Our denomination, the ELCA, holds a churchwide assembly triennially – to worship, vote on matters of governance and policy, and be church together for the sake of the world. SWCA Synod voting members at were: Council Vice President Randall Foster; Pastor James Boline; Wanda Rosado; Cheyenne Boykin; Bishop Guy Erwin; Rob Flynn; Pastor Jennie Chrien; Joe Bulock; and Deacon Lynn Bulock (Rob Flynn and Joe Bulock each served 3 days as substitute voting members for Michael Metzger, who was unable to attend) .
The 2019 churchwide assembly held in Milwaukee from August 5 – 10, was full of important votes and actions, including:
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
A declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.
Approved resolution declaring the ELCA is a “sanctuary church body,” encouraging participation in the ELCA AMMPARO initiative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work.
Approved support for the World Council of Church’s Thursdays in Black, awareness movement for a world without rape and violence.
Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
Approved a declaration for inter-religious commitment, reaffirming ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
Approved the recommendations from a strategic taskforce which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
Approved memorials: affirming but not “endorsing” the Poor People’s Campaign, care for immigrants and refugees, and other statements.
Adopted a new social statement, “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Lutheran Call to Action,” and its implementing resolutions.
Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.
Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.
Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women’s ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy.