In 2019, Emeritus Bishop Paul Smith called on congregations to encourage younger delegates to attend the 2020 and 2021 Synods.
Of course, COVID-19 put a stop to the 2020 Convention of Synod, like so many other events around the world.
However, it was clear at the 2021 Synod that a new generation of delegates was ready to step up and ready to learn from the experience of those who’d faithfully served for many years.
Of the 107 congregational delegates attending this year’s convention, 12% (a total of 13 delegates) were aged 40 and under.
Many of them contributed to the discussion and debate on agenda items, offering viewpoints that will contribute to the LCAQD’s work for many years to come.
One of the youngest delegates, Josiah Henricy, from the Bethania congregation, said it took courage to step up to the microphone.
“I speak in what’s in my head and my heart, but I’ve been nervous about speaking (to delegates),” the 18-year-old said.
Our Saviour Rochedale delegate Jeremy Lie, said he had a new perspective from attending his first Synod.
“It’s really good to have an insight into the other side of our church that you don’t see as a congregation member,” Jeremy said.
“It’s good to see the debate and how the church goes about that.”
“I found it encouraging to interact with the Ministry and Mission presentations, especially the round table discussions about how to better engage with our community, and to fulfil our mission to God.”
The Synod program is jam-packed with presentations from Lutheran programs that operate in Queensland and across the LCANZ.
Felicity Dunning, 30, from St Peters Indooroopilly said she had been surprised the first time she attended Synod at how much the Lutheran Church does in the community.
“You can be involved in our church in so many ways, but this is the room where you have to come if you want to change things,” she said
“The first year I came I was surprised how much our church does.”
“It’s great to be part of.”
Bishop-Elect Mark Vainikka said he was pleased to see so many young people attend Synod as delegates this year.
“While he was Bishop of the District, Pastor Paul Smith focused on the need for the voice of younger members to be heard through the district’s governance processes and structures. While there is still a way to go, having an increased number of younger Synod delegates this year is heartening,” Bishop Elect Mark said. “We need to empower younger members to be involved in all areas of the Church. Whether we are older or younger, we are all Church together.”
Plans are underway for the 2022 Convention of Synod to be held in Toowoomba. Congregations are urged to continue encouraging younger members to be delegates.