The Assembly gathered back together this morning with a breakfast and an informal Q&A with Presiding Bishop Eaton. It was a long day yesterday, and an early morning today, so everyone is preparing for the day with plenty of coffee. It was a wonderful opportunity for members of the Assembly to get to know Bishop Eaton a little better, and pick the brain of such a wise and faithful servant of God.
The Assembly came to order, led briefly in song by the worship team. Bishop Graham welcomed everyone back, and led a prayer. We then heard the report of the Elections Committee and the results of the vote for Synod Council members.
The Rev. Leila Ortiz gave her report as Assistant to the Bishop. She spoke of the importance of raising up rostered ministers, and urged the Assembly to consider who in their congregations should consider rostered leadership. Then she reflected on the formation of the Racial Equity Team, formed two years ago, and the importance of the work they have done. She encouraged the Assembly to look into services and ministries, such as LIRS, AMMPARO and LSS*, as part of their congregations’ outreach and evangelism efforts.
Next, the Rev. Dr. Angela W. Zimmann spoke about the United Lutheran Seminary, which combines the seminaries at Gettysburg and Philadelphia into a single body with two campuses. She shared her excitement for the upcoming changes at the seminary, and the resources now available to incoming seminarians.
Returning to voting business, the Assembly discussed the new Mission Spending Plan. With only brief discussion, the Assembly approved the plan. Bishop Graham thanked the Assembly and using Bishop-Emeritus Ted Schneider’s frequently comment, “Now what?,” encouraged the members to share the plan with their congregations and obtain their support.
Following a brief video honoring service anniversaries of rostered ministers and congregations, the Assembly took a quick break before resuming business.
*Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, ELCA’s strategy to Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities, Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area