So, I’m in Hickory, NC at the NC Synod Assembly of the ELCA. It is so terribly hot here! The sun beats down, I sweat, drag around bags and folders and bottles of water without which I could not survive. My summer intern is with me, too, and trying desperately to keep me together! It has been a day of dropping things, forgetting things, loosing things. Ah, who am I kidding? It has been a week of this.
Forums to assist with, meals, voting, speakers. And, perhaps most importantly, worship and Holy Communion. Friends, old and new. Some who are not here are missed terribly. My heart breaks for the good things and the sad.
The speaker speaks about God’s altar in the world. There is more to this than I now have time to think through. God’s work, he says, Our hands. Is it even hands that keep dropping things, loosing things, forgetting things? I hope so.
A friend of mine from seminary, who was already ordained, once said, “you have to be broken to do this job.” That gives me hope!
3 thoughts on “Synod Assembly”
And now I’m off to Wikipedia to find out what a Synod is . . .
The word itself just means a council of church – type leaders. It usually is one that covers a broad geographical area rather than a single cluster of churches. For example, my congregation is in the state of NC so when the pastors and lay persons from our congregations gather once a year to vote on things, share ideas and learn from one another, it is the North Carolina Synod Assembly. There’s also a churchwide assembly for us as well, with Lutherans of my particular denomination gathering from the whole U.S.
We learn what is happening in the whole church beyond just individual congregations and it keeps us connected to the broader body of Christ.
We also have forums/classes that we can attend while we are here on all kinds of topics from youth ministry to seminary to faithful financial management, etc. I have helped lead a forum on renewal in congregations.
Does the Mennonite church have anything like that?
Ah, gotcha. That’s about what I suspected it was, though it seems like words can mean different things among different groups, so it’s good to know. The Mennonites (Mennonite Church USA, that is) has area conventions and a general convention. They recently merged a more conservative group with a more liberal group, though, and now that gay marriage has come up I suspect its just a matter of time before the conservatives (including the church I attend) peel back off. That’s solely my suspicion, and does not represent anything official from among Mennonite Church USA churches, though.
I’m rather skittish of denominational structures though, and due to my church-of-Christ rearing, I tend to focus quite intently on exactly what happens here, along with general trends in the holy catholic Church, and much less on what’s going on in the denominational structures.