Video Recorded Presentations
Bishop Jon’s Report – Part 1: Remembering & Noticing
Bishop Jon’s Report – Part 2: Trusting & Following
Bible Study by Dr. Deanna Thompson – Part 1: “The Body of Christ in the 21st Century”
Bible Study by Dr. Deanna Thompson – Part 2: “The Body of Christ in the 21st Century”
Vice President’s Report
A Farewell for Pastor Larry on his Retirement
ELCA Report: Rev. Brenda Smith
Welcome to Redwood Falls and the Lower Sioux Community
Gifts of Grace
Stories That Should Be Told
Click here for day 1 assembly notes
Saturday, June 8, 2019
Notes by Carla Klawitter
The early risers attended Morning Prayer, led by Rev. Erik Rundquist, to begin the second day of our Southwestern Minnesota Synod Assembly.
Displays are open. Coffee is on. People are gathering. The Synod Youth Band is singing. We’re ready for Plenary II. Opening prayer led by Mia Eisenbacher.
Rev. Brenda Smith of the Domestic Mission Unit gave the ELCA Churchwide Report. We aren’t perfect, but something should make us different. For example, wearing a cross necklace – still yelling at your next customer? Have a cross hanging from your rear-view mirror – still giving the finger to that other driver? We are called to be different. Her report about the work of our larger church included a video from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.
Rev. Jon Nelson presented the Bread Basket Award to Borgund Lutheran, Madison, for their per-baptized-member giving to World Hunger. Also, an offering of $3,918.72 was gathered for World Hunger.
Deacon Sarah Hausken and LYO shared their report – and everyday enthusiasm.
Deanna Thompson led the second Bible study. The best form of generosity is paying attention. Jesus was on an important journey, but he stops and pays attention to the one crying from the crowd.
Get up and stretch with the Synod Youth Band.
Credentials report #2 presented by Rev. John Gabrielson.
Treasurer Chuck Engebretson presented the endowment report and expressed gratitude for generous donors. He also encouraged congregations to apply for available endowment grants.
A video was shown from Portico encouraging us all to reach out to others in need. Portico is serving you so you can serve others.
The proposed budget for fiscal year ending January 31, 2021, was adopted 98%-2%.
The proposed 2020 Compensation Guidelines were moved forward. An amendment was proposed that, although parental leave should be a separate benefit (page 9), it could be combined with vacation time available to pastors and deacons. The amendment passed 90%-10%.
Another amendment was proposed regarding language on page 12 referring to seminary and TEEM interns. Rev. Don McKee responded. The motion was ruled out of order.
Yet another amendment to add “or the time recommended by the doctor” after the recommendation of 6 weeks for parental leave. A question was raised about medical leave already included in compensation. The vote on this amendment passed 64%-36%.
Now, the vote on the guidelines. The 2020 compensation guidelines were adopted as amended twice 95%-5%.
We’re working so well! Time allowed another video – this one about the ELCA’s Mission Investment Fund, which makes lower-interest loans to congregations or other ministries.
Bishop Jon presented his second report, including ideas for faithful innovation and new ways for doing and being church together.
Rev. Dee Pederson spoke of the work of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. The Servant of Christ Award went to Zion Lutheran, Litchfield, for their idea and work with LSS to feed more neighbors.
Second election for synod positions: Rev. Maggie Berndt-Dreyer was elected to synod council.
Gwen Arneson spoke words of gratitude for being allowed 20 years to serve as our synod’s vice-president. A video of her everyday spirituality was shown, and she was presented with a gift certificate as a token of the synod’s appreciation.
Rev. Steve Cook made announcements. Bergen Nelson led us in prayer.
Time to eat! Besides our meal, we’ll enjoy a time of recognitions – departing council and synod assembly planning committee members, rostered leaders new to synod, interns, seminary graduates, first-call pastors, anniversaries of ordinations and consecrations, and retirements since our last assembly.
Martin Luther made a surprise guest appearance and brought a brief greeting. The assembly sang a farewell ditty to Rev. Larry Strenge, who has been our Director for Evangelical Mission for the past 10 years. Larry was presented with a gift in appreciation of his sharing his everyday spirituality with all of us.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed “Lifting You Up: Stories to Be Told” with a rural ministry panel, plus other stories from individuals of good things – everyday spirituality – happening around our synod.
The closing worship, including Holy Communion, was led by Bishop Jon. Deanna Thompson preached. Included was installation of synod council members, conference deans and chairs, and board members; and a send-off for the churchwide assembly voting members, who will gather in Milwaukee August 5-10.
Tentative dates and sites for our next synod assemblies: June 12-13, 2020, at Gustavus Adolphus College; June 11-13, 2021, including bishop election, at Gustavus Adolphus College.