The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Synods discuss Book of Faith & immigration

The ELCA’s Book of Faith initiative on reading Scripture continued to be the most common resolution passed at synod assemblies in May. At presstime, other resolutions called for immigration reform and the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the categorization of hate crimes.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
May 2-3, Telford, Pa.

• Urged the ELCA to develop a social statement concerning disabilities.
Dale Horkey<BR><BR>Madelyn Busse, assistant
Madelyn Busse, assistant to the bishop, and Bishop Allan Bjornberg of the Rocky Mountain Synod gather around the font for the “Thanksgiving for Baptism” liturgy at the opening worship of the May 22-24 assembly.
Pacifica Synod
May 1-3 Irvine, Calif.
• Called for family reunification principles in immigration reform, urging members to call on political decision-makers to support measures that facilitate applications and allocate resources for family reunification, support readjustments of the quota system to reflect the immigrant population, and oppose measures that put families in detention facilities or separate them.
• Asked the Conference of Bishops to discuss text, tradition, experience and reason in relation to human sexuality using Peter and Cornelius (and Acts 10, 11 and 15).
• Encouraged congregations to invite married and partnered couples to engage in public faith-based discussion.
• Resolved to become a Book of Faith synod and urged congregations to commit to the initiative.

South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
May 2-3, Middleton, Wis.

• Called on the ELCA Board of Pensions to change the policies of the Pension and Other Benefits Program to more justly support domestic partners by allowing them to unbundle pension from other benefits.
• Voted to become a Book of Faith synod, led by the bishop and clergy, so members regularly participate in Bible study and prayer.

Florida-Bahamas Synod
May 2-4, Daytona Beach, Fla.

• Resolved to become a Book of Faith synod.
• Asked the ELCA World Hunger Appeal to make Haiti a priority in addressing the current food crisis and in developing long-term solutions.

Southeast Michigan Synod
May 10, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.

• Gathered around a worship theme of “The Good Shepherd,” which included the Metro Detroit Lutheran Mass Choir and Scripture read in several languages.

Metropolitan New York Synod
May 15-17, Tarrytown, N.Y.

• Voted to ask federal and state legislatures to include sexual orientation and gender identity among categories defining a hate crime, and to list it as a category in which discrimination is forbidden in employment, housing and public services.

Northeastern Ohio Synod
May 16-17, Akron, Ohio

• Heard Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s challenge to congregations to grow in mission and tithe their bequests to the synod. Trinity Lutheran, Ashland, Ohio, responded by presenting a check for $100,000 for unrestricted use, as its tithe of a recent bequest to the congregation.

Southeastern Iowa Synod
May 16-18, Coralville, Iowa

• Called on members to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform and work with the synod to support the people of Postville, Iowa.

• Voted to ask that the Model Constitution for Congregations be amended to read: “If this congregation considers relocation or establishment of additional sites for worship, it shall confer with the bishop of the synod in which it is territorially located ....”

• Became a Book of Faith synod.

• Supported increased giving to the World Hunger Appeal.
• Urged support of the ONE campaign to end poverty.

Northwest Washington Synod
May 16-17, Everett, Wash.

• Voted to ask ELCA Worship and Liturgical Resources to make available a service of blessing and union for same-gender couples.
• Asked federal and state legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identities to the category of hate crimes, and that both be included in the ELCA ’s opposition to harassment or assault.

Northwestern Minnesota Synod
May 16-17, Moorhead, Minn.

• Asked the U.S. government to create a department of peace, supporting the House of Representatives Resolution 808 for a cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolence.
• Became a Book of Faith synod, committed to living in and from the word of God at all meetings, assemblies and events.

South Carolina Synod
May 16-18, Columbia, S.C.

• Voted to become a Book of Faith synod.
• Approved entering into a companion synod relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia (the synod’s third relationship).

Southwest California Synod
May 15-17, Woodland Hills, Calif.

• Opposed sentencing children 17 and younger to life in prison without parole.

• Called for a cease-fire by all parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an end to the blockades of Gaza and for all Palestinian parties to recognize the right of Israel to exist within secure borders.

• Resolved to end domestic and international torture and repudiated torture, extraordinary renditions and arbitrary detentions.

Northwestern Ohio Synod
May 16-17, Akron, Ohio

• Voted to become a Book of Faith synod.
• Resolved to pursue an Annual Bishop’s Appeal in the amount of $500,000.

Northern Great Lakes Synod
May 18-19, Marquette, Mich.

• Asked ELCA Vocation and Education to streamline the process of reinstatement to the ELCA ministry roster.

Rocky Mountain Synod
May 22-24, Denver

• Voted to become a Book of Faith synod.

• Asked congregations to receive a special offering June 1 to aid Lutheran Disaster Response (the assembly opened the day tornadoes struck northern Colorado).

• Established a synod task force that would consult with the churchwide offices to evaluate the status of women in rostered ministries, including salary and benefits.

North/West Lower Michigan Synod
May 18-20, Lansing, Mich.

• Encouraged every congregation to receive a monthly World Hunger offering, seeking to attain a goal of raising $5 per baptized member in 2008, and to support local hunger efforts.

• Urged congregations, youth ministry leaders and pastors to support the ELCA Youth Ministry Network.

• Became a Book of Faith synod.

Southwestern Washington Synod
May 30-31, Olympia, Wash.

• Called for the synod to support the goal of a living wage for employees of firms connected with the government.

• Urged congregations to become familiar with the ELCA social statement “Caring for God’s Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice.”

• Requested its bishop to encourage ELCA Church in Society to join in endorsing the Think Outside the Bottle Campaign to challenge corporate control of water; encouraged congregations to use reusable containers for drinking water and to advocate for clean water and sanitation for all God’s people.

St. Paul Area Synod
May 30-31, Burnsville, Minn.

• Directed its synod council to ask the ELCA Church Council to amend policies that preclude “practicing homeosexual persons” from rosters of the church and to reinstate those who have been removed or resigned because they were in same-gender relationships.

• Asked that ELCA Worship and Liturgical Resources be directed to develop resources for those who wish to provide pastoral care to same-gender couples.

• Become a Book of Faith synod.

• Challenged congregations to increase giving to the World Hunger Appeal.

• Asked federal and state legislatures to add sexual orientation and gender identities to the category of hate crimes, and that both be included in the ELCA’s opposition to harassment or assault.

Southwestern Texas Synod
May 31-June 1, Seguin, Texas

• Received an assembly offering of $81,954.56, including $8,935 from a quilt sale. The offering will support youth leadership development, including expansion of the Manu center for the Lutheran Church of Costa Rica.

Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod
May 29-31, Lake Harmony, Pa.

• Supported the Book of Faith initiative.

• Urged members to tithe their government-funded economic stimulus check to state agencies that provide goods and services to those who lack the necessities for health and wholeness.

• Memorialized the 2009 Churchwide Assembly to reaffirm this church’s commitment to peace-making in the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

• Encouraged pastors and lay rostered leaders and congregations to provide pastoral care to same-gender couples.

Northwest Synod of Wisconsin
May 30-31, Eau Claire, Wis.

• Voted to become a Book of Faith synod.

• Encouraged support for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network.


Stephen L. Miller

Stephen L. Miller

Posted at 9:43 pm (U.S. Eastern) 6/25/2008

I am so blown away by how far from scripture some of the synods have drifted.  Of course, I probably shouldn't be, considering that Paul told us it would happen in his 2nd letter to Timothy, 4:3 - 4;

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." 

Isaiah 5:20;

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness..."

Psalms 12:8;

"The wicked strut about on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men."

We were warned, but seem to be falling right into the big deception and vileness is definitely becoming exalted in the Lutheran church.

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