An update from the 2018 NE Synod Assembly

Originally posted on Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

I just returned from the New England Synod Assembly (think a congregation’s annual meeting but on the synod level that takes place over the course of 2-3 days). Therefore, I thought I would give you all a quick update on the happenings around the synod.

There really is only one big update. We re-elected Jim Hazelwood as the Bishop. A bishop’s term is 6 years, and Bishop Hazelwood was finishing up his 6th year. Bishops are allowed to serve multiple terms and Bishop Hazelwood was willing to be re-elected if that is what people wanted at the assembly.

It did take a little longer than expected and it is a complicated process to explain. What you need to know is someone is elected bishop based on how many votes they receive. Depending on “the round” of voting, one would need as much as 75% or as low as 66% of the vote. Each round of voting narrows down the list of people who are in the running for bishop. When the amount of people was narrowed down to 3, Bishop Hazelwood received the required 66% of the vote needed to “win” re-election.

It was an interesting process to be part of and I was grateful for the conversation that it allowed as we heard from candidates about their hopes for the future of the church. I was grateful for the outcome, not because I felt the other candidates were not capable of the job, but I believe Bishop Hazelwood is doing a fine job as bishop and is the best person to lead us over the next 6 years.

The other information that I wanted to share with you, was from a video we saw that was a summary of some of the work the ELCA accomplished during 2017. You can watch the full video by going to YouTube and searching “ELCA 2017 year in review.” But, here are some highlights.

* $1.7 billion in unrestricted offering was given by it’s members to their respective congregations
* There are 180 campus ministries across the country
* In 2017, there were 431 new ministries under development
* 59 “new starts” (congregations) approved
* 56% of them were in multi-cultural settings
* Through Lutheran Disaster Relief, we provided 30 responses in 21 countries and 17 responses in 15 states
* Through Lutheran World Hunger, we supported 518 projects in 62 countries, and 9 new projects in 6 countries
* There are 93 Young Adults in Global Missions

We are part of a church that is not waiting around and passive. We are a church that is active in the world and doing its best to join God in the work that needs to be done. Thanks for the way you support and participate in that work. The world is a better place because of it.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Tim