Plenary 2 Tuesday morning

Started by Richard Johnson, August 13, 2013, 10:01:21 AM

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Richard Johnson

Shoot, I managed to lose my notes as we go along. No big loss, not much happening. The "morning prayer" really wasn't that, other than that it included prayer and was in the morning. It began with one of those praise song things.

We heard the result of the first ballot--or rather, we were told it had been "pushed" to the iPads, so the names weren't actually read. The Nominating Committee chair then went on at some length about the other elections we'll be holding.

We heard the report of VP Carlos Pena, who called attention to the report of the church council (which he chairs), talked about how much he's learned and grown in office, and gave a general ELCA pep talk.

We heard the presentation of the 2014/16 budgets, which show a steady decline in current funding proposals, from $70.5 million in 2014, to $68.5 million in 2015, to $67.9 million in 2016 (with World Hunger funds remaining constant at $19 million). There were some interesting factoids, which I unfortunately lost-- but I think it was something like in 1970, predecessor church body congregations gave 16% to mission support, but in 2012, ELCA congregations gave 5%.

We heard about the ELCA 25th anniversary campaign, a "five-year Campaign for the ELCA [which] gives each of us the opportunity to make a transformational impact on the shared ministries of the church." The money raised will be used to give grants for congregational renewal initiatives, plant new congregations, grow an endowment fund for potential leaders, etc. etc.--essentially all of the churchwide ministries, looks like.

Then we heard about the Book of Faith Initiative, which the assembly will be asked once again to "affirm . . . as a continuing emphasis." My sense is that this program is one of the things the ELCA has done that has actually had some traction, and so we keep talking about it and promoting it. Well, Biblical literacy is a good thing. One wonders how long this particular programmatic ball can be kept in the air, however.

I think in order to avoid the previous problem I'll start posting my running account periodically, and then modifying it as I go along.

Assembly approved motion encouraging, reaffirming, etc. Book of Faith Initiative, with 17 negative votes.

Presentation from Ruben Duran, Stephen Bouman and others on "Renewing Congregations."

Running behind. It's now 10:24, this session due to be over at 10:30, and still a couple of presentations on the agenda for this morning.

Talking about "three great listenings"--to God, to congregation, to community. Four questions proposed for discussion: When has your congregation been there for you when you needed it? What's an issue in your community right now on your heart? What issue in your life is keeping you up at night or getting you up in the morning? No restraints, what's your bright idea for what your church could be doing in the next 5 or 10 years?

Going to end on time, though with two reports left unheard. Swartling announces there's been a problem with electronic nomination submission; he moves to extend deadline to allow for paper submissions. Motion carried, 94%.

Announcements, and then adjournment for worship.



The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

gregharbaugh

Well, good to know that continued decline in mission support is anticipated and/or expected.
I guess expectations for the 5-year campaign are really high ...

peter_speckhard

I didn't know round table discussion was a normal part of conventions. Have they always done that? I don't the LCMS did any. Then again, having been overrun by sacerdotalists, we abolished round tables in favor of audience chambers.

Richard Johnson

The round table discussion is during the Bible study, and it is in another hall entirely (about a six mile walk away, it felt like). Voting members were assigned tables and there was a designated leader; the rest of us just sat willy nilly at the back, with no assigned leader at our table so we had to struggle through on our own.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

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