2014 Saskatchewan Synod Convention Minutes
Together for the Love of the World Fifteenth Biennial Convention of the Saskatchewan Synod of the ELCIC May 2 - 4, 2014 Queensbury Convention Centre Regina, Saskatchewan
SYNOD IN WORSHIP Friday, May 2, 2014; 10:30 am Delegates, visitors and friends gathered to open the 15th biennial convention of the Saskatchewan Synod of the ELCIC in opening worship. Worship Co-ordinator was Rev. Liz Kuglin-Alyea Readings - Isaiah 12-1-6 Remembrance of those who have died - Rev. Dr. S.T. Jacobson and Rev. Bob Leeson Congregations closed and disbanded: Zion, Kinistino; St. Lukes, Woodley; and Zion, Hague. Withdrawn from ELCIC - Bethlehem, Outlook; and Immanuel, Parkside. Reading - Ephesians 6:22-24 Presider - Bishop Cindy Halmarson Musician - Rev. Dennis Hendricksen The service closed with the Order for Opening of Convention.
Synod in Convention - Plenary One Friday, May 2, 2014; 10:45 am Bishop Cindy Halmarson called the assembly into session at 10:45. She welcomed delegates and visitors to the 15th Biennial Convention of the Saskatchewan Synod of the ELCIC. She introduced the following dignitaries and called on them to bring greetings: City of Regina Councillor Michael O’Donald Government of Regina - MLA Warren Steinley She introduced the clergy who have joined the Synod during this Biennium: Rev. Melissa Hoehn, Rev. Karen Stepko, Rev. John Mayer Dut, Rev. Iris Kristjansdottir and Rev. Frances Schmidt.
Greetings were brought by Ecumenical Partners - United Church of Canada Saskatchewan Conference President Gail Wensley and Father Malcolm French of the Diocese of Qu’Appelle as our Full Communion partner. Welcome Companion Synod Partner Pastor President Gustavo Gomez, IELU, Argentina who will be bringing presentations throughout the Convention. Introduction of the Synod Officers and staff - Karen Linsley, Convention Manager; Shirley Schultz, Administrative Assistant; Darlene Wilson, Synod Accountant; and Margaret Fast, Head Steward. She also introduced the volunteers doing the media work for the convention - Rev. Fran Schmidt for the newsletter; Rev. Jim Halmarson for website work; Rev. Sean Bell for Facebook work and Rev. Linda Hall helping with visual presentations. The Chair was turned over to Synod Chairperson, Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen. He called the Convention to Order and walked the delegates through an orientation session so everyone knew how the Convention works and the playing rules. He drew attention to name tags, the stewards and their task; the Bulletin of Reports and its layout; the Agenda and Standing Rules of Order and Bourinot’s Rules of Order. Convention Manager Karen Linsley was called upon for announcements and procedures for the convention and acknowledgement of the various sponsors of Convention refreshment breaks and sessions. Convention Committees: Bishop Cindy introduced the Convention Committees. Five Committees assist the convention with various roles: Committee on Registration and Attendance: Lynn Pederson, Chair; Roxanne Elke, and Adeline Steinley. Committee on Nominations: Rev. Greg Kiel, Chair; Rev. Dan Haugen, Rev. Kim Sherwin, Rev. Dennis Hendricksen, Rev. Val From, and Rev. Martin Olson. Committee on Elections: Rev. Doug Schmirler, Chair; Rev. Wallace Bornhuse, Rev. Darlene Harrison and Dave Solheim. Committee on Minutes: Cheryl Bauer Hyde, Chair; Rev. Heather Anderson, Rev. Lindsay Hognestad and Fran Seidler. Committee on Reference and Counsel: Rev. Bob Lewis, Chair; Rev. Harold Hesje, Diane Kronberg, Rev. Jerry Borkowsky and Deb Roberts. Seat and Voice SSC-14-01 MSC that seat and voice be granted to the following guests: National Bishop Susan Johnson; Father Malcolm French representing the Diocese of Qu’Appelle; President Pastor 2
Gustavo Gomez representing our Companion Synod; and United Church pastor Rev. Deborah Smith serving Christ Lutheran, Young. Youth Delegates and assembly youth coordinators - 10 youth delegates are part of the convention and participating in the process. Registration and Attendance Report - as of 10:30, May 2, 2014 81 Lay delegates (including youth) 69 Rostered delegates 149 Voting Delegates 11 160
Visitors persons registered for the convention
Approval of the Agenda SSC-14-02 MSC that the proposed agenda for the convention be approved. Approval of the Minutes of the 2012 Convention SSC-14-03 MSC that the Minutes of the 2012 Convention be approved as distributed. Announcement of Synod Council Recommendations Secretary Joan announced the Constitution and Bylaw amendments that will be brought forward for consideration at later plenaries throughout the Convention. Reference and Counsel Report Rev. Bob Lewis was introduced and announced the work the Committee will be doing throughout the convention. He invited delegates to approach them to get assistance with the grafting of motions. Dream Team Rev. Lori James and Rev. Murray Halvorson were introduced from the Dream Team. Lori gave an overview of the work they have done throughout the Synod. Lori introduced the members of the Dream Team - Rev. Linda Hall, Cheryl Bauer Hyde, Daryl Nelson, Rev. Sonja Finnestad and former team member Rev. Ali Tote. Rev. Murray Halvorson led the assembly through a session of “Do we, as a church, have a dream?” We are all being encouraged to say “I have a dream”. It is not a list of our wishes and wants. We must begin dreaming “God’s dreams”, not our will, but God’s will -- “a plan to give you a future with Hope” Jeremiah 2:9-11. Let your dreams be known among each other. Eventually, a dream must move from being a dream to a vision for action. 500 years ago Martin Luther had a vision. That same vision is needed today. Complacency is not an option. 3
Announcements - The Convention Manager was called upon for more announcements. Bishop Cindy introduced retired Bishop Allan Grundahl who will serve as the chaplain at the convention. Bishop Grundahl asked delegates to bring concerns to him that they wish to have remembered in prayer during the convention. He led the assembly in prayer and table grace. The convention recessed for lunch.
Synod in Convention - Plenary Two Friday, May 2, 2014; 1:15 pm Chairperson Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen welcomed the assembly members back and thanked the Luther College Girl’s Choir and their director Deborah Nelson for the musical presentation. Greetings from Luther College - Rev. Cheryl Toth and Rev. Larry Fry, Chaplains at the Luther College campuses brought greetings from Luther College. Registration and Attendance Report - as of 1:00 pm, May 2, 2014 92 81 173
Lay delegates (including youth) Rostered delegates Voting Delegates
Visitors persons registered for the convention
Bishop’s Report (Section D1) Chairperson Sid called on Bishop Cindy Halmarson for her report. She indicated where her report was located within the Bulletin of Reports. Included within her report were the reports of: The Sask Synod Mission Coordinator, Rev. Fran Schmidt; the Youth Ministry Coordinator, Deacon Gretchen Peterson; and the Deans of the six Conferences. She supplemented her written report with an oral presentation. She based her presentation on Jeremiah 29:11 - Future with Hope. She focused on disappointments we have incurred as a Synod over the past two years -- indifference to spiritually, matters in the culture, children and grandchildren not attending church services, the decline of congregations and membership, and reduced availability of resources. The first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem. We see decline and the shrinking of members and funds. What is our footprint on our communities? Maybe we are doing well to maintain and grow in the face of a changing society. We are a 4
Grace Church; we have a message we and world have to hear. The message is that God’s grace is sufficient to today and tomorrow. We are a Reformation Church. 500 years ago Martin Luther and our forefathers challenged the status quo. Trust in God alone. We are encouraged and challenged to a call to Mission. Make God’s love known in what we do in the church and our daily lives. Some of our human structures of buildings and tradition hold us back, just as it did 500 years ago. What stands in the way of a future with hope for Saskatchewan Synod and the ELCIC? We are challenged to dream a dream so big it can only come from God. Soon there will be a Future with Hope Task Force - shaping our Synod for God’s Mission. How will we gather our partners in ministry; adaptive forms for mission; keeping God’s dream before us? She thanked the members for their support during her term as Bishop. She asked for their continued prayers for the Synod and its mission. Chairperson Sid thanked Bishop Cindy for her report. The assembly rose to give Bishop Cindy a heartfelt thank you for her service as Bishop to the Synod. Vice-Chairperson Rev. Lori James then took the chair and called on delegates to have discussions at their tables relating to the Bishop’s report. Delegates were asked to write their comments and questions on the index cards available on their tables so that they can be later shared with the assembly. Following an opportunity to table conversation, the vice-chair called on the delegates for their questions and comments. The comments on the index cards were collected. National Bishop Susan Johnson was introduced and welcomed to the Convention. She has arrived late because of flight cancellations. Synod Council Chairperson, (Section E1) Rev. Dr. Sid Haugen presented his report. He provided comments on the work of Synod Council. Synod Secretary Report - (Section D2) Joan Meyer was called on for the Secretary’s report on the Rosters of the Synod. She updated the printed report with the following: Received by Ordination was Rev. Olivier Ravelojaona; removed from the Roster was Rev. Olivier Ravelojaona by transfer to the Synod of Alberta and the Territories; retirement of Rev. Larry Fry effective June 30, 2014; Congregation removed from the Roster - St. Paul Lutheran Church, Burstall by transfer to the Synod of Alberta and the Territories. It was also noted that the Roster of Congregations was missing Shepherd of the Valley, Lumsden and Christ Lutheran, Regina from the listing.
Joan also highlighted the importance of maintaining local congregation archives and making sure they are provided proper storage. Work with the Synod Archivist, Jeannette Brandell, if more information is needed in setting up congregational archives. Jeannette also asks for records of congregations that have closed. Treasurer’s Report - (Section D3) Treasurer Diane Mossing was called upon for the financial report of the Synod. She highlighted some the use of Synod Funds; i.e. Youth Ministry Fund for the Synod Youth Coordinator and the Church Extension and Capital Fund for use by the Canadian Mission Committee. Diane spoke of her role as Synod Treasurer and the oversight she provides to the funds for the Synod. The audit of the Synod accounts is done by Pricewaterhouse Cooper. The Finance and Audit Committee meets four times a year to perform financial and budget reviews and provide advice to the Synod. She displayed a pie chart showing how the Synod funds are expended. She also explained how the congregational support has declined over the past years. This past year $70,000 less was received for the work of the Synod. This has resulted in less funds being available for Synod work and for grants being passed on to other partners and agencies of the Synod. This effects the operations of the Synod office, the National Church and the Lutheran Theological Seminary. A Stewardship Committee is being set up within the Synod to support the Synod and the congregations. Congregations were asked to reconsider what they have available to forward to the Synod. What is your vision of a healthy and vibrant Synod? What should the future Synod look like to be able to provide you with services? The Vice-Chair called on the delegates to discuss the Officers’ Reports and submit questions they have related to the reports. The chair was returned to Chairperson Sid. Election Committee/Bishop Ecclesiastical Ballot Bishop Susan Johnson was called upon to explain the process for the first Ecclesiastical Ballot for Bishop. Chaplain Allan Grundahl was called upon for prayer in preparation of the ballot of Bishop. Bishop Susan called on people to mark their ballot, they were collected by the Stewards and balloting was declared closed. The Convention recessed for refreshments.
Synod in Convention - Plenary Three Friday, May 2, 2014; 3:30 pm Bishop Cindy introduced and recognized Rev. Reuben Ngozo, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon. The Assembly welcomed Bishop Ngozo. Registration and Attendance Report - as of 3:30 pm, May 2, 2014 92 83 175
Lay delegates (including youth) Rostered delegates Voting Delegates
Visitors persons registered for the convention
Committee on Nominations Report (Section G) The chair called on Rev. Greg Kiel, Chair of the Committee on Nominations for their report. Synod Council Prince Albert Rostered Regina
Rev. Sheldon Gattinger Rev. Lisa Skogsrud Valerie Davies Peter Barry Rev. Mark Hedlin Rev. David Hunter Marjorie McLeod - declared elected by acclamation Arlene Tangjerd Darlene R. Stelmacowich
Lutheran Theological Seminary Lay Helga Hein - declared elected by acclamation LutherCare Communities Board - 4 to elect Lay Mary Ellen Andrews Margaret Lissel Monica Krueger Karen Wright All were declared elected by acclamation
LutherCare Communities Board - 2 to elect Clergy Rev. Allan Grundahl Rev. Dr. Bill Nelson All were declared elected by acclamation St. Paul Lutheran Home Board Margaret-Anne Yost - declared elected by acclamation The report of the Committee on Nominations was accepted and the ballots will be prepared for voting to take place during Plenary 5 on Saturday morning. Synod Council Report 1 The Chairperson called on Synod Secretary Joan Meyer, Synod Council members, and Program Committee chairs to come forward to present the report of the Synod Council. Joan led the assembly through the reports presented in the Bulletin of Reports from Synod Council and the various Program Committees. These included: The Synod Council Report Rostered Ministers Compensation Guidelines Strategic Plan 2010-2014 Synod Dream Team Canadian Mission Committee Circle of Life Trustees Committee for Theological Education and Leadership Companion Synod Committee Lutheran Campus Ministry, Saskatoon Synod Bishop’s Mutual Ministry Committee Saskatoon Native Ministry Question - relating to E2, page 15 - motion SC-14-19 - in addition to the Synod Council and Sask Synod representatives of the LTS Board, it was asked that representatives of the LTS Administration be included in the meeting. The Vice-Chair then called on delegates to discuss the reports they had received and submit comments and questions related to them. Following a time for discussion the comment cards were collected by the Stewards. St. Michael Retreat Centre - Rev. David Kaiser, Chairperson of St. Michael’s Retreat and Ministries, Inc., was called upon for an update. The Franciscans will soon be leaving the operations of the building as they can no longer look after it. St. Michael’s ministry will continue but some creative intervention will be required. 8
Mission Initiatives - Rev. Fran Schmidt, Mission Coordinator, introduced the members of the Canadian Mission Committee. Funds are available for creative mission projects. Delegates are encouraged to talk to the committee members to find out options available. Convention Chaplain Bishop Grundahl - prayer requests: concern of the people of South Sudan; Lawrence Lynd of the Southwest Lutheran Parish; Pastor Melissa Hoehn’s father; Pastor Victoria Mwanasika’s mother; Pastor Mark and Heather Hedlin and the birth of their daughter. Announcements - Convention Manager announced to submit travel expense vouchers; tour of Luther College will be this evening before worship; worship will be at Christ Lutheran church this evening starting at 8:00. Bishop Election Report and Ballot 2 The Election Committee Chair and Bishop Susan were called upon to give the first Election Report for Bishop. Results of the first ballot were: Sean Bell 1 Ron Bestvater 1 Carla Blakley 1 Gerald Borkowsky 1 Jann Boyd 1 William Cantelon 1 Sheldon Gattinger 1 Cynthia Halmarson 83 Daniel Haugen 1 Roger Haugen 2 Sid Haugen 27 Mark Hedlin 1 Dennis Hendricksen 1 Harold Hesje 1 Amber Hoffman 1 David Hunter 7 Gordon Jensen 3 Gregory Kiel 4 Elizabeth Kuglin-Alyea 1 Randy Meissner 5 Stewart Miller 4 Chad Moir 1 9
Martin Olson Michael Poellet Doug Schmirler Ali Tote Cheryl Toth Wilma Wood
1 1 1 11 1 1
Delegates were given a new ballot to mark their choice for Bishop from this list of candidates. Bishop Susan indicated that eligible names for election were only the names listed; that no new names could be added. Ballots were marked, collected by the stewards and balloting was declared closed. Chaplain Allan Grundahl - let the assembly in the singing of table grace. The convention recessed for dinner.