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2021 Synod Assembly
2021 Synod Assembly
Date: April 29-May 1, 2021
Cost: Voting Member: $125
Visitor/Exhibitor: $25 (no mailed materials); $75 (mailed materials)
What stories do we tell about ourselves? Our nation? Our history? Our church? God?
Voting members and visitors are invited to join in this conversation during this year's synod assembly. Through worship, small group conversation, assembly business, and keynote sessions, we will together explore our individual an collective stories for the sake of community, truth-telling, healing, and continuing our journey as a church becoming.
Dr. Edward Antonio
Dr. Edward Antonio serves as the Chief Diversity Officer and Professor of Humanities at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Prior to this, he taught at both Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver. With a background and training in journalism, religion, and theology, he is particularly interested in the pathways that bring together secular and religious realms to resolve conflict. Dr. Antonio's deep knowledge of peace and conflict began intimately while growing up under three different systems of colonialism. Under British rule, Portuguese rule, and the system of Apartheid, what characterized reality for everyone was conflict. Before becoming a theologian, Dr. Antonio covered the wars of liberation in Zimbabwe and Mozambique as a journalist, where he developed immediate connections with the politicians engaging in diplomacy and negotiations. In addition to these foundational experiences, he also credits his scholarship to both his uncle, a diviner who taught him the centrality of humanity in divination, and his father, who would host members of different religious groups weekly for tea, bread, and debate.
- Synod Assembly this year will once again take place via ZOOM. All business, plenary, and worship will take place digitally beginning the afternoon of Thursday, April 29, ending around noon Saturday, April 30.
- There will be an opportunity to discuss assembly business items such as the budget or resolutions via zoom meetings prior to the assembly. Recordings of these meetings will be posted on the website.
- Voting members are asked to engage the Pre-Assembly Timeline and Journal: Struggling with our Stories of Race individually, as a congregation, or as part of the synod-led discussion group.
- Pastors, Deacons, and congregational voting members are encouraged to gather retreat style and participate in assembly sessions together as a congregation.
How to Participate in This Year’s Assembly:
By April/May, we assume it will be safe for small groups to gather in person. So while the content will be digital, congregations and ministries will attend assembly together. There will be a lot of time for small group conversation, but instead of using breakout rooms on Zoom, you will talk face-to-face with folks from your congregation!
Preparing for Assembly:
- Reserve a room in your building that you can utilize the whole weekend. This room will need a TV/projector and computer so you can view the assembly sessions together.
- In addition to individual packets of material, each congregation will receive a packet of fun things that will be used throughout the event. A gift card will be included to purchase needed materials that are hard to mail.
- Organize snacks and meals ahead of time:
- Use the gift card to purchase snacks and morning coffee
- Organize a potluck with voting members or assign each person a meal
- Invite the congregation to participate by providing meals for assembly attendees
- While each congregation has a set number of voting members, invite other members to join you as visitors at no cost
- Create a retreat atmosphere: make sure snacks and beverages are readily available in the room; gather all supplies ahead of time, add some fabric, candles, and comfy chairs to set a welcoming atmosphere!
- Voting will be done via electronic voting platform. It is easiest if each voting member has their own device, but the voting window will be long enough to allow for device sharing if needed.