May 2-4, 2013 Orlando, Florida.
Every year, voting members from the nearly 190 or so congregations of the FloridBahamas Synod, one of 65 synods (or groups of congregations) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), meet to worship, fellowship and do the business of the synod. This business might include elections of officers and committee members and voting members for other assemblies (such as the every three year Church-wide Assembly), votes on the synod budget, votes on memorials or other resolutions, the receiving of reports from various units and affiliated organizations, and other synod business.
This year Trinity is sending Ron McCoy and Carl Berkey Abbott as voting members along with Pastor Keith who as a synod clergyperson always attends as a voting member. Kristin Berkey-Abbott will also be attending as a non-voting member.
Here's a little information on voting member's responsibilities.
ABOUT VOTING MEMBERSWhy are they called voting members and not delegates?
- Voting members respond to the call of the Holy Spirit in the actions of the assembly; they are not representatives.
- Voting members should listen and prayerfully seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Study the issues
- Read the information provided
- Listen attentively to discussions, debates and amendments
- Learn about those nominated for election
- Act conscientiously for the sake of the unity and well-being of the whole church
- Attend all assembly sessions
- Report back to their congregation
This year the assembly will include the election of a new bishop, as Bishop Benoway will be completing his second six-year term and not sitting for a possible third term. So it will be a very exciting assembly as we say thanks to Bishop Benoway and his assistants and move to elect a new bishop as well as vote on elections for a new synod vice president and other positions.
This assembly will also feature a service project for the first time.
Everyone attending will have the opportunity to help assemble hygiene kits that will go to local homeless shelters and shelters for abused women.
For this assembly Pastor Keith will once again be serving as the chairperson of the Reference and Council Committee through which all resolutions and memorials pass before making it to the assembly floor. Pastor Keith will also be completing the second year of his second three-year term as the clergy from the Southeast Florida Mission District on the synod council which does the synod business between assemblies. Pastor Keith also serves as a member of the synod council Executive Committee.
Lots more information about the assembly is available at http://www.fbsynod.com/communities/assembly/2013-assembly
We will continue to provide more information on the upcoming synod assembly as it draws near and invite you to hold Pastor Keith, our voting members, and the assembly and synod in your prayers.