Synod Assembly in action
Synod Assembly
of the
West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

The West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod gathered in assembly, June 2-3, under the theme...

Faith Comes from What Is Heard

Assemby Book Art

A Digest

The 30th Assembly of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod convened in Vienna, WV, on Friday, June 2, 2017, under the theme, “Faith Comes from What Is Heard,” First Lutheran Church, Parkersburg, serving as the host congregation.
Pre-assembly activities included:
  • Sternwheeler cruise on the Ohio River that featured a covered dish dinner co-hosted by First Lutheran, Parkersburg, and Christ Lutheran, Vienna.
  • Evening beer sampling of home brew for clergy at Pr. Ian Reid’s.
  • Friday morning Matins at Christ Lutheran Church, Vienna, under the leadership of Pr. Theobald-Rowlands.
The Synod Assembly Mass was held Friday night at First Lutheran Church, Parkersburg. Luther’s 1526 Deutsche Messe was employed for the liturgy (albeit in English). The offering was designated for the Lutheran seminary in Bezaha, Madagascar.
The Rev. Paul Hoffman was featured speaker at the assembly. Seventeen lay participants joined Pr. Hoffman for training in catechumenal Bible study the morning before the assembly convened. During the assembly, the assembly participants split up into seventeen small groups, each facilitated by one of the newly trained leaders. Pr. Hoffman also spoke to the assembly several times about the catechumenal model and faith formation. Super well-received.

Mr. Andrew Steele, Director of Global Church Sponsorship, served as Churchwide representative.
In order to accommodate a request by a presenter for a minimum hour to cover the Women & Justice study, the assembly adjourned at 1:45 PM until 3:30 PM so that concurrently, during the adjournment, the following could be held:
  • Ms. Pamela Pritt, a member of the Church Council of the ELCA and member of the ELCA’s Women & Justice TF, introduced, Faith, Sexism, Justice: Conversations toward a Social Statement, leading an overflowing lecture room through Module 2.
  • An open hearing of the Resolutions Committee, chaired by The Rev. Jerry Kliner, in which the committee and interested attendees heard reports from the several church-affiliated agencies and entities that usually report to the assembly.
Vice-President Paul Wangerin’s highlighted the “listening posts” being conducted around the synod, reporting that they have been well-received and that analysis is ongoing.
Treasurer Joseph Solberg (the youngest treasurer, perhaps officer, in the ELCA) gave a very sobering report on the fiscal situation, highlighting that the reversal in mission support decline was short lived. A 2018 budget was adopted that draws $23K from unrestricted reserves.
Hosting pastor, Pr. Ian Reid, reported on our trip to Madagascar and the companion synod relationship.
A resolution from a member acknowledging the 55 years of ordained service and impending retirement of The Rev. Larry Cantu was adopted.

The Resolutions Committee presented three resolutions (in addition to the concluding resolution). Two related to flooding and one related to Madagascar.
  • A resolution related to the flooding of the church camp while it was in session,
    • Praising the dean of the camp and the staff for their work related to the evacuation of the camp;
    • Praising the Emmanuel Assembly of God, Cowen, WV, and the people of the local community for providing shelter and necessities to the evacuated camp; and
    • Praising the Webster County emergency services community and Camp Caesar for their efforts during the evacuation.
  • A resolution commending Community Lutheran Partners for its flood relief and recovery work and calling for the members and the congregations of the synod to resupply and refill CLP’s disaster cache and bank account with attention to maintaining the general operating fund.
  • A resolution authorizing Synod Council to explore formalizing a companion synod relationship with the Betroka Synod, Malagasy Lutheran Church, and confecting the same should there by no obstacles.
The Bishop's report, in addition to acknowledging pastoral anniversaries, the centennial of one congregation, and the demisemiseptcentennial of three others, began with a comparison of the quadricentennial and present quincentennial of the Reformation, moved to discussion of the theological-catechetical charism of the Lutheran Movement, and concluded by discussing the utility of denominational institutions with respect to support of the movement and the movement’s independence from those denominational institutions. The report of the Committee on the Bishop's Report provided several directives related to self-care.


The minutes are not yet approved. Once that happens, we'll post the proceedings of the assembly. Until then, you can check our the Pre-Assembly Book of Reports, downloadable here---warning, it is a large file.

Jess' artWhere did you find that great assembly art?

Special thanks go to Pr. Jess Felici for creating an original work on our assembly theme.

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