The primary legislative body of the ELCA is the assembly of voting members. Nationally, there are church wide assemblies every two years, but in each of the 65 regional synods, there are annual, springtime assemblies. The season of synod assemblies has begun, and the first reports are trickling in. I encourage folks of various synods who follow this blog to provide your own reports of your assemblies.
Synod assemblies often consider resolutions or memorials urging the church wide assembly to do this or that. These resolutions are not binding but merely express the mood or prevailing views of the various synods. According to the Fargo, North Dakota, Forum newspaper, the Eastern North Dakota synod rejected a resolution that would have urged a reversal of the pro-LGBT ministry policy resolutions enacted at the 2009 church wide assembly (CWA09). The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast synod also met this past weekend, and there were apparently no resolutions pertaining to the CWA09 decisions. According to one report, the bishop reported that the sister synods in South America and Africa had not expressed disapproval of the revised ELCA ministry policies, and the bishop suggested immigration reform ought to be the paramount concern of this synod in geographical proximity to Latin America.
This weekend, I will be in attendance at the NE Mn synod assembly (our old synod) where I will have a display promoting my book, but I will certainly pay close attention to the actions of the voting members. In two weeks, my wife and I will be voting members at our new SE Mn synod’s assembly in Rochester.
Again, I urge readers to provide reports from other synod assemblies. A full calendar (pdf file) of springtime assemblies is available from the ELCA website.
The third synod assembly held last weekend was in SW Minnesota. In a private email from a voting member, I was informed that a resolution to memorialize churchwide to rescind the ministry policy actions of CWA09 was defeated, but not without “nasty and high hatted” debate points offered by the conservative proponents of the failed resolution.