*Synod Assembly Recap

Jun 24, 2018

The 2018 Assembly of the Upstate New York Synod opened on Sunday June 3, with approximately 280 voting delegates in attendance.  Pastor Hoffman, Pastor Amy, Sherry C., Kathy M., and Art W. were BLC’s representatives.  The first plenary session centered on two revised resolutions and a memorial, all regarding the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women in the ELCA.  Thomas Madden was re-elected to the office of synodical vice-president and other positions were voted on and filled.  The day closed with a service of evening prayer featuring hand bell and hand chime music by the “ImmanuBells” from Immanuel, Webster.

Monday morning was taken up with two plenary sessions and the keynote address given by Rev. Ruben Duran of the ELCA.  Rev. Duran, calling on the assembly to be “Detectives of Divinity,” urged the delegates to “put your antennas up and detect the way God is already at work in the world.”  He further challenged, “The mission of God is loose in the world!  You just need to let the Spirit flow through you.”

Monday afternoon offered two workshop sessions on a variety of topics from Alternative Church Services to Parish Nursing led by Lisa Rosenbauer to Welcoming the Stranger: Refugee Dinner Table Fellowship.

Monday closed with a Service of Holy Communion led by Swing Boldly, a jazz ensemble from the Rochester area.  Bishop John Macholz focused on Matthew 5: 13-16, Jesus’ words that “you are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.”  He pointed out that because we are the light of the world, we are called to shine that light on injustice and suffering in our society and added that sometimes being the light means we need to be willing to enter into the darkness.  He reminded the assembly that it is God’s light “that burns within us, that feeds us and fills us and ultimately lets us be the light in this messed up, hurting world.”

Bishop Macholz and his wife, Lin, offered to contribute $5 to the ELCA’s Be the Light campaign for each delegate arriving at the final plenary on Tuesday morning wearing slippers.  An anonymous donor offered to match these funds, resulting in over $40,000 being raised synod-wide to help children attend school through this campaign!

Following the plenary, the assembly closed with a baptismal remembrance and sending of the assembly.