2018 NALC Convocation
About 600 delegates and visitors gathered August 15-17 in Denver, Colo., for the 2018 Convocation of the North American Lutheran Church around the theme, “The Holy Spirit: Calling, Gathering, Enlightening, Sanctifying.”
The Mission Festival began with a focus on discipleship. Featured speakers Sherry Weddell and Katherine Coolidge of the Catherine of Siena Institute in Colorado Springs, Colo., talked about ways congregations can form intentional disciples. The Mission Festival also featured a variety of breakout sessions to equip members for mission.
Pastor Gemechis Buba, Assistant to the Bishop for Missions, offered presentations at the Mission Festival and Convocation sessions. He told inspiring stories of God’s work in providing buildings for some NALC mission congregations serving Oromo people.
Bishop John Bradosky will not be seeking reelection as Bishop of the NALC when his term expires in 2019. The Bishop talked about “passing the baton” of the office of Bishop and pointed out the need for all of us to “pass the baton” of faith and discipleship.
To prepare for the nomination and election process for Bishop, a packet of information was provided to congregations including a booklet of prayers encouraging NALC members to engage in a year of prayer and discernment leading up to the election at the NALC Convocation August 7-9, 2019, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Elections: Richard Jansak of Hendersonville, N.C., and Pastor Melinda Jones of Summerville, S.C., were elected to four-year terms on the Executive Council. Pastor John Moffett of Ashland, Ohio, and James Gale of Washington, D.C., were elected to the Court of Adjudication. Ralph Wold of Red Deer, Alberta, and Pastor Rolf Bjornstad of Sherwood Park, Alberta were elected to the NALC Canada Section Governing Board. Pastor Wendy Berthelsen of Midlothian, Texas; Pastor Dennis Di Mauro of Herndon, Va., and Pastor Phillip Gagnon of St. Albert, Alberta, were elected to six-year terms on the North American Lutheran Seminary Board of Regents.
The North American Lutheran Seminary will be seeking a new president. The Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin, president of the NALS, has been serving as both president and seminary faculty. She will continue as full-time faculty and transition out of her position as president after the 2018-2019 school year or when someone is called as president.
2019 budgets were approved. The Convocation approved a $2.1 million Operating Budget for the NALC. Budgets were also approved for NALC designated funds: $589,000 for the Theological Education Fund (which includes the seminary); $175,500 for the Great Commission Fund; and $89,000 for the Disaster Response Fund. Most of the budgets anticipate spending some cash reserves.
A resolution regarding ecumenical consultation between the NALC and the Roman Catholic Church was approved. The resolution inviting the Roman Catholic Church into conversation and cooperation was proposed by the NALC’s Commission on Theology and Doctrine.
A new NALC Global Worker, James Puotyual, who will serve in South Sudan, was commissioned at the Convocation.
Stuff the Tonka Truck for NALC Disaster Response received more than $11,000 worth of gift cards to assist those recovering from disasters. The effort was organized by the Women of the NALC.
Reports of the work of the NALC’s staff, teams, task forces, ministries and ministry partners were warmly received.
Events preceding the Convocation were the Braaten-Benne Lectures in Theology, Women of the NALC Annual Gathering, Discipleship Coaching workshop and the Ventures in Youth Ministry Symposium. The Convocation and the events preceding it comprise the NALC’s annual Lutheran Week.
Documents, photos and videos from the Convocation and other events of Lutheran Week will be posted at lutheranweek.com.