Dear Southeastern Iowa Synod,
The 2022 Churchwide Assembly will convene in Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 8-12. This assembly which takes place every three years is the primary decision-making body of the ELCA. Gathered under the theme, Embody the Word, voting members from the Southeastern Iowa Synod and other synods of the ELCA will participate in plenaries, discussions, and worship while acting on key legislative business and hearing reports and updates on the work of the church.
Our synod’s voting members were elected at the 2021 Southeastern Iowa Synod Assembly. They have been preparing for this upcoming assembly through meetings, review of the materials, and prayer.
Bishop Amy Current – Southeastern Iowa Synod
Sara Hegg-Dunne –Southeastern Iowa Synod, Vice President, St John, Grinnell
Marta Bauer—Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
Adrianna Blackwell –St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport
Suah Borsay —First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
Robin Doty— Palestine Lutheran Church, Huxley
Pastor Julie Higgs – Synod Call to Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque
Dean Lambertsen —St. Paul Lutheran Church, Anamosa
Pastor Carrie Lewis LaPlante -Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Eldridge
Pastor Katie Lowe Lancaster —First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids
Pastor Gemechisa Mosa —St. John’s Lutheran Church, Des Moines
Mark Piel —St. James Lutheran Church, Johnston
Isaac Rodenberg —St. James Lutheran Church, Johnston
Pastor Erick Swanson —Fjeldberg Lutheran Church, Huxley
Richard Tiegs— Christ the King Lutheran Church, Iowa City
Pastor Paris White —Seeds of Faith Lutheran Church, Lisbon
Abigail La Plante —Faith Lutheran Church, Eldridge
David Bahnsen —Bethany Lutheran Church, West Branch
Haley Schepers —Lutheran Church of Hope, Ames
*Pastor Erika Uthe – attending as a visitor with the Southeastern Iowa Voting Members
As we prepare for this assembly, I’d like to point you to some resources so that you can connect with this assembly at home, learn about our ministry together and join us in prayer for the Spirit to guide our church and this work as we meet.
“Through prayer and thoughtful discernment, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, voting members deliberate and determine how to engage in mission and ministry, seeking to serve our neighbors and do God’s work,” said Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton in her welcome and introductory message to voting members. During this assembly voting members from our synod and the other synods of the ELCA will:
- Spend time in worship together
- Elect ELCA Vice President, board members, officers, and others in ELCA constitution
- Hear reports from churchwide officers, leaders, and units
- Hear resolutions and memorials from synod assemblies
- Adopt a budget and conduct other business of the ELCA churchwide organization
The churchwide assembly will be livestreamed and anyone is welcome to watch online. Once the event begins the links will be available on the ELCA Website and the ELCA Facebook Page.
Assembly Pre-events and Documents
You are also welcome and encouraged to see some of the materials and information hearings ahead of the assembly. Resources, reports, and recommendations that the assembly will be discussing and acting upon are available as PDF reports online. Hearings will be held to discuss proposals scheduled for the churchwide assembly action. Anyone is welcome to listen in on these meetings. Learn more
One of the documents to consider is Section VII: Report of the Memorials Committee. This contains memorials that have come from synod assemblies, is filled with background information about these memorials and their intended purpose. These memorials will be voted upon in a group (en bloc) except for three memorials the committee has recommended the assembly consider separately, these are listed on page two of the report.
There are also proposed changes to the ELCA constitutions. This is typical as this assembly is held every third year and changes from this church body create changes in constitutions of other expressions of the church (i.e. synods and congregations.) To learn more about these proposed changes see the Rationale for Proposed Amendment to the Constitutions of the ELCA.
Prayers and Bible Study
Please join members of the Southeastern Iowa Synod in praying for this meeting, those who are voting members, ELCA churchwide staff, and our church body. There are prayer petitions available for your congregation to use in Sunday worship.
Additionally, there is a multi-week Bible study on the theme Embody the Word that has been taking place as our church prepares for this gathering. You can find recordings on the ELCA Youtube channel.
I am deeply grateful for your prayers, your time and attention and participation from home in the Southeastern Iowa Synod as our church meets, deliberates, and worships together in Columbus in a few weeks.
Bishop Amy Current
Loving God, through holy baptism you continue to make us new and gather us together across all human divisions, reconciling us to yourself in one body through the cross. Strengthen us by your presence, that our thoughts and actions may be rooted and grounded in your love for us. Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by your reconciling love, as this church prepares to gather in assembly. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
By your word, eternal God, your creation sprang forth, and we were given the breath of life. By your word, eternal God, death is overcome, Christ is raised from the tomb, and we are given new life in the power of your Spirit. May we boldly proclaim this good news in our words and our deeds, rejoicing always in your powerful presence. Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by your Word, as this church prepares to gather in assembly. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
August 7 – Sunday before the Assembly
Let us pray for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and its members who gather this week in its Churchwide Assembly. Inspire the celebration of God’s varied works throughout the church. Instill your peace in the midst of the work you have called us to and the deliberations that will take place. Shape the work of the church according to your will for the whole world. Merciful God, receive our prayer. For those traveling to the assembly. O God, our beginning and our end, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, you led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a start you led the magi to the infant Jesus. Protect and guide us now as we set out to travel. Make the ways safe and the homecomings joyful for those traveling to the Churchwide Assembly and bring us all at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ and the life-giving Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
August 14 – Sunday after the Assembly
Holy One, you formed the church to announce the words of eternal life to the world. Equip the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which concluded its Churchwide Assembly to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gather the church together into one body for the sake of our shared mission to tell of the love of God. Embodying your Word, turn the church inside out so that we proclaim your freedom and renewal to all the world. Merciful God, receive our prayer.