Saturday, February 4, 2023. Your NT-NL Synod, ELCA Synod Council and Conference Deans and Assistant Deans met in our annual winter meeting. As this meeting has been disrupted by weather the last 2 years we discerned this year to do so online. Which both makes for efficiency and saves the synod approximately $10,000 in travel and lodging expense.
31 participants gathered for our 4 hours online to do the work of the synod. This included approving on-leave from call requests and well as extending synod council calls. We also heard from our new Parish Lay Ministry Academy Dean Madeline Richard about the growth and expansion of this ministry. Grateful for the 6 grads this January and a new class that is growing.
A number of action items were done to send to our 2023 Assembly (April 28-29 in Shreveport, LA). This included the rules of the assembly and designating the synod offering. 50% to be shared with the conference hosting us and 50% to the new ministry emerging through conversations between Saint Stephen Lutheran Church 8400 Kingston Road Shreveport, Louisiana and Holy Trinity-Shreveport. To help them in their desire to do mission together.
A big point of conversation was the discernment regarding the future of Briarwood Leadership Center. The Briarwood Board has been in conversation with potential partners about running the ministry. Perhaps partnering with another organization. Selling all or a portion of the property. All options have and are being explored. In this I reported to the council the Briarwood Board seeks to be an example to our synod as a whole in assessing resources, stewarding those resources, focused on the purpose of the ministry. To share God’s good news and welcome others to hear the good news that God is for them.
I am so very grateful for these leaders and their willingness to take time after a long and cold week in our territory to be inside and online. Our Mission Endowment Fund board also met today in the morning to approve over $70,000 in grants for 2023. In the midst of the difficult challenges we face it is good, as I was reminded today, to celebrate the joys and stories of ministry happening. Grateful for God’s abundance and ministries that enable us to grow and support ministry. #NTNL #InMissionTogether