calendar May 22, 2009 in Assembly

2009 Synod Assembly Summary

God has a plan…We’re it!


“We are God’s incarnational presence, the very Body of Christ, the hands and feet and FACE of our Lord,” said Bishop Claire Burkat as she unveiled the results of the year-long discernment process that involved nearly 2,000 people across the synod. It represents four strategic directions that emerged:


* Faith formation

* Faith in Action

* Connecting and communicating

* Equipping and developing


Instead of yielding a traditional strategic plan, this listening process revealed the instincts and passions of our people to grow deeper in faith and to share that faith with our neighbors in word and deed.


The Assembly reflected that result, devoting significant time to hearing directions and dreams from circles of leaders who have been working in each of the strategic directions, and giving attendees time to reflect on and explore God’s call in conversation. Read more about the process at


“Like social networks, the gospel is spread and extended through relationships,” the bishop said. God’s plan is about relationships so we can use whatever tools we need to accomplish that plan. We connect in order to be released for mission.


“Mission and ministry will happen because people at the grassroots, in our neighborhoods and in our congregations, want it to happen and are listening to God to direct them, not because it is a synod plan,” said Bishop Burkat.


View a video of the bishop’s address at


View videos of all of the key presentations at


Download the “facebooklet” discussion guide at



Assembly news:


2010 budget includes small increase, deficit


The Assembly passed a 2010 budget with an anticipated income of $2,876,000 and anticipated expenses of $3,167,175. The 2010 budget represents a 2% increase over 2009 and an anticipated deficit of $291,175. Budget deficits are currently funded out of the Fund for Mission. Partnership Support for 2008 was down 4 percent, or just over $116,000.


In 2008 the Assembly authorized a year-end special synodical appeal, which brought in $40,000. After passing the 2010 budget, the Assembly authorized another appeal to for 2009 to occur on a date to be decided by the Synod Council.





Assembly says “yes” to ministry changes


The Southeastern Synod Assembly Friday expressed support of the proposal before the ELCA to allow ordination of persons in long-term, monogamous same-gender relationships. The Assembly passed by voice vote a resolution urging the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to adopt the Social Statement on Human Sexuality. The resolution also recommended adoption of the four-parts of the proposed Recommendation on Ministry Policies.


An additional clause asked the church to develop resources for faith communities that choose to support same-gender relationships by holding them publicly accountable in the exchange of promises of lifelong love and fidelity. Learn more at


The Assembly had earlier defeated a resolution calling on the Churchwide Assembly to require a two-thirds majority on votes relating to the proposals on sexuality. Learn more at


In other actions:


The Assembly voted to become a “Book of Faith” synod committing “to live in and from the Word of God.” The resolution encouraged all congregations to commit to the initiative and become Book of Faith congregations in order to explore new opportunities for engaging the Bible. The voting members of the Assembly also agreed to covenant together to participate in regular Bible study and prayer. Learn more at


The Assembly passed a resolution asking the Churchwide Assembly to reaffirm support and funding for Lutheran Disaster Response, a nationally recognized organization to bring comfort, healing and renewal to those affected by a variety of disasters. A resolution seeking to strengthen efforts to encourage young adults of color to consider a call to public ministry was passed. Learn more at