Category: Assembly

May 15, 2019

Vitality Team Offers New Vision

We are church in an environment that is “volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous,” Synod Vitality Team co-chair the Rev. Bryan Penman told the 2019 Synod Assembly. But by working toward what research has shown are key marks of vital congregations, SEPA congregations can become more connected and relevant in their communities, he said. The Vitality...

Read More →

May 10, 2019

Bishop Davenport: “We are co-creators of our joint mission”

2019 Assembly logo Bishop Patricia Davenport, the Fifth Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the ELCA, opened the Synod’s 2019 Assembly (her first as Bishop) with a reading from Psalm 34: 1-3.  “… O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt God’s name together.” From the excitement of her election at the 2018 Assembly, to...

Read More →

May 29, 2019

Assembly Leftovers Feed Hundreds

2019 Assembly logo The Synod Hunger Team, operating out of St. John Lutheran, Morrisville and assisted by St. John’s Service/Outreach/Parish Life Team and community members who assist with Aid for Friends put together meals for distribution using the leftovers from Assembly meals. Friday and Saturday lunches were delivered to the Homeless shelter in Levittown, PA and fed over...

Read More →

May 23, 2019

‘Are We Willing to be Transformed?’

The beloved community is like this: ‘God takes it very personally how we treat one another,” the Rev. Dr. Wyvetta Bullock said in her sermon at the Assembly’s Saturday Eucharist. “The compassion we express to others is our expression of our love for God.” As humans we struggle with love that seeks nothing in return....

Read More →

May 22, 2019

Laments of a Death-and-Resurrection People

“It is time for our inadequate dreams to die in order for Christ to rise in us, and our church.” This observation by one pastor to Bishop Patricia A. Davenport grounded the preaching, prayer and lament during the opening worship service of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s 2019 Assembly. Several preachers and prayer leaders explored the...

Read More →

May 21, 2019

Leadership Rooted in Baptism

“Our purpose comes out of the baptismal waters, where our leadership is grounded.” The Rev. Dr. M. Wyvetta Bullock, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop/Executive for Administration and ELCA Churchwide Representative, led a lively forum – “Leadership Rooted in Baptism” – on the first day of the assembly. As she began the forum, she shared that...

Read More →

May 20, 2019

Balanced 2020 Budget Approved

2019 Assembly logo The Assembly adopted a budget for fiscal 2020 that anticipates total revenues of $3.33 million and expenditures of $2.88 million. The budget takes effect Feb. 1, 2020. Finance Committee Chair Albert Glenn outlined one significant change to the 2020 budget. The synod regularly gives support to United Lutheran Seminary, including about $50,000 for tuition support...

Read More →

March 12, 2019

Assembly 2019: Building Beloved Community

2019 Assembly logo The 2019 Synod Assembly will meet Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, under the theme Building Beloved Community. Registration is now open .   Our keynote speaker will be the Rev. Nicole D. Diroff , associate director of Interfaith Philadelphia. A number of learning opportunities will explore various aspects of the beloved community theme,...

Read More →

May 5, 2018

Rev. Patricia Davenport Elected Bishop

Pastor Patricia A. Davenport was elected the next Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday, May 5, at Franconia Mennonite Church. Pastor Davenport is the first African-descent woman to be elected a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. On the fourth ballot, Bishop-elect Davenport, currently our...

Read More →

May 26, 2017

Assembly 2017 Report

For Such a Time As This Many voices offered perspectives on racism and reconciliation at the 2017 Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly May 5-6. Bishop Claire Burkat encouraged those gathered to be “more open to engage, to explore, to repent, to be humbled, to align ourselves with this incredible and abundant new life in Christ.” She called on congregations and leaders to take...

Read More →

May 5, 2017

Openness, Humility Needed to Address Racial Justice

For Such a Time As This In her address to the 2017 Assembly, Bishop Claire Burkat broke open possibilities to embody racial reconciliation in the work of congregations and the synod at large. Drawing from themes introduced in her sermon, the bishop encouraged those gathered to be “more open to engage, to explore, to repent, to be humbled, to align ourselves...

Read More →

May 26, 2016

Living Gospel: A Firm Foundation

Pastor Linda Manson and Living Gospel Ministries, our newest faith community, are giving people newly returned from incarceration a sense of self-worth and help re-integrating with society. “It’s important to me that the people who come to be in ministry with us feel loved and cared for,” Pastor Manson says. Building up self-worth undergirds the work Living...

Read More →

May 20, 2016

Still Reforming Assembly Highlights

  “GOD IS STILL REFORMING!…” …Bishop Burkat declared to the 2016 Synod Assembly. More than 500 Lutherans gathered from across Southeastern Pennsylvania to worship, pray, and discern in community explored how we can go outside our doors and listen to our neighbors in ways that are faithful to our 500-year Reformation heritage. Read on for...

Read More →

May 20, 2016

$22K Raised For Flint Water Crisis…So Far

The offering at the 2016 Synod Assembly Communion Service of more than $5,400 was directed to the work of our domestic partner synod in Southeast Michigan in response to the Flint water crisis. This brings the total raised so far from our Synod to $22,655. Bishop Donald Kreiss called the gift “a true indicator of...

Read More →

May 16, 2016

Balanced 2017 Budget Approved

The Assembly approved a balanced budget for fiscal 2017 that reflects the continuing decrease in Mission Support contributions from churches. In 2015 Mission Support totaled $1.97 million, a decrease of $180,000 from 2014, reported Treasurer Janet Neff, CPA. The Synod has been responsible managing with diminishing resources, she said. Since 2010, Mission Support has declined...

Read More →

May 13, 2016

Reformation 500: ‘Explore, Empower and Be Energized’

The upcoming 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a gift to the church. It’s an opportunity to explore, empower, and be energized. It’s a chance to reconnect to our deepest tradition of freedom and to reform stale and stagnant observations of a tradition that began with Luther’s fresh reading of the scriptures and the new...

Read More →

May 13, 2016

‘A New Dawn for Christ’s Church’

When Martin Luther seized the changes made possible by the printing press, he couldn’t have begun to imagine the exponential changes of our Internet age, Bishop Claire Burkat said in her address to the 2016 Synod Assembly. Despite the stresses posed by constant connectivity, racing schedules and financial pressure, “the Holy Spirit is bringing a...

Read More →

May 13, 2016

Forward Together in Faith: A Doable Goal

From Bishop Burkat’s presentation to the 2016 Assembly: For a year now, we have used some start up money to begin piloting initiatives for the Forward Together in Faith Campaign. We are confident that together we will equip our clergy and lay leaders with the tools, insights, resources and navigation needed for future Lutheran witness....

Read More →

May 7, 2016

Forward Together In Faith: New Ways of Being Church

In our 21st Century, post-9/11, globalized world full of “nones” and “dones,” what draws people to church? “This is a Kairos moment,” says the Rev. Bryan Penman, when God’s grace leads us to new ways of being the Church. The Forward Together in Faith campaign focuses on supporting congregations as they reform and become networkers,...

Read More →

May 7, 2016

In the Midst of Fear, Love Prevails

What shapes our lives and ministry? How do we respond to the formidable forces that threaten to pull us into the whirlpool of fear that has formed around us, reflected in public debate and in how people are treating each other? In her sermon at the assembly’s opening worship, Bishop Claire Burkat pulls together threads...

Read More →