Embrace God’s Mission + Equip God’s People
SW MN Synod Assembly
Friday, June 10, 2016
11:00 – Plenary 1
Registration, orientation, displays, set-up. We’re ready for the 2016 SW MN Synod Assembly.
Sliding into plenary 1 singing was led by Chad Winterfeldt, cantor of Christ Chapel, GAC.
Special guests with us – Robin Steinke, native of Courtland, MN, now president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul; Stan (bishop emeritus) and Nancy Olson of Minneapolis.
Greetings from Grady St. Dennis and welcome to Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter.
Agenda, procedures, and rules were adopted.
Vice President Gwen Arneson introduced Bishop Jon Anderson, Secretary Charles Stewart, Clerk Carla Klawitter, Parliamentarian Stephen Cook, Technology Guru Chris Kiewel, and GAC staff.
Pr. Bailey Fossum of American, Worthington presented the Synod Assembly Planning report. Karen Lichtsinn, Emily Peterson, and Diane Schulte are completing their terms.
Bp. Jon’s report #1 – How has God been equipping you lately? (holy buzz in the room)
“Great to have you here at this reunion!” We are embraced by God – we get to embrace God’s mission. God equips us – that’s both law and gospel! Yes, your life is significant. Yes, God needs you. God never gives up on us. Our mission is as close as our neighbors. We are equipped as disciples for the sake of the world.
Three emphases as we Embrace God’s Mission + Equip God’s People: deepening congregational vitality, enhancing local and global mission, developing servant leadership. We begin with all of the baptized, use the leverage of vocation of all God’s people, grow lay preachers, deepen worship leadership capacity, leverage faith formation, give ourselves away for the sake of the gospel.
Announcements. Prizes!!! Facebook Book of the Month, “Ministry and Money”.
Singing of table prayer.
Closing prayer by Karen Lichtsinn. Sending of attendees to lunch break – Let’s Do Lunch presentations. Something has changed! TED-talk style presentations. Recess until 1:15.
Sliding into plenary #2 singing again led by Chad Winterfeldt.
Opening prayer – Pr. Rita Augsburger, Zion, Buffalo Lake.
Nominating Committee report by Pr. Janine Olson – 10 committee members, 1 from each conference; correction for position #1 Synod Council Secretary (not at-large). Nominating Committee report accepted.
Pr. Bill Nelsen: Funding Initiative/Lilly Grant project – what’s this all about? You – your congregation – us – us working together – us working together to do God’s mission in new ways. Each congregation can do a lot on their own, but we can do more together. Explanation of Lead Team – 20 people from across the synod – video introduced this vital initiative. Much more to share about what God is up to!
Pr. Dave Nelson, St. John’s, Annandale – writer of theme song – taught to assembly (no notation yet!) Sounded pretty good!
Hold everything! Referee Larry Strenge, Director for Evangelical Mission, called a procedural foul for this silent phase of the funding initiative! Pr. Bill Nelsen assured all that the silent phase is complete. Now we’re getting into the public phase – a very noisy public phase (including the ref’s whistle)!
Rocco, a participatory puppet, wants to get involved right away! Pr. Elizabeth Strenge tries to slow Rocco down a bit. Video from Celebration, Sartell, shown. “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend”! Rocco sort of overdid it in the volunteer department – trying to do everything by himself. Remember – we are church together. We can do more together.
Jeff Kjellberg of Kairos explained his work as consultant for this initiative to Rocco (and the assembly). Back to Pr. Bill.
Chaplain Brian Konkol of GAC – Bible study based on Matthew 28:16-20 “…Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” When a brand (Google) becomes a verb, something big has happened! Top 10 questions searched on Google – all had to do with “HOW”. Our search for “how to” is relentless. How do we embrace God’s mission? How do we equip God’s people?
More valuable than how, than who, than when – WHY? (discussion at tables – again, holy buzz) Why embrace God’s mission? Why equip God’s people?
We like to be human doings.
Most organizations know what to do. Most even know how to do it (or they’ll Google it). Clarity of why, discipline of how, and consistency of what – the Golden Circle. Matthew 28 reminds us to remember why. “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Video: Congregational Vitality. Trinity, Boyd – Pr. Lori Wold and Sue Moen talked about the assessment process, followed by action – helpful, successful.
Rocco is totally down with what Chaplain Brian was saying! “Let’s get physical, physical…” Oh, Rocco! Not “Y” – WHY!!! Asking why – like a workout – makes the church stronger. Just about like going to the “Y”.
Pr. Andrew Hermodson-Olsen presented the credentials report #1; 53% of possible attendees are present as of noon today.
Get up and stretch, group singing led by Chad Winterfeldt.
Called back to order – a little dangerous to turn hundreds of Lutherans loose!
Greg Isaackson, Christ, Cottonwood, gave the Resolutions Committee report – 2 resolutions, both of which came from the Synod Council. Moved the omission of the “whereas” clauses when resolutions are read. Carried.
Pr. Janine Olson of the Election Committee reviewed the voting procedures. Motion carried to cast a unanimous ballot for all unopposed positions. Elected:
Synod Council – Carla Hamre, Our Savior’s, Sacred Heart
Consultation Committee – Don Yrjo, Gloria Dei, Redwood Falls
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota – Greg Vandal, Living Waters, Sauk Rapids
Synod Council, Great River Conference – Rev. Michael Carlson, First, Sauk Centre
Synod Council, Shetek Conference – Dale Holmes, Immanuel, Fulda
Darin Beamish of Qwizdom explained the voting keypads. On/off key cryptically labeled “Menu”. (Anyone else wondering why?) Three practice questions helped voters get acquainted with the keypads.
Voting happened for each position with two or more nominees. Results will be announced later.
Resolution 16.01 Regarding Dissolution of Lutheran Campus Ministry of Minnesota. Bp. Jon explained resolutions procedures. Secretary Charles Stewart read the resolution. Pr. Sarah Taylor, secretary of the state LCM board, explained that the switch from state oversight to local oversight has been happening for six years. The state board is no longer necessary. Synods will now be responsible for the LCM on their own territories. This resolution dissolves the state board – not LCM!
(20-minute interval prayer)
Question: What about Morris? – smaller campus, less population in that area. Answer: Synod group will need to be formed to make funding and allocation of resources decisions. We’ll have to find ways to do this in new ways.
Motion to amend the title of the resolution to “Resolution 16.01 Regarding the Dissolution of the Corporation of Lutheran Campus Ministry of Minnesota”. Carried.
Motion to call the question. Voting needs 2/3 majority to close debate. Carried.
Vote regarding the resolution as amended: Carried. Applause for all who have worked hard to build and sustain LCM. We hope that this reforming of structure will serve the Gospel.
Another noisy referee interruption – Pr. Julie Anderson, Faith, Becker. Gifts and pledges from 6 groups –$4,800 total.
Synod Secretary: 426 votes cast – 271 Pr. Julie Anderson, 155 Pr. Leslie Neist – elected Pr. Julie Anderson, Faith, Becker
Synod Council: 430 votes cast – 218 Pr. Steve Carmany, 212 Pr. David Tonn – elected Pr. Steve Carmany, Granite Falls, Granite Falls
Synod Council, youth: 423 votes cast – 209 Dakota Scott, 214 Kayley Ronnkvist – elected Kayley Ronnkvist, First, St. Peter
Consultation Committee: 421 votes cast – 233 Pr. Christian Muellerleile, 188 Pr. Christopher Naig – elected Pr. Christian Muellerleile, Zion, Litchfield
Discipline Committee: 417 votes cast – 128 Pr. James Demke, 289 Pr. David Peterson – elected Pr. David Peterson, Healing Waters Parish, Clarkfield area
Discipline Committee: 420 votes cast – 274 Sherri Broderius, 146 Linda Estling – elected Sherri Broderius, St. Paul’s, Hector
Get up and stretch with Chad Winterfeldt.
Audit report by Treasurer Chuck Engebretson. Moved to receive the auditors’ report for fiscal year ending January 31, 2016.
Proposed budget for 2017 (fiscal year ending January 31, 2018) presented by Treasurer Engebretson. Discussion will happen tomorrow.
2017 Compensation Guidelines information was presented by Pr. Don McKee. Discussion will happen tomorrow.
Bible Study #2: Chaplain Brian Konkol, based on Luke 10:1-11. “People do not believe in what you do, but in why you do it.” We are all connected – with all people everywhere. We are connected by fact, faith, and function. Embracing God’s mission is embracing the conversion of our connectedness.
Video: Local and global mission emphasis of the funding initiative.
Rocco is fired up again – this time carrying a rod and reel – he heard “embrace going fishing.” No, Rocco. Chaplain Brian said embrace local and global mission. Rocco: Brian said we’re connected by fact, faith and Funyuns! Jeff Kjellberg: No, Rocco! He said fact, faith, and function. With more explanation, Rocco may finally be getting the message a little more clearly.
Another noisy interruption, this time by referee Dale Holmes, Immanuel, Fulda! Another violation of the rules? Stop the business to hear of Planned Giving Coordinator Amy Bigot’s notification of more gifts totaling $86,062.
Announcements. Closing prayer.
Recess for worship with Holy Communion in Christ Chapel.
Dinner and recognitions in Jackson Dining Hall. Lilly Initiative information and commissioning of Congregation Ambassadors; pastors new to the synod; pastors in first calls; 2016 seminary graduates; interns serving in SW MN Synod; 25-, 50-, and 60-year anniversaries of ordination or commissioning; retired pastors; assembly farewell to Synod Minister Joyce Piper; thanks to members leaving Synod Council; remembering God’s servants who have died since our last assembly.
More again tomorrow morning.