From Friday May 31 and Sunday June 2, our Lutheran communities in Queensland gather for our annual District Synod.
‘Synod’ is a not a common word in our culture, but as a word to describe our life as God’s people in the mission of God we call ‘the Church’, the word ‘synod’ has deep meaning and profound opportunity. Synod is often translated as ‘assembly’ or ‘meeting’. It is a compound word which is formed by two ancient Greek words. The word ‘syn’ means together and the word ‘hoddos’ means ‘way’ or ‘road’.
Synod is therefore best translated as the ‘way together’. It is a dynamic expression of God’s people coming together to build each other up, to commit to each other, to embrace each other, to support each other, to work with each other. Through strengthening each other, we walk together in a common way with a common purpose.
‘Synod’ is also the ancient church word which has been the preferred word amongst Lutheran assemblies since the Reformation era. ‘Synod’ describes the assembly of representatives of all parts of the Church; Women and men, old and young, lay and ordained. It is different from a Council of Bishops or a Pastors’ Conference. In the Lutheran tradition, we use the word ‘Synod’ to describe the highest authority in our Church to emphasise that all the people of God contribute to our work in the mission of God.
In our Australian and New Zealand Church, we use ‘Synod’ not only for our District Church gathering, but also for our National gathering, to highlight our common life as Lutherans in this part of the world. We are ‘journeying together’ along the way of the gospel of Jesus Christ, on both sides of the Tasman.
Therefore, in the lead up to Synod 2019, please pray for our sisters and brothers who are travelling to Ipswich. Pray that they would have listening ears for one another. Pray that they would have courage and a sense of common purpose to follow where the Lord leads us. Pray that they would know the Lord’s delight to work in and through them for the witness and service of our Lutheran Church of Australia, Queensland District.