Business continues on Saturday morning

Group 236

120428gettingstarted1With coffee, a hymn and a prayer, the assembly warmed up, gathered and reconvened for its business on Saturday morning.

Bishop Crist led a Bible study for early risers. The first item of business was the report of the vice president of the synod council, Dr. John White. It was followed by the report of the secretary, The Rev. John Bradford. Results of the first ballot from yesterday for synod council and 2013 Churchwide Assembly positions were announced, and a second ballot was held.
The Rev. Dave Sonnenberg gave the report of the Synod Stewardship and Mission Table. The group’s purpose is to be a resource for the synod’s congregations to help them with their own stewardship efforts and to help them grow in supporting the ministry of the synod and larger church.
The group has recommended to congregations:

  • a narrative budget as a way of telling the story and presenting their ministry. There are examples for doing this on the synod’s website.
  • a quarterly giving update with a mission letter as a way to share stories of the progress of ministries
  • targeted letters to different groups (not one size fits all)
  • sending thank-you notes to those who pledge. Tip: Use blue ink!
  • Have a new member process that speaks about stewardship clearly and sets giving as an expectation.
  • The pastor’s role is essential. He/she needs to know what people give and needs to be an example of generosity.
  • Recommended books on stewardship strategy and practices, theology of stewardship and devotional resources – a list is on the synod website (under For Congregations)
  • Stay connected to the group on Twitter and through the synod website. Members of the group are available for questions and as a resource. 

The offering from yesterday’s Festive Eucharist service that was taken for the ELCA Malaria Campaign totaled $2,611.50, as reported by John Handley, synod treasurer.
120428gettingstarted2The synod’s mission spending plan (budget) was considered again after it was presented yesterday. It was voted upon and adopted.
Nancy Myers from Thrivent brought greetings.
The Reference and Counsel committee gave their report, which means the group considered resolutions presented to the committee.
A resolution on Iran – praying for and promoting peace – was considered. With one alteration, the resolution was adopted.
A resolution on Lutheran Association of Christian Educators was considered. The resolution encourages congregations to use the expertise and resources of the association. The resolution was adopted.
Rostered leaders who are marking significant anniversaries of their ordinations were recognized. Former Bishop Harold Jansen, marking the 55th anniversary of his ordination, received a standing ovation, and he offered a few words about the evolution of Lutheran church bodies over the years. He reflected for a few minutes on the past, and the current issue, he said, is where we go from here. It’s something we need to pray for, that the voice of Christians is heard, that the wisdom of the Gospel is shared. He offered a prayer for the work of the Church and asked for God’s blessing to the Church – a very pastoral and bishop-like prayer. The “warmth and texture of God’s grace is what you have offered,” said Bishop Graham following the prayer.