2017 Synod Assembly Recap

 

Summary of Actions

The Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the synod, met May 19-20, 2017 at Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines. The assembly gathered under the theme, “God So Loves the World.”

Bishop Michael L. Burk invited the assembly to join in singing “All Are Welcome” and then led the Order for Opening of an Assembly. He declared the thirtieth Southeastern Iowa Assembly to be open at 10:08 a.m. on Friday, July 19, 2017

Guests:
Guests present who brought a report or greeting to the assembly included:

  • William Horne, Vice President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Bishop Laurie Haller, Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • The Rev. Jeff Thiemann, President and CEO of Portico Benefits Services
  • John Twardos, CEO, Lutheran Services in Iowa

Assembly Musicians and Worship Leaders, Members of Dakota Road Music
Larry Olson, Hans Peterson, Nelson Morlock

Worship
Holy Communion was held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Bishop Michael Burk served as preacher and presider. Synod Council member, Ms. Suah Borsay, was the assisting minister. Holly Knouse was the reader. An offering was received to support Hunger Ministries of this church, totaling more than $48,000. The offering reflects the culmination of a hunger awareness effort called “Pigs With A Purpose.” Congregations were invited to pledge at least $500, at which time they were given a plywood pig to be decorated and brought to the assembly. Over 50 congregations and individual donors participated.

Morning Prayer was held at 8:30 am on Saturday. Pastor Ritva Williams, St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, served as preacher. Mr. Bill Horne, ELCA Vice President was the assisting minister.

Actions of the Assembly
Voting members of the 2017 Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly took the following actions:

  • Adopted the Standing Rules, Agenda and Credential Report.
  • Elected the following members to the Synod Council.
    • Marita Rouse – Conference One. Three-year term.
    • Donna Darnall – Conference Six. Three-year term.
    • Pastor Maureen Howard – Conference Seven. Three-year term.
    • Jonathan Fry – Conference Ten. Three-year term.
    • Chris Scott – Lay Male At-Large. Three-year term.
    • Noah Aanestad – Youth Male. Two-year term.
  • Adopted the 2018 budget.
  • Adopted the 2018 Minimum Compensation Guidelines.
  • Approved constitutional amendments, primarily related to the Ministry of Word and Service roster.
  • Adopt the following resolutions, which can be found in their entirety at seiasynod.org/assembly/ :
    • Resolution #1: 1,000 Days
    • Resolution #2: Refugees
    • Resolution #3: Immigrants

Recognitions
Bishop Burk introduced those who were new to the Southeastern Iowa Synod since the 2016 Synod Assembly. Those recognized included:

  • Five newly ordained Ministers of Word and Sacrament
  • Two newly consecrated Ministers of Word and Service
  • Six Ministers of Word and Sacrament received into the synod
  • Four candidates newly assigned to the synod
  • Eight interns from four seminaries serving on the territory of our synod

 The following congregational anniversaries were recognized.

  • Elvira Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton; 125 years
  • Paul Lutheran Church, Fort Madison; 125 years
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Malcom; 150 years

 Congregations that closed in the past year were recognized with a “Thanksgiving for Ministry.”

  • Salem Lutheran Church, Spragueville
  • John Lutheran Church, Hopkinton

 Twenty-three Rostered Ministers celebrating significant anniversaries were recognized during the Friday evening banquet.

Four Pastors who have died since that 2016 Synod Assembly were honored In Memoriam.

Credentials
The final report of the Credentials Committee:

Lay Voting Members                               209
Deacons                                                         5
Retired Deacons                                           2
Pastors                                                       134
Retired Pastors                                           20
TOTAL VOTING MEMBERS                  370
Visitors                                                         59
TOTAL PRESENT                                     429

Of Voting Members Present:
Lay Voting Members                       58%
Of Lay Voting Members Present:
Male                                                   56%
Female                                               44%

Pig Spotlight: Lutheran Living

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I loved the idea of the pigs and thought immediately of ways we could use it here. In the past, Lutheran Living has raised money for God’s Global Barnyard by saving their Bingo winnings. I thought we could do that and more. So I painted our pig and had a kick-off a couple of weeks before lent began. I invited everyone to suggest names for the pig at a quarter per guess. We immediately raised $37! We drew the name Penelope out of our suggestions, so Penelope she was (it’s painted on her ear).

Beginning with Ash Wednesday, we collected and saved our offerings from worship. During the week, Penelope would “hide” around the building each morning (only in public spaces, where residents could easily see her). It had initially been my plan to do this only a couple of times a week and put a dollar in when she was found, but when I announced it to our administrative staff, they got so excited that they wanted to participate, so they offered a “reward” each time a resident found the pig. Most of them sponsored a week for $5, but many gave much more. Caregivers, family members, and floor staff got in on the game too, often assisting residents who couldn’t participate on their own so they could have the fun of hearing their names announced over the intercom as that day’s finder of the pig!

Residents and staff alike had so much fun with this and I did too (although I admit I was running out of places to hide her). We have raised much more than our goal – an amazing amount from a relatively small group of people on fixed incomes. God was really with them, inspiring their generosity for those whose need is greater than their own.

Pastor Susan
Lutheran Living – Chaplain

FAQ: Synod Assembly

Hey Coco, what is a synod assembly?

Each spring, synods gather in assembly to lift up and celebrate ministries and address the official business of the synod. The Assembly is this synod’s highest legislative authority, limited only by the constitution and bylaws of the synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the assembly’s own resolutions. Assembly is also a cherished time when we gather from across the synod to reconnect with friends, meet new ones, and share what it means to be the body of Christ.

Got it, now when is the assembly so I can check my calendar?

May 19-20th at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines

Sweet, I’m free! Can I go?

In accordance with S7.21 of the synod constitution, voting member to the Assembly are the following:

1. All rostered individuals in the synod.
2. The formula for congregational representation for the synod assembly is: two voting members elected by each congregation (one male, one female) plus an additional lay voting member for every 500 baptized members over 75 (ie: 1250=1 additional, 2250+3 additional, etc.)
3. Members of the Synod Council.
*All assembly voting members must be voting members of their congregations.
*For broader representation, only one member per household is preferred.
*The total lay delegation from any congregation must be, as nearly as possible, 50% male and 50% female.

There is also the option to go as a visitor to give the opportunity to others to observe the assembly process.

But where will I sleep?

Hotel rooms for the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly have been reserved at the Sheraton Hotel, 1800 50th St., West Des Moines, IA at a special rate of $107.00 plus tax for either a single or a double room. Rooms will be released on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. After this date we can not guarantee availability or price. You can make your reservations online.  Click the “hotel reservation” text to reserve your hotel rooms now.

Where do I register and reserve rooms?

For more information and to register as a voting member or visitor please visit the Southeastern Iowa Synod website.

Pigs with a Purpose

When it comes to Pigs with a Purpose, someone might think that the $500 commitment to bring as offering to synod assembly is a little steep.
Indeed, that is over a month of average grocery bills in my house, a good portion of my monthly mortgage, and Lord knows all of the fun things I could do with the same amount. Clearly I’m not saying that $500 is petty cash by any means, but in the bigger picture, what does $500 actually mean? What would it take for a family, neighborhood, youth group, congregation to come up with these funds?
Sometimes all you need is a little perspective to see how Pigs with a Purpose can actually make a lasting impact on those living in hunger and poverty. I came across this article titled 5 Random Things we Spend our Money on that make Global Aid Look Like Pocket Change. which gave me some much needed much-needed.
After you’ve taken a look, consider: how much is it worth to raise at least $500 for children of God who hunger? How much is it to sacrifice even a little for the sake of our sisters and brothers?
And then, after considering, join me in committing to work (and give) to end hunger.
To request a pig and pledge to bring at least $500 to our synod assembly offering, contact Coco Lyons: lyons@seiasynod.org.
Hope to see you and your pig at the assembly in May!
Pastor Erika Uthe,
Assistantt to the Bishop

Pigs with a Purpose


Mitten is the first of what we hope will be many pigs popping up across the Southeastern Iowa Synod between now and the synod assembly in May. These will be pigs with a purpose…to reinforce that ours is an anti-hunger synod and to raise funds to fight hunger.

Here is how it works. Plywood cut-outs of pigs in the same shape as Mitten are available to any group or individual that will commit raising or contributing at least $500 toward anti-hunger efforts between now and the Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly, May 19-20, 2017. Decorate your pig. Display it at your church or in your yard or wherever it is likely to get the attention of others who want to join the effort to fight hunger. And then send or bring the money you’ve committed to the synod assembly as part of a special offering to help end hunger.

To get started, contact Coco Lyons, Associate for Communication (lyons@seiasynod.org). She will help you get connected to your pig. And then enlist the aid of others (youth group, church choir, altar guild, family and/or friends) to decorate and to donate. $500 is “buy in” for a pig, but there is no limit to how much can be contributed. The more, the better. All funds will go directly to support ELCA World Hunger ministries or anti-hunger efforts within the synod.

Our hope is the people from every congregation in the synod will assist in this special effort to raise funds to fight hunger. This is not limited to acquiring your own pig with a purpose. Every gift of any size matters and will be welcomed into a synod-wide anti-hunger offering at the synod assembly. But the pigs can serve as a visible reminder of our commitment as they draw attention to the effort to feed the hungry and support people living in poverty.

By the way, Mitten got that name from Bishop Burk’s grandson, Noah. Mitten will be “attending” the synod assembly. It will be great to have lots of other colorful reminders at the assembly on full display. Between now and then, who knows where the Bishop’s Pig might show up.

Lutheran Day on the Hill

Mark your calendars and plan to join a group of passionate advocates on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, for Lutheran Day on the Hill and make a difference for tens of thousands of Iowans. Your legislators want and need to hear from you about critical human services.

Lutheran Day on the Hill gives you the opportunity to share your voice with your legislators. As in years past, participants will be given information about important issues before the legislature and will be given suggestions about how best to visit with them concerning what is most important to you. The day will begin at 9:30 at Capitol Hill Lutheran Church before moving to the Statehouse.

Chartered buses offered at no cost to attendees will be stopping in Iowa City and Newton. Online registration will be available in mid-January. Additional information will be provided on that site.

This event has been made possible in part through a grant from ELCA World Hunger. Lutheran Services in Iowa is proud to be a partner in Lutheran Day on the Hill with the three Iowa Synods of the ELCA.