2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly
. The>>Good morning. We have a lot to do today, so I hope you’ve had your coffee. I hope you’re only using one of
your electronic devices for the —
what’s it called? But which wifi?
The Guidebook. Only one for the Guidebook.
That seemed to work yesterday. Please take your seats. Very good. Before we begin our morning
prayer, the planning team proposes the
following order of business for Plenary Session
Six: Greetings from World Council of
Churches. Then I will call an order of the
day from the report of the Reference and
Then will come the report of the Presiding
Bishop. Then the elections report for
the first common ballot.
Then the second common ballot will happen.
Then the report of the Memorials Committee.
Can we approve this Order of Business by
consensus? Does anyone disagree?
Thank you. Just a word about the business. I think we’re seeing a change in
the church, where we like to come all
together and have a chance to talk with each other.
However, we’ve got a hardening time at noon
on Saturday and then they come in and take
all the tables away from us so I want to be
respectful and allow time for our
conversation for us to talk with each other,
as we’re making these decisions, but anything we don’t get done gets referred
to the Church Council, so just be that — keep
that in mind.
Okay. I will introduce our morning’s
presenter who will lead us in Morning Prayer
and then address the Assembly.
It is my distinct honor to introduce to you
Dr. Agnes Abuom, the distinguished moderator
of the Central Committee of the World Council
of Churches — the first woman and the first
African in the history of the WCC to serve in
this position. [ Applause ] Dr. Abuom served as the Africa
president of the WCC from 1999-2006,
representing the Anglican Church of Kenya. She is a wise and visionary
leader of the churches as we journey together
on a pilgrimage of justice and peace. Last year, on the occasion of
the 70th anniversary of the World Council
of Churches, the WCC relaunched its Thursdays
in Black Campaign: Toward a World Without
Rape and Violence. On the day of the relaunch, the
WCC Central Committee received His Holiness
Pope Francis, as a special guest at the
ecumenical center in Geneva. In her address that day, Dr.
Abuom reminded us that: “our shared hope in the
Gospel of Jesus Christ and the common
witness of the
churches are antidotes to despair and
indifference at a time of fragmentation and
powerful self-interests that tend to triumph
over solidarity, justice, and peace. ”
This word speaks to us again today, in context here, and in
our shared our commitments
toward a world without rape and gender-based
violence. As we stand to begin this
morning’s prayer, please join me in welcoming Dr.
Agnes Abuom. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Bishop.
Thank you, people of God. Let us begin by singing “God,
Word” on page 17 of your Worship and Song
book. Please stand as you may. God, whose almighty word Chaos and darkness heard And took their flight: Hear us, we humbly pray,
And where the Gospel day Sheds not its glorious ray,
Let there be light! Christ, who once came to bring,
On your redeeming wing, Healing and sight,
Health to the troubled mind, Sight where illusions blind: Oh, now to humankind
Let there be light! Spirit of truth and love, Life-giving, holy dove, Speed forth your flight;
Move on the water’s face, Bearing the lamp of grace, And in earth’s darkest place
Let there be light! Holy and blessed three, Glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, love, might! Boundless as ocean’s tide, Rolling in fullest pride,
Through the earth, far and wide, Let there be light! Let us sit.
We begin this day with joy, for God is good all the time.
>>All the time, God is good.>>Our reading is from 1
Corinthians, Chapter 12, verses 4 to 6. Now there are varieties of
gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities,
but it is the same God who activates all of
them in everyone. day: To what kinds of service is God
calling you and this church today? Take a little bit of time to
reflect. As we begin this day,
>>Give us your peace.>>As we pause this morning,
>>Give us your peace.>>As we do the work you have
given us to do,
>>Give us your peace.>>For all places of need in
this world,>>Give us your peace.
>>In trusting you, O God, to care for your
children,>>Give us your peace.
>>As we seek wholeness,>>Give us your peace.>>As we reflect on your
presence, O God,>>Let us be peace for others.
Amen.>>We begin this day with joy,
for God is good all the time.
>>All the time, God is good.>>Presiding Bishop Eaton,
voting members of the Churchwide Assembly,
Ecumenical and Inter-Religious guests, brothers
and sisters all: Good morning.
>>Good morning.>>We as WCC would like to
congratulate you, Presiding Bishop Eaton, on your
reelection. We thank God for your servant
leadership and as World Council of Churches we
look forward to your leadership with your
team in ensuring the continuity of the ELCA in
contributing and bringing the gifts that God
has endowed you to the worldwide fellowship
of churches. We bring you greetings and a
message of congratulations from the World
Council of Churches General Secretary, Rev.
Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, on your 15th ELCA
Churchwide Assembly. As you celebrate a number of
milestones at this assembly, he also wishes
you God’s blessings as you act upon “A
Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A
Policy Statement of the ELCA. ” It is indeed an honor to be here
with you at your churchwide assembly, in my
capacity as the moderator of the World
Council of Churches, and to reflect with
you as you publicly endorse the WCC
Thursdays in Black campaign once again.
As you may be aware, I am Kenyan. I have worked for some time in
my own country with my own church and across
the African Continent to address violence,
poverty, injustice, as well as promote
equality and God’s love for all people. All matters of justice, peace,
and faith connect us to the world, and as
WCC moderator I see so many of the same
problems and challenges reflected across many
churches and countries. The decision of the ELCA to
endorse Thursdays in Black is timely.
For the signs of the times around us indicate
that here in North America and beyond, the
world is in crisis. Since Monday, you have been
identifying practical responses to some of
these closely related signs, including these
three disturbing phenomena — Xenophobia, racism and populist
nationalism. As we meet here, xenophobia,
racism and populist nationalism gain
momentum every day,
and like a bushfire, they have become
widespread. Xenophobia has caused division,
claimed lives, and is a threat to peace
and security in many spaces. And far too often, the first
women, children, and the weak, such as the
elderly and the disabled. In denying rights of the
stranger and in refusing to welcome the
stranger, we run the
risk of ignoring the hungry, naked, and
imprisoned. When politics is used to justify
acts of racism and xenophobia, we know that
it is time for action. It is a moment.
[ Applause ] Aware that historically the
church has spokenagainst this issue, the
church cannot and
must not keep silent. Rather, now is the time for the
revamp its actions against xenophobia,
racism, and populist nationalism. Because it does divide. It does kill the Spirit of the
Holy Ghost in moving in the church. [ Applause ] War and its impact on survivors.
With the increase in militarization and
with installation of peace-keeping
forces globally, there is also an increase in
sexual and gender-based violence in such
spaces. The reports of the UN High
Commissioner for Refugees indicate that rape is
not only a weapon of war. And also in post-war spaces,
rape, forced marriages, trafficking in
persons, as well as
susceptibility to malnutrition and diseases
are increasing as a result of scarce
resources and threats to security. This affects all impacted by the
war: men, women, boys and girls, and all.
It is unfortunate that rape is now being
normalized as part of the whole culture of
war, which is a development that we must
resist in every way. [ Applause ] People of God, we cannot
normalize the abnormal.
We cannot normalize cancer. We have to say no.
I have encountered some survivors in my work
with the churches in Africa, and the rest of
the world. And it is clear that the
oppressed and the victimized have been silenced.
They are stigmatized. They’re isolated. And are relying on you, on the
church, to tell their stories, to speak
out, to give them their voice, to say what it
is. Think of Atech.
Was born in war. Atech has grown up in war.
Atech has married in war and has children in
war. She doesn’t know whether she
will see a space without the impact of conflict. In all her stages of growth,
Atech has witnessed her aunties, her
Grannies, her sisters, name it, violated,
dehumanized, denied dignity which is the
right that God has given all of us.
[ Applause ] Sexual and gender-based
violence. One of the most pressing and
most urgent problems that require our
concerted efforts is sexual and gender-based
violence. It has become a severe pandemic
to which the church must continue to respond. It is a cancer that is making us
to say: We cannot say we are church,
because this church is broken, is wounded, is
divided because of SGBV.
[ Applause ] SGBV occurs in times of war and
peace, in the
public and private arenas, at home, in the
workplace, at schools, and even in our
churches. Perpetrators include strangers,
family members, and friends;
persons of prominent social standing as well
as the ordinary civilian; men and women; the young and
old. In my home country, Kenya, SGBV
to the point where cases of murder-suicides
are no longer exceptional news items. But this is not only a Kenyan
problem: murder-suicides, whether in
domestic disputes or school shootings have become
part of the new global narrative, at an
alarming rate that calls for counselling and
trauma services to be an essential part
of the church’s pastoral ministry
today. What is to be done?
The time has come, and now is, for us as the
church to reclaim our prophetic role in
speaking truth to power on behalf of the
victimized and vulnerable. In bringing out the narratives
of the survivors, in making the
survivors empowered to speak for themselves, to tell
their own stories.
The World Council of Churches is committed to
drawing attention to the problems, and to
creating awareness through our programmatic
work across the secretariat and through the
work and witness of member churches like you. At the World Council of
Churches, we have taken a multipronged,
intersectional approach to addressing issues
related to sexual and gender-based
violence — from women’s pilgrim team visits
in conflicted countries, to work on Positive
Masculinities. From contextual Bible studies to
developing a gender justice policy. From denouncing sexual and
gender-based violence to supporting policies
that accompany perpetrators to reduce
recurrence. Of course, ours is a work in
progress, and not all our membership is at the
same place. Thus we salute the commitment to preserving
human dignity and justice, evidenced in your
own programs and policies. And yet, far too often, it seems
as if the church is silent. Many others have been overcome
by their own fears and failings, contributing
to the complicity and the complexity
that result in sexual and gender-based
violence. Through their inaction, the
global church has failed.
We have failed to speak up, and speak out
against the demons of xenophobia, racism, populist nationalism, war and
give rise to increased incidents of
injustice. We have failed to speak truth to
power, denying our prophetic call to
bring Good News
to the poor, proclaim release of the captive
and liberation for the oppressed. We have failed when we use
scripture, tradition, and theology to
perpetuate the myth that it is okay for us to
repress, silence, or deny the existence
that continue to oppress and belittle women. But there is hope. And I believe we are here and I
wanted to thank those of you that have
already put on Black, because it is a sign that
there is hope.
There is hope that this will change.
And one of these hopes is that while we are here in the ELCA, ELCA is the
living testimony that a remnant exists
which offers hope to the despairing and which
lives the principles of justice and peace. If we are known by our fruits,
then your programs and publications are
the fruits by
which the ELCA shall be known as the church
which dares to side with the oppressed, based
on a revisiting of scripture, traditions, and
theology of your forebears. In 2017, the ELCA and the WCC
gathered at a similar assembly of the Lutheran
World Federation on a Thursday, with soon-to-be Nobel Peace Prize winner, Denis
Mukwege Mukengere, that day’s keynote
speaker, boldly proclaiming our resistance to
any form of violence against women. Today, we stand together once
again, wearing Black to reiterate that the
voices of the oppressed will not be silenced. [ Applause ] This and every Thursday, we join
thousands of others who dare to be — can I
repeat that? We join with thousands of others
who dare to be counted as part of the global
church’s move to resist all forms of
sexual and gender-based violence. [ Applause ] Indeed, Thursdays in Black is a
invites men and women, boys and girls to join
as pilgrims of a world free of rape, free of
gender-based violence, and in pursuit of a
society, church, and family marked by justice
and peace. It is a movement that seeks to
restore the stolen dignity of many. It is a movement that seeks to
rebuild the broken lives and relationships.
As pilgrims against SGBV, we are like street
lights that light up the path and make
companionship along the way worthwhile. As anti-SGBV pilgrims, ours is
the Reclamation of the Good News of
Our Lord Jesus for the future. Later today, we concretize our commitment
with a photo will be posted on social media
to remind the world that this church, the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, dares
to say no to gender-based violence against
women, children, and sexual minorities. [ Applause ] It is my prayer that we leave
this assembly with a deeper commitment to
justice, and with our own action plan for
denouncing SGBV in our contexts. We as people of faith should be
the last people to accept things as they
are. And as I conclude, may I draw
our attention to the fact that as Pilgrims, we
want to journey together in 2021, 11th
Assembly of the World Council of Churches,
whose theme it is that Christ’s love urges us
to reconciliation and unity, a
place where we expect us to bring our harvest
of narratives, stories of change, of how our
plans, our common joined commitment, has
actually resulted in healing broken
lives, healing the wounds, walking with those that
have been stigma daysed, silenceed —
stigmatized, silenceed, and for a long time,
forgotten. [ Applause ] I’m aware, people of God, that
survivors are always with us, and I dare pray
with us that you be sensitive to people who
this message will have touched, who this
message will have revived the pain, the agony of
what they have gone through. And so I plead with us to be
sensitive, to pray with one another.
And finally, as I thank you once again for
this opportunity to share with you, I dare to
suggest, that the Spirit of the Lord is here;
may our actions be a visible fulfilment of
the scriptures. Sisters and brothers, all, may
God bless us. May we be companions for the
sake of God’s dignity for his people.
Thank you for listening to me. Join the journey. [ Applause ]>>Thank you so much, Dr. Abuom,
for being with us this morning.
At this time, we will now consider a
resolution related to the World Council of
Churches Thursdays in Black Campaign. This is a special order.
I invite Emma Wagner and Jim Jennings, co-chairs of the Reference and
Counsel Committee, to come to the stage
as we consider an order of the day
from the Reference and Counsel Committee.
Please have your voting identification card
ready. And your green and red cards,
just in case. All right, please.
>>Good morning. Therefore be it resolved, that
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America calls upon all people across all
expressions of the church to participate in the
Thursdays in Black campaign by wearing Black
on Thursdays and actively participating in
the various reflection and action items
detailed in the ELCA gender-based violence
social message and documentation, the Lutheran
World Federation gender justice policy, and the
World Council of Churches resources for
Thursdays in Black. We recommend adopting the
Resolution of support for engagement of the
ELCA through the Thursdays in Black campaign
of the World Council of Churches.
>>It’s before you. It comes from the Committee, so
no second is required.
Are you ready to vote? Good. You have to treat these with
kindness and gentleness, because you might
have noticed if you put them down hard, the
little note comes out saying please be gentle with
me, and also, we know if you voted, it
might not register with you, so this is
going to be not only a practice for this but for
later in the day.
Really ruining the whole mood here but
okay — press 1 for yes. 2 for no.
Vote now. We’ve got a yellow card.
Okay, that’s good. And one over there, please. Have we resolved the issue over
here? All right, very good.
I declare voting classed. Let’s see the results. It has passed. [ Applause ] Don’t move yet.
At this time in a minute we’re going to turn
around and face the back of the Plenary Hall.
And you can see Will is over there.
He’s on the ladder. He’ll be taking the photo.
We’ll get a group shot that will be posted
through the ELCA social media. Please remember to participate
by posting your own photos using hashtags:
#ThursdaysinBlack and #ELCA. You will find a banner in the
hallway for taking your own pictures. Now, let’s stand up, turn
around, and face Will, and I’ll give the
countdown. Okay, if you can see Will, he
can see you. You ready?
1, 2, 3. Thank you, Will.
Thank you, everyone. [ Applause ] There’s some power in that
woman. [ Applause ] I now turn the chair to Vice
President Bill Horne.>>It is now my privilege to
invite Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton to bring
her report of
the Presiding Bishop and on behalf of the
Churchwide Organization.>>Thank you.
[ Applause ] We Are Church.
Six years ago, at the Churchwide Assembly, we
had a conversation about who we are as the
ELCA. My four emphases then and now
are We Are Church.
We are Lutheran. We are church together.
We are church for the sake of the world. I was deliberate in the order of
those four emphases.
“We are church” comes first. “We Are Church” is the theme of
Everything we do — our ministries, programs,
social statements, advocacy, ELCA World
Hunger, Lutheran Disaster Response,
networks — is based in and flows from our life as the baptized people of
God, transformed by the Word and
nourished by the body and blood of Christ. The church’s unique mission is
to preach the
gospel purely, and to administer the
sacraments rightly. No other institution has been
called by God to this ministry.
The church is God’s creation. The ELCA constitution states,
“The church is a people created by God in
by the Holy Spirit.” The church is not what we do, it
is not the organization we have created and
maintain. The church is what God has made
us — Christ’s body in the world. In this report, you will see and
God has been up to through this community of
faith, created in Christ Jesus for the good
God is working in the world. My colleague, the Rev. Dr. Marcus Kunz,
points out the Book of Acts is mistitled. The actual title is —
The Acts of the Apostles but should really be
called The Acts of the Holy Spirit.
It was the Spirit at work, using the early
disciples that gave the Gospel free course in
the world then and does now. As has been said, “God’s church
doesn’t have a mission, God’s mission has a
Our constitution also states that “to participate in God’s mission
this church shall…
Serve in response to God’s love to meet human
needs, caring for the sick and the aged,
advocating dignity and justice for all
people, working for peace and reconciliation
poor and powerless and committing
itself to their needs. ”
Luther put it this way, “The church that
preaches the gospel in all its fullness,
except as it applies to the great social ills
of the day, is failing to preach the gospel.” [ Applause ]
Following the 2016 Churchwide Assembly, the
Church Council adopted Future Directions
2025, which identified five goals for this
church in discerning God’s call for us. Each goal tells the story of the
church we are becoming.
Goal One is about deepening faith,
strengthening evangelism, and equipping all
of us to communicate Lutheran theology in
accessible and compelling ways. We know the gospel has the power
change lives but, as Saint Paul says, “…how
are they to call on one in whom they have
not believed? And how are they to believe in
one of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone to
proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him
unless they are sent?”
In places across the world and here at home,
our church is inviting people to know the
blessings of living Lutheran. Even in Arkansas where people
often ask, “What’s a Lutheran?” we are
telling God’s story and sharing the love of
Jesus Christ. We visited Neighborhood Church
in Bentonville, Arkansas, to learn
about how this growing mission
congregation participates in the work of the
Spirit to deepen faith.>>The identity of being
Lutheran in Arkansas is different. It’s one of those where you
don’t walk around and say, I’m Lutheran.
Oh, me, too. If a Lutheran walks into the
church it’s a praise God moment.
It’s like, you’re Lutheran? This is amazing.
It’s a hug moment. We embrace.
There’s a Lutheran handshake we do.
But it’s not the reality here. And so to find that distinct
Lutheran voice from within a southern Bible
belt, Baptist, Pentecostal is a lot of what you
find here, there’s a lot of other faith in
the religions that exist here also so it’s a
very diverse community but what we find is
the Lutheran identity is one that’s rooted in
a rich tradition in history and that’s
what people don’t know.
What we do as a church is constantly educate.
So we actually in every part of our worship
we say what we’re doing. Now is the time where we share
our Apostle’s Creed, why we confess our faith
and belief. We always start worship with our
vision, we are here to change church.
We’re here so you fall in love with church
all over again on a Sunday morning so you
know when Christ came into this world, Christ
came to change things. ♫ bless the Lord O my soul ♫
♫ oh my soul ♫ ♫ worship his Holy name ♫>>As a Lutheran who’s baptized
Lutheran, grew up Lutheran my whole entire
life it was a little bit of a change and it
took a little bit of just being a little bit
out of the comfort zone but once I did, I
could just see how much more my faith was
growing.>>Baby Oliver, and both of you,
called by the Holy Spirit and trusted in
the grace and love of God you desire baby
Ollie P. to be baptized today into the life of
Christ.>>We visited quite a few
churches here in Northwest Arkansas, and none of
them just really felt like home.
>>I saw a Facebook post. It was a sponsored ad and it was
Joe I think singing for Christmas carols,
and so I really liked that and I told my life,
we need to go see this guy.
I was like, I like his energy.>>I think that’s what has
spoken to me and my family the most.
Just the relationships that we have developed
within the church, and that extend beyond the
church walls.>>I grew up in a background
that was much more conservative, and so a lot
of times church to me represented a list
of things that I was not allowed to do, or
shaming on Sunday mornings.
Here, grace comes together in a way that
manifests itself with faith, and becomes pure
and genuine.>>Hug it out.
Hug it out.>>Who are we as the gathered
body of Christ? It’s not just my vision for the
church. It never was mine.
It’s always been God and so as the gathered
body what does it mean that we can gather?
What does it mean and what could we become if the church gathered together and
lived out full faith?
Lived out this Holy discontent, this
disruptive Christianity, disruptive Lutheran
to come in and say, hey, we’re going to
change in the identity that’s going to grow
the church and we’re going to reach for that
and trust that the Spirit is guiding us. [ Applause ]>>The growth of Neighborhood
Church and the exciting ways they are
worshipping and engaging their community is
inspiring. And led by two Wartburg Seminary
[ Applause ]>>Imagine the future leaders
who may come from Neighborhood Church.
Goal Two is about equipping for vocation.
We believe that God calls us to form and
equip the baptized to express their through their life and
witness as faith followers
of Jesus, and to provide space, support, and
opportunities for youth and young adults to
participate in ministries and pursue their
calling. The Youth Leadership Summit is
an annual gathering that brings together
youth leaders. Do we have any participants from
the youth leadership summit?
Yes! All right.
[ Applause ] Brings youth leaders from each
Synod to share God’s love and grace, learn
about the needs of the world around them and
take back what they have learned to inspire
others to action.>>I look forward to seeing the
youth summit continue to grow and flourish
and youth leadership continue to be
strengthened in our church and I look forward to
when we start allowing these youth leaders
that we develop to be part of the greater
church. The youth summit does that.
It prepares them to be these people.
>>The summit is a beautiful event.
It gives the youth an opportunity to learn
about conflicts and struggles going on in the
world around them and how they may be able to
make a difference and help other people.
>>The youth leadership summit is so
important because you have all these youth
that are leaders in their own churches and
their own synods and they have their own
opinions, and this is kind of like a pot where we can just brainstorm our
ideas.>>The youth today are awesome.
I am super jealous I didn’t get to grow up
with them to be honest. We have a group of young people
that are like, let’s talk about advocacy.
Amazing! Like, I love that.
That in itself is inspiring, so my future
role as a Pastor of this Congregation is to
continue that hype, and to continue to keep
young people connected and to feel educated
and empowered.>>My role in the church within
the church is to really just kind of help
people find a way to advocate for themselves, find
a way, like, if they don’t think something’s
right within their church community, that
they need to not be afraid to speak out, to get
what they want.
>>The idea of advocacy is just building up
others and making sure that everyone has a
chance and an equal opportunity, and I think
that that’s something that I hope to take
home and bring back to my Synod. As a young leader, I feel like
younger youth and Young Adults feel very
called to action, considering we’re the church of
God’s work, our hands.
The messages of bringing people to action,
and working through Christ, and making sure
that we’re doing His work is very important
to those of young faith.>>It’s important that we start
now, so that we can become well-rounded
adults.>>Being a leader to me is to
make a community and using all of our
gifts to strengthen that community,
whether it’s musical or athletic.
The ability to listen. The ability to interact. And also the idea of loving and
caring for each other.
>>Just gotta, like, get out there and follow
your heart and follow the call that you’ve
been given and it can really make a
difference and if I can take that message
back to maybe the people who make those
excuses that, oh, I’m too young. Or, oh, I don’t have the time. That if you just make the time,
you’ll discover how amazing it can be.
[ Applause ]>>Youth are not the future of
the church, Jesus is. Youth are the church now. [ Cheers and Applause ] And God will use them in service
of the gospel, and to create welcoming
and diverse congregations and worshipping
communities. Goal Three is about being God’s
diverse and welcoming church. Diversity is God’s intention and
gift. In Genesis and in Revelation, we
hear about the diversity of creation and
diverse multitude from every nation, from all
tribes and peoples and languages, standing
before the throne and before the Lamb.
As God forms us into a welcoming church, we
support congregations and worshipping
communities in actively reaching out to
people in their neighborhoods through
relationships, in service, and with an
openness for mutual learning. Welcome Church in Philadelphia
is a church with no walls. It is truly an authentic
worshipping community that shares the good
news of Jesus Christ in their neighborhood,
welcoming all to join. And the story of Waverly, one of
the church leaders, is a beautiful example.>>Let’s get warmed up a little
bit. ♫ this little light of mine ♫
♫ I’m gonna let it shine ♫ ♫ this little light of mine ♫
>>Music was always a side gig. It was not like, oh, let me go
and it’s fun and it feels good. I didn’t really want this deep
emotional connection to how the music
informs the Ministry and then the Ministry
informs the music.
Because I had been doing music in different
Congregations and it was just — it started feeling like it was a show and I
was just like, something different is
about to happen.>>We don’t meet people.
They’re sent to us and I feel like Waverly
was sent to me.>>I got a message from Pastor
Violette, asking me would I come and share
music with some people that were
>>In addition to all the suffering and the
brokenness that I experience in the Welcome
Church, I also experience a great deal of
joy. There’s that sense of deep joy
that was present in spite of all the
brokenness and the pain. And for me, music was a way to
express that joy.
And because I had known Waverly, who uses his voice as his main instrument, I
thought he would be a perfect combination.>>With the Welcome Church, it
was like, I’m dealing with people whose
primary focus is not the music, you know.
They’re not singers. They’re just people who want to
come together and sing because of the effect
that it has on them.>>So early on, we would talk
about ways: How do you combine this gift of
music so that it fits in with the context,
with this context?
So I think Waverly was able to integrate all
the different pieces and all the different ways that he felt called to
serve.>>The power of a song moves
beyond what we can do and formally bring
together and all of the music and all of the
harmonies and all of that beauty that you find in it.
God really, really, really wants his word to be shared through his songs and
he wants these Melodies and all of these
harmonies to be able to comfort us when we
need it.>>In the welcome Church, we
really believe Ministry with, and together. And to do that is to recognize
the strengths in every person, to see what
every person has to give. And when that table is set with
everyone’s gifts, we all benefit.
>>It was doing theology and not just hearing
it. You know what I mean?
And that was the difference for me. The Lutheran Church showed me
how to do theology.>>Waverly is a community leader
and we’re not just a church.
It doesn’t have a building. It’s about what we do have and
those walls represent an openness.
>>Lifting up leaders and showing them again how to do theology, you know, is
what’s going to be transformational.
>>It was all the members of this Welcome Church community who helped draw
out Waverly’s gifts, even as he
started to leave that table space within himself
for the gifts to be put inside of him.
>>I think we need to encourage more people to go, when someone else won’t,
because that may be our charge.
That may be our Mission. That may be our call. [ Applause ] ♫ This little light of mine ♫
♫ I’m gonna let it shine ♫ ♫ This little light of mine ♫ ♫ I’m gonna let it shine ♫
♫ This little light of mine ♫ ♫ I’m gonna let it shine ♫ ♫ Let it shine, let it shine,
let it shine ♫ Sing it, sister. [ Off Microphone ] [ Singing in language other than
English ] Amen, woo! Mucho Bueno.
Goal Four is about justice and peace.
Not our justice and peace, but the justice
and peace that comes from God’s reconciling
work in Jesus Christ, and our participation
in that. God is working in the world.
We pray that our work in poverty and hunger,
our response to disasters and humanitarian
crises, our work on economic justice, racial
justice, gender justice, and climate justice
is of visible witness of God’s work in the
world God so loves. Gang violence.
Domestic abuse. No jobs. These are the realities our
siblings and Christ face in Central America. Through the ELCA AMMPARO
strategy and our partners, the Lutheran World
Federation and the Mennonite Social Action
Committee, our church is answering God’s call
to love and serve our neighbors in Honduras. With holistic vocational and
trauma counseling, returned migrants
discover meaningful work and hope in
their communities.>>Our AMMPARO companions are
some of the only organizations that are
focusing on returned migrants.
>>I think there were certain things that
Christ was very clear about during his
earthly Ministry. The business of welcoming the
stranger and the sojourner, it’s Black and
White so it’s not a question of, should we
help these people or not.
We have a Biblical mandate.>>And with just a little bit of
help, a minimal bit of help, they can
reestablish their lives, and move forward,
and reach the conclusion that: Oh, there is
something for me here. [ Applause ]>>I had a chance to go with our
AMMPARO leadership team to Honduras in
March, and we learned that for those who are
returned migrants, there’s a huge stigma
against them in their neighborhoods because
they have failed, so not only have they
endured the trauma of, as you saw, physical
and sexual trauma of going for two months
to try to get the United States but they’re
considered failures in their own country.
The work that we’re doing is giving these
people a sense of dignity, and also helping
them establish themselves so they have their
own agency, so that they can have their own
lives and this is important, because
yesterday, as we were marching and praying,
ICE rounded up nearly 700 employees in Mississippi, so our work
continues. Goal Five is about a sustainable
church. This is not about survival but
being a church ready to serve in changing
contexts. It is also about being a
about being church together as we share
ideas, best practices, and what we have
learned. Congregational vitality is about
connecting communities of Jesus and
nurturing life-changing relationships with
God, each other, and the world.
This is the work of the whole church — small
congregations, large congregations, medium
congregations, old congregations, new
congregations. This past February, 8 synods
partnered for an event called “Hope in the
connected more than 100 congregations of 100
members or fewer. The day-long event was hosted in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There you go.
Many of the participating congregations were
from rural areas spread across great
distances so they leveraged technology and
live-streamed the event in 17 sites the region so that more
than 400 people across could
participate. Let’s learn more.>>This is Evelyn Eisley and
Gabriel is somewhere behind us with his bat
and ball. Eva is 3.
Gabe is 1.5 and they are as much the Pastors
around here as we are, I think.>>They are.>>I’m Kristen Iesele. I’m one of two Pastors here, and
also I serve at another Lutheran and I do
Campus Ministry at the Luther center at the
University of South Dakota and I serve all of
those places with my husband, Ben.
So we went into this hope in the heart land
Conference a little unsure about what it
would offer but hope was in the title so
that was encouraging.>>So hope in the heartland was
an 8 Synod-wide gathering of world
Congregations that were ship less than 100. We had 8 synods that were put
together at 18 different viewing sites, for a
one-day Conference with Pastor Nancy
Nyland.>>Thank you for your
conversations you’ve had around the tables and out
there at the locations around the Synod.
>>So we wanted to make sure that it was
accessible to everyone, so they didn’t have
to travel great distances, so that’s why we
incorporated using a live stream.>>Really began as a way for us
to deliver some training and some resources
in a cost effective way, but what we
quickly discovered is that it was a great way for
Congregations to collaborate and to learn from
each other across the tyranny of distance
which we have in the heartland.>>In rural Ministry, the
promises that where two or more are gathered Christ
is there with us, sometimes it is just two, or
three or four at an event, and that can
certainly be discourageing.
Holding on to that promise that we belong to something bigger, and that this
Ministry isn’t just about the people who
are here right now, it’s also about the
body of Christ yet to come, and the body of
Christ around the world, and then the
Conference also had built into it an opportunity to
meet with a coach a number of times in the
months following the Conference, so Ben
and I got to sit down with an experienced
Pastor, also from South Dakota, and had some
great conversation about the
challenges and gifts of Ministry in rural areas, and
what we could do to help lead these
communities.>>There’s a lot of great
resources out there now to make livestream and
two-way communication possible, so
partner with local experts whether that’s at your
Synod office or someone in your Congregation.
>>There’s so much courage in our history, in
the DNA of this place. There’s such a willingness to
try and an endurance, and those are things
we want to carry forward in ways that are
new, and in ways that fit this moment in
time.>>We have to be learning from
each other. We need a lot of these Holy
innovations happening all around our synods
and across Synod lines and Regions and so
it’s essential that we have this way of coming
together, learning from each other and
discovering that we’re church together. [ Applause ]
>>New partnerships and connections were
formed that day, and the “Hope in the
Heartland” event was only the beginning of
the work these congregations will do
together. Through ongoing collaboration
and sharing with each other, these
small-member congregations in the heartland
are helping to build a sustainable, connected
church. All of these stories show what
God is up to in the world and in this church. I am grateful to be part of
God’s work, and churchwide staff, the Conference
of Bishops, the church council, and all of
you. In two days, we will leave this
assembly and return to our parts of the
Lord’s vineyard. Life will continue to happen,
and we could, like Martha, become distracted
with much serving. The collect for Tuesday in Holy
Week prays “Lord Jesus, you have called us
to follow you. Grant that our love may not grow
cold in your service, and that we may not
fail or deny you in the time of trial…”
There are many demands on our time, our “To
Do” lists seem endless. The world’s needs are great.
We might be burdened with the belief that it
is up to us to save the world. None of these things are
unimportant, but they are peripheral. I heard from may colleague this
call, may colleague fill Hersh —
Dear Church, it’s time to come back to the
center — to the incarnate one laid in a
wooden manger. To the glorified one raised on a
wooden cross. To the fierce, tender love of
God that the tomb could not restrain.It’s
time to come back to the center — to
hearing the Word gladly, to the strengthening
and forgiving sacraments, to corporate
worship, to prayer. It’s time to come back to the
center — to Luther’s clear exposition of
God’s grace. God waits for us there, the
source of our life who gives integrity and
power to our works of love and justice. We can’t do this on our own.
Let’s come back to the center. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Bishop Eaton. Under the rules of the assembly,
the bishop’s report is received and referred
to the Reference and Counsel Committee
without further action of the assembly. I now return the chair to Bishop
Eaton.>>Thank you, Mr. Vice
President. Okay, let’s stretch.
We’re giving you early stretch points here. And sing —
‘Soli Deo Gloria! ‘in the Worship and Song
page 41. O God of blessings, all praise
to you! Your love surrounds us our whole
life through. You are the freedom of those
oppressed; You are the comfort of all
distressed. Come now, O Holy and welcome
guest: Soli Deo Gloria. Soli Deo Gloria. All praise for prophets,
through grace inspired. To preach and witness with
hearts on fire. Your Spirit chooses the weak and
small. To sing the new reign where
mighty fall; With them may we live your
Gospel call: Soli Deo Gloria. Soli Deo Gloria. All praise for music, deep gift
profound. Through hands and voices in Holy
sound; The Psalms of David, and Mary’s
praise. In wordless splendor and lyric
phrase. With all creation one song we
raise: Soli Deo Gloria. Soli Deo Gloria. All praise for Jesus, best gift
divine. Through word and witness in
bread and wine. Incarnate love song of boundless
grace. Priest, teacher, prophet in time
and space. Your steadfast kindness with
human face: Soli Deo Gloria. Soli Deo Gloria. A billion voices in one great
song. Now soft and gentle, now deep
and strong. In every culture and style and
key. From hill and valley, with sky
and sea. With Christ we praise you
eternally: Soli Deo Gloria. Soli Deo Gloria.>>I call on Tom Cunniff to give
an election report on the results of the
first common ballot.>>Good morning.
The results from the First Common Ballot are
being uploaded now to the Guidebook. Since the assembly has access to
may I suggest dispensing from reading the
results of all 112 tickets?>>I think that’s a yes.
[ Applause ]>>Thank you.
On 109 of the tickets, a candidate received a
majority. Those candidates are marked in
bold in the report.
>>If there is no objection, I declare
elected all persons who received greater than
a majority of votes on the first ballot for
Church Council and boards. Good, they’re elected. Give them a hand.
[ Applause ]>>There were three ballots on
which no majority was achieved. We will display the results for
each of those tickets, which will be on the
second common ballot.
Let’s see ticket 19. The top 2 will move to the
second common ballot.
Let’s see Ticket 52. Once again, the top 2 candidates
will move to the second common ballot. And finally, the results for
Ticket 99. And again, the top 2 will move
to the second common ballot.
Which will be held shortly. A reminder —
The biographical information for these
tickets can be found in the Report of the
Nominating Committee. which may be found in
Guidebook in your Pre-Assembly Report.
Thank you.>>Thank you, Mr. Cunniff.
The remaining ballots will be voted on
electronically following this video highlight
of another 50th anniversary resource. ♫ ♫ [ Applause ]
>>Thank you. We continue with the elections
for our second common ballot of the assembly.
If you haven’t yet, please have your voting
identification cards ready. And put them in your machine.
Since there are so few additional elections
to complete, I propose that we conduct the
elections electronically. I will ask Mr. Cunniff to walk
us through these remaining elections:
But remember, be gentle with your machine.
Wait till the light comes on. Only vote when we say to vote,
and trust that we can see that the numbers are
Pshew, Mr. Cunniff.>>Thank you.
We begin with the first ticket for Church
Council, At-Large position for Lay Male,
Person of Color or who speaks a first
language other than English. The two remaining candidates are
Mr. Keoni Newman
Mr. Lamont Rouse.>>You’ll vote 1 or 2 depending
on for whom you want to vote.
Vote now. Voting is closed. And let’s see the results. There is an election and I
declare Koeni Newman elected.
Thank you, well done. [ Applause ]
Mr. Cunniff.>>Thank you.
The second ticket is for the board of
trustees of the Publishing House of the ELCA
(1517 Media), a Minister for Word and
Sacrament position. The two remaining candidates are
— Pastor Kathleen O. Reed
Pastor Daphne Burt.>>Press 1 or 2.
Please vote now. We have a yellow card. All right, voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. Pastor Dafne Burt of Amhurst,
Massachusetts is elected.
Thank you. Mr. Cunniff.
>>The third and final ticket is for the
Committee on Discipline, a position for a lay
male, person of color or who speaks a first
language other than English. The two remaining candidates are
— Mr. Peter S. J. McKinney
Mr. David K. Tap.>>All right, not yet.
You notice the little blue light comes on
when it’s time to vote? Vote 1 or 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. Mr. Peter S.J. McKinney of Grand
Rapids, Michigan, is elected.
[ Applause ] That was really good.
[ Applause ] And you can also use this as a
remote. [ Laughter ]
That completes the second common ballot for
this Assembly. Thank you, Mr. Cunniff.
[ Applause ] We now return to consideration
of memorials. I invite Cheryl Chatman and Reid
Christopherson, co-chairs of the Memorials
Committee, to join me on stage. Just to let you know, the motion
that we are considering is the motion to
postpone. So please queue up where you
were when we had to move to the Orders of the Day
yesterday. And — okay, this is what we’re
voting to postpone or not.
And we’re going to postpone this until after the — hold on — I forget.
It was, like, a week ago, wasn’t it?
[ Laughter ] Oh, the immigration social
message. Thank you, that’s right.
I remember now. But no one wants to — is there
any further discussion on the motion to
postpone? All right, seeing none, this is
the motion to postpone.
We’ll try the voting machines — oh, wait,
hold on. Microphone — you need your
card. That’s the ticket.
No, no, that’s okay. Okay, Microphone 4.
>>Hi, Dave [ Inaudible ] from the
Minneapolis Synod. I would like to speak in
opposition to postponing. I believe that the position that
we take at the Minneapolis Synod is that
this is a valid concern and that [ Inaudible ]
after immigration policies or migrant
policies statement that was before us,
which already has a lot of support and a lot
of resources going forward to it, would just
delay this important work from us getting
started on it so I am opposed to the
postponement.>>Thank you very much. Seeing no one moving to a
microphone I think we’re ready to vote.
You’ll press 1, for yes, which is to
postpone. And 2, not to postpone.
Please vote now. This requires a majority. Voting is closed — whoa,
there’s a yellow card. All right, voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. The motion to postpone has
failed. The motion now is back before
us. Is there any — hold on.
Is there any speaking to the motion?
Further speaking to the motion? Okay, seeing none, seeing one
approaching. Microphone 12.>>Matthew regel, West Virginia,
Western Maryland Synod.
Bishop lull from St. Paul area pointed out we
have a rich tradition already related to the
understanding of church and state and the
role of government. She referenced specifically
Augustine and Luther and my otherwise stone
cold heart was strangely warmed.
[ Laughter ] But there is more. We actually have the benefit of
statements from our predecessor’s body.
The Lutheran Church in America in 1966
adopted a Social Statement on church and
state, a Lutheran perspective in 1966 and only a few months later the ALC
adopted church state relations in USA a
statement of the American Lutheran Church in
America. These function under our
policies and procedures as interim social
statements. They have authority in the life
of the church.
I worked 15 years in Campus Ministry, was
asked about church, state and government
issues all the time. I have found these statements to
I find no reason to proceed with a new Social
Statement at this time. And given the cost and energy
that would be involved in writing this Social
Statement it would seem unwise to me to
proceed. Furthermore unless the members
of this Assembly have actually read the
predecessor social statements they’re not in
a position to competently judge if they’re
insufficient at this time.
I would suggest that we vote no. Everybody take three years, look
at the statements we actually have in
our historical documents, and then we can
revisit this next year if people find them
Microphone 3.>>William Middeke from the
Minneapolis Area Synod. I go by Bill, if I hear William
it means I’m in trouble.
I’m in favor of this mainly in light of the reluctance or no reluctance on
other denominations to express their
political opinions and almost endorse
President — excuse me candidates from their
pulpits. This is bringing about a cry
from many people for churches to lose their tax
exempt status so I feel we really need to look
into this and come up with guidelines,
thank you.>>Thank you, Microphone 1.
>>Paul Archer, Southeast Michigan, I move to
amend the second paragraph of the recommended
action.>>Go ahead.>>To recommend — to refer the
request for a Social Statement on church and
state to the Church Council for further
consideration and action in accordance with
policies and procedures of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America for addressing social
concerns.>>Is there a second?
>>Second.>>You may speak to your
amendment.>>It’s clearly stated in the
policies and procedures that a request for a
Social Statement is to be referred to
the Church Council for all of the
considerations that we’ve talked about, for
considerations of the capacity of the Churchwide
organization to produce such documents and the
costs involved, and the overlap that
there may be with existing documents.
So following those procedures, I think this
item should be referred.>>Thank you. Is there any further speaking to
Oh, yes, please, Dr. Willer. He’s a resource person.>>As a resource person, what is
being proposed skips over the fact
that it is a Churchwide Assembly that must
authorize a Social Statement to be done, and
then the Church Council attends to the
issues of cost and so forth.
Is that clear? Do I need to say more?>>I mean, really, come here.
[ Laughter ] This is what we have said. I mean, we have said that —
where did it go? Okay, the Churchwide Assembly
shall approve issues for development.
Then the Church Council shall exercise
oversight of the development process in
consultation with the Office of the Presiding
Bishop. Thank you.
Thank you, Pastor Willer. Any further speaking to the
Yes. Microphone 3, I think you’re on.>>Bishop Ann Scennugsen,
question of clarification: If we approve
this amendment does that mean we would not
start a study or start a Task Force to work
towards the development of a Social
Statement until the Assembly three years from now?
>>No.>>So if the Church Council were
to review this and approve it we could
start that Social Statement process after
the next Church Council meets.>>Should the whole Memorial be
>>Thank you.>>Now I’m in a conundrum here. So if our policy statements say
that it’s the Churchwide Assembly that
approves then this is technically out of order.
Thanks, all right. Thank you. Okay, so now back to speaking
about the whole Memorial. So we’re going to take out the
refer the request.
That part goes away. Any speaking to the Memorial?
Microphone 12. 5, pardon me. Microphone 5, please.
They’re working on it. Hold on.
Try it now.>>Laura hall [ Inaudible ],
metro Chicago. I find that I’m serving a
Congregation right now that has a terrible time
understanding why we should be political in
addressing social justice issues, and that
we can be political without being
partisan. We need a current teaching tool.
I know those earlier statements were terrible
but they were prepared before Watergate.
We need something that’s more up to date.
>>Thank you. Microphone 2.>>Bethany Fayard with the
Southeastern Synod. I just have a question that
possibly Dr. Willer could address. It would be helpful to me and
maybe some others if you could give us some
examples of what tapes of issues this Social
Statement would address with racism or or one we did.
I can think of many issues that fall under
that Social Statement but I would like a
better idea of what this Social Statement
would address.>>Pastor Willer?>>I’m going to try and say
things now that won’t get me called to the stage
by the Bishop.
[ Laughter ] For — many people learn by
listening, others learn by reading.
I would point to the background that you have
on this Memorial because a number of those issues are noted there.
The kinds of issues included in something like this, I would not want to
circumscribe but the kinds of things a number
of speakers have identified, how do
Lutherans understand the nature of government? The question is: Do we have big
government? Should we have small government?
Or do we need appropriate government?
The whole matter of civic engagement.
What does it mean to be a citizen? What’s the relationship between
one’s faith and what are the — and then
there are many who think that there is a kind
of attack on democracy and the Democratic
institutions. So those are the kinds of things
that a statement on government, civic
institution and church-state issues could
Microphone 7.>>Gladys Moore, St. John’s summit, New
Jersey. I move to amend the second
portion of the statement.
>>Go ahead.>>To add: To authorize the
development of an ELCA social message on
government, civic engagement, what it means to be
a public church, and the relationship of
church and State in accordance…
>>Is there a second? You may speak to the amendment.
>>As one among many who have to preach during this difficult time, it
really is important for us to have a
timely message on these things. To develop a Social Statement
will take five years.
God only knows what will happen between now
and then. And I just think our church
needs to say something soon.
I’m also concerned, because I know that the Social Statements that we have frequently do
not get read. People might read a one or
two-page message.>>Thank you.
Any speaking to this amendment? No.
So we’ll vote now — are you speaking to the
amendment? You are speaking to the
amendment? Okay, I’m sorry, Microphone 11.
>>Joshua Copeland, North Carolina Synod. As a seminarian, I have been
studying the ELCA Social Statements in
Seminary that provide then a great
conversation topic for us to use in Sunday School
resources and other things, so, yes, the
social message is a two-page document that could
be easily used very quickly, but it doesn’t
provide necessarily substantial
conversation. So I speak actually against the
amendment so I should be standing over here.
[ Laughter ] But that’s why I believe that a
Social Statement would provide great
conversation resources for us to use in our
Sunday schools and other education venues.
Thank you.>>Is there any speaking to the
amendment? [ Off Microphone ]
Point of order. Hold on, hold on.
Come to the microphone. Are you at Microphone 2, sort
of? Okay, Microphone 2.
>>Jerry Key, Reformation. What happened to the original
amendment that the gentleman had first started
to speak on? Because I didn’t understand what
happened to that.
You just said: Take that off but we never
made any action on it.>>We declared that it was out
of order because it would be contrary to
our governing documents.
>>Okay, thank you.>>No, thank you for clarifying.
That’s great. Any more speaking — wait,
Pastor Willer.>>Thank you, Bishop.
I’m trying to help the Assembly here.
There is a significant difference between what an Assembly can do in terms
of a message, and in terms of a
Social Statement. Assemblies authorize Social
Statements. Assemblies refer to Church
Council the request for a social message.
The authorization of a social message lies
with the Church Council. So I don’t know whether we would
declare this out of order, or if we consider
— but the language should be to refer to
the –>>The Secretary is taking a
deep breath. [ Laughter ]
>>Okay. [ Laughter ] This is a deeply, deeply serious
Assembly. [ Laughter ]
Okay, here’s where we are. Upon further review, in fact
this would be out of order and if you do not
object, I would suggest changing to
authorized, to “request the development of ELCA
I can’t tell if you clap. Is is there any objection to
changing that to “request”?
Because that’s the proper language, Pastor
Willer is correct. We’re fine with that?
Okay, this is what’s before us. It’s getting to be before us.
To request the development of an ELCA social message on government, civic
engagement, and what it means to be a public
church. That’s what is before us now.
Is there any speaking to — there, perfect,
thanks, Kathy. Is there any speaking to this
amendment? Microphone 1?
>>I am Pastor Jen Collins from St. Paul Area Synod, and I speak for this.
As we have heard, social messages are on
pressing matters of social concern for the church and society, and they are
action and timely manner and I believe that
taking this route to a social message would
be more appropriate in doing that. It doesn’t negate or exclude, I
don’t think, please correct me, on this being
a first stepping stone also to a Social
Statement, or, yeah, Social Statement in
the future. And so Cyd speak to making it a
social message of request for making it
a social message because of the urgency
of the time and not knowing what can happen
and occur within the next few years.
Thank you.>>I saw a White card over here
but do you have a point of order or a point
Microphone 5.>>It’s a point of
>>Ivan Perez Metro Chicago. Question is it possible to
request both a social message and a Social
Statement?>>6 more years.
[ Laughter ] [ Cheers and Applause ] No, they’re two different
things. You can’t request them at the
same time. Pastor Willer.
[ Laughter ]>>I’m going to try again not to
get called up to the stage.
[ Laughter ] It is is not possible to request
them at the same time. However, I would point out that
as a part of a Social Statement process,
other documents are generated for the life of
the church, and, in fact, the Faith, Sexism
and Justice, that Task Force called for an
immediate social message on gender-based
violence, which then was generated through
the request of the Church Council. So in that sense, there is I
think a answer to your concern. So we can speak — it would be
possible for the Task Force to initiate a
quick response, but also attend to the broad
issues that require a much larger process.
>>Thank you. Is there any speaking to this
amendment? Microphone — are you having a
— are you speaking?
Or you have a question? Point of order or point of
>>Microphone 4, I’m sorry.>>I’d like to make a motion to
refer to the Memorials Committee Chairs and
the resource personnel on the clarification
of why they chose this Social Statement out
of the many proposed to move forward as
their recommendation to the Assembly?>>The question is: Is it
possible to move to refer?
And what do you say? So you’ve asked a question.
In the discussion within the Memorials
Committee, all of the Amendments that came
forth were taken very seriously, as well as
the original Memorials that came from our
synods. In this case, the church and
State was felt to be the largest missing piece
within guidance within our church, and
the one that at this point in time required
perhaps the most attention in the
development of a statement.
>>Thank you. I’ll remained you that the
Orders of the Day will be called at 10:25.
Is there any more speaking to this amendment?
Microphone 9.>>Mae Zelle. Would you please give us just a
little refresher course on the extent
to which the process for a social message
will be engaging Congregations in the
conversation around the topic and the extent to which
the preparation of a Social Statement will do
the same?>>Pastor Willer?
>>Glad to. A social message typically takes
place within a year’s time frame, and
thus to be timely. There is a draft of that message
that’s developed, which then goes
online for conversation within
Congregations over a period of time, and provides for
feedback. It’s not as extensive as the
Social Statement process, but it is in a
miniature form the same kind of participatory
engagement to try and invite people into the
conversation, and allow them to provide feedback.
>>Thank you. Speaking to this amendment,
Microphone 1.>>Thank you. I’m Vicki Bosin, lay member of
the St. Paul Synod.
I would like to speak in favor of a message, because of the timelyiness, but
also I’m old and I have been through
a lot of contentious elections. This election coming up is the
scariest one in my lifetime. We need a clear statement from
our church as to the role of church, the role
of State, the difference between the two. But I also would request: What
does the church say on major issues? And that’s not to be a partisan
information sheet. It’s to be what does Christ say?
I remember receiving that kind of a brochure in at least two other elections
in the past. And that did help our
Congregation to talk. Thank you.
>>Thank you. You really are different between
St. Paul and Minneapolis.
It’s interesting here. To this amendment, microphone 7.
>>Gladys Moore. I would like to make a slight
amendment to my amendment, because there’s —
>>Hold on, you have to make it and then say
what you want to say. I don’t want you to be ruled out
of order. Please, Pastor.
>>Yes, I would like to place a comma after the word engagement, and delete
the word “and.”>>Between civic —
>>Yes, after the words “civic engagement,”
place a comma.>>Is there a second?
Please go ahead.>>It’s just offending my
So… [ Applause ]
>>Thank you. Is there any speaking to this
amendment? [ Laughter ]
You seem ready to vote. We’ll use our cards.
Those in favor of this amendment, please
raise your green card. Thank you.
Those opposed, red. This amendment is adopted. Now, we’re back to this, and
Microphone 4.>>I have a question about the
information received.>>Please tell us who you are
again.>>Ann Tie Maier Metropolitan
New York Synod. I have a question about the
information we received from our adviser. If we pass this amendment as it
is for a social message, then we have
lost the opportunity to vote at this
Assembly on a Social Statement and I’m not
sure why we couldn’t have the language that
requested both a Social Statement and a
message. What precludes us from asking
for both those things at this time?>>Please, Pastor Willer.
>>There is nothing that precludes using both
sets of languages, language. The other thing I would say is
in authorizeing a Social Statement on Church and
Society, those of us responsible for that
process have heard loud and clear the need
for a timely response.
So it could go either way.>>Thank you.
Any speaking to this amendment? Microphone 12.
Where are you?>>Brian Campbell, Western Iowa.
I make a motion to end debate and call the
Is there a second?>>Second.
>>All right, you seem willing to vote.
This takes a majority. Those in favor — point of
order?>>Point of information, Madam
Chair. Chris presented,
Delaware-Maryland Synod. I believe the last vote we took
was to add a comma to the amendment to this
so have we approved the amendment to change
it to, to request the development?
>>Yes, we sure the. We did vote to add the comma but
right now it’s showing as all of — thank
you, that’s what it wasn’t showing.
>>This is what’s before us and the vote now
is whether you want to keep talking about
this or if you want to end debate and move
on. That’s moved and seconded.
We’ll use our green cards. Those in favor of closing
debate, green cards.
Thank you. Those opposed, red cards.
Debate is closed. This is now before us. Okay, we’re voting on the
amendment, with the comma. I meant that amendment with the
comma. [ Off Microphone ]
I know. All right. Those in favor, please raise
your green cards. Thank you.
Those opposed, red cards. Thank you. So now, the Memorial is properly
before us, without the… Oh, I’m sorry, the motion to —
the motion about the amendment passed. No, we just voted to end debate.
Hold on. So what we have now is the
amended Memorial, that amendment was adopted.
However, we also have the Orders of the Day.
So we’re going to have to close debate at
this time. Make sure you line up where you
wanted to be. And we’ll take this up again
when the Memorials Committee returns.
Thank you, Ms. Chatman and Mr. Christopherson
Mr. Christopherson. [ Applause ] Okay, just to be clear, we’re
sensing, we do talk about this when we get
together some of us after the Assembly.
It seems that this might be the new way that
we want to operate as a church, to have time
to converse and we can take that — certainly
we’ll take that into consideration in future
Churchwide Assemblies to build that in or
ways to do that but at this Assembly, this is
what we have. And we still have several more
Memorials and Resolutions to consider, just
keep that in mind. So if somebody has already made
your point or some five people have already
made your point then maybe say it’s done. I now call on Secretary Boerger
for the presentation of the bylaw
amendments followed by announcements.
>>As you recall on Monday, I made a mistake. So that do not repeat that
mistake I am presenting to you the Amendments
to the Constitution, Bylaws and
Continuing Resolutions which were sent to
you in the Pre-Assembly Report.
You’ll find them in the Pre-Assembly Report
under recommendations of the Church Council and there are numerous Bylaw
Amendments in that proposal.
I call that to your attention so that you
should have already reviewed them, but
specifically so that you have time to review
them before we take action on them on Friday.
So please note, there are Bylaw Amendments that have been proposed in that
You’ll find it under the general Amendments of the constitution to the ELCA
and recommendations of the Church
Council. The way you tell the difference
between a Constitutional provision and a
Bylaw: A Constitutional provision will
have the Chapter.
Please note here on this particular one, 4
4.02. If it were 4.02.01 — it doesn’t
exist, don’t go looking for that one — but
when you see a single number or a first number,
a period, a second number, and then another
period and a number after that, that’s a
Bylaw. I need to let you know that
those have been presented at this Session, so
that you will be able to vote on them when we
vote on Friday.
The removal from en bloc has already — those
times have already passed before us but you
have had these for a number of months but we are fulfilling all
righteousness, and these are now presented to you.
Now, to announcements –>>We’re fulfilling all
righteousness and following the Constitution.
Which warms your heart, strangely.
>>May heart is strangely warmed.
I’m Ecumenical today. [ Laughter ]
That’s because our Bible Study leader comes
from the United Methodist Church today.
The Reverend Amy Valdez Parker, Executive
Director of the Global Mission connections
for the United Methodist board of global
ministries will be providing our Bible Study
today. Please note our Bible Study
leaders are coming from full communion
partners and I realize we have crammed a lot of
things into this time but I would invite you
to come back at that point both to show
respect for our Ecumenical partner but also for
an opportunity to study the
Scriptures together at 1:30 today.
The Exhibits and book store in the dining hall area will close at 2:30
this afternoon so you’re invited to be there
before then and you’re invited to gather and
pray at the fabric cross at the Portico
display at 2:00 p.m. for those carrying the
burdens and cares that have been collected
from across the country.
If you have a concern, you would like to let go with grace, there are extra
prayer strips at the display. The deadline for withdrawal from
the Secretarial election process is
noon today. I created a monster yesterday by
embarrassing Bishop Burk because it appears
that Bishop Egersteiner from Metropolitan
New York and Bishop Yungling from northern
Montana have their birthdays today.
Given our time constraint I’m going to ask
you as you see them in the hall, sing to
them. I think it would be wonderful to
have Happy Birthday popping up around the H
if other people have birthdays just say
that and break out in song. Once again, please remove your
voting card from your machine and pass them
to the right. And since there’s a tradition
here that at this Session I share socks, I
need to give an explanation. I was at the Northwest Lower
Michigan Synod Assembly.
[ Cheers ] And Bishop Satterly decided
because of may proclivity for a certain sports
team he doesn’t like that I should
receive a pair of socks he demanded I tell him on
what day would I wear them and I told him
Thursday but on basis of the last 10 years, I
would wear my favorite teams over his.
So… [ Laughter and applause ]>>O.H.
>>I.O.>>Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
No, really, if we could sort of — calm down.
Calm down. We’re going to have a prayer
now, and then we’ll be dismissed to worship so
let’s have a moment of silence to prepare
ourselves and I call on Petra wick Lunde, the
Vice President of the Vice President of the
Metropolitan New York Synod to lead us in a
closing prayer.>>Let us pray.
Your mercy is new every morning, O God.
We give thanks that you have sustained us in
these days together. We give thanks for the many
volunteers who have given their time to assist
us this week, and for the hospitality shown to
us. Renew us for the business and
fellowship of this day. Guide our listening and
speaking, our deliberating and
decision-making, our quiet and our conversation. Direct this church as it
considers the work
to be done in your name and the leaders who
will guide us. We ask this in the name of Jesus
Christ our Lord.
You are dismissed.