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Italian Community Center, Milwaukee

 

Synod Assembly takes place each spring and brings together voting members from congregations to engage in conversation and to vote on resolutions, elect synod council and committee representatives, consider finances, and other business. On Friday evening, we gather in worship followed by a dessert reception. This service is open to all and it is not necessary to register to attend worship and the dessert reception. Synod Assembly will take place in person only in 2024. It will not be live-streamed. Please read through the information below which explains more about synod assembly specifics.

 

Registration for Synod Assembly has closed. You may register at the door beginning at 2:00 pm on Friday afternoon, May 17. Walk-in registration fees are $260 and $160 for retired Rostered Minister and persons 30 and under. We are not able to guarantee meal service for walk-in registrations.

 

Important Cancellation Information:
Because we incur expenses based on your registration, payment is expected for ALL registrations. (The cancellation deadline was April 16, 2024.) You are responsible for paying the registration fee, even if you decide not to attend.

Artwork by Robyn Sand Anderson, used with permission. From the artist, "I am inspired by the beauty of color and colors up against each other in harmony and discord, by the beauty of nature, by the swell of strings and human voices raised in song, and by the resiliency of the human spirit." Learn more at robynsanddanderson.com

Information About the Assembly

Each person registered will receive an email with information about their registration form. If you are registering members on behalf of your congregation, you will also receive an email confirmation.  The email confirmation will serve as your invoice or confirmation of payment. We do not send separate invoices.

Vance Blackfox, an Indigenous theologian and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, serves the churchwide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as the Director of Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations. An alumnus of Texas Lutheran University (TLU) and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Vance has served the ELCA in multiple capacities, from taking a post as National President of the Lutheran Youth Organization during his TLU days, to later working as a diversity and cultural education professional for the Women of the ELCA, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, California Lutheran University, ELCA Youth Gathering, and LSTC’s Youth in Mission. In addition to serving numerous ELCA and ecumenical teams and committees throughout the years, he is at present the Indigenous Theologian and Coordinating Team Member for the ELCA’s Theological Round Table, as well as creator and producer of the Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium hosted at LSTC.

 

Vance is the founder and director of Other+Wise, a multi-site cultural education and cultural immersion program for youth and student groups from across the country. He has also served as the Director of Communications at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, as the Director of Communications for Native Americans in Philanthropy and has held executive director positions at the Haskell Foundation, which supports Haskell Indian Nations University, and the Oaks Indian Mission. Vance previously served as the Guest Curator of the Indian Museum at the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures, on the board of directors for the San Antonio Community Resource Directory www.sacrd.org, and as the Indigenous theologian for the Faith-Based Initiative for the City of San Antonio. He presently serves on the board of directors for the Charter for Compassion, www.charterforcompassion.org.

One of the most important things we do at synod assembly work is to worship together. This is a time to ground us in the word of God, bring us together as the body of Christ, and help us prayerfully reflect and prepare for the work ahead.

 

Our Synod Assembly worship service, scheduled for the evening of Friday, May 17, 2024 at the Italian Community Center Festa Ballroom, is open to everyone. This service will incorporate many elements from Native American communities of faith. You do not need to be a registered member of the assembly to attend worship.

 

Assembly Offering

Synod Assembly offering will support the ministry at the Lutheran Church of the Great Spirit in Milwaukee. The Greater Milwaukee Synod, in partnership with the ELCA Churchwide Organization, has committed to fully fund the redevelopment of this ministry for the next three years. All gifts received will be used to help us meet this commitment. 

Checks should be made payable to the Greater Milwaukee Synod, with “Synod Assembly Offering” in the memo line.

All actively serving rostered ministers (pastors and deacons) are voting members at Synod Assembly. They do not count towards your lay voting member limits.


Retired rostered ministers who wish to attend as a voting member should contact the synod office prior to registering.

 

The number of lay voting members your congregation elects depends on the number of baptized members reported on your 2022 congregational report form A. We encourage congregations to choose  voting members who will represent a range of age, ethnicity, and gender whenever possible.

 

All congregations may elect at least two lay voting members to the Synod Assembly.


Congregations having 750 to 1,249 baptized members may elect a third lay voting member. Thereafter an additional lay voting member may be added for each additional 500 baptized members of the congregation (e.g. at 1,250 members, 1,750 members, etc.).

 

All congregations may add one voting member to the number allotted if that additional member is a youth or young adult (30 or younger when elected).

 

Use our handy chart to see how many voting lay people your congregation can register for Synod Assembly. This page also includes some helpful FAQs about voting members.

If you are a retired rostered minister and wish to be a voting member of synod assembly, please contact Mary Romskog no later than March 31. We also encourage you to review the information below that was send to all retired rostered ministers.

 

In accordance with the bylaw adopted at the 2022 assembly (this number is 15% of the 146 retired rostered ministers in the synod as of 12/31/23). For 2024 this number is 22.

 

Retired rostered ministers serving under contract in transitional ministries are automatically granted voting privileges (there are currently three people in this category), and others will need to register their desire to serve as a voting member. If you would like to serve as a voting member at the synod assembly, please contact Mary Romskog in the synod office by March 31, 2023. If there are more than 19 people who do so, we will conduct a vote, allowing you as the retired rostered ministers decide who will be the voting members.

 

Remember: all retired rostered ministers are welcome to register for the assembly, at a reduced rate. Those not granted voting privileges are allowed to speak on all matters before the assembly, but limiting the voting to 15% of the retired roster helps us maintain the required lay/rostered minister balance.

Preparing and Materials for Synod Assembly

 

Download the full 2024 Synod Assembly booklet


We have a limited number of these booklets printed for people who need a paper copy. Please consider downloading this booklet to your electronic device or using the green tabs below. These tabs contain all the information you’ll need as a voting member.

 

 

DRAFT AGENDA

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
6:30 pm – Authentic Diversity Strategic Plan Overview on zoom


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

6:30 pm – Assembly Orientation on zoom
7:30 pm – Budget Hearing on zoom

 

Friday,  May 17, 2024 – Italian Community Center
2:00 pm Registration Opens
3:00 pm Listening Session – Social Statement on Civic Life and Faith
5:15 pm Dinner, Dessert, and Keynote Speaker
7:00 pm Worship (please note: dessert will be served during our dinner this year. There will not be a post-worship reception.)

 

Saturday, May 18, 2024 – Italian Community Center
7:30 am Registration Opens
8:30 am Plenary 1

   Devotion

   Credentials Report

   Assembly Appointments

   Adopt Agenda and approve rules

   Report of Nominations, Reference and Counsel, and Budget

   Bishop Erickson’s Report

   World Hunger Celebration

10:00 am Break

10:15 am Nominations Close

   Authentic Diversity Strategic Planning Team Report

   ELCA Representative Report

   Action on the budget

   Bylaw and Constitutional Changes

12:00 pm Lunch

1:15 pm Plenary 2

   Devotion 

   Credentials Report

   First Ballot for Open Positions

   Vice Presidents Report

   Report of the First Ballot

   Second Ballot

2:15 pm Break

   Report of the Second Ballot

   Resolutions

   Install Elected Persons

4:30 pm Closing 

 

 


Friday, May 17 from 3 pm – 4:30 pm

Italian Community Center

 

You are invited to participate in a Hearing to give feedback on the draft of a social statement about civic life and faith.  Rev. Cindy Crane from the Lutheran Office of Public Policy will serve as convener. 

 

Preparing for the hearing

• Download the draft survey in English or Spanish.

• It is important to read the draft ahead of time—or at least pages 3-11–and come prepared with what specific affirmations, concerns, and questions you have. 

• Highlight the areas you wish to comment on or question in the document in advance of the meeting.

• The meeting will begin with opening comments and then the floor will be open for comments from those in attendance.

• If you have additional questions about how this hearing will work, please attend the assembly orientation session on zoom scheduled for 6:30 pm on May 15. All registered members will receive the zoom link via email.

 

 

If you can’t attend the hearing, you are encouraged to fill out an online survey to share your feedback.  The online survey is available in both English and Spanish. Printed copies of the survey that you can return by mail are also available in English and Spanish. The social statement task force will review the comments from across the church as they revise the draft this coming winter, for consideration at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in 2025.  

 

Social statements are the ELCA’s primary documents to address significant social issues. They are intended to aid reflection, shape conscience and set forth the ELCA’s teaching and policy on the major social issues and questions of contemporary life. Social statements are developed by task forces, using an established process of study and widespread participation across the church to guide theological and moral deliberation. More information about this social statement including the time frame for development and the task force members is available here.

Please check this page for updated information that will assist you as you prepare to attend Synod Assembly.

Materials and information will be shared directly with voting members at the email address you provided. This includes credentials for voting during assembly. If your email address changes or you are not receiving information starting in May, please contact us immediately.

 

Synod Assembly work includes being informed about the resolutions, rules, constitutional amendments, elected positions and more that will be presented.  We strongly encourage you to take the time to read through the information and be prepared for discussion and voting during assembly. 

 

Attend a Pre-Assembly Zoom Meeting

Please note: zoom links will be sent directly to registered members

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
6:30 pm – Authentic Diversity Strategic Plan Overview on zoom


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

6:30 pm – New to Assembly Orientation on zoom
7:30 pm – Budget Hearing on zoom


Visit the tabs below:

  • Nominations and Open Positions to view the nominations Received by 3/22/2024. Floor nominees (will be added on 5/18/2024 at the close of  floor nominations)

  • Financial Reports – posted 5/7/2024

  • Strategic Plan for Authentic Diversity – posted 5/10/2024

  • Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws – posted

  • Resolutions to read the resolutions received by 3/22/2024. Reference and Counsel Committee revisions were posted on May 7, 2024.

  • Reports – submitted by seminaries colleges, and other organizations.

Read:

Pre-Assembly Emails:

 

The following positions are open for nominations at Synod Assembly. Please note: Gender non-binary or gender non-conforming people can be nominated to serve in any roles designated for gendered representation. 

 

Use our online form to submit a nomination form.

 

Nominations Received by March 22, 2024. Floor nominees (will be added on 5/18/2024 at the close of  floor nominations)


Consultation Committee (4 positions listed below)

The role of the consultation committee is spelled out in detail in chapter 20 of the ELCA’s constitution, focusing on working to resolve conflicts within the synod and in congregations. The term of service is six years and members may not be elected to consecutive terms.

 

At Large – Lay Male (partial term: now – 8/31/2025)
At Large – Lay Male (partial term: now – 8/31/2027)
At Large – Lay Male (partial term: now – 8/31/2029)
At Large
– Lay Female (partial term: now – 8/31/2029)


Discipline Committee (4 positions listed below)

The role of the discipline committee is spelled out in detail in chapter 20 of the ELCA’s constitution, focusing on working to resolve conflicts within the synod and in congregations. The term of service is six years and members may not be elected to consecutive terms.

 

At Large – Lay Female (full term: 9/1/2024 – 8/31/2030)
At Large – Lay Male (full term: 9/1/2024 – 8/31/2030)
At Large – Rostered Minister – 2 positions (full term: 9/1/2024 – 8/31/2030)


Nominating Committee

All positions appointed by Synod Council

At Large – person of color or person whose primary language is other than English (full term: Synod Assembly 2024 – Synod Assembly 2026)

South Central Conference – Lay Male

West Conference – Rostered Minister

West Central Conference – Lay Female

 

Churchwide Assembly – July 28 – August 2, 2025 – Phoenix, Arizona

Conference positions to be nominated by each conference.

 

At Large – Lay Female

At Large – Lay Male

At Large – Rostered Minister

At Large – Lay Female, Youth/Young Adult (30 or younger when elected)

At Large – Lay Male, Person of Color or person whose primary language is other than English

Central Conference – Lay Female, person of color or person whose primary language is other than English

North Conference – Lay Female

South Conference – Rostered Minister

South Central Conference – Lay Male

West Conference – Lay Male

West Central Conference – Rostered Minister

 

Below are the financial reports that will be presented during Synod Assembly and discussed during the pre-assembly Zoom meeting on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:30 pm.

 

 

 

For the purpose of our work, the Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF) defines Authentic Diversity work as the practice of identifying the policies, practices, beliefs, and attitudes that get in the way of our being a fully inclusive and authentically diverse church; creating plans, programs/initiatives that lead us more fully into that vision; and helping the congregations and leadership teams of the Greater Milwaukee Synod more closely match the diversity of this context in terms of race, culture, gender, and sexuality. Additionally, when it is not possible to match identity composition, we strive to become competent allies through study, reflection, and extending ourselves to lived experiences other than our own. Read the full plan with the link below.

 

The following amendments were recommended for adoption by the 2024 Synod Assembly by the Synod Council at its March 21, 2024 meeting.  Additions are underlined. Deletions are struck through in the text. All proposed changes are highlighted.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT: The resolutions labeled “PROPOSED” have been reviewed by the Reference and Counsel Committee in consultation with the author/conference that submitted the resolution. These are the versions that will be acted on during Synod Assembly.

 

The originally submitted resolution is also included in the list below and are labeled simply with “SUBMITTED ORIGINAL” (etc).

 

The deadline to submit a resolution was March 22, 2024. Learn more about resolutions and memorials – what they are, how to write them and more –  in this guide and this flowchart.

 

TitleSizeDownload
FINAL – 2024 Resolution 1 – Participate in Pray – Act – Connect – Educate (PACE) to Reduce Hunger in our Neighbors Near and Far 23.29 KB DownloadPreview
FINAL – 2024 Resolution 3 – Memorial to Develop a Social Statement on Children and Vulnerable Youth 18.12 KB DownloadPreview
FINAL – 2024 Resolution 4 – Memorial to Increase Continuing Education Commitments 24.26 KB DownloadPreview
FINAL – 2024 Resolution 6 – Resolution to Honor the Courageous Leadership of Rev. Joe and Joyce Ellwanger 45.78 KB DownloadPreview
FINAL AMENDED – 2024 Resolution 2 – US Constitution Amendment Resolution 57.94 KB DownloadPreview
FINAL AMENDED – 2024 Resolution 5 – Resolution to Synod Assembly to Memorialize the ELCA to Revise the Call Process 52.01 KB DownloadPreview
PROPOSED – 2024 Resolution 2 – U.S. Constitution Amendment Resolution 40.73 KB DownloadPreview
PROPOSED – 2024 Resolution 5 – Resolution to Synod Assembly to Memorialize ELCA to Revise the Call Process 31.65 KB DownloadPreview
SUBMITTED ORIGINAL – Resolution 1 – Participate in Pray – Act – Connect – Educate (PACE) to Reduce Hunger in Our Neighbors Near and Far 43.72 KB DownloadPreview
SUBMITTED ORIGINAL – Resolution 2 – U.S. Constitution Amendment Resolution 26.40 KB DownloadPreview
SUBMITTED ORIGINAL – Resolution 3 – Memorial to Develop a Social Statement on Children and Vulnerable Youth-3 70.88 KB DownloadPreview
SUBMITTED ORIGINAL – Resolution 4 – Memorial to Increase Continuing Education Commitments 74.36 KB DownloadPreview
SUBMITTED ORIGINAL – Resolution 5 – Resolution to Synod Assembly to Memorialize ELCA to Revise the Call Process 32.30 KB DownloadPreview