Call & response: “We are church – together”
REPORT FROM REPRESENTATIVE FROM CHURCHWIDE ELCA EXPRESSION
9:32 – Diving in to the business of the assembly, the first plenary session opened with Jodi Slattery, Special Assistant to the Presiding Bishop for Governance, who brought greetings from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and highlighted four emphases:
- We are church,
- We are Lutheran,
- We are church together (synod assembly theme), and
- We are church for the sake of the world.
As part of being church together the congregations of our synod have sent $1,728,022 in mission support, of which $846,275 was sent to the national ELCA in 2013. This money goes to support congregations and shared ministries across the globe.
A video highlighting our ministry was shown. Although it will be posted to www.elca.org later, view the inspiring “We are church together” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zEi8p1ZwNI.
The Rev. Albert Triolo, Chair of the Nominating Committee, brought the report which included nominating our current interim Kevin Anderson for Synod Secretary, and a highly entertaining image of the Rev. Tom Knoll (one of many folks elected to Synod Council) fully outfitted in a bee-keeping suit. All those who were nominated and were running unopposed were elected by acclamation.
SOLID FINANCIAL FOOTING
John Handley, the Synod Treasurer offered highlights of the formal treasurer’s report, which is available in the synod assembly materials. All told, the synod is on solid financial footing and our endowments are growing and supporting vital ministry.
Dr. John White, the Synod Vice President, introduced the synod compensation guidelines for 2015. Given cost of living increases, the committee is recommending a 1.4% increase. This motion will be voted on after the orientation to the voting machines and a break. Despite some technical difficulties, Jean Knight gave a quick orientation to the voting machines (imagine a remote control that lets you choose from multiple choice answers) and we were dismissed to an early break at 10:15