SYNOD ASSEMBLY DAY: TWO MORNING SESSION
Day Two mornings come quickly and somehow I failed to caffeinate myself against the prospect of a very full day. No matter, since morning worship proved a gem. Former Assistant to the Bishop Bob Shaefer began our morning by co-leading morning worship along with AIM Connie. Never heard Bob preach before since he served on the other coast, but now that he has moved on to his position with worship at ELCA Headquarters in Chicago I can fathom how great their gain and deep our loss.
Another cool thing about Synod Assembly includes the many and diverse ideas generated and shared. Our Bible Study leader, former bishop Andrea DeGroot-Nesdahl, ratcheted up her folksy humor which was a delight, but she also drop ideas here and there, like giving away dirt at ASH WED Services, perhaps along with a seed which is planted nurtured and tended during Lent and returned for a visit as a plant at Easter. Someone else shared how their congregation had folks donate towards the purchase of live plants instead of lilies at Easter. Not only did the plants provide a beautiful environment for Easter worship, but they then were planted outside sprucing up the grounds.
The vote for Synod VP was announced 214-213 with Cheryl Stuart taking over for Bill Horne, both good friends, servants leaders, and faithful colleagues on Synod council.
Once again I am being reminded that we still struggle in understanding the role of children and youth and the power of Baptism. Twice now during our Assembly I have heard adults refer to youth and children as the “future of our church.” What this fails to grasp is that they are as much the present of the church as we are. That’s the power of Baptism in which God through the Holy Spirit claims us as children of and for the Kingdom. As long as we push children and youth into our future we let ourselves off the hook from confronting the barriers that exist in our congregations to their full participation right now. They are co-workers in the present with great gifts if we only have eyes to see and ears to hear. Watching the children and youth of the REZ House choir share their gifts this morning provided just one more reminder of the power of God to work through our young people as effectively as adults.