I can very clearly remember attending my first ever synod convention. I was not a delegate, but a teen who had been enlisted to assist in making a presentation about our synod’s outdoor ministry programmes. It felt like a very big deal; an important event in the life of our church. And today, I still consider these gatherings to be “big deals”; important events wherein we assemble as an ecclesial community to meet and do the things that are essential to the maintenance and deepening of our ministry partnerships.
In just a few weeks, some 400 delegates and visitors will gather in Toronto, Ontario for this year’s Eastern Synod Assembly from June 23 to 26, 2016.
Some of the anticipated highlights include:
Welcoming and engaging with our theme speaker, The Rev. Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land and President of the Lutheran World Federation. It is a very great honour and privilege to have this pre-eminent global church leader with us to explore the assembly theme, Liberated by God’s Grace.
A review of our synod’s Biennium Reconciliation Initiative. Opportunities will be provided to share the ways in which we have lived out our synod’s commitment to seeking renewed and right relationship with our indigenous neighbours. We will consider “things done and things left un-done” and prayerfully consider next steps.
Election of delegates to the 2017 ELCIC National Convention. This will be our first experience whereby the synod will elect delegates to an ELCIC National Convention. You can find information on the nomination and electoral process at http://www.easternsynod.org/story/february-23-2016-nomination-and-electi...
Election of a new Vice Chairperson of the Eastern Synod. At the 2015 ELCIC National Convention, Ms. Linda Grainger was elected to serve as the Secretary of the ELCIC, necessitating her resignation as Vice-Chairperson of the Eastern Synod. We will elect her successor at this year’s Synod Assembly.
How are we living into the Covenant Concerning the Life of the Eastern Synod? Over the course of the last 18 months, 52% of the Eastern Synod’s congregations have reviewed and affirmed our synod’s covenantal partnership. We will conclude our assembly business session with an extended committee-of the-whole conversation about our life together.
All this will take place in the context of an Assembly agenda that will be filled with rich worship experiences, presentations from our wider-church partners, consideration of resolutions that delegates will bring for our consideration and important decisions about our synod’s mission and ministry.
Over the course of these special days we will celebrate, nurture and care for the life of our Eastern Synod faith community. This is holy and good work and I pray that God would grant us the grace and willingness to be its faithful agents.