Some 287 voting members and visitors gathered June 10-11 at Wartburg College in Waverly for the 2022 Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly, with the theme “Better Together.” Seventy-three percent of the voting members were laity and 27 percent were rostered ministers.
Voting members adopted four resolutions and two memorials, including a resolution and memorial on substance abuse and the addiction crisis, and a memorial calling for the ELCA to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030. In addition, voting members elected new committee members and Synod Council members, including Kris Meyer as Synod Council vice president.
Around 120 people attended the optional Friday night activities, which included opening worship service, orientation and hospitality. Darrel Colson, president of Wartburg, greeted the Assembly for the last time before his retirement in July. Tom and Betsy Kirby of Mason City provided acoustic music for Friday’s worship service and social time.
Saturday’s agenda opened with a morning prayer service followed by a plenary session with reports and introductions.
In his first report to a Synod Assembly, Bishop Kevin Jones outlined some priorities for how the synod can continue to be better together, including supporting pastors, women clergy and small congregations; paying attention to diversity, inclusion and belonging; and getting to know one another together. He also shared a video greeting from the synod staff and thanked everyone for their patience during his first year as Bishop.
Pastor Robin Brown, director of Congregational Generosity for the ELCA, brought greetings from the churchwide organization and a video message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Pastor Brown shared ways that the synod and congregations are doing ELCA ministries together and thanked the “saints of the congregations of the Northeastern Iowa Synod” for their support, including $357,653 given to Mission Support, $318,711 for ELCA World Hunger and $139,998 for Lutheran Disaster Response.
The morning plenary session concluded with video greetings from Portico Benefit Services, Lutheran Men in Mission and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Assembly members had the opportunity to visit ministry exhibits and attend two sessions of workshops before the afternoon plenary session, which focused on elections and resolutions. John Twardos, president of Lutheran Services in Iowa, shared greetings from LSI. Congregations brought 200 welcome kits to the Assembly to support LSI’s efforts to help refugees resettle in Iowa.
Recognitions included ordination and congregation anniversaries, and a welcome to ministers and full communion partners who began serving in the synod since 2019. Outgoing Synod Council members were also recognized, including Syd Brinkman for her service as vice president during the last few years of transition.
The Assembly concluded with Pastor Brown preaching at the closing worship service, which featured jazz music led by Jon Ailabouni.
The Synod Assembly offering has brought in $8,086, as of June 30. This year’s offering supports the H. George Anderson Northeastern Iowa Synod Fund for Leaders to provide scholarships for seminary students from the Northeastern Iowa Synod and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to support newly arrived refugees in America.
Offering gifts can be made online through the donate button below or by sending a check to: Northeastern Iowa Synod, 201 20th St. SW, P.O. Box 804 Waverly, IA 50677-0804.