2017 NALC Convocation focuses on Discipleship and Reformation
Nearly 700 NALC members gathered August 9-11 for the 2017 NALC Convocation in Nashville, Tenn., around the theme, “Holding Fast: Being Reformed.”
The 500th anniversary of the Reformation provided a focus for the Convocation. The leaders of the largest Lutheran churches in the world were featured speakers for the worship services. The Rev. Dr. Fredrick Onael Shoo, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, was the preacher for a festival service observing the Reformation anniversary. The Rev. Yonas Yigezu, President of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, preached for the opening worship of the Convocation Mission Festival.
The Rev. Dr. James Nestingen and the Rev. Dr. Nathan Yoder delivered keynote Bible study addresses on Reformation themes. The Rev. Dr. Jared Wicks addressed Martin Luther from a Roman Catholic perspective, and Carmen Fowler LaBerge addressed the Lutheran Reformation from a Reformed perspective.
The NALC’s focus on discipleship featured prominently in the Convocation. Bishop John Bradosky provided a keynote address and Bible study on discipleship for the Mission Festival. Discipleship was also a focus of his report to the Convocation and of other speakers and workshops.
The NALC Mission Festival began the Convocation under the theme, “Renewing Congregational Life Through the Word of God.” Keynote addresses were given by Bishop Bradosky, the Rev. Dr. Gemechis Buba, and the Rev. Dr. Joseph Parsalaw of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. Church leaders from around the world took part in a panel discussion on congregational life in their countries. Workshops addressed a variety of topics.
Stuff the Truck for NALC Disaster Response was a great success. So many supplies were brought for NALC Disaster Response that a larger truck needed to be obtained. Donated supplies included 400 quilts, 366 health kits, 112 school kits, 70 flood buckets, and 225 Bibles.
The Bishop election process will remain the same as proposed constitutional amendments were not approved.
Elected to the NALC Executive Council to four-year terms were Brian E. Sutton of Statesville, N.C., and Pastor Mark Braaten of Tyler, Texas. Pastor Jeffray S. Greene of Brooks, Ga., and Lyle Hollander of Boyden, Iowa were elected to the Court of Adjudication. The Convocation also ratified the election of Julie Eskeland to the NALC-Canada Section Governing Board.
2018 budgets were approved. The Convocation approved a $2.1 million operating budget for the NALC. Budgets were also approved for NALC designated funds: $543,000 for the Theological Education Fund (which includes the North American Lutheran Seminary); $165,500 for the Great Commission Fund; and $64,000 for the Disaster Response Fund. Budgets anticipate spending some cash reserves. Delegates also approved a resolution encouraging congregations to increase their benevolence giving to the NALC by at least 1 percent of their congregational budget annually.
The Braaten and Benne Lectures in Theology, the annual theological conference which precedes the Convocation, focused on theological perspectives on the Work of Christ. The speakers were Dr. Don Collett, Dr. Gordon Isaac, Dr. Paul Hinlicky, Dr. David Luy, and Dr. David Yeago.
Video recordings of the NALC Convocation and the Braaten-Benne Lectures on Theology will be available for viewing online at www.thenalc.org. Documents and photos from the Convocation are also available online.
Holy Trinity’s lay delegate, Deb Mumford will be making a detailed report on the Convocation in Pastor Mike’s Sunday School Class on September 17, in Fellowship Hall. Watch the Bulletin for details.