Plenary 9 Friday Afternoon | ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2019

Plenary 9 Friday Afternoon | ELCA Churchwide Assembly 2019


.>>Thank you so much. And we have, if you’ll accept
this, a gift. This communion-ware has been
used in our worship services, and we’d like
you to have this as a gift.
Thank you so much. Now, I know we’re behind
schedule, but I did not think it would be a good
idea to try to silence a woman today. [ Applause ]
First I’m supposed to tell you that — thank
you so much for making the effort to get back
here. There WILL BE a table set up in
the back of the hall where you can take your
dishes and napkins and that sort of thing. Just for your information, one
of the women vested and processed was Maria
deJesus, who is 104 years old. [ Applause ] So you know what?
Golly. I think we’ll dispense with the
singing. Is that okay?
All right, fine. He’s prepared but we’ll dispense
with the singing and I think we’re going
to go then tell you another thing also that
to be fair to the three nominees, we are
reordering this afternoon’s agenda to give
the nominees time to prepare their speeches. There will be an order of the
day at 2:00 p.m. for the nominee
speeches and we will go immediately to the
fourth ballot so that we can do the orders of the
day at 2:30 for the consideration of the
Constitutions, Bylaws and Continuing
Resolutions. Point of order, Microphone 1.
>>11?>>11, sorry.>>Jess Felici, West
Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, I approached
humbly that I misspoke with the number
referring to the Constitutional amendment I want
to address at 2:30.
I spoke in the speech about the correct number but I did not in my
formal motion. I said 5. 01, but what I was discussing
was 7.52.>>Okay, 7.02.
>>52.>>52.
Thank you.>>You’re very welcome, Reverend
Chair.>>On the screen is the proposed
schedule for this afternoon.
Can we have consensus to approve this amended
Order of Business? Is anyone opposed?
Hearing no objection, the amended Order of
Business is adopted. The Reverend Ibrahim Azar,
bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Jordan and the Holy Land, was planning to be
with us, but he was unable to secure a visa to
attend our churchwide assembly. We were delighted to learn that
he recorded a greeting.
Let’s us share those greetings with you now.>>Dear Bishop Elizabeth Eaton,
staff and members of the ELCA, greetings
from Jerusalem and the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Jordan, and the Holy Land. I bring you blessings as you
gather for the Spirit of God to lead you in
your work these next few days. Thank you for the invitation to
commune with you, but due to Visa issues, I
am unable to be there physically and share in
your visioning. Briefly I would like to inform
you of the state of the ELCGHL and the
issue we’re facing as Palestinians. As a church we continue to trust
in the hopeful message of the Gospel,
and believe in the redeeming. Brothers and sisters we are
strong in our faith. However, there are increasing
issues that make the lives of our members
challenging and shaking our faith. Recently our students struggleed
to obtain Israeli permit in order to go
out from the Palestinian territories to
attend a Bible school, but we are happy to say
that we had four groups and more than 120
students attended despite the problems. The work of gender justice is
not easy. We are on the leading edge of
the churches and other religions in the
Region in promoting fair and just equality
for all women. We have written our
ecclesiastical code policies to ensure that women
have just outcomes in cases of family
issues, like inhair cans and divorce. Also, some sacred Christians
sites are under threat of being taken, which is
a concern for us all, Christians and Muslim. We stand with our Ecumenical
friends in their fight.
I wish I had more time to tell you about the other work of the people, but I
will conclude by asking for your prayers. Pray that we stand strong and
steadfast so that we may continue to follow
Jesus’ command to love. And we will pray for your
Assembly because we are church together, despite our distances.
We are gathered as one church by the Holy Spirit for God’s work. I would like also to thank you
for all support for our work, for our
people, for our church. Thank you that you don’t leave
us in this situation alone. In Christ, your Bishop Ibrahim
Azar. Thank you.
[ Applause ]>>This past weekend, the
African Descent Lutheran Association Biennial
Assembly met, and President Adama Faye of the
Lutheran Church in Senegal was present
with their assembly.
We are pleased he was able to extend his
travels to be with us. President affirmative
action it is our delight to receive you as
our guest. — President Faye, it is our
delight to receive you as our guest.
Welcome. [ Applause ]>>Good evening, everybody. Sister and brother of the
Lutheran Church of America, I bring you greetings
from your siblings in Christ from the
Lutheran Church of Senegal in Western Africa. First,001 I would like to
congratulate Bishop Eaton for your reelection , and thank you for
the Assembly. It has been an honor for me to
be here during this ELCA Churchwide Assembly. And have been also provided to
participate in the African Descent Lutheran
Association Assembly this past week, also.
First, Reverend Dr. Rafael Malpeka of the
Global Mission, and thank you also
Dr. Reverend Andrea Walker and
Reverend Lamont, President of the Elder
for inviting me to this Assembly.
Thank you also Reverend Dr. Deborah for our
companion Synod. [ Applause ]
Yes, we are church. I we are a growing church, but
we don’t need that our church to be shaped by
the world. We need to be a church in the
world, and a church who likes the world. In Africa, we used to say when a
tree is growing, it’s a beautiful tree. But when it gets old, it may be
full of parasites. I pray that our church will be a
church full of Holy Spirit, a church that
lights the world. Truly we are a church, a church
in Jesus Christ, and that we can read
Romans 12, Verse 5. We are called to be a church
wherever we are. The Lutheran Church in Senegal
is a young church, a very small church, but
we have some things to donate, to give.>>Thank you very much, Bishop.>>This is first of all for you.>>Wait a minute.
Are you going to speak some more?
Yes, good.>>With your support, the
Lutheran Church in Senegal continues the work of
God. Through your support, we have
translated our Bible in our language.
[ Applause ] And we are now in a second
translation also in another language, also. Together, we are training lay
people so they can be more active and effective
in the land and the work of God.
Together also, we are supporting children and women and persons living in
HIV/Aids. Together also, we are changing
lives of many people by helping them to
increase milk production for their own cows.
Through those actions, we are witnessing the love of Jesus Christ through our
works. But the Lutheran Church in
Senegal also faces challenges, challenges that are
different from what you have hear in the
United States. Senegal is a 95% of population
Muslims. While we are living in peace, we
are keeping peace between us, and that is
the challenge that we need to focus on.
The second challenge we are facing now is, as
you know, Senegal is bordered by countries where there is radicalization
and extremist violence.
Please continue praying for us and the church in Senegal, also, is praying the
for you. May the Lord bless you and may
the Lord keep you safe, and we wish the best
for this Churchwide Assembly.
Thank you very much.>>Thank you.
[ Applause ] [ Speaking French ]
>>And here’s a gift that you might remember
us by. Thank you.
[ Speaking French ] Let us move to assembly
consideration of the Strategy Toward Authentic
Diversity within the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America. Several resource people have
joined me on stage for our discussion.
They are the task force members who are
present with the support of the ELCA Ethnic Associations —
Abraham Allende and Albert Starr,
Co-Conveners of the Strategy Toward Authentic
Diversity Task Force Priscilla Austin
Joseph Castaneda Carrera Kelly Sherman Conroy
Khader Khalilia Maribel Lorenzana
Donna Matteis Sureka Nelavala
Tuhina Rasche Lamont Wells, who is working on
his speech Joann Conroy
Khader El Yateem Martin Lopez Vega
Daniel Peter Penumaka Judith Roberts, Program Director
for Racial Justice Ministries
On Tuesday evening, you had an opportunity to
raise questions and discuss the matter at a
hearing. Voting members, you will need to
refer to the Strategy Toward Authentic
Diversity the ELCA in Section V of your within
Pre-Assembly Report for the recommendation of
the Church Council, upon which we will be
voting. I now invite Bishop Abraham
Allende, co-convener of the Task Force
for the Strategy Toward Authentic
Diversity within
the ELCA, and the Rev. Priscilla Austin to
share an introduction to the action you will
be voting on.>>I’ll stay down here.
Since its inception, this church has wrestled
with the challenge of becoming an
authentically multiethnic, multicultural
church. The vision and promised “kindom”
and reign of God lie within us. The transformative power for
being God’s change agent in society is
intricately bound to our own transformation as
God’s people. I call the Rev. Priscilla Austin
of the Northwest Washington Synod, who
co-authored the resolution for a strategy
toward authentic diversity that was
adopted by the 2016 Churchwide Assembly. [ Applause ]
>>The 2016 Churchwide Assembly adopted a
resolution to create a task force composed
entirely of persons of color from regions and
synods across the country, so that the views
and voices of this church so often unheard or
unheeded might benefit the whole church. We have this ministry together. Here with me on the platform are
members of the Strategic Task Force for
Authentic Diversity, and representatives
of the ELCA Ethnic Associations. Not everyone is able to be here
in attendance today.
The Task Force has put for five key strategic
areas of focus with accompanying recommendations —
Those five areas are — Theological Framing and
Equipping Healing Action Structural Accountability Theological Education and
Leadership Partnership with Full Communion Ecumenical EcumenicalPartners.
Together, these five strategic areas
represent the basis of a change of hearts and
minds, how we collectively think about ethnic
diversity and inclusivity in the ELCA. Thank you. [ Applause ]
>>No amendments were submitted. I call on Bishop Allende to read
the recommendation from Church
Council.>>To thank the Task Force for
Strategic Authentic Diversity and all who
contributed to its work to develop a report
and recommendations on how this
church exhibits authentic diversity and
formulates its own goals and expectations for
racial diversity and inclusion;
To call this church in all its expressions
into a time of confession, reflection, and
healing as its members renew an honest
relational engagement in the body of Christ;
To urge the church in all its expressions and
related agencies, organizations, and
institutions to intentionally engage more
deeply in the recommendations named in the
report and to provide funds in support of
these recommendations; and To call upon the Office of the
Presiding Bishop, in collaboration with
appropriate units in the churchwide
organization, to establish and oversee processes
for consideration, assignment,
implementation of, and accountability for these
recommendations identified to the churchwide
organization and to report regularly to the
Church Council.>>The action does not require a
second. Any speaking to the
recommendation? Microphone 1.>>Pastor Dawn Roginski, Sierra
Pacific Synod.
They, them, their pronouns. I speak in favor of this
Resolution and I bring a letter of support from
the proclaimed community.
Anybody else from the community, please
stand. Our letter reads — We, a community of LG BTQIA + candidates and
rostered ministers in the ELCA confess and lament the structures of White
supremacy that perm night all institutions,
including and especially the church.
We profess that any discussion of liberation must be grounded in dialogue on
race and White supremacy.
We strive towards collective solidarity with our siblings of color,
recognizing the racism historically and presentlily
embodied in queer communities. We reject the mentality of
scarcity that positions marginalized
communities against each other, particularly people
of color and the queer community, which also
invisiblizes queer and trans people of color.
We reject any attempt to use the queer
community to distract or diffuse explicit
calls for Racial Justice. We trust people of color who
have thought thoughtfully and faithfully
constructed this document, conspiring with the
Holy Spirit, even consulting with White
allies. We trust the writers of color’s
visioning, their experience and their
hearts. We know that our liberation is
bound up in that of each other. Therefore, we, a community of
LGBTQIA + candidates —
>>Thank you. Could you — you want that into
the record? Can you bring that to the desk?
Thank you so much. Microphone 11.
>>Pastor Jessica cane, speaking on behalf of myself and 53 other young
leaders in this church.
If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not within us. If we confess our sins God who
is faithful and just will forgive us our
sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say we have not sinned we make God a
liar and God’s word is not in us. We fully support the strategy
for diversity in the ELCA.
For too long it’s been a denomination that
doesn’t reflect the full expression and gift
of the body of Christ. We began with a commitment to
becoming more diverse and it failed time and
time again. We confess our sin and lament
our complicity in systems of racism and White
supremacy. We confess we’ve consistently
denied our siblings of color opportunity
for leadership and full participation in the
church and society.
We confess we’re a church that raised up
White supremacist murderers. We confess our sin and lament
here in this Assembly there’s been language
policing, White washing of history and the
assumption that White and light are good
while Black and dark are bad.
We have waited until the last full day of
business to address this strategy, for all
the sins we’ve said and the ones we left
unsaid we confess. We’d like to express our
thankfulness for this Task Force.
Once again we’ve asked the people of color
among us to take responsibility for our
failure to be Christ’s beautifully diverse
church. We hold our self and this church
in all expressions to have
conversations in our communities about White
privilege and our complicity in systems of racism
to actively denounce and work against White
supremacy and implement the Resolutions of
this Task Force. Today we pledge to support and
honor the work of the Task Force in our context
and we urge this Assembly to approve the
recommendations of this work.
>>Thank you. Are you speaking to…>>Yes, sorry, I didn’t know was
up.>>Microphone 11.>>Shelley Bryan Wee, Northwest
Washington Synod, she/her.
I speak in support. As someone who is deeply
concerned about racism and White supremacy, and
White privilege, I would like to
confess something before all of you today: And
this is hard, but a few days ago I was at the
Hilton, and I mistakenly thought that a person
of color who is part of our delegation was a
server and I asked this person for something.
When it happened I was extremely embarrassed, wished it had not happened, and
wanted the whole incident to just
disappear. It was so embarrassing.
But I tell you this story not because I’m
proud of it, obviously. I’m completely not proud of
this. And I apologize to Olivia for
this. I need to do better, White
siblings, we need to do better. That is why we need this
statement before us. The strategy toward authentic
diversity within the ELCA.
Thank you.>>Microphone 3.>>Marret, Arfsten, from Metro
New York Synod.
I wanted to thank the people sitting before
us today for your work towards this document,
your love towards this document and your love towards this church that for a
long time has failed our siblings of color. As I look at the names of the
people who worked on this document, I am
proud to be from New York, and proud to know
so many of you that are from New York. And I would ask that this church
both pass this motion, this strategy, and
also take into consideration what this
means for our young people, and how we will
teach this to our young people, and hope that
the ELCA will take this to the next step in
looking at the dates it chooses for our
national Youth Gathering, to ensure that the
young people of the Metro New York Synod are
able to attend both the national Youth
Gathering, but also the other event that takes place
while they are still in school.
Thank you.>>Thank you. That’s four speakers in favor of
the motion. So debate is closed. Before we vote on the
recommendation, I’m asking Bishop Idalia Negrón Caamaño, of
the Caribbean Synod, will lead us in
prayer.>>Dear God, we come to you in
this moment asking for your wisdom when we
vote. So that we can be a diverse,
really diverse, church. Pless us with your wisdom and overall with
your love for each one, for our neighbors,
for all the people who are different from us.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.>>Amen.
Thank you, Bishop. To vote for the action, vote 1
— get your voting machines.
To vote against, opposed, vote 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. [ Applause ]
The strategy is adopted. [ Applause ] Let’s stand and sing hymn 21,
Hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah, hallelu. Hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah, hallelu. Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah, hallelu. Hallelujah, hallelujah.
hallelujah, hallelu. Hallelujah, hallelujah,
hallelujah, hallelu. Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah. Hallelujah, hallelujah, Wonderful.
Thank you. Since the beginning of this
church, there have been social policy
resolutions. Social policy resolutions serve
as this church’s policy directives until
the social resolution is replaced by
subsequent resolutions, rendered moot by
subsequent social teaching documents, or
sent to archive by a churchwide assembly.
In accordance with the “Policies and
Procedures of the ELCA for Addressing Social
Concerns,” a review is conducted after 25
years. There have been 21 social policy
resolutions proposed for archival.
None were removed from en bloc. I call on Secretary Boerger to
read the action.>>I move the action on page 1
on Archival of Certain Social Policy
Resolutions — To archive the social policy
resolutions identified in the “2019 Archival
of Certain Social Policy Resolutions”
document as suitable for archive, in
accordance with the “Policies and Procedures of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for
Addressing Social Concerns. ”
>>We will now proceed to vote. Insert your voting cards.
For yes, press 1. For 2, press no.
Please vote now. For yes, press 1.
For no, press 2. I’m so sorry.
Okay. Now we’ll try to vote. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. Thank you.
It’s been adopted. We actually, golly — we have
some more time. [ Laughter ] We’ll do a quick video here.>>This is my Professor from
union Theological Seminary, Professor
Chung. She was the one who believed in
me even though it took much longer than
I expected and had it not been for that
time and that decision, I would have lost
hope, so I would think of her as the woman who
has helped me to get me where I am today.
But I cannot forget the countless invisible women on whose shoulders my
journey rests, my success rests, so I do
acknowledge them. And above all, my Father who has
been that foundational source of
inspiration in bringing that Pastor in me, in
bringing that bold woman in me.
So he may not qualify as a woman, but definitely as a person who has
inspired me to be the person that I am today. [ Applause ]
>>One more video.>>The cool of it is that may
mom was at may ordination. In fact I was supposed to be
ordained at the submitted wide Assembly but that
was later on in the year and I didn’t think
she was going to make it she had cancer so I
talked to the Bishop and I already had may
call so he said, okay, we’ll ordain you by
yourself and so they had a private not private. It was a worship service but it
was just for one ordinand.
And my mom came with her skeet and sat in the
front he row and she was very, very proud.
When I first started Seminary, I think she went — uh-oh, I’m going to cry.
She probably said what’s wrong with you?
But I know when I was ordained that she was
very proud. [ Applause ]>>We now have the opportunity
to hear from the three persons who received
the highest number of votes on the third
ballot for Secretary.
They are here arriving, and I can them to
come on to the stage. As they come forward, it might
be helpful to review how this time will be
structured. The three nominees have drawn
names to determine the order in which
they will speak. Sue Rothmeyer
Steve Herr Lamont Wells
Each will have five minutes to address the
assembly. At four minutes and thirty
seconds, a yellow light on the podium will be a
thirty-second warning for each speaker. At five minutes, a red light
will indicate that the time is up. Please hold your applause for
the end of each
— of all the speakers’ presentation.
Then after that we’ll proceed immediately to hearing — I’m sorry.
Let us proceed immediately to hearing from
the first nominee.>>Words and the Word.
May life has been shaped by both.
My decision to major in English at Luther
check was influenced not only — college was
influenced not only by the words I heard from
professors in the classroom but in their
witness to the Word as part of their daily
presence in chapel. My gap year experience at holden
village introduced meaningful words
about God’s justice and inclusivity as we
centered ourselves in the Word nightly at
Vespers. Most of my graduate thesis was
written in a secluded upper room in the
University of Wisconsin Madison Campus
Ministry center. It was my Campus Pastor, Phil
Knutsen who posed the what-next question and
asked me if I thought about Campus Ministry
as a vocation. I thought about it for 10-plus
years as a lay Campus Ministry at Iowa
State University. I continued to think about
Campus Ministry, schools and early childhood
education, Youth Ministry and the Youth
Gathering, young adult Ministry and outdoor Ministry
for the next 17 years as I lived out my vocation
in various ways within the Churchwide
organization. Whether drafting board meeting
minutes, creating policies for Campus
Ministry, or preaching for chapel, word and
the Word continued to meet and mingle.
7 years ago, I moved into the Office of the Secretary where attention to
words and comma placement made me appreciate
those English professors even more.
As I work with colleagues to create and edit
minutes, prepare the over 1400 pages of the
Pre-Assembly Report and respond to questions
concerning governing documents and policy
manuals. When I lead workshops on the
model Constitution for Congregations,
I like to point out that the required
sections are part of every Congregation’s
governing documents, because they speak to the ways
in which we are church, we are Lutheran, we
are church together, we are church for the
sake of the world.
That is true of the Constitution for synods,
and the Constitutions of our whole church.
And while those documents contain a lot of words, those words are informed
by the Word. For as we read in Chapter 2 of
our church’s Constitution: The proclamation
of God’s message to us as both law and
Gospel is the word of God.
Beginning with the word in creation. And centering in all its
fullness in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Words and the Word. The governing documents of this
church are shaped by both. Heidi Schreck in her Broadway
play what the Constitution means to me begins
her analysis by saying that the U.S.
Constitution is a living document.
The same could and should be said about the
Constitutions of this church. Every three years, this Assembly
has the opportunity to breathe new life
into those documents, as you take action on
Amendments that have been forwarded for
your consideration. The Lutheran Church in America,
meeting in 1970, changed one word in its
Constitution, striking “man” and inserting
“person,” which made it possible for women to be
ordained. One little word, as Martin
Luther would say, changed the course of history.
Secretary Boerger often speaks of the Office
of the Secretary as a service unit to the
church. This is an apt description of
the ways in which this office supports
Congregations, synods, and the Churchwide
organization. It has been may privilege to
work with gift and committed colleagues that
serve this church by offering legal and
risk management services, planning meetings,
managing the rosters of this church,
archiving this church’s history and caring for
the words of this church in many and various
documents. This Minister of Word and
Service would be humbled and honored to serve as
Secretary with these colleagues and with
you, as together we care for the living
words of this church, and boldly proclaim the
living Word of God.
>>Thank you. Stephen Herr?>>Presiding Bishop Eaton,
Secretary Boerger, Vice President Horne, voting
members, guests, and Churchwide staff: Grace,
mercy, and peace to you in the name of
Jesus Christ. Amen.
I give thanks to God for this church which I
love deeply, and I am deeply humbled and
grateful for the opportunity to stand before
you this day. The Office of Secretary is first
and foremost one of service to this church in
all of its expressions.
My work on the legal and Constitutional review Committee of the Church
Council and Co-Chairing two Churchwide
Assembly Memorials Committees and working with all
three of the ELCA secretaries, has shaped my
understanding of this office as one of service
and assistance to this church. It exists to serve the
ministries, unfolding throughout this church and the
world in new and engaging ways. This week, we have made known
what we value as a church, and it has been
inspireing. We value that we are church.
We value spreading God’s love and grace to
all the world. We value working towards greater
authentic ethnic and racial diversity.
We value the role of all God’s people in the life of this church, and in the
world, regardless of their ethnicity,
race, gender, sexual orientation, or age. We value justice, Justice for
Women, the oppressed, and the marginalized. We value Ecumenical and
inter-religious relationships that seek mutual
understanding and cooperation with all our
neighbors of all faiths. And we value and celebrate the
wonderful gifts of women who serve as
Pastors, Bishops, Deacons, and deaconesses.
With all of these and so much more, that we
value and hold dear, the role of the
Secretary’s office is to help this church move forward with these values
and priorities, in good order, with
clarity, transparency, and faithfulness.
I believe the Secretary’s role is one of
service to help members of this church come together as we have done this
week, to articulate our common will.
Part of this moving forward will require
working together to examine governing documents, to see where they may
need to be challenged or changed.
How might these documents better reflect these values that we have set
forth this week?
How might our governing documents facilitate
new models and structures of Ministry
emerging all across our country. This is an exciting time to be
part of the ELCA.
We draw on a deep Lutheran theological tradition rooted in a reforming
movement. Working together with unity,
with a Spirit of collaboration among
Congregations, synods, and the Churchwide expression. How might we look to both reform
and renew our governance structures to
meet both the challenges and the opportunities
facing this church as we move into a third
decade in the 21st century.
We will need good governance that is
accountable and adaptive to support the new
ministries and emphases emerging throughout
this church. Good governance through our
Constitutions, roster manuals, meeting planning
and archiving can position us to
face the challenges ahead, and address
the larger structural and governance
questions that are before us. None of this governance work
takes place without being intentional to
cultivate, nurture, and maintain good
relationships across the church.
As Lutherans, we are about reform and renew
renewal. And as we look to reform and
renew our governance, we can do so only
knowing that God is with us, and that we must
be an interconnected church.
As Secretary, I would be deeply committed to
fostering those connections, instilling a
Spirit of service in this church, supporting
the vision of our Presiding Bishop, and working together with all of
you. Drawing on our rich history, we
find inspiration from God’s word and
from our ancestors in faith, and at the
same time, we embrace the gifts of the Saints
of today whose gifts and talents are come
together to re-evaluate and to enhance our
governance for the sake of proclaiming the love
of God to all and the good news of Jesus
Christ, the crucified and resurrected one,
whose grace and faithfulness is the source
of our faith and our hope for the future.
Thanks be to God.>>Thank you.
Lamont Wells.>>Grace and peace be unto you
and peace from God our Holy parent.
If you’re happy in Jesus, can you clap your
hands and let me hear you? Amen.
[ Applause ] Let me tell you a little bit
more about me. In Northwest Philadelphia, I was
born and raised on the playground is
where I spent most of my days.
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool.
Or playing golf outside in the school.
So then a couple of guys who were up to no
good started making trouble in my
neighborhood. Brothers and sisters, I have
never ever been in a fight in my life but as the
song goes, my mom got scared. And I’m only standing here today
before you in this Assembly because of the
grace of God and because a Black mother named
Beverly Ann Wells saved my life.
Nothing else makes me a better Secretary and
leader for this church than the unconditional
love and training she gives me, and I still
honor her today. The Inter-Religious work this
church has been doing and that I was a part of
bringing before this Assembly as a part
of the team team — thank God that we passed
it. I was a little embarrassed there
for a quick second but we got it together
and we became the church — that very work
that we saw yesterday is my very family
foundation. My grandmother Elnora who raised
me in the Christian church.
My grandfather Lindberg was an atheist until
he was on his death bed and he wanted some
assurance. My dad Ali was a Muslim studying
to be an Imam and my mother was an
African spiritualist until I became a
Lutheran in the late ’90s and now she hangs out
with us. I have a great friend and family
support system even now and even greater
cloud of witnesses that watch over me. The Secretary is an officer of
the ELCA, and I’d be an officer and a gentle
person who is willing and able to serve under
our Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton with
other officers and leaders in this church.
I have reviewed the description many times in
our governing documents, and I still said
“yes.” I have studied the nuances of
our Constitution, and have vision
for some appropriate changes that will
help meet our needs in this present age.
And most importantly, I have prayed about
this position for quite a while, as I have
felt the call to this role in our church by
faith. Furthermore, I have read and
observed and watched those who have been in
this role before me, so much so that even
though I have my own sense of style, I have
learned how to step my sock game up for such a
time as this. Each candidate, Sue and Steve,
bring great gifts to this role and I respect
and acknowledge their vast
experiences. Sue and I worked together in
Campus Ministry for many years and we work well
together. Without reservation, I am
committed as a servant leader who will provide
an array of support for leaders, Deacons,
Pastors, Bishops, Congregations, and
Councils, by showing love, offering spiritual
and juridical wisdom, providing
guidance and protection and governing humbly.
I’m a diligent worker who will not be
outworked. But as the keeper of the roster,
I have learned to be a better example
of a healthy leader, and take time off to
care for myself. In fact, I’ve got a whole glass
of water waiting for me when I get off
stage. As I said in my bio, I’ve
pledged my life to lead the church into radical
welcome and inclusion for everyone and
especially make room for the oppressed, ethnic
specific, impoverished, differently abled,
LGBTQIA + communities and Auld of God’s
children. However, what you need to know
most is I always be open minded, flexible
and objectively fair with views that
I may not agree with personally, because
I’m committed to unity and advancing the
kingdom of God, or God’s reign. Moreover, I will always be
passionately deliberate on those matters that
necessitate such posture.
As the point person for our church for
governance and administrative services, with
the Office of Secretary as a team, including your interdependent support and
players pryers I pledge to have communication
system and relationships with each of you
that will provide helpful rapid responses
to Constitutional, legal and
leadership crisis which is may priority.
In this role I want to support all of
Lutheran history and I will be your Secretary who loves and cares for you in
Jesus’ name.>>Thank you.
I ask the Assembly to stand and join together in thanking these three nominees
for sharing their vision. [ Applause ] Let us pause for a moment and
watch a brief video on Future Directions 2025.>>You’d like to hear a story
about a woman Pastor who has influenced my
Ministry and that would be a very easy
question to answer, Bishop Eaton would be that
individual. Not quite 40 years ago, we met
as volunteers at camp Mawana in Mansfield,
Ohio, probably about three months after she had
been ordained and I was still
contemplating Seminary.
She was the first woman Pastor that really
got the chance to know. The first one I ever heard
preach, and she has been not only a friend, but
a colleague in Ministry.
Also served as my Synod Bishop in the Northeastern Ohio Synod and of
course she is now everybody’s Bishop and her
leadership style and the posture from which
she leads is still very much a template for
how it is that I take upon myself the mantle of
Congregational leadership. [ Applause ]>>We were bunk mates in Oneida.
As we move into the fourth ballot for
Secretary, I call on Aja Favors to give a
report from the credentials committee. The counselor has her track
shoes on.>>As of 2:05 p.m. there are 932
voting members registered for this
Assembly.>>Thank you for that report.
On the fourth ballot, if a nominee receives
60% of the votes cast, that person will be
elected Secretary. We will again be using the
electronic voting machines. I now ask that the names of the
three nominees appear on the screen.
As you will note, these are in order of vote
total. Let me read them to you. Sue Rothmeyer
Stephen Herr Lamont Wells
Do not vote yet. When we move to the balloting
process, you will be asked to vote for one
name. I remind you once again that, if
you make a mistake and hit the wrong
button, simply press the correct number. The voting system will only
recognize the last vote you entered. We will be reporting the results
of the fourth ballot for Secretary as
soon as they are available. I will ask the chair of the
elections committee to read them, and they
will also appear on the screen.
Any questions? There can be no interruptions
once the voting has begun. We will begin by singing “Come,
Holy Spirit, Come”
Found on page 14. Then I’ll ask Pastor Hans
Becklin to lead us in prayer. Come, come, come, Holy Spirit, come
Come, come, come,
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Come, come,
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Come, come,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.>>The Lord be with you.
>>And also with you.>>Let us pray. Holy Spirit, you are in our
midst. You guide us with your leading,
with your prodding, with your word. Help us in this moment to call
the one whom you are calling to the Office of
Secretary in the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America. Help us to know your will for
this church, and your will for this servant,
whose name you know. All this we ask in the name of
the one who was and is and is to come, our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.>>Amen.
Please take your voting machines.
Please enter the number by the name of the
nominee for whom you wish to vote.
You may vote now. Voting is closed.
I declare the fourth ballot for Secretary to
be closed. While we wait for the results,
let’s watch another video.>>I love Cantorring. I became a Cantor at my church
in Denver and the joy of Cantorring is not
standing up there being, I am now leading
you in song. You cannot lead people in song
if you aren’t having the rest of the
Congregation so the joy of opening your arms in
front of a Congregation to lead them in a
back and forth liturgy that allows you to
connect, ah, that is the church.
That’s us and them, and it doesn’t matter
that I’m behind a table or near a table or in
a fancy robe. It’s the fact that we are
connecting in God’s word, and saying: Help, save,
deliver us, protect us.
Forgive us. All those things we need to cry
out every week.
We just get to do it in song.>>I now call on tum Cunniff for
the report of the fourth ballot for
Secretary.>>Good afternoon there were 906
votes cast. Needed to elect on this ballot
was 544. May we see the results, please? There is no election.
>>Thank you. According to the rules of
procedure, the two persons receiving the highest
number of votes on this ballot will proceed to
the next ballot.
These persons are Lamont Wells and Sue
Rothmeyer. I remind you that the fifth
ballot for Secretary will take place later
in this plenary session.
Thank you, Mr. Cunniff. constitutional amendments
recommended by the
We will now follow-up on the remaining
constitutional amendments recommended by the
Church Council regarding proposed general
amendments to the Constitutions, Bylaws, and
Continuing Resolutions of the ELCA. Please go to the Amendments to
the Constitutions of the ELCA
document in Section V of your Pre-Assembly Report. Many of these proposed
amendments are technical in nature and are made
as part of the periodic review of the
governing documents of this church.
Some intend to improve and clarify existing
processes. Others are in response to input
from congregations and synods, as
well as the recommendations from the
Entrance Rite Discernment Working Group.
Prior to the deadline that the assembly
adopted, the following provisions were removed from en bloc
consideration — Constitutional Provision 7.41. 03
Constitutional Provision 5. 01
Constitutional Provision 7. 52
Bylaw 7.31. 02
Bylaw 7.61. 02
Constitution for Synods S14.12. Constitution for Synods S14.32. Model Constitution for
Congregations C9.03. Model Constitution for
Congregation C9.23. Bylaw 7.71. 02>>I move the action at the top
of page 1 on amendments related to the
Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing
Resolutions of the ELCA —
To adopt, en bloc, with the exception of such
amendments as may be considered separately,
the following amendments to the Constitutions, Bylaws, and
Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America; and
To authorize the Office of the Secretary to
make appropriate changes in the Constitution
for Synods and the Model Constitution for
Congregations congruent with the ELCA
constitution as amended.>>We will now proceed to vote
on the en bloc motion. Pardon me, point of order,
Microphone 1.>>2. I’m sorry, I didn’t get here
quite as quick. I’m Gail Sandstrom from Western
North Dakota, former Chair of the
Constitutional review Committee.
Of this church. In fact, this morning, by 2/3
vote, the body voted to pull out 5.01.
I know the person stated that this afternoon
that wasn’t what she meant to move, but that
is what she — what she did move.
I wish to separately discuss 5. 01, because I
think it has an important consideration for
this entire body and this entire church.
And so I raise the point of order that we
have separately voted to pull out 5.01.
I have no objection if they also want to make
a motion to pull out what they intended to
pull out.>>Thank you.
I’ll have the Secretary give a response.>>As the Bishop said said we
have already said 5.01 will be used for
separate consideration and is not part of
this en bloc action.
>>Thank you.>>Thank you.
All right, it takes 2/3 for adoption.
Are you ready to vote? Vote 1 — pardon me?
Microphone 11.>>Thank you.
Is this, we can debate this, right?
>>Who are you.>>Logan Lee from the Southeast
Iowa Synod.>>Are you debating a specific
en bloc motion or the whole notion of en bloc
voting?>>I’m sorry, a specific motion
within the bloc.
>>That’s not possible.>>Never mind.
>>Had to be pulled off earlier, sorry. All right, now, do I have
everybody?>>Motion.
>>Hold on, where are you?>>Microphone 2.
>>Barred of the order of consideration.>>You have to tell us who you
are.>>Gail Sandstrom, Western North
Dakota. And I would if possible I would
move that we also separate out for separate
consideration the parallel provision to 5.01
which is 9.21.>>Mr. Secretary?
>>We have had deadlines all week.
The deadlines to remove for consideration
were made and those deadlines have passed,
those parts of the Constitution that were
removed will be considered separately, the Constitution also allows that
the Office of Secretary may editorially
correct oversights that may have been so that 5.01
is changed and there were others that were
not pulled that need to reflect that
change, they would be reflected at that time so it
is not necessary to change them.
But we cannot pull out additional items from the Constitution and Bylaws
included in en bloc unless they met the
deadline of earlier this week and have
already been identified as those that have
been removed.>>Thank you.
Now, if you’re ready to vote. If you’re in favor, press 1.
Opposed, press 2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results.>>Woo!
>>Calm down here. [ Laughter ]
Thank you. Okay.>>We will now turn to the
amendments that were removed from the en bloc
resolutions. I will call the numerical
designation of the item.
If the person who removed it from en bloc
consideration wishes to make a comment or an
amendment, please proceed to a microphone.
We will then take a separate vote on this
provision. Each one requires a 2/3 vote.>>Bishop, the first one removed
is provision 4. 02C of the Constitution Bylaws
and Continuing Resolutions of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
>>Thank you. Is there any speaking to this? Microphone 3.>>Thank you.
Matthew Brock Maier, Greater Milwaukee Synod
Synod^. This is one of several items
that I asked for separate consideration for. The main point here is that I am
looking to reinstate or to extend the use
of the word “oppressed” in place of what has
been recommended, which is
“powerless.” We have up until this point
called for Clergy members of the rostered
leadership to speak publicly to the world in
solidarity with the poor and oppressed, in
subsequent and related provisions. The key words that will be part
of the other provisions, 6 parallel
provisions that have to do with the called to
rostered leaders now will read standing with the poor
and powerless and I find that
powerless does not really speak to the needs of
this church in this moment.
All week we have been hearing presentations,
we have been marching, we have been speaking
to the oppressed. If we backtrack in our governing
documents which are a living
representation of how this church is going to do business,
I think we will have lost something
important. And so I’d urge that all of
these related provisions be changed from the
proposed language to return to standing
with the poor and oppressed.
>>Thank you. Microphone 4.
>>Felicia [ Inaudible ], Vice President
Minneapolis Area Synod I’d like to make a
motion to amend.>>Please go ahead.
>>I would like to change the word “equality”
to “equity.”>>Is there a second?
>>Second.>>You may speak to your
amendment.>>Equality speaks to resources
and equity speaks to outcomes and if we are
going to discuss caring for and
embracing, I would like to see the outcome — that
we discuss it in terms of outcomes.
>>Thank you. Is there any further speaking to
the amendment, to the Resolution? Ah, I call on the Reference and
Counsel Committee.>>In reference to Motion J from
the Reference and Counsel Committee,
the Committee’s recommendation is
that all of these items be recommended to
the Office of Secretary.>>Point of order.
>>Microphone 8.>>Craig sat early, Northwest
Lower Michigan Synod.
Bishop Eaton I may be the only legally blind
person in the room but I can neither see the
screen and it’s Friday and I’m having trouble
keeping up in the Guidebook. Would it be permissible for the
Secretary, in addition to reading the number,
the citation, reading the line or giving us
some indication of what we’re talking about? I’m afraid my knowledge of the
ELCA Constitution is not as fluent as
my knowledge of the Northwest Lower
Michigan Synod Constitution.
>>Thank you. I think we can do that.
>>Thank you, Liz,.>>You’re welcome, Craig.>>Bishop, I would note that the
process for amending Constitutions says the
Church Council may propose an amendment
six months in advance of the system and the
Assembly by a 2/3 vote may adopt them.
What is in yellow and I’m sorry Bishop in
your Guidebook it would be underlined, is the
report from the Church Council. What the voting member is
suggesting is we change the word “powerless,”
which is already part of the provision and would
be a new thought being brought here
today. If this is adopted — and it can
be by a 2/3 vote — it would also need to
come back in 2022 for ratification, because
it was not part of the initial
recommendation coming from Church Council.
>>All right, and there’s more. Because we have an amendment
properly on the floor to change equality to
equity. Does that fall in the same
category? [ Laughter ]
No.>>eWalt is part of the proposed
amendment from the Church Council so that
was already up for amendment.
We can work with that one but it’s the sections that were not
recommending a change to that cannot be changed going
forward until three years from now. So this one the equity piece —
let me check with the attorney.
This is a point where someone who is trained
in theology should not be making this call.>>I think that our faith draws
us into community.
It’s nearly impossible for it to not to. To be able to say, use words of
Jesus, Jesus gathered community around him
all of the time, and so our faith draws us
into community.
Our faith invites us into these relationships
and these opportunities to do more together
than we could ever do alone. [ Applause ]
>>Thank you. It is 2:30, so we need to call
the Orders of the Day.
[ Off Microphone ] Microphone 5?
>>I just had a quick point of order about
the press. The movement was actually never
made they had a speech before he suggested it
so I believe that’s out of order.
>>Did he really?>>He never moved it, nor did
anyone else. The next person stood up and
talked about equity over equality, so
oppressed should probably go back to powerless.
If I need to do that after we do the orders
orders…>>On the floor by the process
that had been pulled and we were bringing them
forward as for separate consideration.
They were already moved in that process so a motion to move the first
amendment, the oppressed amendment, or the
motion to change to oppression, came through the
process. That motion is made.>>Point of order.
Point of order.>>5.
>>2.>>That’s not me.
>>That’s not you, sorry, 2. Yes, please.
>>I would disagree with what I just heard.
What my understanding of what happened here is we had someone speaking on
the motion, I mean, on the line item.
Somebody made a motion. We were at the motion when the
third party came up from the stage.
So we should still be in a motion
conversation.>>Okay.
What we’re going to do now, it is the Orders
of the Day. We’re going to bring forth the
next one and we’re going to sort this out in
the meantime. Thank you very much.>>The Orders of the Day, as
clarified by the voting member, was to address
the proposed Amendments to 5. 01 of the ELCA Constitution,
and that would be what would be before us
now. The motion on the floor, if you
would, would be the Church Council
recommendations to amend 5.01.
>>Could you read the relevant part? Thank you.
The person who moved to remove this from
en bloc may approach the microphone if she
would wish to speak. Please, Secretary Boerger.
>>My concern is, Bishop, 5. 01 has — goes
through A through J. And there are several Amendments
in that. I’m not sure which one the maker
of the –>>Then let’s hear from her
first. This would be Microphone 11.>>So this is — Pastor Jess
Felici, West Virginia, Western Maryland
Synod. This is what I was speaking to
at the beginning if this Plenary
Session. I misspoke when I said 5.01, and
what I meant to say was 7.52.>>Okay.
>>And, Bishop Eaton, I wish to discuss the
item she removed, Microphone 2.>>Hold on, don’t discuss
anything yet. We’re…
Who pulled 5.01? Microphone 3.
>>Reverend Gwendolyn King, Southeast
Pennsylvania Synod. I am the one who removed the
entire section, 5. 01, for consideration of this
Assembly, because I felt that a discussion
was necessary before moving on to an
Assembly vote, no matter what section it
is, I have some particular concerns about a
particular section but I know that others
have other concerns in this.
And I wanted it before the Assembly prior to
a vote. That’s why I removed it.
>>That’s fine. Don’t go away, Pastor.
So here we are, I don’t know if I’m allowed to do that but I have a
parliamentarian, a Secretary, two lawyers and a
member, a former member of the North Dakota
Supreme Court who will straighten me around.
It’s true and it’s good. It was the intention of the
Pastor from Western — West Virginia-Western
Maryland Maryland that at this time, we
would talk about that.
Yours has also been pulled.>>Yes.
>>So if we talk about this really fast we
could go on and I don’t know if we’re allowed
to do this, the consent of the house, if
you’d be willing to have her go first and you
come second.>>I have no problem with that.
>>And it’s also up to the house.
>>Yes!>>Thank you.
Thank you, Pastor.>>Where does 5. 01 which the order of the day
come in in that order?>>It comes next. Hold on. All right. Microphone 11, and now let’s be
very clear which one we’re talking about.
Secretary Boerger? Please, microphone 3, point of
order.>>If we are to discuss 7.52 I’m
the one who pulled that from en bloc so I’d
like to speak to it first. I’m sorry my name is Paul
Erickson, Greater Milwaukee Synod.
>>I did not pull it.>>Okay.
Microphone 3.>>Okay. Paul Erickson, greater
Minneapolis Synod, he and his.
Which I realized this important item which
talks about the ordination of Deacons was
part of the en bloc I thought it was
something we needed to pull so we could have
a conversation on the floor of this Assembly.
I recognize that significant work has gone into the recommendations of the
entrance rite discernment group.
I’m grateful for their work and I hope we can
hear from them as we have conversation.
I also listened to the Deacons in my Synod
and others and I’ve heard many concerns about
potential for constitution resulting from
this change from consecration of Deacons to
ordination of Deacons. I also participated in the
hearing the other night and heard many Deacons
expression their concern if we don’t make their
change. I hope we hear sol some of those
stories at this time.
Seems to me it boils down to at least in part the dedesire to recognize and
affirm the important work done by our
Deacons while maintaining the distinction
between the two rosters, Word and Service and
word and Sacrament. Unfortunately we often fall prey
to clericalism in which ministers
of word and Sacrament are doped deemed as
more important than Word and Service not
disstrict from from.
I’m not convinced that using the same
entrance rite of ordination will address this
issue of clericalism which we do need to
address. I’m not sure this is the way to
do it. Fundamentally I think it always
comes down at least for me to this question:
How can we best promote and enhance the
church’s engagement in God’s Mission?
If the Mission of the Gospel is enhanced by
ordaining Deacons then let’s do it.
I’m just not convinced that’s the case.
I am open to being convinced and I look
forward to this conversation. Thank you.
>>Point of order.>>Where?
>>Microphone 5.>>Microphone 5.>>Alyssa Dahlke Metropolitan
Chicago Synod. Earlier there was a request from
Bishop Satterly a sibling of hours with
low vision to please read the relevant area
of the Constitution prior to
discussion, and I just urge the Chair to do that,
please.>>Thank you.
Microphone 7.>>Yes, I had a question about
this. My name is Kerry Hovland from
the Southern Ohio Synod.
What are we trying to accomplish by changing
the entrance rite into the Ministry of word
and Sacrament? I ask because I was ordained
into the Ministry of word and Sacrament
in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
Tanzania, where the right of ordination is
used for various calls within the church
and so I am not objecting to the rite of
ordination but will it achieve its intended
purpose? And I ask because from what I
have seen in the last four years of my
rostered Ministry within the ELCA is that there is
a poor understanding of the different
functions between the Ministry of Word and
Sacrament and the Ministry of Word and
Service. I have also seen the blurring of
these two very distinctive calls to
Ministry. How do we educate, lift up, and
celebrate these two equally important and
yet vastly different calls within our
church? If we are to adopt the right of
ordination for all rostered ministers does
it help us as a church to clarify and
better understand when someone, when someone is
called to the Ministry changes from Word and
Service to Word and Sacrament?
Or from Word and Sacrament to Word and
Service? I ask because I have seen
ministers of Word and Sacrament functioning in
service roles out in the world as a bridge
between the church and the world and I have
seen ministers of Word and Service
functioning in roles where they are
consecrating and administering the Sacraments so
my question is: What is it that we are
trying to achieve by changing this entrance rite?
And will a change in the entrance rite
wording help to achieve it?>>Thank you.
Microphone 4. Are you switched over to — you
switched over to microphone 3.
>>I’m a confusing person. Bishop mark Narem, northern west
North Dakota Synod. As I understand it, because I
thought a amendment was going to come that
was going to change this.
That’s why I’m being confusing and jumping
over here. I stand firmly in support of the
word ordained and I did not come into
this group with that feeling.
I came in ambivalent at best. In one of the first meetings I
asked if we were really just talking about
how many angels can dance on the head of
a needle. But over time, in deep
conversation, in looking at the entrance rites,
but most importantly, in listening to the
Deacons of this church, they cry out for
respect. This may only be one step down
the path toward respect for the Deacons
of this church, but brothers and sisters
in Christ, let’s take a step and then
together, let’s start running because Christ is
calling us to the kind of Ministry where we
would get up out of our chairs — please out
of this Assembly hall — and go out into
the streets to proclaim the love of Jesus
Christ indeed. Please vote for ordination.>>Thank you.
Microphone 11.>>Pastor Jillian markal,
Southeastern Iowa Synod, she, her, hers.
My fellow siblings in Christ that are or will
be ministers of Word and Service, I am sorry.
I beg of your forgiveness. When I first read this language
I was very angry.
I was holding on so strongly to language that
the Holy Spirit had to hit me over the head
with a spiritual 2X4. My anger came from a place of
fear. My anger and admittedly
confusion was about me only.
I felt my call was threatened when in reality
that was so far from the truth. My fear and anger came from my
own insecurities and I was wrong. I am another English major and I
of all people know words should matter.
Deacons are a gift to this church.
The Ministry to this church and the greater
world is essential to kindom building. It does not invalidate my own
ordination, ordaining Deacons only affirms
the work we do together as the ELCA and with
our Ecumenical partners.
If you are afraid that this language is going to do this, then I invite you to
lean into the revised common lectionary
for this Sunday and do not be afraid.
Language matters. Deacons, you matter.
And I am so sorry and I give thanks to God
for your Ministry because mine is better
because of it.>>Thank you, microphone 12.
>>Point of order, question.>>Yes, Microphone 1.>>Peter Metcalf, Montana Synod,
my question is this or point of order.
I’m concerned we’re voting on a Constitutional change that we
may vote of Sith for or we may vote opposite
on the Constitutional change of the
document we’re considering later and that seems
to me we’re possibly in some sort of order
mismatch here and I would like to know if
there needs to be some other tying of the
Constitutional amendment decision to that other
document that we’ll be considering or
some other order to the order in which we do
this. It seems —
>>Could you tell us what other document that
is?>>Aren’t we voting on the rite
of ordination regarding Deacons later in the
Assembly?>>Mr. Secretary?
>>You will be doing that by voting on the
Constitutional Amendments, I.E. this one.
There will not be a special vote on
ordination. We’ll make that determination as
we vote on the Constitutional Amendments
that identify ordination.
So you’re voting on that at this point.
>>Thank you for clarifying that for me and
anybody else who was confused.>>Thank you very much.
Microphone 12.>>Pastor Chris Frigm
Delaware-Maryland Synod.
I only stand at a red microphone because it was the closest microphone. A parliamentary inquiry, there
was a reference to Reference and
Counsel that would change this from ordination to
consecration. In front of us is the
recommendation if the Council to use the word ordained
in place of received on to the roster but
there’s another motion brought to the Reference
and Counsel Committee that asks for it to be
changed from ordination to consecration so I
was asking for some clarity on what will
happen if we approve this with that motion
made to Reference and Counsel.
>>Thank you. Let’s find out.
I mean, let’s him find out. [ Laughter ]
>>7. 52 proposes changing “received
on to the roster” with the word “ordained.
” If someone would like to change
that to the word consecrated they would need
to stand now and move the a.m.
I understand that was received by Reference
and Counsel. Reference and Counsel could move
that. I would point out though that
then will need to be ratified in 2022.
>>Microphone 5.>>Sister Michelle Collins,
Deacon serving in the Florida-Bahamas Synod.
I speak in favor of this language.
Each of us on the rosters of this church have
different stories about how we felt responded
to and accepted the call to public Ministry
in the ELCA. For most of us I would imagine
it has something to do with being
compelled by the Gospel and wanting to impact
others. What excites me about ministers
of Word and Service being ordained is not
about my journey.
How I got into the roster or what Deacons
being ordained may or may not do for me.
What excites me is thinking about the
12-year-old who will be formed in a church
that ordains ministers of Word and Service
and ministers of word and Sacrament for
service and leadership in both the church and
the world. Unified in call but distinct and
unique in expression. This church does not have a
transitional diaconet.
It excites me a 12-year-old will be formed in
a church where Deacons have gone all the
way^. My hope is that having the same
rite of entrance for rostered ministers
will continue to create for that 12-year-old a
church that lifts up both Pastors and
Deacons as ministers, that actively and
intentionally encourages all people, lay
people and rostered ministers, to live out
their vocations from their baptism,
claimed and sent for the sake of the world.
Having the same rite of entrance strengthens
the mutual support and accountability Pastors
and Deacons have for each other as partners
in Ministry and leaders in this church.
It also makes a statement to the church and the world about our common call
to Word, service, and Sacrament.
For the sake of God’s Mission, as we continue
to be a church that boldly moves into the margins, consistently calls and
sets apart people and passionately
celebrates the diversity of gifts and callings,
I hope we ordain ministers of Word and
Service.>>Thank you.
Microphone 9.>>Tom Drobena Slovak Zion
Synod. I rise to speak in favor of the
proposed amendment. As a person of roster I also
worry about clericalism but I do not believe
the question at hand is one of clericalism of
blurring ministries or gifts.
But I believe the historic language of
ordination to be faithful, faithful to the
intent of this church and entrusting these
siblings with the symbols and responsibilities.
Faithful to the witness of Scripture and the
traditions of the Apostles and faithful to
that which the Holy Spirit is doing when
these persons are set apart for service in
the liturgy of the church. It is my prayer that by
embracing this little word, we might acknowledge the
work of the Holy Spirit by faithfully naming
that beautiful liturgy of the church
and not simply by adding names to a list
in Chicago.>>Thank you.
I know, hold on. There’s something else going on.>>No, Microphone 4.
>>Microphone 4.>>Paul Erickson Greater
Milwaukee Synod. I apologize for the confusion,
the previous motion did not need to be
separately made but was on the floor by the
Committee. I had submitted language to
change the word ordained to consecrated, so
that’s why I now hopefully this is not going to
count as a speech that will invalidate, I
move to amend the language from ordained to
consecrated.>>Is there a second? Point of order. Take your time, come on over to
a microphone. That’s good.>>I understand there have been
four speakers.
>>That’s a speech. So the point of order is that a
speech before the —
>>That was a speech before the motion. Al.
>>Thank you. Thanks for that clarification. So here we are. We have had four speakers in
favor of the Resolution as presented. Bishop Erickson, in error, did
not — the first time — did not make the
amendment and now he’s made a speech and
you’ve pointed out and made an amendment so I’m
going to rule this out of order.
>>So what are we going to be actually voting
on, is the question.>>That’s a great question.
Mr. Secretary. It’s the proposal of the Church
Council. Microphone 3. And don’t speak
first. Just say move —
>>I move to challenge the ruling of the
Chair, Paul Erickson, Greater Milwaukee Synod
Synod.>>Thank you very much.
Is there a second to that?>>Second.
>>And now he can speak to that, right?
>>Ask your parliamentarian. [ Laughter ]>>Okay, yes, you may speak to
that. Wait, hold on, what?
It has been seconded. Please, Bishop sorry.
>>I humbly apologize to the Assembly for not
being expert in these rules of procedure.
My intent was simply that we have a
conversation and that if it is the will of
the Assembly to affirm ordination of Deacons
that we have a strong vote to do so.
The only way in which to record that vote is
to have this motion in front of us, which I thought had been made based on
the previous experience of the previous
amendment so I apologize for the confusion and
adding to it. But I would like this to be
considered, and have a strong vote one way or
the other.>>Thank you.
Besides, I was the one who told you you could
challenge the Chair. So we’re in this together.
Is there any discussion about the challenge
to the ruling of the Chair? Anymore discussion about that?
No? Then the motion before you is:
Do you wish to uphold the ruling of the
Chair? If you wish to uphold my ruling,
you would press 1.
If you’re not in favor of that, you would
press 2. Okay, I — okay, some
explanation. Not a problem. We have this Resolution before
us. Four people spoke in favor of
the Resolution. Our rules are that when four
people have spoken in a row, in favor of a
Resolution, then it’s automatically — the
debate ends and we move to a vote.
Bishop Erickson said he spoke in error.
He believed he had already moved that this
had already been moved to change ordination
to “consecration.” It had not.
And then Bishop Erickson made a motion but he
made a speech before he did it. I therefore ruled his amendment
from ordination to consecration out
of order. He’s challenged my decision, and
we’re voting now whether or not to hold the
decision of the Chair, me, or if we want to
overturn the decision of the Chair.
So if you vote 1, you uphold the decision of
the Chair that his amendment is out of order.
If you vote 2, you vote the other way.
Do you understand that? Okay, very good.
So 1 for uphold. 2 for overthrow.
[ Laughter ] Please vote now. Thank you.
The vote is closed. Let’s see the results.
The ruling of the Chair is upheld.
Thank you. So now we need — so are we all clear where
we are? We’re in 7.52.
This is properly before you as the amended
version from the Church Council, which says
to change to receive — there it is.
Matter prescribed in the documents of this church, who has been properly
called and ordained.
This is 7. 52.
A Minister of Word and Service of this church
shall be a person whose commitment to Christ,
soundness in the faith, aptness to serve,
teach and witness and educational
qualifications have been examined and proved
in the manner prescribed in the documents of
this church. Who has been properly ordained.
That’s the change. And that’s what we are voting on
now. Are we clear?
Okay. Is there any more — we can’t,
I’m sorry. I think we’re ready to vote. He’s just getting his voting
machine. [ Laughter ]
Vote 1 in favor. 2 opposed.
Please vote now. It’s a 2/3 is required. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. It’s adopted.
Thank you. [ Applause ] I think we’ve completely lost
the idea that we weren’t going to applaud or
not. [ Laughter ]
So hold on a minute, please, Pastor. We need to be mindful that some
siblings disagree with an action taken
and we need to be respectful to them, as well.
Please, microphone 9, point of order.
>>Reverend Chair, I move to suspend the
rules of this Assembly which interfere with
the consideration of a motion which would
provide clarity for what we just did and
guidance for moving into the future together.
>>Is there a second?>>Second.
>>Thank you. You may speak to it.>>It was my counsel that this
isn’t spoken to but I think it’s a good idea.
>>Okay, thank you. What would be the effect, Pastor
Drobena?>>The effect would be I would
bring forward a motion, the text of which
would say that this Assembly direct the office
of the Presiding Bishop in consultation
–>>I don’t want you to be
disqualified by giving a speech.
Could you come up here real quickly and
explain what we’re doing? Could we just all — I just
can’t hear. If you could do that silently,
that would be great. There’s a motion on the floor to
suspend the rules, and then the — should
the rules be suspended to allow this to be
brought forward, then we would be
talking about a motion — a subsequent motion. That, I’m sure, was not clear at
all. Here we go again.
We have to vote on the motion to suspend,
whether or not to suspend debate.
The motion that Pastor is bringing forward I
believe is non-germane and is part of new
business. And that’s precluded — if he
suspends the rules, that’s — he can do it,
right. Okay.
So we’re voting on a motion to — could you read your motion again, please,
Pastor?>>I move to suspend the rules
of this Assembly temporarily, which
interfere with the consideration of a motion
which would provide clarity for what we just
did and guidance for our moving together
into the future.
>>That’s moved and seconded and it’s before
us. I don’t think — . Okay, he’s asking the Assembly
to determine whether or not this is really a
legitimate time to suspend the rules
temporarily in order to entertain this motion,
which he believes will be beneficial.
Vote 1 to suspend the rules. This takes a 2/3 vote. Vote 2 not disallow suspension
of the rules temporarily at this point.
Are we clear? 1 to suspend the rules
temporarily. 2 to continue as we’ve been
going on. Okay?
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the result. The motion to suspend has been
defeated. Thank you. I lost the teleprompter.
Ah, there we are. I think we have some more that
were removed from en bloc?
Oh, I’m sorry. What comes up next actually is a
report 5.01. We said we’d discuss next, 5.01,
which is — take your time, Pastor.>>Am I recognized?>>No, we’re going to hear again
what –>>Okay, thank you.
>>Don’t go away, though. Microphone 3.
Go ahead, please.>>Reverend Gwendolyn King,
Southeast Pennsylvania Synod. I place before this August body
this removal of the 5. 01, because I felt that the move
to include ministers of Word and
Service as rostered leaders within this
church body is important and necessary.
As I reviewed the documents however, it
seemed that moving the Ministry of Word and Service to just rostered status
without intentional representation was
not enough. Their voice is important, and
needs to be heard. Word and Service ministers, not
just serve in Congregations but they also
serve in hospitals, schools,
administration, Campus Ministry, Social Service, just
to name a few. I simply wanted this body to
discuss the representation which appears in
several areas in this section before moving to
a vote so that we could make sure of the
intentional desire of rostered ministers of
Word and Service within that particular
status on our Constitutional block.
That’s why.>>Thank you.
Microphone 2, did you have a point of order?
>>No, I wanted to speak to the —
>>Hold on, I think we’ve got a point of
order at 8. Please go ahead,.
>>Matthew Hazzard Southern Ohio Synod: I
have a question. Can we pray? We have not prayed in quite a
while and we’ve made big decisions so can you
please lead us in prayer?
>>Certainly. Thank you. Lord, sometimes we’re distracted
with much serving, so give us quiet now,
peace in our hearts.
We know you’re present. Open us to be aware of your
presence. Lord, a well-grounded, quiet
Mary helps a very functioning Martha to get
work done. Please be with us as we continue
these deliberations.
Amen. Microphone 2.
>>Thank you. Dale Sandstrom, Western North
Dakota. My concern with the change to 5. 01 is in subpart D, where it says that
each Congregation, Synod — and Synod
in its governing documents shall
include Confession of Faith, statement of purpose,
and components as required in the
Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing
Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America. That’s the language proposed to
change. My concern is, and my opposition
to this, is that this would require that
Congregations and synods throughout the church
place in their documents, their own
Constitutions, anything required by Continuing
Resolutions of this church.
Continuing Resolutions of this church are not limited to being approved by
this Churchwide Assembly. A 2/3 vote of the Church Council
can establish won’t ring Resolutions Continuing Resolutions.
The Council without coming to the Assembly
would be able to create requirements of the
provisions of the Constitutions in every
Synod of this church. I don’t know that that was what
was intended but that is the effect and so I
oppose — I’m opposing all of 5.05, the
parliamentarian and legal counsel tell me I could
amend this in which case it would not be
effective and come back at the next Churchwide
Assembly so for us it seems the simplest to
simply U just defeat this provision and then
something appropriate can come back the
next Churchwide Assembly.
>>Thank you. You want to speak to that?>>Currently, the language
requires that the mandatory provisions of the
Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing
Resolutions of the ELCA, in certain provisions, are
required. In the Synod Constitution, those
are the ones with the cross dagger.
In the Congregational Constitutions, those
are the ones with the asterisk. What we’re doing here is trying
to clean up the language, so we didn’t know
what a structural component was as
opposed to just a regular component, we dropped
the word structural.
We then instead of saying this Constitution
used its name so we were clear. At the moment nor has there ever
been a required continuing — a
mandatory continuing Resolution.
In fact for Congregations, Congregations are requested, or are called to do
this, but it still takes a vote of a majority
members of voting and President at an
annual meeting for those Amendments to be made.
There are Congregations in this church that
have never amended their Constitution.
That will be a problem but that is in fact
the case. Synods require portions
automatically are changed at the time of
notification but there are no Continuing
Resolutions, and to the best of my knowledge, there
are no Bylaws that are required from the ELCA
Constitution going into a Synod Constitution. I could be wrong on that one.
>>Thank you. Microphone 10.>>I have a question about item
D. On the word “Constitutions.” I believe the ELCA has only one
Constitution, several Bylaws and several
Resolutions, so I think the Constitution should be
singular.>>Let’s explain that to you,
please. Mr. Secretary.
>>The Constitutions of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America are the
Constitution of the ELCA, the Constitution
for synods, and the model Constitution for
Congregations. Those make up the Constitutions
of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America.>>Because the language it’s
replacing is singular.
>>That’s right.>>So you understand the
confusion.>>Right.
>>Thank you. Thank you.
Any further speaking?>>Clarity. In what the Secretary just said.
>>Hold on, where are we? Which microphone?
Microphone 1.>>Microphone 1. The Bishop — I mean, the
Secretary just read and the words are quite clear:
Components as required, which would mean that
they are required.
>>Mr. Secretary?>>They are required.
Let me finish. The way in which they are
required still, because Congregations are
separate legal entities, require the
Congregation to approve them before they go into effect
in the Constitution.
And that’s why I’m saying, there are
Congregations that have not modified their
Constitutions, nor is there provision for
disciplining them for doing that other than
dealing with the particular problems they
could run into using a different process.
>>Okay, and I understand what you’re saying,
but what I’m saying to you is on paper, it
does say that they are required to do so.
If they chose not to do it, that’s another
discussion.>>I think it’s the mechanism in
which the requirement is carried out in
Congregations. And if I’m wrong, Mr. Secretary,
so they’re required to do this and they’re
required to do it by taking a Congregational
vote. But they might not pass it.
Does that help? I’m sorry.
>>Yeah, it actually — so it is there, but
there’s a way to bypass it.>>Yes. When I was Synod Bishop where
Bishop Allende is now there are still
Constitutions in German. One actually had what they
called the unamendable clause.
It’s like the unforgivable curse in “Harry
Potter,” right? [ Applause ]
Microphone 7.>>Deacon Erin power, she her
hers, I’m speaking to 501G as a Minister
of Word and Service I take seriously the
responsibility outlined in our governing
documents and the promises I made at my
consecration. To work to equip the baptized
for Ministry and encourage mutual
relationships that invite participation in God’s
Mission. Our call as discovery is to make
space for lay leaders to join the work of
this church. Today that looks like Deacons
joining our word and Sacrament colleagues
and how we’re represented in church assemblies
and Committees.
To more fully allow our non-rostered leader
voices to be heard. It also means that my Synodical
colleagues and myself will have work to do.
We’ll have work to do to digest how we elect
lay leaders, Pastors and Deacons to make sure
we have the diverse voices we need.
Which isn’t new. We figured out how to make space
for youth and Young Adults.
We’ve intentionally made space for people of
color and whose first language is not
English. We in the Rocky Mountain Synod
have already begun this work which is why I
stand before you today.
We have done the work to make space for our
ministers in Word and Service. If you’re worried about how to
do this, don’t worry, we’re church together.
We got your back.>>Thank you.
Weave now come to 3:15. I’m calling the Orders of the
Day which is the report of the Elections
Committee on the election of the Secretary. Sorry, the fifth ballot.
I’m most awfully sorry. We’re moving to the fifth ballot
for Secretary.
All voting members should be in their seats
at this time. I call on Aja Favors to provide
a report from the Credentials Committee.>>I think about the theology of
the cross, that life isn’t pretty, that
following Jesus is messy. We get real messy out here, and
I think that helps us get to the heart of who
we’re called to be as disciples. And I love that about this
place, that we are at the heart of being Lutheran,
as we acknowledge Creation and we
acknowledge the messiness of life.
We see that firsthand here. [ Applause ]
>>Very good. One time only.
Who would like to go to the microphone and
tell what’s the most exciting Mission Moment
that’s happening in your Congregation,
agency, institution, college, or university
right now? Don’t hurt each other.
Microphone 7.>>My name is Kerry Hovland from
the Southern Ohio Synod and we’re right
outside out ow outside of Dayton where we’ve had tornadoes
hit as well as a shooting and we’re looking
at bringing camp Noah from Lutheran Social
Services in Minnesota into not only our
Congregation but into Congregations in the Dayton
area, and we’re looking for support
because one of these camps costs $25,000 so
please be on the lookout for this to come up on
their website and please support us in this
important work
about helping children.>>That’s a Mission minute.
You’ve got it. 5, and this is it.
>>Sally Hanson, from Chicago Metro Synod. We are the first church in the
country to work together with project
healing waters. It is a Ministry that works with
a federal medical facilities, in this case
the one that is on Great Lakes, a church, and
a professional fly fishing in
which we work with our vets on a weekly to
monthly basis as well as with the recreational
therapists as a way to provide Ministry to a
number of vets in our world.
This was a first time that the federal
medical facility was willing to work with a
religious institution and has now spread
throughout the country as an opportunity to be able to be church and the
government as one.
>>Thank you very much. Very good. [ Applause ]>>As of 2:50 p.m., the
credentials report remains the same, with 932
voting members at this Assembly.
>>Thank you, Ms. Favors. [ Applause ]
>>Yay!>>On the fifth ballot, if a
nominee receives a majority of the votes cast,
that person will be elected Secretary.
We will again be using the electronic voting
machines. I now ask that the names of the
two final nominees appear on the screen. As you’ll note, these are order
by vote total.
Let me read them to you. Lamont Wells.
Sue Rothmeyer. Do not vote yet.
When we move to the balloting process, you
will be asked to vote for one person.
If you select the wrong button, then press
the corrected number. We will be reporting the results
of the fifth ballot for Secretary as soon as
they are available and are verified. I will ask the chair of the
elections committee to read them, and they
will also appear on the screen.
Unless there is a tie, I will declare an
election. Are there any questions?
Once voting begins there can be no
interruptions. Okay?
Have you come to a microphone? Microphone 6.>>Alyssa Dahlke Metropolitan
Synod, I’d like to call for prayer prior to the
vote.>>You’ve beat me to it because
that’s exactly what we’re going to do.
>>Thank you for reading my mind.
[ Laughter ]>>Point of order, please.
>>From the resource — from the Church
Council, yes, Pastor.>>Pastor Jim Utt.
It notes that Lamont Wells is listed first,
yet he received the second amount of votes.
>>No, he did not.>>According to the report on
the pad. Sorry, my fault.
>>Grace abounds, Pastor. All right, let’s prepare for
this discernment and we begin by singing Veni, Sancte Spiritusand after
that, Bishop Deborah Hutterer of the Grand
Canyon Synod will lead us in prayer. Veni, Sancte Spiritus Veni, Sancte Spiritus Veni, Sancte Spiritus Microphone 5, please.
>>Let us pray. O Holy one, you have gifted Sue
and Lamont with various gifts and skills. As we come to this vote, give
all of us, including the two of them, a
sense of calm. We come humbly seeking wisdom
and direction about the person best suited to
serve as Secretary of this church at this
time and place.
Reassure each candidate of their unique gifts, and help us, help us
listen to who is the best candidate at this time.
Help us hear the movement of the Spirit. In the name of our peace, Jesus
Christ. Amen.
>>Thank you. To vote for Lamont Wells, push
1. To vet for Sue Rothmeyer, push
2. Please vote now. Voting is closed. I declare the fifth ballot for
Secretary to be closed. We’ll get you the results but we
have to verify them first.>>I’m really very hopeful, as
always, because may background has been
in church history, and there has always
been it seems to me something facing the
church that a lot of people worry about, but God
has always found a way through, and here we
are, thousands of years later.
So I believe that there will be opportunities
ahead, and if we’re ready to listen, if we have the leaders to help us see
those opportunities, then we have
nothing to worry about.
God will find a way. [ Applause ]>>Thank you.
I’ll call on Tom Cunniff for the report of
this ballot.>>Final elections report. We had 911 ballots cast.
456 were needed to elect. May we see the results, please.>>There is an election.
[ Applause ]>>Thanks to this Assembly.>>It’s not official yet.
>>On the basis of this report and the
decision of this Assembly, Sue E. Rothmeyer
is hereby duly elected to a six-year term as
the Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America.>>It’s official.
[ Cheers and Applause ] Thanks to this Assembly for
entrusting me with this new sense of vocation,
and I will covet your prayers and your
support, and the ways in which we can work
together in the days ahead in this role. I’m grateful for parents who
instilled a sense of vocation by such good
models, both in their sense of parenting and
also as the farmer from Iowa and the
elementary school teacher who I happen to have as
my fourth grade teacher and tomorrow my
Father will be here for the installation at
8:30 so I invite you to welcome him and to say
hello. I’m going to be giving him a
call in a few minutes.
And friends are going to be bringing him from
Iowa. I’m also so grateful for the
others who were willing to be identified in this
pre-identification process we used this time
and also for those on the stage with me and
particularly for Steve and Lamont who were
here in these last moments. We are friends and we are
colleagues. And I’m grateful for their good
servanthood in this church. [ Applause ] And briefly, I just want to say
that there are friends and family who are
here who have been supportive.
You know who you are. I also want to particularly call
out my successors in this role.
All have mentored me in various and sundry
ways and I can tell you stories. But to Secretary Boerger, to
David Swartling who I think might have already
had to leave and to Lowell Almen, I give you
thanks and I look forward to your continued
support in this role, and also, the staff
of the Office of Secretary, wherever you might
be right now, I would have loved to have
had you all come to the stage.
>>They’re working. [ Laughter ]
>>I know. They’re working so wherever you
might be, pop up so that this Assembly can
receive your thanks — this Assembly can give
you their thanks for all that you have
been. [ Applause ] And now I think we’ve got some
business to do so let’s get on with it.
>>Thank you, Secretary-elect. Now we’re going to… All right, so we’ll call the
CBCR co-chairs back and we’re going to go back
to where we were in line at the last
consideration, and Secretary Boerger can help me
with that. So do we have Jim and — yeah. 5. 01, so Emma Wagner and name
Jennings are making their way up.
Microphone 2.>>I move to amend, by striking
the changes found in part D.
>>Is there a second?>>You may speak to your
amendment.>>The area of my particular
concern, the Secretary said we’ve never done
anything besides the Constitution, as
requiring the changes in the Congregational
and Synod Constitutions.
That may well be. Words have consequences. Currently, it says that the
Congregations and synods would have to contain
such structural components as required by the
Constitution. The change language would remove
the requirement that those
components be limited to structural components, and
would require those components required by a
continuing Resolution of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America.
Continuing Resolutions can be passed without
coming to the Churchwide Assembly by a 2/3
vote of the Church Council. I think that’s wrong.>>Thank you.
We’re at 5.01D. Each Congregation and Synod
shall include the confession of statement and
statement of purpose and such components,
structural has been stricken, as required —
struck out in this Constitution and said as
required in the Constitutions, Bylaws and
Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America.
That’s the change. Is there anyone speaking to the
amendment to to — .
>>The amendment is to retain the current
language and not adopt the proposal from
Church Council.>>I was getting there.
Thank you very much. That’s helpful.
What we have up there is being proposed has
now been amended to change it back to the
original language. Is there any speaking to this?
Microphone 11.>>Jay Jaylin Southwest
parliamentarian, this might PA.
This might be a moot point. I wonder if Secretary Boerger
could describe he used the word problem. I’m just curious with
Congregations having their own agency to amend or not
amend their Constitutions to reflect if you
could describe what that might be if
they don’t so we don’t have an idea of what
we’re going back to.>>For example, a previous
version of disciplining of members in
Chapter 15 said the Congregation Council was the
judge, the prosecutor, the judge and the
jury, and the, if the person being disciplined
wanted to appeal they could appeal to the
Synod Council. In 2013 we changed that to
involve the Congregation Council bringing
charges to the Synod Vice President involving
the Synod Consultation Committee and the
Synod Discipline Committee and remove
from the Synod Constitution the ability
of the Synod Council to hear appeals.
If Congregations are using the old version of
discipline for members, and the member
appeals to the Synod Council and the Synod
Council can’t hear the appeal, all we do is
perpetuate the problem. That’s one of the areas.
There are several others in the history of
this church that I could provide horror
stories but I’ll just leave it at that one
and say there are others.>>Thank you, Microphone 4.>>Rob Malacek lindale Lutheran.
It lied to speak against the proposed
amendment. Because what we’re doing is
changing, what the amendment is to change the
language from the title of the document to a
word referring to the document. The fact previously didn’t say
anything about Continuing Resolutions is
irrelevant because the Continuing Resolutions are
part of the document that is referred to by
the words this Constitution.
Thank you so much.>>Thank you, microphone 8.>>Anyway Dean Anderson,
Northeast Pennsylvania Synod.
We haven’t revised our Constitution at may
Congregation in a long time and I’ve been
working on it for a year. If it is in the Constitution of
the ELCA, it only has to go by there’s an
asterisk by it in the model Constitution —
>>Are you speaking against the amendment?
Or are you asking a question?>>I’m suggesting we don’t need
this change so I’m against that amendment
because it doesn’t have to go into our
Constitution unless there is an asterisk by
the item and I haven’t seen any asterisks by
the — anything
except the actual Constitution. I haven’t seen it in the Bylaws. I haven’t seen it in the
Continuing Resolutions so I don’t think
there’s any need to make make this change.>>Thank you.
Any more speaking to the amendment. All right, the amendment — I
think we’re ready to vote.
The amendment would reinsert the language that had been there.
So if you’re in favor of the amendment, you
would press 1. If you’re opposed, you would
press 2. Please press now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. The amendment fails.
So now we’re once again 5.01. Microphone 5.>>Deacon Stephanie Lutke from
Minneapolis Area Synod.
I’m speaking to affirm the words of Deacon Erin power about part G when she
said we still have work to do to ensure
our Churchwide expressions.
I encourage every Synod Council and the
Churchwide Council to work that Deacons be at
the table. This representation has not yet
existed everywhere when Deacons were
considered lay people.
I am the only Deacon representing the
Minneapolis Area Synod this week and it was
not by design. I was on the alternate list
because there’s no design to ensure
representation by Deacons.
I additionally would like to affirm the changes made in the new part E
to adjust Representative percentage of men
and women from 50 to 45%, which allows for
representation of our non-binary siblings in
Christ.>>Thank you very much.
Microphone 12.>>Brian Campbell, child of God. I move that discussion cease and
call the question.
>>Is there a second?>>Second.
>>Thank you. You seem ready to vote.
In order to close debate you’d press 1.
In order to continue debate, you would press
2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. Debate is closed. We’ll now move on to voting on
the 5.01. So are you ready to vote?
Okay. Vote 1 if you approve.
Vote 2 if you’re not in favor. So 1 if you’re in favor.
2 if you oppose. Please vote now. This requires 2/3. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? What, what, what?
Voting’s closed. Let’s see the results.
Okay, it’s adopted. Thank you. We are now back to 4.02C, and
we’re going to have a Conference, a sidebar
Conference here. Between the general counsel and
the Secretary Secretary. Let me just say thank you to
you. You’re doing a tremendous John.
job. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
[ Applause ] So we have on the screen and
hopefully we can find it in our Guidebooks 4. 02C.
And this reads — serve in response to God’s love to meet human needs, caring
for the sick and aged, advocating dignity,
justice and equality for all people, working
for peace and reconciliation among the
nations, caring for the marginalized, embracing
and welcoming racially and ethnically diverse
populations. That’s the change. The recommendation from CBCR is
to strike “and” after the word “dignity,”
to add, and equality after the word justice
and following down after, and reconciliation
among the nations, adding caring for the
Marj Knollizeed, welcoming racially
and ethnically diverse populations.
Are you clear what we’re talking about right
now? Is there any speaking to this?>>Point of order.
>>Point of order.>>Hold on.
Where are you?>>5.
>>Microphone 5 please.>>Just a quick point of order.
I believe where we left off with this was
there was a motion to change equality to
equity.>>Hold on, I think we got
confused about that.
>>I believe we did and I didn’t know if you
were having your side bar for figuring out if we would have to take this back
to counsel to come back to it three years from
now.>>Yes, your correct.
The motion is to change equality and it was
passed, yes?>>We didn’t vote.
The second thing I want to say —
>>Let me clear it then. So to your point exactly, should
the Assembly vote to change — to accept the
amendment and thing equality to equity, in
fact it would have to come back to the 2022
Churchwide Assembly.
Go ahead.>>Second point is: Oppressed,
on the screen, should not be there
because it was never moved to be placed there.
>>You’re actually correct.>>I know.
And so. [ Laughter ] It’s few and far between, so I’m
going to hold on to the ones I have.
>>Go ahead, please.>>So if we’re back to powerless
and only “equity” is the issue, then we
would have another three years before we’re
actually able to ratify this?
Is that correct?>>Yes.
>>Based on that judgment, do we want to ask
the person who originally changed the vocabulary if they still want
another three years?
>>You can raise that retorquely, we’ll see
if there’s any response to that. Thank you.
>>Thanks.>>Microphone 4.>>All right.
>>No, no, you’re 3. She’s at 4.
>>Fell issue is a Boone, Minneapolis Area
Synod I still want the word equity so if it
takes –>>So it’s been moved and
seconded that the word equity be changed, equality
changed out and equity changed in.
Okay. Microphone 3.
>>I just had a point of clarification about whether we were considering a
change to equity in addition to the
oppressed and solidarity which you had
indicated before had been properly moved.
>>No. Actually the oppressed part was
not. There was a speech before that,
so that’s out of order.
All we’re voting on now is whether to change
equality to equity.>>May I ask a follow-up on
that?>>Of course.
>>The motion though had been contained in materials provided to the
Secretary before the deadline.>>I’ll call on our CBCR
co-chairs.>>Reference and Counsel.
>>Reference and Counsel, sorry, Reference
and Counsel. Most awfully sorry.>>So the Committee had dialogue
around that issue, and I believe where we
felt we had left it in consultation with the
submitter was that he was actually fine
with this being removed to address that issue.>>For clarity’s sake Bishop may
I suggest we vote on the issue of the
amendment on equity and if the speaker would like to
then move what else is up there on the
screen, we then could consider it but we need to
consider them separately and not
together.>>Right.
And that’s before us on the floor now is the
motion to amend equality with equity.
If you’re in favor of the amendment, please
press 1. If you’re opposed, please press
2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? The amendment passes. So now, we also — microphone 3. Could you reintroduce yourself
too please.>>Yes, Matthew Brockmeier,
Greater Milwaukee Synod, and I move to replace, or
to add the words “in solidarity with the
poor,” and to remove “powerless” and replace
it with “oppressed.”
>>Is there a second? You may speak to your motion
again if you want.
>>I don’t know that I need to elaborate
much. Simply that my intent here is to
make sure that we continue to stand with
the poor and oppressed.
Powerless is not as powerful a word.
Thank you.>>Thank you very much. So to be clear, now we are —
this is 4.02C, and it is — it’s all one
sentence, wow. This is like St. Paul.
[ Laughter ] But toward the end, we’re
adding, standing in solidarity is being added, with
the poor, and oppressed is being added, and
“powerless,” the motion is to strike
“powerless.” Are we clear about this?
Is there any speaking to the amendment? No.
All right. You seem ready to vote. Those in favor of the amendment,
press 1. Those opposed, 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results. The amendment is adopted.
So now we have — are there any further
Amendments? No? Then, before us we have —
>>4.02C.>>Yes, the amended provision 4.
02C. Is there any further discussion
on this? Hold on, we have a point of
order, and I think it’s going to be at 7. Don’t hurt yourself, Pastor.
That wouldn’t be good. Microphone 7.>>Nadine Anderson —
>>Wait, wait, wait, sorry Ms. Anderson.
There’s a point of order.>>It’s a height privilege,
okay?>>Point of order, microphone 7.>>Andre yays TEich, bay city,
Northwest Lower Michigan Synod.
My point of order is I understood the
Secretary to say when 4.02C was amended we
could no longer pass it at this Assembly.
It had to return in 2022. Is that correct?
>>No. It has to be adopted by a 2/3
vote at this Assembly and then a 2/3 vote at
the 2022 Assembly to be adopted. But it first needs to be adopted
by this Assembly.
It will not be effective until it is adopted
by the 2022 Assembly.>>So the new Constitution will
not include this item.>>The current provision
unamended will continue.
>>Thank you.>>Thank you.
Now microphone 7 again. Did you have the same question,
ma’am?>>Yeah.
>>We’ve cleared it up, then? Is there any more speaking? You seem ready to vote.
Good. To vote in favor, press 1.
Opposed, press 2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. Okay.
It’s passed. Thank you very much.
It’s adopted.>>The next would be 7.31.2A8.
And on that, Reference and Counsel Committee
has one that’s been submitted so I would ask
them to be called on to present their
recommendation.>>Please.
Please present the recommendation.>>This is found as part of
motion J on Guidebook. The Committee’s recommendation
of this is a referral to the Office of
Secretary.>>Is there — go ahead, Mr.
Secretary.>>If the voting referral is
referring it back to the Office of Secretary
then it obviously will become part of
Sue Rothmeyer’s responsibilities.
How quickly they stop working.>>So just to be clear, this is
— the motion from the Reference and Counsel
Committee is to refer this provision to the
Office of Secretary.
Doing that means that, well, it will fall
into her desk. But then also, it won’t be — if
you do that, it won’t be adopted at this
Assembly. So is there any discussion on
the motion to refer?
Microphone 3.>>Matthew Brockmeier, Greater
Milwaukee Synod.
This is part of the same series of motions having to do with powerless or
oppressed. In that the action taken on the
previous item 4. 02C would take effect after the
2022 Churchwide Assembly, if adopted,
I see referral to the Church Council
as appropriate for this in subsequent motions,
so that all of these could come into effect
together.>>Are you making a motion?
>>No.>>Oh, thank goodness because
you made a speech.
He made a speech, I don’t want to rule you
out of order.>>No, I’m speaking to the
recommendation to refer —
>>Thank you.>>And in support of it in that
then all of these could coincide.
>>Thank you. Thank you very much.
Any more speaking to the motion to refer?
>>Bishop, Bishop, Bishop?>>Hold on.
Oh, Mr. Secretary. How soon we forget.
[ Laughter ] [ Applause ]>>For purposes of clarity going
on, 7.31. 7.31.02A8, 7.61. 02C, S14. 12A8, S14.32C, C9.
C9.03A8 and C9.23C are the same issue
repeated. I would suggest, in fact, is
there a motion on the floor?
>>There’s a motion to refer.>>There’s a motion to refer.
Then I’m out of order. [ Laughter ]
>>You know, and this is probably a man who does not cheat at solitaire, nor
does he fool around with his golf scores.
That is impressive. Thank you very much.
Are you speaking to the motion to refer?
Microphone 1.>>Yes. James Aalgaard, Grace Lutheran
Church when after’ Washington.
I’m in favor of the motion to refer
especially if the Committee in fact made the
motion or if they recommended the motion.>>They made the motion.
>>I’m in favor of referral of this and like items as the Secretary made
mention, because
this provision would effectively change the
letter of call for every rostered Minister of
word and Sacrament currently serving the
ELCA, and I have a sense that due consideration, due process has
not come to pass really for the entire
roster to embrace this.
Thank you. Speaking to the motion to refer,
microphone 6.>>Erin Claussen, Metropolitan
Chicago Synod. I stand to speak against this
motion to refer so that the Assembly might have
the opportunity to bring a motion to
bring all of these provisions which Secretary
Boerger shared with us into compliance
with each other.
>>Thank you. Microphone 1.
>>I’m not sure of the order but can I make
an amendment to this amendment?>>Yes, yes, you may.>>Jerry Key, Reformation
Lutheran. I would like to make the
amendment that the other numbers given by the
Secretary that affects this particular motion
be all entangled together so that in
2020, they will all show up together.
That’s my motion.>>Thank you.
Is there a second? We have a point of order here in
a minute. Folks, when you’re making
Amendments could you please bring them to us so
we can make sure we have them on the screen. Point of order, Microphone 11.>>Kurt Eidem, Northwest
Washington Synod. I’m asking for postponement of
10 minutes of this referendum.
May I speak to why I asked that?>>Please.
I think you have to move to postpone. You would be, before you speak
to it you’d be moving to change the Orders of
the Day for 10-minute pause on consideration
of the matter before us.
>>That’s correct.>>Okay.
Is there a second?>>Please second.
>>Well, I need to hear it.>>Very good.
Now you may speak.>>The reason I’m asking for
this is to clear the floor, to allow Bishop
Boerger — he was may Bishop — Secretary
Boerger’s motion to get it on the floor to clean it
up. That’s the reason for the
postponement.>>So you want to make —
>>I can’t make that as part of the motion.
>>But you’re unclear about what we are
voting.>>What I’m saying is we
postpone it. That opens the floor and it
allows — does it not?
Doesn’t?>>No.
>>I thought it did, Chris. I’m sorry.
>>Okay, there’s a motion on the floor to
change the rules of order to delay
conversation about this for 10 minutes.
It’s been moved and seconded. If you’re in favor of
postponing, press 1. If you don’t approve, press 2.
Please vote now. Okay, we’ll check on that.
Thank you. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. The motion to postpone is
defeated. Now we need to clear up just
what we’re voting about.
Okay. Please, microphone 7.>>Andreas type, Northwest Lower
Michigan Synod.
They got my name right. I think motion J includes all of
the items that Secretary Boerger mentioned
and if motion J is what is on the floor
then we have covered the question from the
gentleman from Milwaukee.
>>Thank you, though he did make an amendment
and it was seconded. Another point of order, why
don’t you hop over to 2 there. Go ahead.>>Brian Bembose Northeast Ohio
Synod. I’m just confused.
I don’t understand what we may or may not be voting on in terms of the
recommendation and motion to refer. Would that be that this
Constitutional provision will come back to us
at the next Churchwide Assembly?
And align with the other corresponding
provisions? Or is that we’re giving
authority somehow to the Office of Secretary to make
determination determination?>>I don’t know if he heard any
of those questions because I was asking
him a question.
>>Actually to the question, the motion to
refer back to the Office of Secretary means
this would be in the queue for presentation
in 2022. The only group that can amend
the Constitution is this Assembly.
The Secretary, with the Presiding Bishop, can
recommend to the Church Council, who
recommends to you.>>Microphone 1, if you could
restate your amendment again, and we’ll make
sure that we all know what we’re talking
about here, what we’re voting on, please.>>Okay, my amendment is if the
Secretary could list all of the associated
provisions that relates to the original
amendment, we could tie those all together,
and put them in as one vote.
>>Bishop, if you look in your Guidebook
under the reports of the Reference and Counsel Committee, you’ll see
Motion J, which is exactly what they have done.>>So here’s the thing. As the Secretary has rightly
pointed out, what the voting member is
requesting has already been done in J, which we
have passed.>>No.
>>No, we have not. It’s included in. up and introduced this and said
they wanted to refer to the Office of
Secretary. That’s motion J under the
Reference and Counsel report row.
It includes all of the things that I
mentioned already in that. The response would be to refer
that to the Secretary for presentation in
2022.>>When we get to that point
when we vote on that motion, that includes J,
which would include all of the things that
the voting member, included in his
amendment.>>Point of clarification.>>Microphone 1.
>>Karl Richard, Southeastern Pennsylvania
Synod. Would it be cleaner to have our
previous person if they were willing to
move to substitute Motion J for the
motion on the floor?
>>I don’t think so. So we’ve got an amendment on the
floor.>>Yes.
But rather than the amendment that he’s
making, if he moved to amend by substituting
Motion J for what’s on the floor, would that
fit?>>He can’t do that.
>>Clarity.>>Microphone 7.>>A ndreas Teich.
Motion J is on the floor.>>Motion J is on the floor, we
understand that but there’s an amendment
also on the floor we have to deal with as
we’re trying to work through.
>>Point of clarity again.>>Hold on a minute, please.
We’ll get right there, sir. Thank you.
So the ruling of the Chair is that the
amendment that’s before us is out of order
because it’s redundant and will be covered under J, which is up for —
that’s on the floor.
Does anybody want to challenge the ruling of
the Chair?>>Yes.
>>Thank you.>>Yes, I do.
>>Yes, sir.>>The reason I gave the
amendment is because the Secretary gave us a list of
things that would be affected by the
original amendment. So I tried to use those numbers
and now you tell me that was already
somewhere else. Why were we voting on the first
amendment if that was there?
So we should be voting on the first amendment
if those other things are already covered so
that shouldn’t have been brought up on the
topic. So I would remove my amendment
if we’re going back to the original amendment.
>>Mr. Secretary?>>Reference and Counsel
committee moved Motion J.
The Assembly was focused only on one part of
that. I said what these other things
were there to bring that to your attention.
They are part of Motion J. Your amendment is asking to put
things into the motion that are already
there. So everything that I described
was already there in Motion J.
We just got distracted with only one part of
it and didn’t recognize the others were
there. That’s why I was pointing it
out.>>Okay, but the original
discussion was for that one that was separated.
So if there was nothing else that was going
to be affected by that is why we’re here now,
because you added those other things to that
amendment.>>No, what we have now though
is –>>So my amendment I will take
back and we can go back to the original
amendment.>>Okay.
The ruling of the Chair is that I’ll allow
you to take back your amendment.>>Thank you.
>>Does anyone want to challenge the ruling
of the Chair? No, fine.
We’re back. Thank you very much, sir.
>>Reverend Chair.>>Wait, where are you.
>>I’m at resource mic.>>Oh, sorry, yes, please.
>>Clarance Smith from Church Council,
speaking as a resource person and as a member
of the Reference and Counsel Committee.
Look… [ Laughter ]
We have matters coming before us.
One came from Constitutional committee of the
Church Council. That’s why Secretary Boerger is
standing before us. The same arguments came by
virtue of Reference and Counsel for maker
Mr. Brockmeier from the Greater Milwaukee
Synod. That’s why these two items are
meshed together.
As stated, the Reference and Counsel Committee, calling this Motion
J, our decision was to refer this to
the Office of Secretary.
Instead, Mr. Brockmeier has decided to
challenge that decision by Reference and Counsel, and put this on the
floor of the Assembly.
I think what Mr. Brockmeier is trying to do
is get parallel language in several provisions of the CBCR, the
Constitution, Bylaws and Continuing
Resolutions so I applaud his efforts for doing
that but it’s very confusing. Any case, however we vote, these
won’t take action, won’t be implemented
until 2022.>>Thank you, microphone 12.
>>Joshua Copeland, North Carolina Synod.
I move to end debate and call the previous
question.>>Is there a second?
>>Second.>>Thank you.
Are you ready to vote? To close debate, press 1.
To continue debate, press 2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? We voted to close debate. Now we have the — where did it
go? There it is. Could you restate what’s before
us, please, Secretary?
>>Motion J of Reference and Counsel.
>>Are you clear? Motion J, Reference and Counsel. This is before you.
To vote in favor of the motion from Reference
and Counsel please press 1. Those opposed, press 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results. Motion J is adopted.
Thank you. We have 5 minutes before the
Orders of the Day.
Can we bring up another one?>>The next amendment that has
been pulled from en bloc is 7.41.03. There was not an amendment
proposed to Reference and Counsel.
This was just removal from en bloc.
>>There’s no recommendation from Reference
and Counsel. Is there any discussion about
this motion removed from en bloc?
Microphone 7.>>Ryan Anderson from the
Central Southern Illinois Synod.
I requested this proposed amendment be removed from en bloc after
conversations with colleagues, some of whom serve
in non-congregational calls. My concern is the intent of the
amendment especially regarding the phrase
“continued only as warranted for the
Ministry needs of this church.” I do not want this phrase too
narrowly interpreted, especially in areas
of the ELCA feeling the anxiety of scarcity
with increasing numbers of open calls
and fewer Pastors to fill them. I do not propose any changes to
the proposed amendment at this time because
the language codifies current practice.
I trust the discernment of Synod Councils.
The language of the original 7. 41.03 offers ample guidance for this
discernment, and I don’t wish to make our governing
documents even that much longer.
However, I will at this time like to speak?
Support of the witness and service given by
Pastors in non-congregational calls.
Yes, confessionally and constitutionally we
are rooted in Christ as church in three
expressions. Yes, it is the purpose of roots
to produce branches and bear fruit.
Persons serving in non-congregational calls
with an identifiable relationship to Word and Sacrament Ministry embody the
ELCA’s presence in the world.
Moreover, and furthermore, they are living and active remainders that when
we each and all are called to be church for
the sake of the world we’re required to be
as it were out and about, to fulfill the
Mission needs of this church. Ultimately, the amendment as
proposed does not discount any of this.
Thank you.>>Thank you.
Microphone 11.>>Has there been a movement on
the floor?>>Who are you please?>>Kristin Klade, Northern Texas
Northern Louisiana Pastor. I would like to move to replace
this language with language that I submitted
to the Council and hopefully they have it.>>Reference and Counsel does
not have it. Or do we have it?>>Hi, Kristin.
When you submitted it, it was past the
deadline, so we might have it electronically,
but our Committee does not have it and so we
could not make a recommendation.>>Okay, okay. I would like to speak against
this amendment. Okay.
I’m a Pastor and a Chaplain in Fort Worth,
Texas. I also supply preach and I help
with the local pub church.
In unconventional places and Word and
Sacrament Ministry is really important to me
in these places. The language in the proposed
amendment is demeaning to those who serve in
these specialized Ministry and
self-serving of the ELCA as a whole.
We say we are a church for the sake of the
world. Chaplains and other Pastors in
non-congregational calls are doing this work,
work that is deeply applicational, sharing
Word and Sacraments in Ecumenical interfaith
in hospitals, prisons, camps, schools, war
zones to name a few, meeting people where
they are. Ministers should not be treated
as suspect or assume to be self-serving any
more so than ministers in Congregational
calls. These non-congregational calls
should be celebrated.
Furthermore chaplains and others should not
have to fear their call told be revoked yearly at the decision of their
Bishops and a Council or Church Council when a
new Bishop or Council is elected or when
they change their mind about whether their
call is pastoral or Sacramental enough.
There are significant barriers to getting a
call that is non-congregational and so if
they do that, they have to be reviewed
annually.>>Thank you. Is there any more speaking to
this, to 7.41. 7.41.03? Seeing none, are you ready to
vote? I’m sorry?
Microphone 5.>>I would like to — sorry,
Pastor Kyle Severson.
I would like to move the language — amend
this.>>Amendments had to be
submitted by the deadline.
>>Gotcha. Thank you.
>>Thank you, Pastor. Okay, so now I think we’re ready
to vote. Those in favor of adopting 7.41.
03, press 1. Those opposed — point of order,
microphone 6.>>Ivan Perez Metro Chicago
Synod, I move to suspend the rules so we can do
what the previous gentleman wanted to do.>>Because there’s a motion on
the floor, you would have to move to suspend
the rules of procedure, which say once
there’s a motion on the floor, you can’t move to
suspend. And that would require a second
and a 2/3 vote.
And then we’d be suspending the rules, and then there would be a subsequent
motion when you could offer your other
motion to… Yeah.
So we’re voting now whether or not we’re willing to suspend the rules —
>>Point of order!>>Where are you?
>>10.>>Oh, thank you.
Please, microphone 10.>>Pastor Laura camp, Northern
Illinois Synod. The Secretary just replied to I
think Pastor Severson if I have his name
correctly. He wanted to make an amendment
and he said we missed the deadline but we just
amended several other Constitutional
provisions. We changed equality to equity,
we made several other Amendments so I
don’t understand that.
>>Those Amendments had been received by
Reference and Counsel before the deadline.
>>The change from equality to equity had
been received?>>Hold on. You’re quite correct.
6 more years. [ Laughter ] Thank you. So you’re proposing to suspend
the rules of Organization and Procedure for
the Assembly?>>That’s correct.
>>Is there a second?>>Second.
>>You may speak to your motion.>>I move to suspend the rules
so we can take into account the language that
should have been on the floor, should our
previous speaker moved it.
>>Is there any further speaking to the
motion to suspend the rules? Microphone 12.
>>Denis Lane, Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, I call the the Orders of
the Day.>>Thank you.
That’s in order. We need to move on with the
Orders of the Day. We’ll consider — continue our
consideration of Resolutions in tomorrow’s
Plenary Sessions.
Just to understand what this means, with what
the implications are, these coming from
Reference and Counsel, these are provisions
that can only be passed by the Churchwide
Assembly. We’ll see what we can do to make
sure that those come back but the Orders
of the Day have been called.
Thank you. We return now to the report of
the Memorials Committee, and we call on
co-chairs Cheryl Chatman and Reid Christopherson
as they have an update e that may help the assembly in
its work on that may help the assembly in
its work on C1: Church and State.
Category D1: 50th Anniversary (Amended main motion now to be
considered since the social statement was
adopted this morning)
Category C3: Migrants Category A6: Poor People’s
Campaign Category C5: Call to Edit
Sexuality Social Statement Category D7: Health Care
Benefits .
>>Did you miss us?>>So if you could return to the
microphones where we were when we ended
debate on this. So we are now considering — we’re on C1.
Church and State. Is there any speaking to —
microphone 9.>>I have a motion.
A substitute motion.>>Go ahead.
>>To receive with gratitude the Memorial
from the Minneapolis Area Synod requesting a
Social Statement on the role of government,
the nature of civic engagement and the
relationship of church and state.
And to authorize the development of an ELCA
Social Statement on government, civic
engagement and the relationship of church and
state that will allow thorough attention to Scriptural, historical,
theological, and social issues as a means to
probe, share convictions and establish this
church’s comprehensive teaching in
accordance with the policies and procedures of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for
addressing social concerns, 2018.
And to urgently request the ELCA Church
Council to authorize a social message as a
priority in the development of a Social
Statement. This message would elaborate in
one place what this church already holds
regarding issues such as public church,
the vocation of citizenship, the relation of
church and State in accordance with policies and
prees yours of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America for addressing social concerns
2018.>>Thank you.
Is there a second?>>Second.
>>You may speak to your motion to amend.
>>Siblings in Christ we submitted this
motion in response to many personal pleas
from Churchwide Assembly members who need
this shared understanding to help members in
their Congregations grapple with and
understand how and why we as Lutherans have a call to interact, advocate to,
and hold responsible our government.
It recognizes both this urgent need and the
need for a deep conversation as we seek peace
and equity and justice in our world. In addition, we have created
somewhat of a false choice on the floor. If the Spirit most this Assembly
to authorize one, two, or seven Social
Statements, the Spirit will provide the church
with the resources to answer this call.
>>Thank you. Microphone 11.>>Lawyer Synod Assembly Zeel,
Pacifica Synod, speaking in favor of the
motion to amend by substitution.
I have heard the urgency of now at these
microphones from my siblings in Christ as
well as in this Assembly to address the
critical matters of church and state in a
timely manner with which I wholeheartedly agree and yet I also yearn for
the gravity and weight of a Social Statement
on these matters, to guide and inform the
Churchwide expression as well as the
Synodical and Congregational expressions of
our church. The substitute motion is
intended to include both the urgency of now and the
powerful weight of a Social Statement in
these important matters, both/and
being a significant way to operate as
Lutheran people.
>>Thank you. Microphone 5.
>>Clyde Walter, Metropolitan Chicago Synod,
he, him, his. I rise to speak once again in
favor. I’ll keep this brief as it’s
mainly to affirm the two speakers before me.
The Memorials Committee which I was on we
have heard many in this Assembly feel both a
need for an urgent timely social message but
also an interest to take the time and the
resources to invest in a Social Statement.
Thank you.>>Thank you.
Microphone 7.>>Peter Metcalf, Montana Synod.
I also rise in favor of this amendment.
I appreciate the clarity provided by the
previous speakers around the false dichotomy
of only being able to do one Social
Statement. I think it’s urgent that we
tackle this problem in a day when we have so
much caucophonic voices regarding
religion in the public sphere, the role of
Christian perspectives and we need to have
a message from what this church believes
is relevant and up to date for our time and
place and not similarly rely on statements
that have already been created some
decades ago. This will be a useful both to
create the Social Statement and the message
and I urge us to pass this amendment.
>>Thank you. That’s four speakers in favor.
I see none opposed so the debate is closed.
We’re now ready to vote on this Memorial.
Amendment. I’m most awfully sorry, by subs
substitution. So you remember what this is? So we’re voting — if you’re in
favor of the motion to amend by substitution,
press 1. If you’re opposed, press 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? The substitute motion is
adopted. Yes.
Thank you. So we voted the substitute and
that substituted motion is now what’s
before us for conversation and discussion.
Anyone speaking to that?>>Point of order.
>>Hold on. Where are you?
Microphone 1.>>I call the question, Spencer
Legret, St. Paul Synod.
>>That’s not a point of order.>>Okay.
>>But you’re first in line, so Microphone 1.
>>Spencer leg Rhett, St. Paul Synod, call
the question.>>There’s no one lined up
anyway, so — Microphone 11.
>>Reverend Chair, good to see you again.
One cannot call the question unless there’s
been at least one vote in the negative on the
motion just made. The substitute now requires
debate at least one speaker in the negative to
it.>>Thank you.
If that is in fact — yes, there is,
microphone 12.>>I promise he didn’t put me up
to this. Courtney Peeler, Nebraska Synod. We have an election coming up
before the 2022 Churchwide Assembly, and I would
like to speak opposed to the idea of
creating the Social Statement on government,
civic engagement and the relationship
of the church and ask that we change that into
a social message.
The reason I’m voting against it is because I
want a message and not a statement because I
want response faster, quicker, before
November of 2020.>>May I —
>>Yes, please.>>Thank you.
So the substitute motion before us is that a
Social Statement be developed but in
preparation to develop that, a social message
be worked on immediately.>>Yes, please.
Thank you, Madam Chair.>>You’re very welcome. Is there any more.
>>Call the question.>>Thank you.
Is there a second? Okay now we vote whether
or not to end debate. If you’re in favor of ending
debate, press 1. If you’re opposed, press 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results. Okay, we’re done debating. We’re voting on the motion as
it’s before you with the substitute motion.
Are we clear? We’re voting on the whole
enchilada. [ Laughter ] Those in favor, please press 1.
Those opposed, press 2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? It has been adopted.
Thank you very much. Continue.
And thanks for the chocolate. That was awfully kind.
>>Bishop Eaton, the Memorials Committee requests return to Memorials D1
regarding the 50th anniversary of the
ordination of women which was previously deferred,
waiting for the adoption of Faith, Sexism
and Justice.>>Point of order.
>>Microphone 11.>>Hi, Anna Neimeyer, Northwest
washing on Synod.
I move to table Memorial C5 to a time
uncertain. And I need a second, I believe.
>>That’s out of order because there’s
something before us now.>>Yeah, thank you.
>>That’s before us, it’s been seconded so
we’re ready for discussion now. Any discussion on D1? Seeing none, are you ready to
vote? If you’re in favor, please press
1. Opposed, press 2, please vote
now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? The Memorial is adopted.
Thank you very much. Ms. Chatman?
>>Okay. We’re now ready for Assembly
action on C –>>Sorry, go ahead.
Microphone 11.>>Anna anymore the Neimeyer, pronouns she, her, hers, I move to table Memorial
C5 to a time uncertain.
>>That’s not a point of order. It’s a motion-motion.
>>Can I ask a question?>>You may ask a question.>>We would like to table our
Memorial. How do I do that?
[ Laughter ]>>When we get to it, you can
table it. If it’s the will of the
Assembly.>>We need to wait till we get
to that Memorial.
>>Yes.>>Okay, thank you, Madam.
>>You’re very welcome. Very good, she’s a Chair.
Okay, please, Ms. Chatman.>>If we can give our attention
to category C3 migrants found on page 46.
To receive with gratitude the Memorial from
the Delaware-Maryland Synod concerning
migrants and refugees, to reaffirm the
long-term and growing commitment of this
church to migrants and refugees, and to the
policy questions involved, as exemplified most recently in the
comprehensive strategy accompanying migrant minors with
protection, advocacy, representation and
opportunities. To encourage members of this
church to review existing social teaching and
policy, and use these guides to take additional
action toward addressing harmful political
rhetoric against migrants and refugees. And to request that appropriate
staff in the domestic Mission, Global Mission
and Mission Advancement units develop a plan
for additional tools that provide
for education and discernment specifically
directed to political rhetoric and the
accurate portrayal of migrants and refugees.
I so move.>>Thank you.
This comes before you from a Committee so
there’s no — it already is seconded.
It’s before you for discussion. We’re on Memorial C3.
Microphone 12.>>Mark Parker,
Delaware-Maryland Synod, 8F. [ Laughter ] Rising to amend by addition.>>Go ahead.>>To add, after the fourth
clause, to add: Further, quote, to authorize the
development of an ELCA Social Statement on
migrants and refugees in accordance with the
policies and procedures of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America for addressing social
concerns 2018.
>>Is there a second? You may speak to your amendment.
>>I think we all understand that the welcome
and the support of migrants and ref Jews is
critical and essential to our Mission and
public witness as a church. It has been for generations.
It continues to be even more important now.
We’ve been not simply a passive participant
but a leader in the welcome of migrants and
refugees so this is a critical issue for us.
It’s a critical issue for our neighbors.
Not just based on recent news reports, but
any of our experience with the past few decades understands that the
movement of peoples through migration and as
refugee status draws people to all kinds
of vulnerable, oppression and puts
them at play to be hurt by our legal systems
and by the other systems of government
around the world. We have our social message. We have our AMMPARO, our LRS
work, border servant core and other
partnerships. We are being responsive as a
church and yet there’s one missing piece as I
see it. A Social Statement is to me the
one missing piece, the concerted theological
and educational effort of the
breadth and depth of our church to support and
sustain and shape our advocacy and our
action not simply now but in the generation to
come. We need to mobilize all of the
resources of our church, towards addressing
this grave concern in our society.
A Social Statement on migrants and refugees
is necessary for two reasons. One we need the final product.
This isn’t about responding to current
political issues or current elections or
current policies. It’s about recognizing that the
landscape of migration and refugees is
changing rapidly under foot from rising
nationalism ethnic based nationalism to the
movement of peoples because of economic inequality
and because of climate change, the need for a
long-term grounded approach to guide the
next generation of our action on this
is important.
Finally we need the process. We need to make sure that our
Congregations are engaging in deep
conversation, reflection, prayer and
thoughtfulness so this isn’t just an issue carried
forward by a few churches but by all of us.
>>Thank you. I’d like to call on Treasurer
Lori Fedyk to speak to the financial
implications of this.>>So you want me to speak to
the financial implication of another Social
Statement.>>Yes.
>>Just so everyone’s aware.>>So we have one Social
Statement in the budget.
Social Statements run approximately $100,000
per year, and what we heard yesterday was a
Social Statement takes 5 years.>>Thank you. Is there further speaking to the
amendment? Microphone 12.
>>Pastor Hans Becklin, member of the ELCA
Church Council. Reverend Chair, I rise in
opposition to this amendment.
As I consider the nature of citizenship and migration to be a locus to be
considered under the already approved
Social Statement on government and the nature of
the state. Thank you.
>>Thank you. Microphone 3.
>>Courtney Smith, Southeast Pennsylvania
Synod. I served as a GAGM in South
Africa two years ago and while I was there I had
the ability to attend a workshop with
representatives from different African countries
who were first responders to refugees and
to migrants, and to all of the people that
we’re talking about in, looking for the Social
Statement and they were all just as scared
as the United States is.
And so if we could step forward and come up
with this Social Statement, we’re going to
say something to the world, because everyone in that room looked to me as the
person from America to have all the answers,
and to calm their fear, and I couldn’t do
that. And so I think that if we could
make a Social Statement, this is going to say
a lot to our partners around the world.
Thank you.>>Thank you.
We’ll hear from the resource mic again,
Treasurer Fedyk.>>So a point of clarification
— The Social Statements do
typically take 5 years. For a total cost of $4 $300,000.
So it would be about $67,000 a year.
However, because we only have one staff
person to work in this area, it is likely that we would have to add
additional staff resources, which would take the
total up, so probably would be closer to the
$500,000.>>Thank you.
Microphone 10. Is this a point of order?
>>No –>>Okay, microphone 10. There you are.>>Mae Zelle South Central Synod
of Wisconsin.
I speak in opposition to this amendment and
not by any means because I’m not in favor of
us being bold in our support of refugees and
immigrants and all of the things but I think
that we are in danger of falling into a trap
to think that because we’re making a Social
Statement about something that we’re doing
something about something. I think we need to be about the
business of getting out of our chairs and
into the streets and in the offices of
our representatives instead of
making another long study that will take a long
time. I do understand the desire for
the depth of engagement that this amendment
reflects, but I think that at present, we
already, unlike the Biblical issues surrounding
sexism and the Bible, I do not think we
have any lack of clarity on how we should welcome
the stranger.
>>Thank you, microphone 3.>>Tom Salber, Southeastern
Pennsylvania, I speak in favor. I’m in a Congregation presently
where we did ref gee resettlement.
That — refugee resettlement that was part of
our Mission we’re unable to do now.
But because of what we did, we keep saying
the church, many of those individuals have
now joined my Congregation. They’re part of this church and
I think we need to be a voice for those.
Thank you.>>Thank you.
Microphone 2.>>Bryan Penvose Northeastern
Ohio Synod. I stand in opposition against
the amendment calling for a Social Statement
not in any way because I do not believe this is
the most important issue.
It is of course, or that the church should
take action but I think that it’s important
that the body know that we already have a social message on immigration,
adopted in 1998, that applies to this
issue. And I call into question the
need to take further time and resources of
the church, simply to enhance that, and
broaden that into a Social Statement.
>>Thank you. Microphone 9?>>Pastor Susan Helver, Alaska
Synod, she, her, hers pronouns.
I speak in favor of this amendment because I
think it’s important we provide resources for
the depth of this issue. We’ve said very little at this
Churchwide Assembly about climate change.
There was an article in “The New York Times”
two days ago that speaks to what we can
expect in terms of migration in the coming
years, and particularly concerns about food
insecurity. The report was prepared by 100
experts from 52 countries.
They said that a half billion people already
live in places turning into desert.
Soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times
faster than it is farming, climate change
will make things worse. Already more than 10% of the
world’s population remains
undernourished and food shortages could lead to an
increase in cross-border migration.
A particular danger is food crises could
develop on several continents at once.
This is a concern we need to address, thank
you.>>Thank you, Microphone 11.>>Christina Nelson, Southwest
Minnesota Synod.
I have a question that I fear might muddy the
waters but I’m going to ask it anyway.
>>Please do.>>What would be the difference
between a Social Statement and a policy
statement such as the policy statement we just
passed at this Assembly regarding
interfaith relationships?
>>Pastor Willer? [ Laughter ]
[ Cheers and Applause ] Yay!>>I’m not sure I’ve ever had
such a big class to educate on these
things. There are three kinds of social
teaching and policy documents in our church.
One is the Social Statements. We’ve talked about those.
The second is social message, which are
dependent upon our statements. And are adopted by Church
Council, in line with our Social Statements.
Social policy Resolutions are the kinds of things that we do as a church
that are focused and they’re directive so
there is a social message on immigration,
adopted in 1998, and then there was a need
to address focused concern on immigration,
and five Resolutions after were adopted
in that document in 2008.
Is that sufficient?>>Thank you.
Does that help?>>A little bit so essentially
there’s basically a policy statement?
Just not officially?>>Pastor Willer?>>Social policy Resolutions are
official statements of our church. The official social policy
Resolutions they indicate where our church stands
on a particular issue.
Let me use a quick example. We as a church, in Churchwide
Assembly, adopted a social policy
Resolution that put this church on record for the
dreamers Act. I may not have the right
language there. So that’s a social policy
Resolution. Very focused, particular sort of
thing. And on that basis then, our
advocacy people and our Bishops and other public
leaders of our church can speak into the
public square, saying this church believes that
we ought to do X, Y, Z.
>>Okay, thank you.>>Thank you.
Resource microphone? Reverend Dr. Wyvetta Bullock.
>>Yes, just a point of information. The ELCA social message on
migration was reviewed and updated in 2018, as
part of our Ministry around AMMPARO.
>>Thank you. Microphone 12.
>>Joshua Copeland, North Carolina Synod. I move to end debate and call
the previous question.
>>Debate is about the amendment.
>>Yes.>>Yes.
Is there a second?>>Second.
>>Ready to vote? All those in favor of ending
debate on this amendment, press 1.
Those opposed, press 2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? Debate is closed.
We will now move to voting on the amendment
amendmentment. Do you remember what the
amendment? To develop a Social Statement.
Are you ready? All those in favor of the
amendment, press 1. Those opposed, press 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? The amendment fails. So we have before us again C3. Is there any further discussion
on this Memorial? No?
There. So this is Category C1.
It’s a recommended action to receive with
gratitude, et cetera. And to request the appropriate
staff, et cetera.
For those of you who are visually impaired,
are you able to figure out where we are?
Are we clear? Thank you.
Thank you, Craig, Bishop Satterly.
Let’s all, if you’re ready to vote, which we are, if you’re in favor, press
1. If you’re opposed, press 2.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results. The Memorial is adopted.
Thank you.>>We now bring before you
Memorial A6: The par people’s campaign, found on
page 21 of your Guidebook.
To receive with gratitude the memorials from
the Oregon, New England and Metropolitan New
York synods concerning the National Poor
People’s Campaign; and To affirm the Church Council
action recognizing “the importance of
the Poor People’s Campaign in bringing an
end to systemic racism, economic
injustice, ecological devastation and
related injustices;
to support the vision and goals of the Poor
People’s Campaign that are in alignment with
this church’s social teachings; to encourage the churchwide
organization, synods, congregations and
members to become involved with the issues as a
faithful witness to God’s call to do
justice and show love for the neighbor. ” We move this action.
>>Thank you. Is is there any speaking to
this? Microphone 5.>>Mark Erson, Metro New York
Synod, he, him, his pronouns.
I wish to offer an amendment.>>Please do.>>Continuing at the end of the
text, “and for the ELCA to endorse the poor
people’s campaign.
>>Is there a second? You may speak to your amendment.
>>Okay. Thank you.
Some words from the poor people’s campaign
website. A national call for moral
revival is uniting people across the country to
challenge the evils of systemic racism,
poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation,
and the nation’s
nation’s nation’s disdistorted morality.
I also offer you a list of some of the
endorsing organizations. Disciples of Christ. Episcopal Church USA, Islamic
Society of North America.
Jewish voice for peace, Jews for radical and economic justice, Muslim peace
fellowship. National Council of Churches.
Presbyterian Church USA, progressive national
Baptist Convention. We constructionist rabbinical
Association. UCC, United Methodist Church.
If you’ll notice there are some of our full
communion partners as well as organizations
that were on this very stage yesterday.
I am sad to say that a faith-based
organization that I am a passionate member of
is missing from this list. The Evangelical Lutheran Church
in America. Throughout these days in
Assembly we have listened to, we have been
speaking we have been singing, we have been
praying and applauding, we have been
endorsing words that are inspiring and directing us
to take actions long overdue though they
may be such as endorsing the poor people’s
campaign. Taking this step will give us
the opportunity to build those
Inter-Religious relationships we have dedicated
ourselves to. It will provide us a new
opportunity to stand with those we have committed
ourselves to working with and for.
It will turn up the volume of our public
witness to the Gospel that we claim as our
hope, and the hope of the world. Yes, we are the church for the
sake of the world. If so, let us join our unique
voice to endorse the last Ministry effort
of Dr. Martin Luther King.
>>Thank you. Microphone 7.
>>I speak in favor of the motion. Jennifer Chrien Southwest
California Synod.>>The motion to amend.
>>Yes, the motion to amend. I wish to affirm what the Bishop
just said and I thank you for what he
shared. We have taken a lot of very, for
me, heartning action this week,
recognizing our complicity as particularly as
white people within this denomination on
issues of racism. And also on the
intersectionality that comes with race, economic status,
gender, sexual orientation and more. I would like us to see — I
would like to see us do more than just say the
right things. I would like for us to take
action, and I think that this amendment is one
of the ways that we can take action.
>>Thank you.>>Thank you.
>>If Pastor Willer would come to the resource mic, and explain what
the technical meaning of endorsement is.>>The technical meaning of
endorsement, in this particular case, according
to the folks who are the leaders of the Poor
People’s Campaign is really a kind of
“all or nothing.”
Endorsement as they have — we have had
conversations with them. And they — there’s a program,
there’s a vision which was read, but
there’s also a set of principles and a set of
demands, which are very specific.
And endorsement would mean that this church endorses the entire package of
what is there, not just the vision. And that’s where the concern has
been.>>Thank you.
Microphone 6.>>Joe Nolte, Church Council
Memorials Committee and Southeast Area
Synod. We had really robust
conversation about this in the Memorials Committee and
what led us to the original wording and why
we did not include an endorsement as the
motion is suggesting is because there are
a number of issues that the poor people’s
campaign demands that we either do not
have the policy to support or that the ELCA has
not discerned or settled upon.
You’ll find a partial listing in the
background materials to the recommended
motion. Because of that, and again the
fundamental question here is whether this is
something that — it’s not whether we
agree individually with the ideas of
the poor people’s campaign.
Endorsement means we’re all-in and our church
is all-in but our church has not actually
said that we’re all-in with all of these
things in our policy documents so I would
encourage you to vote against this amendment.
>>Thank you. Microphone 5.
>>Reverend Kwame Pitts, Metropolitan Chicago
Synod and resident troublemaker in this
church. I hope my new upper state Synod
realizes what you’re inheriting from Metro
Chicago Synod. Our dear church I speak on
behalf of Reverend Lenny Duncan and many of us who
are dedicated to continuing doing the work of
the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , who it seems
people love to venerate him, now that his
voice is silent. That his physical presence is no
longer a threat because let us be clear,
Dr. King was doing the work that the risen
one calls us to, into, to do justice.
Jesus was counter cultural bucking against
the empire and religious leaders who were not in favor of elevation and
liberation of all people.
When I’m in the midst of the words of
institution I tell my Congregation: Now that
you have been fed with the body and blood, go
do something. Dear church, we have been
committed to so much this week.
We have stated to the wider breadth of
society what we are about. This is how we mirror Jesus’
teachings commandments. They’re action items.
Thank you.>>Microphone 8.
>>Peter Metcalf, Montana Synod, it’s with a
heavy heart I rise to oppose this amendment.
I believe that the poor people’s campaign is
much needed in this country and I appreciate
its leadership in bringing this attention to
our public sphere and support much of what
it’s about. However I’m concerned that as a
church body we’ve not adequately had the
time or the space to deliberate the actual
policy recommendations that it’s
requiring us to endorse and that many of the
policy recommendations may not in fact
get us to the place we would like them to get
us to. Therefore, I think it would be
pre-mature for us to endorse en bloc all of the
policy recommendations in the poor
people’s campaign and that we need to simply
defeat this amendment and affirm the
campaign and encourage continued engagement
with it but to allow that space for sufficient
public deliberation around these policy
recommendations. Therefore I encourage us to
defeat this amendment and retain the
original language. Thank you.
>>Thank you. Microphone 3.
>>Hi. Maim MARRET Arfsten, young adult
member from Metro New York.
I believe soulful any the all encompassing love we know through Christ and
the radical message of welcome the ELCA
supports in its theology.
Joining many other mainline Protestant
denominations by endorsing the poor people’s campaign is a firm action that
we can take as a church that every report at
this Assembly this far has said we’re
trying to be.
As the ELCA, we do so many great things
because we’re a truly great church that has
shown in all that we are celebrating here
that we want to grow and learn and be
intentional in showing our love toward
others. But we need to break out of the
safety of our church buildings and our
meetings and put our actions where our polity is.
How can we be church for the sake of the
world if we aren’t going out into the world
to meet and work with the people who are
there? Truly supporting and fully
endorsing the poor people’s campaign may feel scary
because it isn’t the self-contained
environment of a campaign run by Lutherans for
Lutheran Ministries and affiliates but at
its essence the poor people’s campaign
speaks to those most disenfranchise and
oppressed in this country.
Whether it is comfortable or not that’s
exactly what we’re called to do as Christians
and what our policies in the ELCA encourage
us to do. Because we’re a great church
with a great message and we should not play
it safe with our support of the poor people’s
campaign because there are very real,
very arrive people right now who need our
help in endorsing this campaign is a
firm and real statement both to those in need
and those in political power in this country
that we are a church that takes action and is
ready to do God’s work with our hands.
Thank you.>>Thank you.
Microphone 11.>>Bishop Jon Anderson,
Southwestern Minnesota.
I call the question of the amendment.
>>Is there a second?>>Second.
>>Voting means we’ll close debate on the
amendment. If you vote in favor, vote the
discussion will close.
If you’re opposed, then we’ll continue.
You clear? If you vote in favor of this,
we’ll end debate.
If you vote against it, debate will continue.
1 for yes. 2 for no.
Please vote now. Voting is closed.
Let’s see the results. We have voted to end debate.
The amendment is properly before us. Are we clear what the amendment
is? We’re going to add, and for the
ELCA to endorse the Poor People’s cap
campaign. If you’re in favor of the
amendment you’ll press 1.
If you’re opposed, press 2. Please vote now. Voting is closed.
May we see the results? The amendment has failed. We now are back to the Memorial
before us. Okay, that’s A6.
Are we clear? Is there any more discussion on
A6? Seeing none, we’re ready to
vote. If you’re in favor, press 1.
If you’re opposed, press 2. Please vote now. Golly. Hold on, hold on, hold on.
>>We have it. We have it.
It’s up.>>Okay.
Here we go. If you’re in favor, vote yes —
obviously. Press 1.
If you’re opposed, press 2. Please vote now. It might still say sending on
yours, but your votes are coming in.
Voting is closed. May we see the results?
It’s been adopted. Try it now. We need the microphone at the
podium.>>Okay.
>>Good.>>Category C5, call to edit
sexuality Social Statement, pages 49-50.
Yes.>>Point of order.>>You finish saying this.
>>We know you had something you wanted to do
so go for it.>>Go ahead, please, Microphone
11. You’re on.
>>Thank you. And may apologies. We’re all learning Robert’s
rules.>>Yes.>>My name is Anna Nhimeyey I
move to table this Memorial to a time
uncertain.>>Is there a second?
You may speak to your motion.>>You might be wondering to
yourselves why would someone from the Synod
that put forth this Memorial and also someone
from the LGBTQIA community be asking to
table this Memorial and that’s because
there are more pressing issues at hand that
deserve enough adequate time to discuss and
that the queer community in and of itself would
like to see discussed and that in particular
is vision and expectations.
This particular Memorial would put forth in
2017 when it was a different time. It’s asking for update of
language but we really would like to put to the
floor vision and expectations.
We trust that the Church Council would be
able to handle this Memorial, and again, I reiterate I’m a member of both
the LGBTQIA community and I consulted with
others and this is coming from my Synod so
again I would move to table this Memorial to a
time uncertain so we have enough time
to publicly discuss important issues.
This Memorial did not come from someone from the LGBTQIA community so I’m
telling you what we really want to talk about.
Thank you.>>Thank you.
Is this a point of order?>>It’s a question.
So the question is, if this –>>Could you tell us who you
are.>>Joe Nolte, Church Council
Memorials Committee, Southeast Ohio Synod.
I’m actually not in favor. It’s a question.
The question is if, since the response to the
Memorial that’s been proposed is to authorize a social equipment Ed editorial reconsideration, I’m asking can
the Church Council authorize a revision of
a Social Statement or does that have to
be approved by the Churchwide Assembly?>>Pastor Willer.
[ Applause ]>>Social Statements are, let’s
use this word, creatures of Churchwide
Assemblies, so they can only be revised,
edited, et cetera by the vote of a Churchwide
Assembly.>>Thank you.
Microphone 10.>>Point of information. And this is related to the Poor
People’s Campaign.>>Could you reintroduce
yourself.>>Pastor Mae Zelle,
Southeastern Wisconsin Synod.
To be clear, just because the third
expression of the church, the Churchwide
Assembly did not endorse the Poor People’s Campaign, that does not in way
preclude either Congregations or synods
from doing as much.
Is that correct?>>Sure.
I mean, that’s not in order but the answer is
yes. We’ll allow it.
Thanks. Now we’re speaking specifically
on the motion to table to a time uncertain.
Is is there any more speaking to this motion?
Microphone 11 has a question, point of order?
>>Just a point of order.>>Please.
>>Just to note that we have it in our provisions for this to move to
2022, should that be required, which is why
we moved to table it to a time uncertain. We understand that it needs to
be at an Assembly, and it’s within our —
>>Let’s get the answer for you. Okay?
>>Technically the motion you are making is
to postpone indefinitely which is to kill the
motion. Anything laid on the table and
not acted upon by this Assembly dies at the end
of the Assembly.
If you want to refer something to 2022, you
need to refer it to some group that could
bring it at that time. But this is essentially a motion
to postpone indefinitely which has the
effect of killing the proposal.>>Are we clear then what
happens if we adopt the motion to table to a time
uncertain, which is indefinitely, then if
we don’t get to it now, it will come up —
it’s gone. So that’s the motion before us.
Microphone 6.>>Cynthia Gustavson, member of
the Church Council.
From Oklahoma Arkansas Synod. I think it’s really important to
know that trustworthy servants isn’t going
to end up being much different than it is
unless we first look at the sexuality
statement, because our statement on
sexuality is of a higher level.
And so anything else is going to have to use the words that are used in the
sexuality statement, so we need to look at
that first. Or at the same time.
>>So you’re speaking against the motion to
table?>>Yes, against it.
>>Yes. Any further speaking? If you vote 1, you’re voting to
table, postpone, pardon me,
indefinitely. And if you vote 2, you’re
saying, we’re not going to postpone indefinitely.
Are you clear? Okay, please vote now. May we see the results?
The motion to table has passed. Thank you.>>We are now going to move to
Memorial D7, regarding health care benefits,
found on page 86 the recommended action:
To receive with gratitude the memorials from
Lower Susquehanna and Delaware-Maryland
synods concerning health care benefits for
churchwide staff; To request the churchwide
organization survey employees to understand the
impact on staff and identify any modifications
that can be made within budgeted funds for
2020; To encourage Portico to continue
to provide educational tools to assist
employees of the churchwide organization which
thoroughly explain the different plans;
and To decline to restore the
churchwide organization health care
benefits to Portico Benefit Services Gold+ plan at
this time. We
move this recommended action.>>Thank you.
Microphone 4.>>James Dunlop, Bishop of the
Lower Susquehanna Synod and I would
like to move a substitute motion.
>>Please do.>>And the text is available.
I submitted it.>>Thank you.
>>Resolved that the ELCA in Assembly direct
the Church Council in partnership with the Conference of Bishops and
Portico Benefit Services to review the current
Church Council’s recommendation for
Gold coverage for all rostered leaders and
employees of the church and that they develop a
recommendation for the whole church for health
insurance coverage by the Spring meeting
of the Church Council in 2020, for the 2021
enrollment. And further be it resolved that
the ELCA in Assembly direct the office of
the Bishop to restore the Churchwide rostered
leaders and employees to gold + coverage for
2020. Pay for the coverage of spouses
and dependents who are not covered
by other insurance and that they continue
to pay the waiver for any employee who
receives coverage from another health insurance.
>>Is there a second?>>Second.
>>You may speak to your motion.>>In November the Church
Council adopted a spending authorization that
included 3 changes to the benefit of the
Churchwide employees. Gold + which is an 8020 plan to
a silver plus, a 70/30 plan to pay a
portion of spouse and dependent coverage but not
all and offer an incentive for employees to
accept coverage outside the church.
The Church Council in the past recommended
the study health care for our church would be gold, and for coverage of
dependents. The Churchwide organization and
the Council ignored their own recommendation
by this action.
The Secretary has reminded us that each
expression of the church can do things
independently but clearly what the Churchwide
does influences the entire church.
My Synod and the Delaware-Maryland Synod
proposed rescinding this action in the
Memorials. The Memorial Committee is
recommending taking no action on the coverage, but
rather surveying the employees to see
how they feel about their health care being
reduced. I’m proposek a compromise that
we ask the Synod, the Church Council in
importantship with the Conference of Bishops
and Portico to review the recommendation for
Gold + and either support this by
completing this study in 2020 before the 2021
enrollment. This would be a mutual
coordination across our ecosystem as the Vice
President lifted up.
And we would restore Churchwide employees to
gold + and pay for dependents fully in 2020 which allows people to choose
over the insurance that they have.
This allows Churchwide to follow the current recommendation from the Church
Council. This will cost a million dollars
in 2020 and it allows for a continuation of
a $500,000 savings.
But the Treasurer has reported they had a $
$3.8 million surplus and are running ahead
this year. I don’t think it will break the
bank.>>Thank you.
I’d like to hear from the resource mic,
Treasurer Fedyk.>>Thank you.
As officers of this church, we have three
responsibilities as it relates to the topic
of health insurance coverage for the
Churchwide organization. Number one, to ensure that
resources will be available to continue the
Mission of the ELCA for generations to come.
Number two, to properly steward the gifts
that have been given to us by you, members of
our Congregations and our Synod partners.
Number three, work with human resources to
ensure we offer Churchwide employees a
competitive health plan which cares for our number-one asset, our dedicated
rostered leaders and staff and allows us
to attract and retain the brightest and
best. All three expressions of the
church are guided by the philosophy of
benefits which was mentioned.
And is reviewed frequently to assure that these responsibilities just
enumerated are achieved.
The Church Council reviewed the philosophy of benefits at its last meeting in
April of 2019.
The guidance sets parameters but gives
flexibility to each unit within the church to
select benefit options that are best suited
to their needs. The Churchwide office plan and
all related benefits we offer are in
compliance with this guidance.
The decision to move from Gold to Silver was a decision that CWO leadership
and Church Council did not take lightly.
It requires faithful deliberation and prayer.
It was determined that this decision was best
for the long-term sustainability of this
organization. There are various forms of
funding the Silver plan.
The form the ELCA Churchwide office chose provides that we will fund 50%
of the difference in deductible between
gold and Silver to each of our Churchwide
employees’ health savings account.
We also offer a waiver to those individuals
who choose to have either themselves or their
spouses and dependents covered by another
plan.>>Thank you.
We reached the time.>>I didn’t think resource was
restricted.>>What?
Yeah, sorry. I just got a ruling from the
Secretary.>>I would have jumped ahead.
>>Sorry. Microphone 6.
>>Joe Nolte, Memorials Committee, Church Council, and Southeastern Iowa
Synod. So when Treasurer Fedyk said
that this was a prayerful and difficult
decision, the tears we shed over this decision you
all should see.
This is a decision that was not taken
lightly. This decision was very emotional
for me personally as someone who’s been
in the position of the Church Council
and had to change a benefits plan pause of
because of budget constraints in an organization I
was a part of.
It’s not easy to say that we have to do this, but the tradeoff that you don’t
realize or maybe we need to tell you this,
the tradeoff as we heard in the budget
hearing is that this represents 15 to 20
positions at the Churchwide organization that
won’t have to be eliminated in order for us to
keep a balanced budget.
You elected a Church Council, and you elected
leadership in order to make the best
financial decisions that we can to be
stewards of your dollars, and I just ask that
you continue to trust us to do so.
>>Thank you. Microphone 5.
>>Pastor Hans Becklin, member of the ELCA
Church Council. Reverend Chair, I rise in
support of the motion to substitute.
I am a Pastor. My wife is a Pastor.
In our family, if the church is not willing to stand up and take care of us,
there is no other employer who will do so.
We need the support of the church, because
when we entered this Ministry, this Ministry
that we as a church believed to be a call,
and not a job, the church made a covenant
with us that our benefits would be different
than those in the private sector, that our
pension and health care would somehow
counter-balance the relatively low pay and high debt that we experience as
ordained Pastors, and now ordained
Deacons. This sets a terrible precedent
for our entire church, a precedent that says:
We can race to the bottom just as the rest
of our society has begun an economic race to
the bottom. That is not just, and it does
not support our future directions goal to raise
up more leaders, not just for Higgins
Road but for all 65 synods of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America.
>>Thank you. Microphone 12.
>>Thank you, Reverend Chair. Clarance Smith, Church Council. I rise in opposite to the
proposed amendment. As I have had the privilege of
serving as the Chair of the Budget and Finance
committee, Bishop Dunlop participated in
our Committee hearings last November when we
met in Chicago.
From the Budget and Finance Committee we took
a very difficult decision to the full
Council. Faced with the reality of
dwindling resources, including dwindling
Mission Support, we saw the graph
yesterday during the presentation. We knew that we had to make —
face some very difficult decisions.
For that reason the decision was made to move
from gold + to silver +. I would also say that in
addition to that, we
struggled with that and then I also
participated in the Memorials Committee
decision where this same topic came up.
I did not participate in the budget hearings
on Tuesday night but I believe there was
conversation at that. In all of these different venues
we have advocated for not returning to
the Gold +. I urge members of the Assembly
to defeat the amendment.
>>Thank you. Microphone 3.
>>Thank you, Reverend Bishop. I’m Lucindabring man, Vice
President of the Lower Susquehanna Synod.
When the Church Council adopted placing
Churchwide employees on the silver plan for 2019 they still retained the
recommended gold study for our church. Determining details of insurance
plans for Churchwide employees is not
something best managed on the floor of our
Churchwide Assembly. Our substitute Memorial allows
for time for the Church Council, the
Conference of Bishops, and Portico to work
together to make the best recommendation of a
preferred insurance level for those who
serve our church.
As the church, we are the body of Christ, and
we are called to care for one another. In many ways, this is a justice
issue and the Resolution addresses the concern
that those who are most vulnerable in our
Churchwide expression namely those with
smaller salaries in support positions are the
most vulnerable. The Silver and Gold plans are
not equal plans that simply work differently.
The Silver plan has a higher deductible and a
higher out of pocket maximum. Even though the Silver plan
includes a health savings account, that does not
make up the difference, and we’ve already
heard that the split between the insurance
coverage and the participant coverage is 10%
higher for participants in the Silver plan.
Health care costs continue to increase, and we know that many public
entities and industries are and have moved to
a similar direction to transfer health
care costs to employees.
But St. Paul calls us to not conform to
this world.
Shouldn’t we as the church model for the
world how to care for each other?
Thank you.>>Thank you.
Microphone 4.>>Robert Malacek, Minneapolis
Synod. I would struck when this action
was proposed by the person in proposing the
action saying that it’s obvious that we have
the money for it because we’re a million
dollars ahead on our income right now. That is all investment income
and 100% dependent on the stock market.
If we have any reversals in the stock market,
we could very well end up being overnight a
million dollars in the other direction, or
more. I don’t think that we can use
investment income to make decisions like
this. If we want to improve what we
can offer our people, we need to work on
bringing our Mission Support contributions
more in line with where they were five years
ago plus. Thank you.
>>Thank you. We’ll have to call the orders of
the day now. Please remember where you are in
the queue. I call on Secretary Boerger for
announcements announcements.>>Today’s offering was $6,403.
77 in checks and cash.
It was designated to women’s international leadership initiatives to
women’s leadership initiatives including
international women leaders.
Choir rehearsal, there will be an additional choir rehearsal beginning
promptly at 8 8:30 a.m. Saturday in the
Ballroom. Excuse me, 8:00 a.m. in the
Ballroom. Why am I making these?
You have them already. [ Laughter ] The Presiding Bishop has
requested the opportunity to, with Bishop
elect Strickland, to make a comment.>>Good evening, church.
>>Good evening.>>When we come to worship, we
come to be fed by bread and wine, by water and
word, by song and community of body. We should not come to worship
ever experiencing homophobic,
xenophobic, any other phobic or any sort of
racial behavior. That behavior of racism was
exhibited in a picture that was shown in
worship yesterday, and I take full and 100%
responsibility for it being shown.
For the past five years, I’ve been able to
serve you as the Assistant to the Presiding Bishop in the executive for
worship for this church and I’ve attempted to do
so faithfully.
We spend two years planning the worship for
the Churchwide Assembly, with tens of
thousands of details, 30 to 40 people who help us this week which I’m
grateful for. And unfortunately, this was one
detail, one very major detail, that fell
through the cracks.
I grieve because I know that through that,
many of you grieved. I am deeply apologetic, and even
though tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. I am
finished with this job, and I can turn may
attention to being the Bishop-elect of the
Southeastern Synod, but I do not walk away
without addressing this and the
responsibility that I have for it as the person who’s
been the caretaker of worship for this
church. And so we have met with our
Worship Team and the team of 40 volunteers.
I’ve met with our colleague John White who will be the interim Assistant to
the Presiding Bishop for worship.
He’s committed to make sure we put into place
our authentic diversity this church so needs.
We pledge to you that not only will we do
better, we must. So I extend this apology to you,
and I ask your forgiveness.
And I ask that you know that it’s important
to hold one another accountable. May God continue to guide us and
bless us, knowing that as a family of God,
sometimes as family members, we don’t always
get it right. Bishop.
>>I also take responsibility, as Presiding
Bishop of this church. One thing that was pointed out
to me was that this was unintentional.
But the degree of cultural competency that we have in this church is lacking
and so this — we’ve said what we’re
going to do. It’s going to be painful and
difficult, but we’re committed to do it and so
I also apologize.
Thank you.>>Continuing with the
announcements — While you had a reprieve this
morning from turning in your voting machines
and passing them to the right, you do not
have it tonight.
Please remove your voting cards and pass your
voting machines to the right. Also, before leaving the
Convention Center at the end of the Assembly,
remember to return your ELCA-provided iPad.
See the announcements section in the
Guidebook for complete instructions on how to
return the iPad. And lastly, if you have dishes
at your place, there are tables in the back of
the hall where they can be returned.
That concludes the announcements.
>>Thank you. Just to let you know, that the
reception begins at 5:30. I think just — just the
pre-function outside hall.
Dinner at 6:00. And we’re going to see a quick
video now on the 50th anniversary.>>When I was a 13-year-old in
confirmation class, and was told by the
Pastor what the possible careers were in the
church, and described being a Pastor, I
said: Yes, that’s what I want to do, and he
turned pale and said: Oh, oh, but you
can’t. Our church doesn’t ordain women
so immediately I decided that’s
what I did want to do. [ Applause ]>>I remember the first time
that I preached shortly after my ordination in
may home Parish. There was an older guy who
didn’t think women should be Pastors. He saw that I was going to be
preaching at worship, and so he went outside
and mowed the lawn during the worship service.>>I actually think God was
calling all kinds of women to be Pastors and
Bishops long before the church allowed.
Maybe the question actually is: What
happened to the church that the church could
finally hear God? And of course, if you look back
at those decisions they were simply,
well, we think it’s okay.
We don’t think we’re going to get struck dead
if we do this. It looks like according to
Scripture this would be okay.
No energy, no enthusiasm of — Wow! Let’s invite over half of the
population that for 2,000 years has been not
allowed to be in that leadership role in the
church, let’s let them be.>>The women that I have been
surrounded by have never attempted to be
leaders as their male counterparts have been.
They’re not attempting to trying to be
leaders like the men in their lives.
They’re leaders in their bodies, as they are,
and they use the gifts that God has given
them as women. And I find hope and grace in
that, that we don’t need to pretend to be what
we are not. We get to be exactly who we are
and God gets to use us or uses us precisely
because of who we are.>>I think women throughout the
Lutheran tradition have been
extraordinary in really paving the way for future women
and showing them that this is not just boy
stuff, you know?
This isn’t just men’s work to be done.
This is everyone’s work to be done.
Having our first Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth
Eaton, be the first woman to be Presiding
Bishop is really exciting, and we’re living in a time where women in our
church are doing more than ever before.
>>This older woman, I think she must have
been in her 80s, and she had grown up in
another Lutheran tradition, always felt
called to the Ministry. Never could. And I was administering
communion at a gathering and she was weeping
and afterwards she said, I never expected that
I would ever receive communion from the hands
of a woman Presiding Bishop of the ELCA.
>>My hope also is the fact that our voices
are actually starting to be heard in this
church. And again there’s a lot of
pushback, but when the Emanuel 9 were sacrificed
and murdered, we had to start to address the
systemic racism in this church and what
I’m thankful for is this church actually
started doing this work.
It’s long hard work and uncomfortable places
and dork places people don’t actually want to
even talk about but the fact that we’re
trying to do this gives me hope.>>If I think back to my
ordination and I think of that day, first I would
say, keep wearing those awesome red shoes
because I had these glorious red patent heels
that I loved. But then I would say remember
all the people who were there. Remember the people from camp,
from YAGM, from college, from Seminary,
from people who had known me since I was a baby,
may Sunday School teacher, to go back and
remember all of those people and remember
that it’s the whole church calling you into
this work, and to be excited about that.>>Without these women, I
wouldn’t be studying theology, and I
wouldn’t be bringing may daughter to church, and I
certainly wouldn’t be wanting to join the
choir. These women have inspired me
more than I can say, and without them, I
wouldn’t be here. [ Applause ] Thank you. I ask that — we’re going to
take a time now to conclude in prayer. If-lorna Halass from the Western
Iowa Synod could lead us in a closing
prayer and hymn and afterward, the Assembly will
be in recess until 10:30 tomorrow. So why don’t we start with a
hymn?>>10:30?>>Worship is — it’s at 8:00,
but we’re back in Session at 10:30.
Don’t skip church. [ Laughter ]
Okay, take may life that I may be which is
found on page 43. We’ll start with that and then
Bishop hall Halass
will lead us in prayer. Take my life, that I may be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be Swift and beautiful for Thee. Take my life, that I may be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee; Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold Take my intellect and use
Ev’ry pow’r as thou shalt choose. Take my life, that I may be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless
praise. Take my voice and let me sing Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips and let them be Filled with messages from Thee. Take my life, that I may be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless
praise. Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine; Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne. Take my life, that I may be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days, Let them flow in ceaseless
praise.>>Thank you.
Correction, choir rehearsal is at 8:00,
worship is at 8 cloven 30. I shouldn’t have told you that
because now you won’t be early.
Bishop Halass, please.>>Let us pray.
We have come this far by faith, ever-loving
God. We give you thanks for the work
of this assembly; new initiatives planted,
existing ministries strengthened, leaders elected to
serve. Draw your church together, O
God, into one great company of disciples,
together following our teacher Jesus
Christ into every
walk of life, together serving in Christ’s
mission to the world, and together witnessing to your love wherever you will
send us; for the sake of Jesus Christ Our
Lord. Amen

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