2016 Synod Assembly Summary
By Rev. Emily Carson
The 2016 Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly took place on May 6-7 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. Voting members from congregations across the synod came together for the two-day gathering. The event’s theme this year was “We are Church Together for the Sake of the World.”
Friday, May 6 highlights:
- The Assembly began with worship led by Bishop Steve Delzer and Dianna Parks. Friday evening concluded with a time of prayer.
- Peggy Hahn, Executive Director of LEAD, shared about what it means to be a remarkable congregation.
- Churchwide representative Mikka McCracken highlighted the inspiring work being done throughout the ELCA.
- Rev. Dr. Jim Martin-Schramm, Professor of Religion at Luther College, spoke about the intersections of faith and climate change.
- Terrence Hassanally, Chair of the synod’s Development Council, shared updates on Leading Together.
- Dr. Allan Bieber presented a report on the churchwide initiative “Called Forward Together in Christ.”
- Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto led a Bible study highlighting the Gospel of Luke which included kitchen table conversation with Rev. Hannah Bergstrom de Leon and Bishop Delzer.
Saturday, May 6 highlights:
- Saturday morning worship was led by Rev. Tammy Dahlvang, Rev. Corrine Haulotte, and Kelly Bergman.
- Saturday morning provided participants the opportunity to choose from eight engaging workshops.
- Rev. Dr. Barreto presented part two of the Bible study.
- Organizational reports were given and awards presented.
- Bishop Delzer shared his annual Report to the Assembly highlighting the synod’s mission statement and top three priorities.
- Jeff Chestnut was elected as synod treasurer.
- Elections took place for a variety of synod positions.
- The 2017 synod budget was passed.
Five resolutions were passed at the Synod Assembly including:
- Resolution 2016-1: Loving Our Muslim Neighbors as Ourselves
- Resolution 2016-3: Minimum Compensation and Benefits Guidelines
- Resolution 2016-4: Thanksgiving for Military Personnel, Veterans, and their Families
- Resolution 2016-5: Dissolution of The Lutheran Campus Ministry of Minnesota
- Resolution 2016-6: Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
Resolution 2016-2 was tabled indefinitely. Copies of all the resolutions are available on the Synod Assembly portion of the synod website: http://semnsynod.org/assembly2016. Stay tuned in the months ahead for ways you can participate in the living out of each of these important resolutions.
Videos of the Assembly worship services, event speakers, and workshops will all be online by mid-May after they are edited and uploaded to our synod Youtube channel. The main page of our synod website includes a link to “Archived Synod Materials” in the lower-left corner.
A special thanks to all who attended and served at the 2016 Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly!