Five members of LCM will represent our church as “Voting Members” to the annual Metro Chicago Synod Assembly June 7-8. Approximately 500 voting members to the Assembly are the legislative authority as defined in the Synod’s constitution. They will review the work of synod officers, teams and committees, adopt a budget, elect officers and board members and conduct any other business as is necessary.
A new bishop will be elected to succeed the retiring Bishop Wayne Miller.
Reports will be given from many “Partners in Ministry” including Advocate Aurora Health, Augsburg Fortress, Lutheran Campus Ministry, LSSI. Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center and Lutherdale.
Reports will come from several Lutheran Colleges including Augustana, Carthage, Luther, St. Olaf, and Wartburg.
A representative from ELCA will describe the work done on our behalf by “ELCA Churchwide Ministries.” Included in that report: 459 new ministries are currently under development, 519 new ministries have been organized as congregations since 1988. The ELCA Fund for Leaders endowment has reached $52.5 million, allowing the fund to provide $2.6 million in scholarship assistance to 254 seminary students in the 2018-19 academic year.
The ELCA has 220 pastors, doctors, nurses, teachers, theological educators, communicators, community organizers, and Young Adults in Global Mission serving as missionaries in 40 countries across the world.
The ELCA Youth Gathering was held June 27–July 1, 2018, in Houston, Texas. 32,000 people representing 65 synods attended the gathering. The theme was “This Changes Everything,” focusing on the life-changing reality of God’s call, hope, grace, and love, and ultimately on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each day, ten thousand people were sent into the city to serve alongside more than 200 community partners. (Our own Molly Beck Dean is Director the the ELCA Youth Gathering and is preparing the next Gathering to be held June 29 – July 3, 2021 in Minneapolis.)
Three resolutions have been submitted to the Assembly for a vote. Two address a social statement being prepared by the ELCA entitled “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action.” The document calls on the ELCA to “honor and support women and girls in ways more consistent with life-giving theology and faith practices” and calls on congregations to “seek justice in earthly relationships, structures and systems.” It has been ten years in the making. The first resolution calls Voting members to the Church Wide Assembly in August to adopt the social statement. The second resolution calls upon the Metro Chicago Synod to disseminate the social statement to congregations, conferences and agencies within the Synod upon its anticipated adoption.
The third resolution, entitled, “On Dealing with Depression and Intentional Death (Or Suicide) in our Churches,” calls all congregations in the Synod to have “National Suicide Prevention Lifeline” contact information (1-800-273-8255) posted in conspicuous places and asks “each congregation [to] have resources available to guide individuals with clinical depression to help in combating their depression before thoughts of suicide occur” and asks each congregation to “in some way, address the issue of recognizing depression and loneliness amongst their members.”
The five representatives from LCM will issue a report on decisions made following the Assembly.