2015 Synod Assembly Summary
The Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly was held on May 8-9, 2015 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota. The theme this year was “For God So Loved the World” with a special focus on caring for creation. Tammy Walhof, Director of Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota, served as the event’s keynote speaker, and Mary Minette, ELCA Director for Environmental Education and Advocacy, served as both Bible study leader and churchwide representative.
Highlights of the event included two vibrant worship services, six different workshop options on Saturday morning, a variety of food ministry videos and display boards from congregations around the synod, the celebrations of ordination anniversaries and retirements, the honoring of rostered leaders who have died, and time set aside for meaningful fellowship among voting members. Beverly Wise, a voting member from Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville, shared, “By being here, you really get a bigger picture.”
Additional focal points of this year’s Synod Assembly included:
- Voting for various synod positions as well as 2016 chuchwide representatives
- The naming of the Global Mission/Companion Synods Table from a committee into an official table
- Discussion and passage of the 2016 Synod Budget
- Rev. Mike Ward of the Gronlund Sayther Brunkow Consulting Firm sharing about the synod’s visioning and feasibility study
- Presentations of service awards and debt retirement awards
- Malaria Campaign report
- Saturday worship preacher Professor Jacob Erickson
- The passing of three resolutions: 2015:01 – Minimum Compensation Guidelines, 2015:02 – A Resolution Requesting the ELCA Church Council to Develop a Strategic Plan for Mission Funding for Consideration by the 2016 Churchwide Assembly, and 2015:03 – Support, Collaboration, Celebration, and Thanksgiving for Lutheran Campus Ministry
- An offering total of nearly $10,000 that will be split between Channel One and the ECHO Food Shelf
This year’s Social Media Team was comprised of 10 volunteers from around the synod who committed to using their Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread the word on the assembly’s highlights. Over the course of the two days, the hashtag #forgodsoloved2015 was used more than 300 times!
During his official report near the end of the event, Bishop Delzer shared, “I love this church. I love this synod and the way we live out what it means to walk together.” His message included affirmation to voting members and congregations for the multitude of ways they work together. He also encouraged continued support of our Enough Food for All initiative to end food insecurity in southeastern Minnesota by 2020.
For photos, resources, and videos from the 2015 Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly, please visit: http://www.semnsynod.org/assembly2015