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2016 Synod Assembly Recap

Posted: June 02, 2016

Artwork by David Linner

Artwork by David Linner

Shepherd of the Valley is a member of the Saint Paul Area Synod in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The annual gathering of area churches at Synod Assembly was May 20 & 21 at Prince of Peace in Burnsville.

SOTV was represented by lay members Judy Anderson, Vern Bloomquist, Pat Buss, Chad Dahlke, David Linner, and Aldrea Malo, and rostered leaders Mark Ertl, Pastor Duane Paetznick, Pastor Ron Olson, and Pastor Wendy Steger.

These delegates gathered to worship, to vote on resolutions, and synod council committee nominations, and to conduct other synod business. They also enjoyed fellowship time together and learned about the many ministries happening across the synod.

Other highlights included:

Artwork by member Kris Horton was featured at Assembly as part of a challenge to creatively reinterpret the Luther Rose.


A report on the Synod's Bega Kwa Bega Tanzania ministry was given by members Kirsten Levorson (partnership corrdinator) and Pastor Peter Harrits (Director of Bega Kwa Bega). The video "Because of Iringa" was shown which features a few faces from SOTV!

We asked people, "What difference have our global companions made in your life?" This is what they said. . .

Videos about mission development aired throughout Assembly. They are gradually being made available on the Synod's Facebook page (You do not need to be a Facebook member to view them).

Mission Strategy in the Saint Paul Area Synod

One of the major focuses of Assembly this year is on mission strategy, including mission renewal and mission development. In this video, Bishop Lull & the Rev. Justin Grimm give intro to what mission strategy means to our work together as a synod and as a church. #spas2016 #luther499

Posted by Saint Paul Area Synod, ELCA on Friday, May 20, 2016


Finally, the synod's new Statement of Purpose was revealed at Assembly:

The Saint Paul Area Synod is made up of congregations, mission starts and institutions committed to growing in faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Living out of our identity as Lutherans, we recognize we are grasped by grace and are free to devote our energy to being church in a way that is rooted in tradition and open to experimentation.

This means we will show up where we have not been before. We will walk with those who have felt excluded, hurt or indifferent to the witness of the church. We will act with the confidence that God calls us to meet Christ in every one of our neighbors.

Christ has begun this good work among us and is renewing us today for –

deeper faith in the living God;
wider engagement in God’s world;
bolder trust in God’s work through us;

In our common work we will:

build partnerships that are local, global and mutually transformative;
embolden our public witness to justice and service;
welcome possibilities for being church in a new day;

We are not there yet. We are on the way together.

This statement is available in all 4 of the primary languages of our synod here.