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North Carolina Synod, ELCA, assembles in Greensboro

SALISBURY – Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) North Carolina Synod will gather June 2-3 from across the state for their annual synod assembly. Over 500 members and guests of the synod will meet at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. They come from 199 ELCA congregations across North Carolina.

The theme of the synod assembly is “We are Lutheran.” The assembly begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 2, with a remembrance of those rostered ministers of the synod who have died during the year.

Bishop Timothy M. Smith and Diana Haywood, vice president of the synod, will preside over the assembly. The Rev. Heidi Torgerson, director for Global Service in the ELCA Global Mission unit, will represent ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton at the assembly.

The Rev. Jeff Thiemann, president and CEO of Portico Benefit Services, a ministry of the ELCA which provides health, flexible spending, retirement and other benefits to its members, will be a special guest. The Rev. Alfredo Oviedo of Grace Lutheran Church in Hendersonville will serve as assembly chaplain.

During the assembly’s two days, synod agencies and institutions, as well as other ministries, will offer video reports. A new assistant to the bishop, the Rev. Sara Ilderton, will be installed, as will newly-elected conference deans. Seminary candidates, those new to the synod, and rostered ministers with significant anniversaries will be introduced.

Other business will include the election of Synod Council members and board members for synod agencies and institutions. A 2018 ministry spending plan will be approved in addition to guidelines for rostered minister compensation.

The bishop will report on the state of the synod and will engage the voting members of assembly in conversation about congregational risk and his top question of the year. In remembrance of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, participants will sample a Bible reading plan for the book of Romans that will launch this summer.

The winners of the “Tell It!” Bible story video contest will be unveiled, and the progress of the Faith, Finances, Freedom initiative will be announced. An NC Synod Outreach Committee report will highlight new ministries.

Assembly worship will take place on Friday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. This worship is open to the public. The Rev. Beth Kearney will preach and Bishop Smith will preside. The worship will include an official Welcome to the Roster of the Ministry of the Word and Service for those who serve as deacons and a Service of Godspeed for three synod staff members who will be retiring this summer.

The assembly agenda and additional information are posted at https://nclutheran.org/event/2017-synod-assembly/.

A pre-assembly event will be held on Thursday, June 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The morning session, “The Annual Roadmap: A 7-Step Guide for Setting Congregational Goals,” will be led by Peggy Hahn.

Hahn will offer part two of her presentations in the afternoon. Other afternoon workshops will include an ELCA Youth Gathering information session and “Show Me the Money” which will feature financial best practices for congregational treasurers.

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