As your congregation selects voting members for Synod Assembly, please take seriously the invitation to identify youth* and/or young adults who might serve in this role on behalf of your congregation. Any youth or young adults attending Synod Assembly as voting members from your congregation will sit with the other members from your congregation and will have the same schedule as all other voting members, with one exception:

  • When the assembly is not in session, there will be some hospitality times hosted specifically for the young people. One of these times may include a Q & A with Bishop Burk and other leaders.

It is our hope that each youth voting member attending the assembly will have an adult mentor – someone who is also a voting member from your congregation and has previously attended an assembly. This could be a pastor or a lay leader. This adult’s role is to support the youth during the event, answer questions, explain the business at hand, and offer encouragement for full participation. When planning to report to the congregation after returning home from the assembly, be sure to include any young people who have served as voting members. *Because youth are defined as individuals who are 17 and younger, they are the legal responsibility of the congregation. Permission and medical forms and all other critical documents for responsible and safe participation are the responsibility of the congregation. Sample forms, covenants, and guidelines for appropriate adult/youth interaction may be requested from the Office of the Bishop.

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Youth As Voting Members for Synod Assembly

How do we select a youth as a voting member?

  • The definition of “youth” is a confirmed member 17 and younger. It is recommend that a youth voting member be a high school student. A “young adult” is a confirmed member between the ages of 18-30.
  • Follow the procedures set by your congregation for persons of any age who are confirmed members. You are encouraged to seek out and invite young people for whom you think this would be a positive experience and who is representative of the local community of faith.

Youth are in school and may not available for the first day of the Assembly.

  • With the consent of parents, a congregation may provide a letter that most schools will accept to grant an excused absence.

Will the youth be able to fully participate?

  • Young people are involved with the Southeastern Iowa Synod Youth Leadership Team, Synod Council and have served as voting members to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. They are clearly up to the challenges.
  • All new-to-assembly voting members will be invited to watch an on-line video as one part of preparing them for the experience and understanding the process.

Need more information or have questions? Contact Pastor Eric Carlson, Assistant to the Bishop [email protected] or 319-631-8031

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