During the course of the assembly, Presiding
Bishop Eaton explored the assembly’s theme, “We Are
Church Together.” She guided the election process for
synod bishop and responded to questions asked by voting
members on the work that we share throughout the ELCA
and beyond. Voting members Elected the Rev. Deborah
K. Hutterer to a six-year term as synodical bishop. On
September 1, she will become the sixth bishop of the
ELCA’s Grand Canyon Synod.
Gave thanksgiving for the faithful departed and
remembered especially the pastors of this synod who
joined the church triumphant, John W. Albrecht, Paul W.
Baer, William E. Biedermann, Daniel J. Jordahl, Richard
A. Larson, Howard W. Mars, John D. Pfeiffer, Donald
P. Schneider, and Mary Todd-Pendergast.
Approved a resolution (a) urging “voting members
of this assembly … to work for passage of common
sense laws pertaining to firearms in this country that protect
our communities, children, and all citizens from the
carnage of gun violence”; (b) calling “upon our congregations
to study and discuss existing ELCA statements on
violence and appeals for stricter measures on gun control”;
(c) encouraging “members to exercise their ministry
of advocacy with our elected officials for passage of a
Universal Background Check on the sale of all firearms
and reinstatement of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
(expired in 2004)”; and (d) reaffirming “that this church
does not reject gun ownership or the recreational activities
associated with guns.”
Approved a resolution calling upon synod congregations in the state of Arizona “to provide current information
about the Navajo Evangelical Lutheran Mission needs and explain and promote the Arizona Christian
School Tuition Organization … as a part of their missional outreach.”
Received a report of a resolution submitted during the course of the assembly urging that the U.S. government
cease separating infants and children from their immigrant parents. Formal action will be taken by the Synod
Council’s Executive Committee on the resolution (a) that “calls upon the [U.S.] President and the [U.S.] Department
of Justice to exercise their power to cease [such separations]”, and (b) that urges “members to exercise their
ministry of advocacy with our elected officials for passage of laws to prevent such separations and to speed the reunification
of families.” Addressing the issue, Presiding Bishop Eaton noted that she had signed, along with two
dozen other religious leaders, a letter, which read: “As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives,
united in our concern for the well-being of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and
threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained [by the Administration’s decision to separate families].
We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the
household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional
support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families
that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to
provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a
dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the wellbeing
of parents and children. As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families
that will suffer due to this policy and urge the administration to stop their policy of separating families.”
Approved the fiscal 2019-2020 mission-spending plan of $2,167,542. The plan maintains the synod’s commitment
of 50 percent of each dollar of congregational mission support being devoted to ELCA churchwide ministries
throughout this country and the world.
Contributed in the offering $3,256 for the Grand Canyon Synod’s Fund for Leaders scholarships for the education
of future pastors and deacons.
Heard the report of Bishop Almen, who reminded assembly participants that they are members not only of
their own congregation but also of the whole Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Grand Canyon Synod.
He highlighted the key principle of interdependence in the life of the ELCA, reflected in ELCA constitutional
provision 8.11., which reads: “This church shall seek to function as people of God through congregations, synods,
and the churchwide organization, all of which shall be interdependent. Each part, while fully the church, recognizes
that it is not the whole church and therefore lives in a partnership relationship with the others.”
We are blessed for the journey with Christ.
Come Holy Spirit!!