June 2021 Synod Council Update

June 10, 2021

Our Southeastern Synod Council met on Friday, June 4 both in person at Redeemer, Atlanta and over ZOOM. Detailed financial reports and reports from committees, staff, and partners in ministry can be found on our Synod Council website.

The agenda was approved. Minutes from previous meetings of our Synod Council were approved.

Bishop Kevin Strickland opened the meeting and updated our Council on the work of the Diversity and Justice Task Force, Strategic Vision Task Force, Disaster Ministry, ministry during the pandemic, and other topics. A report from Bishop Strickland will also be given during our Synod Assembly.

Vice President Imran Siddiqui shared the list of rostered ministers who are new to our synod, anniversaries for our rostered ministers and congregations, and the work of inclusivity in our committees and task forces. In addition, Rev. Ingrid Schalk and Ms. Connie Pearson were appointed to the Mutual Ministry Committee.

Mr. Steve Gehret presented the treasurer’s reports, report from the auditor, and the ministry funding plan for 2022-2023. All reports were accepted and the contract with Smith and Howard, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors, was extended for three years.

Members of the Synod Assembly Committees, including Elections, Nominating, Minutes, and Credentials, were elected.
Rev. Jill Henning presented a preview of the 2021 Synod Assembly.

VP Imran Siddiqui guided the Council through the nomination of the candidates for At-Large Synod Council members.

The Council heard reports from Synod ministries including En Conjunto from Rev. Justin Eller, Youth and Campus Ministry from Rev. Michael Jannett, and Disaster Ministry from Rev. Dr. P. Morgan Gordy.

VP Imran Siddiqui presented motions to dissolve the ELCA Southeastern Synod Holding Corporation and accept the assets for investment into the ELCA Southeastern Synod Endowment Fund. The motions were passed.

The Council heard reports from our partners in ministry, including Inspiritus from Rev. John Moeller, Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala from Rev. Karen Castillo, Region 9 Candidacy and Leadership from Rev. Dr. Ruth Hamilton, and African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA) from Ms. Roxann Thompson.

Motions were presented by Rev. Jill Henning and Rev. Ana Lugo for the Synod Assembly to approve the creation of an Endowment Fund for our Southeastern Synod and if passed, to create an Endowment Committee. The motions passed, forwarding this action on to the Synod Assembly.

A large number of En Bloc items were passed, including:

  • Roster status changes
  • Appointments to committees, task forces, and boards
  • Acceptance of reports from synod staff and synod officers, synod committees and task forces, and ministry partners.
  • Approval of Kessler Scholarships, Great Commission Fund Grants, and Morton Fund Grants
The Council thanked the following individuals whose Synod Council terms are ending: Rev. Mica Koli, Mr. Noah Ohsiek, Rev. Randy Jones (eligible for reelection), and Ms. Elaine Schwartz (eligible for reelection).

Staff and any guests present were excused as the Synod Council went into Executive Session.

The next meeting will be held September 17-18, 2021, at First United, Kennesaw, GA