Synod Assembly 2021

Given the ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, many events continue to be held differently than in past years. For the 2021 Synod Assembly, Synod Council has approved a virtual assembly, which will be held on May 15, 2021 via Zoom.

Due to its virtual nature, this year’s Synod Assembly will be primarily business focused. Therefore, only voting members will be able to register for and participate in the Zoom meeting. All non-voting members and visitors are invited to watch the Synod Assembly via livestream on social media. In the coming months, updates and resources will be available here.

As congregations select voting members, please keep in mind that voting members should be comfortable using computers, mobile devices, and/or tablets, learning and using applications, and accessing information from websites. Additionally, each voting member will need their own email address and voting device (smartphone or tablet). They will also need access to a computer to participate in the Zoom meeting. It is recommended that voting members use a computer to host the Zoom meeting and use a smartphone or tablet as their voting device.

The theme for Synod Assembly 2021 will be centered on the verse “Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back.” (Deuteronomy 30:4).

Registration 

Registration is now! Given the nature of this year’s Synod Assembly, only voting members will be able to register. All non-voting members and visitors are invited to watch the Synod Assembly via livestream on social media. Registration forms must be completed online and submitted by April 21, 2021. There will be no late registration. Please read all registration information before completing the registration form.

Given the technological nature of this Synod Assembly, voting members should be comfortable using computers, mobile devices, and/or tablets, learning and using applications, and accessing information from websites. Additionally, each voting member will need their own email address and voting device (smartphone or tablet). They will also need access to a computer to participate in the Zoom meeting. It is recommended that voting members use a computer to host the Zoom meeting and use a smartphone or tablet as their voting device. 

As part of registering for Synod Assembly, voting members will have the option to sign up for pre-assembly discussion sessions and technology orientations. The pre-assembly discussion sessions are two-hour, optional, informal sessions aimed at providing voting members with an opportunity to discuss resolutions and the budget. The one-hour technology orientations provide voting members with an opportunity to go over Zoom basics and practice voting. After completing the registration form, voting members should expect to receive emails in the coming months with additional information.

Pre-Assembly Discussions and Tech Orientations Schedule

  • Resolutions Discussion, May 4, 6-8pm
  • Budget Discussion, May 5, 6-8pm
  • Tech Orientations, May 11, 12, 13, 6-7pm

When completing the registration form, make sure to complete the country code field of the address section. For addresses in the United States, the country code is US. If you are registering multiple people who want to attend pre-assembly sessions on different dates, it’s easiest to complete their registrations separately. Register Now.

Memorials and Resolutions

To be considered for the 2021 Synod Assembly, resolutions and memorials must be submitted to the North/West Lower Michigan (NWLM) Synod Resolutions Committee. All resolutions and memorials must be submitted electronically to Ann Stavros at the Synod Office by April 7, 2021.

Resolutions and memorials may only be submitted by a voting member of the upcoming Synod Assembly, a member of a NWLM Synod congregation, a member of a NWLM Synod committee, or a member of an agency of the NWLM Synod. Each proposed resolution and memorial is required to include the names of at least 25 confirmed members of the Synod who support consideration of the proposed document by the upcoming Synod Assembly.  

Download a resolutions and memorials worksheet and guidelines document. For additional guidance in drafting resolutions and memorials, authors are encouraged to contact the Synod Resolutions Committee via its chair, Rev. Justin J. Walker. Resources are also available at www.elca.org/documents (search for “Resolutions”).

Video Submissions

Synod ministries, synod tables, and synod committees are welcome to submit a short video to be considered for the Synod Assembly. Each group may submit one video that is one-two minutes in length. Videos should feature the work of the ministry, table, or committee. Given the business focus and time considerations of this year’s Synod Assembly, submitted videos are not guaranteed to be shown during Assembly. All videos will be released via social media after Synod Assembly. To be considered, all videos must be submitted to Rev. David Sprang by April 7, 2021.

Nominations

The Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for Synod Council, the Discipline Committee and Consultation Committee. All nominations and completed Bio Forms must be submitted to Rev. Jessica Hahn by March 31.

Assembly Book

All reports must be submitted by April 7, 2021 to be included in the Synod Assembly Book. Reports should be submitted to Rebecca Bossenbroek.

Offering for Synod Assembly 

As our 2021 Synod Assembly is a one-day, business-only, virtual event with no worship service, and therefore no designated offering, we offer a few giving suggestions for congregations who desire to make a contribution in lieu of the traditional Synod Assembly offering:

  • Living Stones Initiative – This giving campaign was announced to the 2019 Synod Assembly as a means for those committed to, and appreciative of, synodical ministry to support the synod’s operational budget in fiscal years ending 1/31/21, 1/31/22 and 1/31/23. Just as some give directly to Living Water Ministries, Samaritas, etc., Living Stones is a way to give directly to the synod.
  • Seminary Debt Reduction Fund – This fund provides $2,000 grants to pastors and deacons within their first 15 years of ministry who are carrying student loan debt after seminary graduation. We were able to assist three of six applicants with the gifts received during 2020.
  • Synod Disaster Relief Fund – This fund was instrumental in providing assistance to those affected by the flooding in the Midland area last year. It is also the fund through which COVID-19 grants from churchwide are channeled to provide assistance to congregations engaging with their communities to assist those most affected by the pandemic.
  • Ways to give:
  • Make checks payable to North/West Lower Michigan Synod and indicate your designation/s on the memo line and/or on an enclosure. Mail checks to 2900 N Waverly Rd, Lansing MI 48906.
  • Make a contribution online. Visit www.mittensynod.org and click on DONATE and then GIVE. You will find a list of funds to which you may contribute, including those mentioned above.

We extend heartfelt thanks to congregations and individuals who have already contributed to these ministries, many of whom continue to do so on a monthly basis. Your faithful generosity is crucial to the ministry we do together to make a difference in the lives of others for the sake of Christ.