Updates to come!
Updated information will be added to the synod assembly home and its constituent pages (Nominations, Elections, Resolutions, etc. Menu located on right hand side of your screen) by Tuesday May 21. Photos from this year's assembly will also be posted to the synod facebook page within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
Jump ahead to: Assembly theme I Getting ready I Identifying voting members I Determining the number of voting members I Resolutions I Speakers and guests I Electronic voting for 2013 assembly I Assembly worship offering I Registration I Directions and traffic
This year's assembly
The turn of the year means that preparation for annual meetings, conference assemblies, and the synod assembly stretch out before us all. The 2013 Saint Paul Area Synod assembly continues at Prince of Peace, Burnsville on May 17-18 with the second of a three-year focus on Lutheran identity.
This year’s assembly will explore the concept of diakonia under the umbrella of “Living Lutheran Writing God’s Love in Human Deeds.” We’ll explore such questions as:
- What does it mean to be a servant of Christ?
- How does the church become the servant of Christ in the world?
- Where are the examples of diakonia in the congregations and people around us?
- How have Lutherans understood diakonia?
Your congregation’s annual meeting and the conference assemblies are a prelude to the synod assembly. We are a participatory church, one that organizationally lives out what we believe about the priesthood of all believers. And we live in a democratic society, where people expect to be able to express their ideas and have a hand in shaping those issues that affect them.
Decisions about how we want to be church together in this synod begin at the congregational annual meeting, continue with conference assemblies and the synod assembly, the highest governing authority for the synod, and move to the churchwide assembly, the final governing authority for the entire ELCA.
If you are attending this year's assembly as a voting member, please read the pre-assembly report in advance of your participation so that you come well informed and prepared to understand the business before the assembly.
Identifying voting members
Each congregation is charged with identifying and sending representatives to the conference assemblies and the synod assembly. These representatives—called voting members—help determine ministry for the future of the Saint Paul Area Synod and for the whole ELCA.
Many have asked how decisions about a new hymnal, changes in ministry policies, or the Book of Faith initiative emerged.
The changes originated at the grass roots where they emerged in local congregations, and the ideas were advanced over a number of years at conference assemblies, synod assemblies, and churchwide assemblies.
So if your congregation wants to have voice and influence, the process exists for participation!
Many congregations have a system for identifying representatives for these assemblies; others struggle to find people and wait until the last minute. Please educate your members about how they can become involved!
Congregations should identify individuals who will serve as voting members at the conference assemblies on February 9, and the synod assembly on May 17-18, as early as possible.
Voting members appreciate being briefed in advance about their roles and the expectations. Congregations identify voting members in all sorts of ways, but it’s a good idea to select voting members who are involved in the life of your congregation and have time to prepare and understand the issues and concerns before the assembly.
The number of lay voting members allocated is based on information submitted on parochial reports or, in absence of that, on the minimum number allocated to a congregation.
Determining the number of voting members
Each congregation is allowed to bring a certain number of voting members to the synod assembly, as determined by annual congregational statistics reported to the ELCA.*
To find out the number of voting members for your congregation, see the Voting Member Allocation Chart (PDF).
*Each congregation is allotted lay voting members as follows, according to baptized membership: one voting member for congregations having fewer than 175 baptized members. Two voting members for congregations of 175-500 members, with an additional voting member for every 500 baptized members or major fraction thereof (i.e., 501-749 = 2 voting members; 750-1249 = 3 voting members; 1250-1749 = 4 voting members, etc.).
Resolutions can help clarify issues and propose plans for action
One avenue of access for congregations, conferences, and synod committees to address issues and propose a plan for action for wider consideration is the resolution, defined in Robert’s Rules of Order as “a main motion submitted in writing because of its importance or its complexity.”
Resolutions help organize the work of the assembly by clarifying important issues or concerns. Resolutions are first reviewed by the reference and counsel committee, which will make recommendations to the assembly to facilitate its work, but the resolutions belong to the assembly and may be amended, rejected, or adopted after consideration by the voting members. Read the guidelines for writing resolutions.
Poorly crafted and badly written resolutions that lack clarity and precision often have the opposite effect intended when they arrive on the floor of the synod assembly. Please read the guidelines carefully and call the synod office if you have questions.
Deadline for resolutions
All resolutions for consideration at the synod assembly were submitted electronically by Wednesday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m. to Beth Helgen at email@example.com in order to give the reference and counsel committee adequate time to consider them.
Speakers and guests
John Nunes (seen right) will keynote this year’s synod assembly. He serves as president and CEO of Lutheran World Relief (LWR), a global organization that expresses profoundly diakonia in the world as it works to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering.
Prior to joining LWR, Nunes served on the faculty of Concordia University, Chicago, as a professor of theology. He has also served as a management consultant and as an urban parish pastor and community organizer in Dallas, Texas, and Detroit, Mich.
Nunes will be joined by Jodi Slattery (seen right) as the churchwide representative. Slattery serves as the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop for Governance in the ELCA. In this role, she prepares agendas for the ELCA Church Council and Churchwide Assembly, shares leadership responsibilities for staff services and facilitates preparation of public documents on behalf of the presiding bishop.
Previously, Ms. Slattery served as the Director for Grassroots Advocacy and Communication in the ELCA Washington Office. Prior to her time in Washington, D.C., she served as the Communications Director at Southeastern Iowa Synod, Iowa City, Iowa.
Electronic voting for 2013 assembly
For the first time, voting members will use electronic voting keypads for elections and voting on other business, A substantial amount of plenary time will be devoted to budget issues and to table talk led by members of the task force coordinating the election of a new bishop in 2014.
The voting keypads provide quick access to results of elections and to other responses sought from voting members. In addition to using the voting keypads for elections, we will also use the keypads during our consideration of resolutions, table talk conducted by the bishop’s election committee, and other assembly business.
Be advised that distribution of the voting keypads will add on to the registration time. In addition, the registration desk will be closed during opening worship on Friday, May 17, from 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Please allow additional time to pick up your keypad, name tag, and assembly materials. At the conclusion of the assembly on Saturday, each voting member must return the keypad checked out.
Congregations whose voting members do not return the keypads at the conclusion of the assembly on May 18 will be assessed a replacement fee of $50 per keypad.
Assembly worship offering
The worship offering at this year’s assembly will be directed to the ELCA Malaria Campaign, an initiative in which our church joins with African companion churches in eleven countries—Angola, Central African Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe—to end malaria.
Access to medications for treatment, and the ability to pay for them, keeps many malaria patients from receiving life-saving treatment and care. Lack of access to common methods of prevention, such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying or water drainage, also contribute to malaria’s continuing death toll, especially in Africa. Visit the ELCA Malaria Campaign homepage for addtional information.
Online registration is now closed. Registration will ONLY be available on-site the day of the event. On-site registration will open at 7:00 a.m. on May 17.
If you need to register on-site, please plan to allow adequate time when you arrive at the synod assembly to complete the registration forms, pay fees, and pick up your name tag, assembly materials, and voting keypad. Please note that registration will be closed during opening worship, from 8:30-9:30 a.m., on Friday, May 17.
The registration fee for voting members and advisors includes costs for assembly materials and speakers, facility costs, Friday lunch, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, and breaks. The registration fee for visitors includes meals for the days registered. Mileage is not included. There will be no refunds for cancellations after May 1.
All voting members must register through their congregations. Visitors and advisors may register themselves. If you have questions, contact Julie Keefe, assembly registrar, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration through April 11
Voting Member/Advisor $ 125
Voting Member/Advisor $ 150
Visitor Daily Fee $ 40
Directions and traffic
Prince of Peace is located at 13901 Fairview Dr. in Burnsville. Download directions (PDF)
Southbound I-35E will be closed between County Road 42 and the I-35/35W/35E split. Those traveling south on 35E will still be able to exit on County Road 42. Be aware that this construction may impact your travel time to and from the assembly. For more information, visit www.dot.state.mn.us.
2014: May 16-17
(Memorial Day is May 26)