The Synod Council broke new ground at their February meeting – they were almost entirely paperless! Synod Council members logged into accounts on our website where they could view meeting documents from their laptops and devices. We expect this to greatly reduce not only the paper copies at meetings but the time spent preparing ordered notebooks.
As they got into their business portion, the council issued calls for ELCA rostered ministers and appointments for persons serving on synodical committees. One committee at work in our synod is the Benevolence Task Force who makes decisions regarding Wider Church Grants. These grants were started in 2004 and are funded through a 10% tithe of the net proceeds from property sales. Grants assist a wide array of non-profit entities and programs that are outside of our synod’s regular operating budget. For 2017, ten grants were awarded and the Benevolence Task Force is seeking ways to ensure this grant program continues. Later in the meeting a Trexler Grant for travel was awarded to Pr. Peter Rustico.
Our synod’s fiscal year ended on January 31, which means the Financial Management Committee and staff are preparing for the annual audit. Similarly, our Strategic Plan Strategy Area Committees and Enablers have been working to prioritize their budget requests. At their March meeting, the Synod Council will be reviewing the budget that will come before the 2017 Synod Assembly.
The council also heard a recap of the first three Congregational Council Trainings. These events have given a chance to thank congregational leaders for their work. Presentations highlight council members as spiritual leaders, the 10 things council members need to know, and congregational strategic planning. One initiative that our Synod Secretary is heading up is reviewing congregational constitutions throughout our synod. This will be done through a Constitution Review Committee, and review teams within the quadrants of our synod. Nominations for persons to serve in either of these capacities are being accepted now. Click here to download the form.
The council also took action on the conference realignment process. The voted to move Epiphany, Brooklyn to the South Shore Brooklyn Conference and merge the Southwest Queens Conference and the Northwest Queens Conference into the Western Queens Conference.
The minutes of this meeting will be available after they are approved in March.