Synod Assembly: Thursday

from Greater Milwaukee Synod

The 2014 Greater Milwaukee Synod Assembly began on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at the Country Springs Hotel Conference Center at 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The Assembly included The Local Table, with a light meal, on Thursday afternoon. FaithWorks North voting members are Jan Kasbeer & Pastor Michael Mueller, Pastor Gabriel Marcano, Pastor Mary Janz, and Art Smith and another Latino member.

gmsweblogoIn Thursday’s worship message, Synod Bishop Jeff Barrow walked the road from El Salvador to Emmaus, professing joy at being part of a church that was finding ways to find unity of purpose with other faith traditions. Rev. Kerstin Hedlund presided; assisted by Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, with Betty Baires serving as lector. Rev. Andy Fetters blessed the Good Shepherd Grant Recipients with the water of baptism.

Plenary I

The bishop welcomed special guests of the Assembly: Rev. Ruben Duran, Program Director, New Congregations for the ELCA;; Rev. Larry Westfield, Regional Gift Planner – Wisconsin Area Synods, ELCA; Rev. Scott Anderson, Executive Director, Wisconsin Council of Churches; Rev. Mark Lepper, Admissions Specialist, Wartburg Theological Seminary; Ms. Marilyn Olson, Assistant to the Vice President for Advancement, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Mr. Dan Schwiesow, Director – Regional Managers, Mission Investment Fund, ELCA; Ms. Brenda Skelton, President, Siebert Lutheran Foundation, and Rev. Dick and Naomi Bruesehoff, Outreach Coordinator, Portico Benefits Services.

Mr. Groenewold, chair of the Credentials Committee,  reported that in attendance at the opening of the Assembly on Thursday, May 29, 2014, were 124 rostered persons and 155 lay people, for a total voting membership of 279. Also present were 24 visitors for a total attendance of 303. A quorum of voting members was present.

Electronic Voting Tutorial

Ms. Tracy Apps, Synod Director of Communication, provided a brief tutorial on the synod’s electronic voting system. Test votes were taken, showing that blue remained the favorite color of Voting Members, and that they were having fun (but not yet by an overwhelming margin). Travel led the list of popular activities from Ms. Apps’ short list. A large majority voted yes to the question of whether they had “the hang of it.”

Report of the Reference and Counsel Committee

Mr. Paul Bedker, chair of the Reference and Counsel Committee, was asked to give the committee’s report. The committee met on May 13th to review all properly submitted resolutions and memorials. Members of the Committee are listed in the Committee’s report in the Supplement.

Mr. Bedker reported that four resolutions had been submitted and reviewed. The text of these resolutions was included in the Supplement, and will appear in these minutes as each resolution is considered.

Recommendations were as follows:

  • Resolution 1 – Recommended for adoption.
  • Resolution 2 – Not recommended for adoption, with comment that, while the Committee was sympathetic to the purpose of this resolution, it was agreed that the proposed actions could be counterproductive or have other unintended consequences.
  • Resolution 3 – The Committee forwarded this resolution without recommendation, noting that the impact on the synod’s budget means that a higher threshold for approval is required than normally true for resolutions.
  • Resolution 4 – Recommended for adoption.

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