2022 Synod Assembly Canceled

Synod Council voted on May 21st to cancel the 2022 Synod Assembly. This was a very difficult decision and a disappointment. The Synod Assembly Planning Committee, your Synod Staff, and many others have done a tremendous amount of work getting us to this point. Reflecting on the Synod Assembly’s theme verse, “For we are God’s servants, working together, you are God’s field, God’s building” the work and our ministry together continue because it is God in Jesus Christ who has walked beside us. We serve a mission that is greater and more life-changing than any of the obstacles that have come our way.  

Why cancel?  
The SW MN Synod constitution S7.14 mandates that, “One-half of the members of the Synod Assembly shall constitute a quorum.” This means that the “Synod Assembly” is not simply the number of people who register and show up. Quorum is based on this Synod’s potentialnumber of voting members. If there is not quorum in attendance, the Assembly cannot perform its business. The potential number comes from:  

  • Ministers of Word & Sacrament and Ministers of Word & Service who are under call
  • Lay voting members elected by their congregations. (Number is determined by # of baptized members reported on the Form A & C of a congregation’s annual report),  
  • Conference Chairpersons and lay members of the Synod Council who are not otherwise Voting Members of the Synod Assembly. 

The potential number results in a higher quorum than other synods around us. As of Friday, May 20th our registered voting members was well below quorum.  

Will we get a full refund?  
Yes! All registration fees will be refunded. The refund process will begin immediately. You will not need to contact the synod office unless you do not see a refund within a month. Your refund will be returned to the same account or credit card you used for registration.  

Did leaders try to increase registration numbers?
Yes! Weekly emails and website updates reminded people to register for the Synod Assembly. The Early Bird registration was extended to provide additional time for registration. Assembly news was shared at rostered minister’s conference gatherings. The Synod Assembly Planning Team and synod staff devoted significant time making phone calls, answering questions, and supporting the whole church.  

What feedback was shared about not registering for the Assembly?  

  • Weddings and funerals that didn’t take place for 2 years are scheduled now.  
  • Pastors are finally able to take vacations and sabbaticals that were placed on hold for 2 years.  
  • Youth trips are happening now.  
  • Many congregations do not have a rostered minister to coordinate electing Voting Members.  
  • Some are not interested or do not understand the importance of synod business.  
  • Many people are zoomed-out.  

Synod Council action:  
On Saturday, May 21, the Synod Council voted to cancel the 2022 Synod Assembly due to the inability to attain quorum. Because the Synod Council is the interim legislative authority when there is no Synod Assembly, (Synod Constitution S10.02), all voting matters normally decided by the Assembly are transferred to the Synod Council. These actions include:  

  • 2024 Budget  
  • 2023 Compensation Guidelines  
  • Resolution 22.01 
  • Synod Elections  

What about a 2024 Synod Assembly?  
Next year’s assembly WILL be held on June 9-10, 2023, in person, at Gustavus Adolphus College.

How can we prevent this from happening in the future?  
The Synod Council will begin the process of proposing changes to the SW MN Synod Constitution pertaining to Assembly quorum and identifying other changes needed. These recommendations will be sent to all congregations at least six months prior to the 2023 Synod Assembly. 

Will reports from the assembly be available? 
Yes! Pre-Assembly reports will continue to be available on the synod’s Assembly webpage. Additional reports, including the bishop’s report, anniversary celebrations, and remembrances of those who have passed away will be posted in June.  Shared Ministry Partner videos and reports will also be highlighted in the Synod’s E-news, blog and Facebook.  

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