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Synod assemblies in full swing

When the Eastern North Dakota Synod met April 5-6, the gathering marked the beginning of the ELCA’s synod assembly season. By presstime eight assemblies had met. Resolutions on Book of Faith, the initiative from 2007 Churchwide Assembly that members commit to hearing, reading, studying and sharing of God’s word, were the most prevalent.

Craig Johnson, bishop of the Minneapolis
Craig Johnson, bishop of the Minneapolis Area Synod, preaches during the opening worship at its assembly, April 18. Meeting under the theme “A New Creation: Fit for Mission,” assembly participants focused on learning to listen to each other and building a shared leadership.


Eastern North Dakota Synod
April 5-6, Fargo, N.D.
•Asked that the ELCA Rural Desk work with organizations such as the National Community Education Association and the Organization Concerned with Rural Education to make a concerted effort to revitalize rural America.
• Committed to the Book of Faith initiative, asking the synod bishop and an advocate to lead the effort, that all voting members commit to regular Bible study and that all congregations become “Book of Faith” congregations.


Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod
April 17-19, Tulsa, Okla.

• Urged its members to tithe money they receive from the 2008 “economic stimulus plan” to ministries among people living in poverty.

• Urged every congregation to examine Confessing Our Faith Together, a study guide on full communion with the United Methodist Church, and submit a response.

• Asked the synod to establish a forum where congregations can discuss issues of race, gender and immigration and asked the Churchwide Assembly to develop related resources and opportunities for the entire church.

Minneapolis Area Synod
April 18-19, Eden Prairie, Minn.

• Asked that each congregation be entitled to add one youth to its allotted synod assembly voting members.

Southeastern Minnesota Synod
April 18-19, Rochester, Minn.

• Resolved to become a Book of Faith synod.
• Encouraged the synod, its congregations and members to advocate for peace.

Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod
April 18-19, Spokane, Wash.

• Urged congregational worship leaders to use a language of prayer that promotes respect and dignity of all; that parishioners ask elected officials to comply with the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and that congregations discourage inflammatory rhetoric and encourage open dialogue about the country’s military involvement in the world.
• Resolved to be a Book of Faith synod.

Alaska Synod
April 24-26, Anchorage, Alaska

• Encouraged members to visit a Moravian congregation and asked its synod council to appoint a Moravian-Lutheran committee to discover how full communion will work.

• Committed to be a Book of Faith synod, including celebrating locations where study already exists and urging congregations to join the effort.

• Called for a social statement on disabilities—physical, sensory, psychiatric or intellectual—to be presented to the 2013 Churchwide Assembly.

Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod
April 25-27, Longview, Texas

• Set a goal of increasing per capita giving (from $3.02 to $6 by the end of 2009) to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal.

• Voted to become a Book of Faith synod.

• Joined the Lutheran Earthkeeping Network of Synods.

• Urged congregations to highlight and renew young adult and youth ministry leaders.

Sierra Pacific Synod
April 25-27, Oakland, Calif.

• Passed a resolution on immigration based on Luke 4:18-19 that calls congregations to show compassionate hospitality and service, and seek justice in regard to refugee and immigration efforts and just reform of immigration law.


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