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%

Hunger Spotlight: Lutheran Living

At the 2017 Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly, Iowa Pork Producers donated ten, $100 pork coupons for congregations, who participated in Pigs with a Purpose, to use to help aid families in need in their communities throughout our synod.

As stories come in of congregations helping their communities Coco will be posting hunger spotlights here.


Lutheran Living Senior Campus

As my congregation is located in a nursing home, we do not have hunger insecurity here. As a result, I chose to share the IPP coupons and recipes with another organization in our community, Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA). MCSA serves a variety of social service needs in our community. Housed in the former YMCA, it is primarily a homeless shelter, but shares space with the offices of our local domestic violence shelter, a pediatric dental clinic (sponsored by the University of Iowa Dental School) an after-school program for children, teens, and young adults of all capabilities, and a variety of other organizations centered around helping those in need. I spoke with Charla Schafer, Executive Director of MCSA, and presented her with the coupons, recipes, and information from IPP. She was ecstatic! She shared that she often has people show up who are living on the edge, spending 80-90% of their income on housing with virtually nothing left over for food. She anticipates that the coupons will be used quickly by people who are in real need. She and I extend our deepest thanks to the Iowa Pork Producers for thinking of these hungry people and helping us all work together to eradicate food insecurity.

Peace,
Pastor Susan Bantz

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