The annual Synod Assembly provides an opportunity for representatives from all the churches in the Southeastern Pa. Synod of the ELCA to meet to conduct business and hear important messages concerning the work of the church. There are many issues covered and the highlights of this year’s assembly were as follows:
1. “Opening The Doors” – There is a continuing need for discussions of bigotry of all types. 2017 will mark the final year for Bishop Claire Burkat and she wants to focus on this issue. The SEPA Synod has an AntiRacism Team that can assist in helping congregations facilitate conversations that will aim to provide a better understanding of issues. Many excellent materials are available. One example: information available at tolerance.org. and visit the SEPA Synod website.
2. “Brave New Church” – Rev. Brad Burke, Assistant to the Bishop for Youth, Young Adult and Spiritual Formation made an excellent forum presentation on the changing landscape of ministry in today’s world of politics, Facebook, and millennnials. How do we reach people who are seeking answers to so many important questions? How can Reformation be a Church Home for many diverse individuals? The Synod has created the Brave New Church website, podcast, blog and more.
3. “Forward Together in Faith” – This synod-wide campaign is designed to generate resources to equip current and future leaders, encourage innovation by starting new faith communities. help congregations communicate in the language of digital culture and create new networks of leaders and churches to do more together. The goal of the campaign is to raise $2.5 million to be used in a manner similar to our Endowment Fund to provide income for new programs and technical assistance. We are part of a larger faith community and our shared resources will provide stability for our Synod and opportunities to assist many individuals and organizations. A video was presented about one of our congregations that established a program to assist deaf and blind individuals in many daily needs, like getting to appointments or filling out job applications with seed money from funds already generated from “Forward Together in Faith”. Teams of technically astute individuals are going to be available to assist congregations. These services will help the congregations continue to serve their members, their communities and their missions. Visit the Synod website: Forwardtogetherinfaith.org, and talk to our Pastors, Deacon Beth or Dick Hughey to get more information. Reformation is part of a larger Church body and we know how the work of many can be a positive force for change and assistance to those in need.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the Synod Assembly representatives.
Kris and Dick Hughey