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Faith is a living, unshakable confidence in God's grace; it is so certain that someone would die a thousand times for it.
This month, not only did the Synod Council meet for their business meeting they met for a time of prayer, study, and reflection in an overnight retreat. This retreat portion explored not just our Reformation 500 theme, Faith Not Fear, but faith overcoming fear. Our extended worship gave time for people to share in conversation around their own fears and to hear testimonies of how others have overcome fears. An extended Bible study allowed our Synod Council to deepen their understandings around the interplay of faith and fear in our lives. The hymns and prayers similarly offered further testimony towards courage as a hallmark of our faith lives.
The business meeting on Saturday morning gave time for the council to recap the Synod Assembly, learn of calls and transitions, and hear the developing plans towards redevelopment in our synod. Our synod secretary, Pr. Bob Schoepflin, also reported on the increase in congregations who are updating their constitutions after the Congregational Council Trainings in February and March. The Synod Council also nominated and elected the Executive Committee. (The Executive Committee is comprised of four Synod Council members plus four officers and are elected to one-year terms.)
In new business, the Synod Council received and approved a resolution that calls for a strategy around immigration and refugee resettlement. This resolution lays the groundwork for how our synod and congregations can work towards advocacy, care, and accompaniment with immigrant communities and refugees. The council identified committees that will help to lead this as we work with partners including Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and initiatives like the AMMPARO strategy in the ELCA. Look for more ways to learn about this and connect with resources and trainings in the coming months through our eletter and website.
As the retreat came towards a close, the council heard more about our strategic plan and the directions for each committee and enabler as we refresh the plan. The Claimed Strategy Area is focusing on first thirds ministry (ages 0-30) within our synod and how to strengthen networks and communication. The Gathered Strategy Area is focusing on leadership and ways our congregations and leaders can be equipped for mission. The Sent Strategy Area is looking at the issues that surround immigration in our area. Finally, the Anti-Racism Initiative is planning continued trainings and resources for our synod. See more about our strategic plan and find updates on our website.
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