Synod Worship Moments
Worship services and devotions were held throughout the Synod program. Devotions followed the synod theme “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) and had a contemplative style.
The Synod theme imagery included a signpost in the shape of a cross, that symbolises God’s different callings on our life. The signpost is on top of a hill, indicating God’s invitation for us to live in his ‘higher ways’ as his followers, as we bring Christ’s love to life in our vocations. A family walks towards it, highlighting that God calls each of us ‘according to God’s purpose’. We are made to be in relationship with one another, journeying together both at Synod and along the path God has laid out for us. The image of a dove symbolises peace, hope and freedom in the Holy Spirit and represents faith in God’s promises.
Those who gathered on Friday evening were invited to participate in an ‘Ignatian prayer’ of listening to God’s call and commitment to God’s purpose while making the sign of the cross upon themselves.
Saturday morning’s service was a contemplative style with meditation and prayer based on the Lectio Divina (divine reading) concept of slow reading. The passage Romans 8:28, 35, 37-39 was read four times and in between each reading, people were encouraged to think and pray about the text, and then finally sit in God’s presence.
In his address, First Assistant Bishop Ben reflected on the many vocations people are called to serve in life according to God’s purpose, between work, parenthood and other social functions, using their God-given skills.
In memorium: Synod delegates and visitors remembered faithful servants of the church who have passed away in the past 12 months, including:
- Rev Noel Schmocker
- Rev Geoffrey Lester Hartwig
- Rev Peter Walter Boesch
- Rev Alan Geoffrey Robinson
- Rev Herbert Paul Vincent Renner
- Rev Lionel Otto
- Rev Robert Kenneth Fechner
- Mrs Aaltje “Alice” Hofman nee Commeraat, wife of Rev Marinus Hofman
- Rev Milton Fritsch
- Rev Lloyd Boughen
The hymn When human voices cannot sing was sung as part of the time of remembrance and thanksgiving.
Saturday afternoon was a Taizé-style service, which invited us to draw near to God through Psalms 103: 2-4 and 139 and look to the new day.
The Sunday morning worship with Holy Communion was hosted by Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Rochedale. Preacher Bishop Mark Vainikka was assisted by Kathy Matuschka (representing congregational ministry), Jo Corney (representing Lutheran Services) and Kirsten Munchenberg (representing Lutheran Education) and followed the Chris Chataway ‘Sing the Feast 2’ setting.
Bishop Mark’s thoughtful sermon provided a springboard for the workshop described below.
The 2023 Convention of Synod Offering was directed to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hope Vale for Mission and Ministry in Far North Queensland.
The concluding service on Sunday afternoon provided an opportunity to reflect on the journey that began with the Friday evening worship with an Examen reflection. The District Church Board was installed during this closing service.
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