2018 ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly

Thirty-First Annual Assembly of our Sierra Pacific Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
June 1-3, 2018
Sacramento, CA

“We Are Church Together: This is Our Neighborhood”

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

May 1, 2018

Dear Voting Members and Visitors for our 2018 Sierra Pacific Assembly,

Welcome to the thirty-first Assembly of our Sierra Pacific Synod! For the first three days of June, we will gather in Sacramento under the theme “We are Church Together: This is Our Neighborhood.” God has called us to be mindful of our relationships with God and with each other. Our theme verse, Luke 10:27, offers the words of Jesus as he shares what he calls the two greatest commandments, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.In other places of the Bible, the question is asked, “Who is our neighbor?” or “Who was neighbor to that person?”It's a question with which we in the church continue to wrestle – how, as followers of Jesus, are we called to love and serve our neighbors locally and globally? How do we keep our eyes open to see the needs of our neighbors, and how do we keep our hearts open to respond in love and hope? We will be blessed to hear from a variety of Lutheran leaders from around our country and around our world as we ponder these questions and more.

Our Keynote Speaker will be Rozella White, who serves as the Houston City Director for Mission Year, an organization committed to helping young adults become advocates for God's justice in their neighborhoods and in the world. She previously served as the Director for Young Adult Ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ms. Dana Dutcher, who serves as ELCA Global Missions Managerfor Relationships in Asia and the Pacific, Madagascar, West and Central Africa, will be our Churchwide Representative on behalf of Presiding Bishop Eaton. Bp. Medardo Gomez of the Lutheran Church of El Salvador, one of our three Companion Synods, will be with us to bring greetings and preach at our Closing Worship Service. And we are pleased to welcome Bishop Tracie Bartholomew of the New Jersey Synod of the ELCA as our Bible Study Leader and Opening Worship Preacher. Our Parliamentarian for this Assembly will be Mr. David Swartling, former Secretary of the ELCA. And we will again be blessed this year by the return of the members of the Sacramento Gay Men's Chorus, who will be with us Friday evening to bless our time of Worship.

A Friday evening Banquet will include a celebration of significant anniversaries of the ordination of clergy and of the founding of congregations in our synod. Information about those people and congregations who are celebrating anniversaries can be found in the pages following the Synod Assembly Agenda. Meal events require that you be either a registered Voting Member of the Assembly or a registeredVisitor. No tickets will be available for purchase at the Assembly.

This year, we will again be using Guidebook technology and software to provide information needed for Voting Members. The Synod Assembly Handbook of information will be available to download directly to your iPad or notebook. This information can even be updated during the Assembly. Information will also be available via the website in PDF form -- http://spselca.org/index.php/assembly. In this handbook, you will find information to review before we gather, as well as to use while we are in Assembly. Please note the information provided is divided into seven sections:

· Cover – 2018 Synod Assembly handbook

· Welcome to the Assembly – Synod Assembly Agenda and other information

· Elections for Churchwide Voting Members and Synod Council Members

· Proposed Amendments to our Constitution and By-Laws

· Resolutions

· Reports – Synod, Churchwide and Ministry Affiliates

· The Proposed 2019-20 Budget and the most recent Synod Audit

· Governing Documents

As voting members and visitors you are responsible for downloading, printing, reading and bringing this information with you to the Assembly.Packets of information willNOT be available at the Assembly.

Important information for you to know about this year's Assembly:

+ We will be using wireless electronic voting. You will be required to “sign out” and “sign in”

your voting keypad. There is no special seating area for voting members or visitors.

+ We are again “going green” by attempting to use as little paper as possible -- there will be no

“packets.” Information about the many ministries that serve our Synod and the ELCA can be picked up in the Display Area.

+ If you are bringing materials for distribution to Assembly Voting Members, there will be an

additional table in the Display Area where these will be made available. No documents
may be distributed on the Assembly floor without the approval of the Synod Secretary.

+ There are several workshops available for you to attend on Saturday afternoon – all of which are offered in the hope of strengthening/encouraging your ministries in the place where God is calling you to serve. There will also be other opportunities for conversation throughout the time we are gathered.

I offer my profound thanks to the members of the Assembly Planning Team, our Synod Staff, and those from the Sacramentoareawho have helped to plan for this Assembly, as well as Ms. Mary Wiberg and Pr. Tita Valeriano, Co-Chairs of the Assembly Planning Committee.

Please keep our Assembly in prayer as we trust God's enlivening Spirit to gather us around the theme, "We Are Church Together: This is Our Neighborhood."Everyone who has been working hard to prepare for this gathering is excited to welcome you to the 2018 Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly – the thirty-first time we will have gathered in this way!

On behalf of the Staff of the Office of the Bishop and the Assembly Planning Team,

Bp. Mark W. Holmerud
Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA