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Synods look back and ahead


Editor’s note: Synod communicators were asked to share a highlight from their assemblies. What made a difference to participants? What was the most important part of the assembly? Responses received by presstime are included here. When provided, there is a web address for more information.


Central/Southern Illinois, June 1-3, Collinsville, Ill.The synod bishop was re-elected (page 41). Via the Pedal for a Purpose fundraiser, $55,193.13 in offerings were received in support of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. An offering of $5,236.63 will support Madagascar companion synods. Voting members reluctantly approved a shift in financial support to the ELCA from 56 to 50 percent for 2018. —Robert Dealey


Indiana-Kentucky, June 1-3, Covington, Ky.Highlights included celebrating synod leaders and communities, inspiring worship, a celebratory banquet, and motivating plenary sessions and accompanying breakout sessions. New this year were hands-on service projects. During a free night, participants engaged in a more social time at the Reds/Braves baseball game or at a Beer and Hymn Sing. This was all focused around the theme of “Formed, Reformed, Transformed.”—Tom Dearchs


La Crosse Area, June 9-11, La Crosse, Wis., (lacrosseareasynod.org/2017-synod-assembly). The closing worship service incorporated the


joyful music of “Behold, I Make All Things New,” a liturgy written by the late Ben Splichal Larson. Larson, a seminarian and son of Bishop Emeritus April Ulring Larson and Judd Larson, was killed during the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He left a legacy of many spirit-filled and liturgical works. The assembly also collected more than 500 “Coverings of Care” quilts from congregations for Lutheran World Relief and local ministries. —Gayda Hollnagel


Lower Susquehanna, June 2-3, Grantham, Pa. (lss-elca.org/events/synod-assembly). In keeping with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the theme was “R3: reFORM + reNEW + reVISION.” Keynoter Dave Daubert and Bishop James S. Dunlop introduced an 18-month congregational renewal initiative that springs from nurturing relationships with God, one another and with communities congregations are called to serve. Stan Reep, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, York, Pa., received the Richard Lee Peterman ELCA Good Steward Award. Congregations collected more than 7,000 pounds of food to feed hungry schoolchildren during the summer.—Sharron Blezard


Karyn Bodenschatz, pastor of First Lutheran Church, Onalaska, Wis., presides over the communion table during the La Crosse Area Synod Assembly’s closing worship service on June 11. The liturgy for the service, “Behold, I Make All Things New,” was written by the late Ben Splichal Larson, who died in an earthquake during a mission trip to Haiti in 2010.


38 AUGUST 2017


Photo: Elise Hynek


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