete, we went to worship. Bishop Palmer from the United Methodist Church preached a wonderful sermon, focused on love. After worship, our synod gathered for lunch together, discussion about the assembly, and planning for dinner.
In the afternoon session, we took a break from the morning’s discussion and heard from the Tour de Revs, voted on a number of memorials, and passed a full communion agreement with the United Methodist Church by an overwhelming majority. This is the ELCA’s sixth full communion agreement. The day’s plenary session ended with votes on memorials including discussion on a memorial to the CWA regarding Israel and Palestine.
It was a long day. Voting members started very early and concluded at 6:30. There were few breaks during this time, and voting members are required to be paying close attention at all times and ready to vote at any time. It is a difficult and intense job. Yet, our voting members have done it with gusto. They have kept wonderfully positive attitudes and have done a good job balancing the need for careful consideration of all the issues before the assembly with light hearts and a desire for a little fun every now and then.
In the evening, we took advantage of those fun loving hearts and broke bread together with voting members and other visitors from our synod to the Churchwide assembly. It was an evening of joy-filled fellowship, seen in this happy though blurry picture.