The LCAQD 51st Convention of Synod was held 1–3 June at St John’s Lutheran Church and Primary School in Bundaberg.
Judy Powell, Chair of Council at Our Saviour, Rochedale, was tasked with compiling the Popular Report.
‘One hundred and sixty two delegates, as well as presenters and visitors were well looked after by a small army of fluoro-vested volunteers who greeted, assisted and fed us’, Judy says, ‘and we thank them for their work, warmth and generosity’.
Judy says that worship and devotion were a highlight of Synod. ‘On Friday evening we were welcomed into the church by a rich tenor solo, after which Bishop Paul Smith introduced the convention theme that God is gracious “to the 1000th generation”, encouraging our participation in saying “1000th” every time he spoke the word throughout the weekend’.
First Assistant Bishop Mark Vainikka welcomed everyone to the Saturday morning service. ‘He reminded us that “God’s grace is enough for today”. He asked, “Will our church have the strength to continue standing in 10, 20, 30 years’ time?” and he encouraged us not to be afraid to let things die in our congregations, for out of death God brings “resurrection, not resuscitation”.’
The Sunday morning service was enriched by the worship band and by the choir of students from St John’s Lutheran Primary School.
The business of Synod began on Friday with an Acknowledgement of Country, and once declared open was followed by business sessions featuring LCA department presentations.
LCA Bishop John Henderson spoke about some of the General Church work that he has been involved with in the past year. ‘He also encouraged all LCA members to make a practice of using the term “churchwide” instead of “national” in recognition of the fact that our church is wider than “national”; it includes both Australia and New Zealand’.
Other LCA department speakers were: Dr Tania Nelson on behalf of Local Mission; Peter Schirmer, LCA Executive Officer, who focussed on Ministry Support; Emma Graetz on behalf of Australian Lutheran College; and Christian Stern from Australian Lutheran World Service.
Margit Hubbers was first to present from LCAQD with a report from District Church Council (DCC). ‘She told us that the members of DCC “all love each other, but we don’t mind disagreeing”.’ Other speakers from LCAQD were Pastor David Schmidt from Ministry and Mission; Pastor David Spanagel from Hopevale in Far North Queensland; and Michael Turner and Michael Klatt who presented the budget report and held discussion on the LCAQD Governance Review. Aaron Glover and Ian Grieshaber presented the LYQ Report ; Karen Bryce presented for LWQ; Tim Kotzur and Dennis Mulherin introduced the LEQ report; Clare Seligmann from Lutheran Services; and Marie Pawsey from the LLL.
‘As the business of Synod had been completed with efficiency and harmony, it was voted that Synod close early’, Judy says. ‘Accordingly, the closing devotion was held before lunch.’
LCAQD Synod 2019 will be held 31 May – 2 June at Ipswich Lutheran Parish.