Synod Assembly Recap (Article published in the Southeastern Iowa Synod E-News)

The 32nd Assembly of the Southeastern Iowa Synod was held May 10 and 11, 2019, at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. Nearly 400 voting members and visitors gathered around the theme “One Bread. One Body.”

Rachel Alley, from Youth Ministry, Domestic Mission Unit, served as the churchwide representative providing updates and stories of the work we do together as the ELCA. Wendy Davidson, president of specialty channels at Kellogg North America was a special guest speaker. Additionally, there were many video greetings from ecumenical and ministry partners of the Southeastern Iowa Synod.

Forums allowed assembly participants to learn about partner ministries; our shared ministries in Southeastern Iowa and around the world. Some of their topics included; bible study, youth ministry, environmental stewardship, refugees and immigration, and ecumenical relations. The Assembly also took time to discuss the upcoming bishop’s election in 2020.

Additionally, congregational representatives brought “One Bread. One Body” reusable shopping bags filled with items representing their outreach that were blessed during worship on Friday night. The Friday night worship offering totaled more than $4,200 and is designated for ministry partners of the Southeastern Iowa Synod. On Saturday, the Assembly was charged to give to ELCA World Hunger as a gift of thanksgiving and commitment as an “anti-hunger synod” more than $5,500 was given.

Bishop Michael Burk served as chair of the assembly, including the Friday evening service of Holy Communion. In his report, Bishop Burk provided highlights of our shared ministry since the synod was last gathered in assembly, providing his assessment of ways we are united in Christ as the “One Bread. One Body.”

343 voting members and 52 visitors were in attendance for business matters and resolutions. 58% of voting members were lay voting members. 59% of voting members were female and 41% male.

Resolutions adopted included: 1) Peace Not Walls: a resolution encouraging ministers of the synod learn more about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to memorialize and urge the 2019 Churchwide Assembly to advocate for humanitarian issues related to the conflict. 2) Peace Not Walls: a resolution encouraging ministers of the synod to learn more about cuts in funding levels in the Near East and to memorialize and urge the 2019 Churchwide Assembly to advocate for fiscal issues related to the conflict 3) Public witness: a resolution to stand against recent attacks on faith communities as agents of reconciliation and grace. 4) A courtesy resolution of thanksgiving for the assembly and various ministries of the Southeastern Iowa Synod. Visit the 2019 Synod Assembly webpage for the full text of resolutions.

Other business included the approval of the 2020 synod budget and minimum compensation guidelines. Congregations and rostered leaders celebrating anniversaries were celebrated. Death of ministers were memorialized.

Visit the 2019 Synod Assembly webpage for more details about the assembly and to access videos, photos, and texts. Videos and photos of the event will be posted as they become available in the upcoming weeks.

The 2020 Assembly of the Southeastern Iowa Synod will take place May 1-3, 2020 in Coralville, Iowa, at which time the election of a new Bishop will be held.