2021 Lower Susquehanna Synod Assembly Highlights

Download 2021 Synod Assembly Preliminary Minutes
Download 2021 Assembly Wrap-Up Bulletin Insert

2021 Assembly Happenings

  • Joined in devotions led by Deacon Kristin Vought, assembly chaplain

  • Praised God through a Service of the Word with the Necrology.

  • Remembered the following rostered ministers who died since the last assembly in 2019: The Rev. Carl Edmund Bentz, the Rev. Carl Jay Frederick, the Rev. Irvin Edward “Irv” Straw Jr., the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Charles Senft, the Rev. Alfred Anthony Ambrose, the Rev. Thomas Edward Light Jr., the Rev. Dr. Howard John McCarney, the Rev. Dr. Donald Raymond Pederson, the Rev. Richard Charles Jones, the Rev. Barbara Jane Winey, the Rev. George Edward Buechner, the Rev. Robert “Bob” E. Custer, the Rev. Paul A. Jones, the Rev. Richard B. Starr, the Rev. Walter Dale Carlson, Deacon June Wilmetta Ritzman Albers, the Rev. John Francis “Jack” Lose, the Rev. Sterlen S. Sheaffer, the Rev. Howard William Hinkeldey, and the Rev. Dr. Arthur L. Ruths.
  • Elected Jennifer R. Lau to the office of synod vice president.
  • Elected Joseph M. Stepansky to a second term as synod treasurer.
  • Welcomed the Rev. Christopher L. Otten as our churchwide representative.
  • Honored Lucinda Bringman for longtime service as a Synod Council member and synod vice president.
  • Gave thanks for the service of the Rev. Robert Blezard and the Rev. Sharron Blezard as synod staff having departed for a new home.

  • Honored the Rev. Beth A. Schlegel for thirty-five years of ordained ministry and the Rev. Dana J. Blouch-Hanson for ten years of ordained ministry.

  • Elected members of the Synod Council, Consultation Committee, and Committee on Discipline.
  • Elected Voting Members of the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.

  • Enjoyed mission videos from a variety of agencies and ministries.
  • Installed the newly-elected synod vice president, newly-elected members of the Synod Council, newly-elected conference deans, and newly-elected conference secretaries.

2021 Assembly Actions

  • Amended constitutional provisions S9.05., S9.06., and S9.07. to align with the Constitution for Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  • Nominated and elected Jennifer R. Lau as synod vice president.
  • Nominated and elected Joseph M. Stepansky to a second term as synod treasurer.
  • Ratified conference nominees as voting members and alternate voting members of the 2022 Churchwide Assembly.
  • Amended provision †S3.01. of the constitution to refer to the Klingerstown Lutheran Parish in Schuylkill County.
  • Amended provision S7.12. of the constitution to clarify those who may call and vote at a special synod assembly.
  • Amended provision S7.35. of the constitution for consistency of capitalization.
  • Amended provision S12.06. of the constitution for clarity and consistency of language.
  • Elected Synod Council members, members of the Consultation Committee and Committee on Discipline, and voting members at-large of the Churchwide Assembly.

  • Adopted the proposed budget for FY 2022 of $2,305,000.
  • Adopted the beginning minimum base salary and housing allowance for 2021 of $53,875 for ministers of Word and Sacrament who serve full time at the time of their ordination and the beginning minimum salary for 2021 when housing is provided of $37,480 for ministers of Word and Sacrament who serve full time at the time of their ordination.
  • Adopted the beginning minimum base salary and housing allowance for 2022 of $55,170 for ministers of Word and Sacrament who serve full time at the time of their ordination and the beginning minimum salary for 2022 when housing is provided of $38,380 for ministers of Word and Sacrament who serve full time at the time of their ordination.
  • Adopted the beginning minimum salary for 2021 of $48,530 for ministers of Word and Service who serve full time at the time of their ordination.
  • Adopted the beginning minimum salary for 2022 of $50,960 for ministers of Word and Service who serve full time at the time of their ordination.

  • Adopted continuing resolution S7.11.01.r.A20. (setting the date range for the regular synod assembly).
  • Removed bylaws S7.11.01. (stipulates precise dates for the Synod Assembly) and S10.06.01. (to be relocated).
  • Adopted bylaws S7.11.01. and S10.08.01. from the ELCA Constitution for Synods.
  • Adopted bylaw S12.02.02. to establish when changes to the number or boundaries of conferences resulting from the sexennial review take effect.
  • Adopted new bylaw S16.01.01. (includes all ministry groups under the provisions of indemnification).
  • Adopted the recommended amendments to the synod constitution and bylaws S7.13., S7.22., S7.26., S7.27., S8.01.01., S8.11.01., S8.14., S10.04. including renumbering through S10.08., S13.25., S13.40., S14.14., S14.17., S14.42., S15.14. from the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
  • Adopted largely editorial amendments to synod bylaws 03.05., S6.03.06., S6.03.07., S6.03.08., S6.03.09., S6.03.10., S8.14.01., S9.03.01., S9.03.02., S10.01.01., S10.01.03., S10.01.04., S10.06.05., S10.06.06., S10.06.07., S10.06.08., S11.01.02., S11.01.03., S11.01.04., S11.01.05., S11.01.06., S11.01.07., S11.01.08., S11.01.09., S11.01.10., S11.01.11., S11.04.01., S11.05.01., S12.02.01., S12.03.01.,S12.03.03., S12.03.04., S12.04.01., S12.04.02., S12.04.03., S12.05.01., S12.05.02., S12.05.03., S13.11.01., S16.02.01., and S18.21.01. to be consistent with the changes from the Churchwide Assembly and to remove limitations to committee composition.
  • Amended bylaw S12.01.01. to reduce the number of conferences to thirteen and consolidate the West Cumberland and West Shore Conferences into the Cumberland Conference.
  • Amended continuing resolutions S9.12.r.A08., S11.01.r.C16., and 03.r.A96. of the Lower Susquehanna Synod for clarity and consistency of language.

2021 Synod Assembly Election Results

  • Synod Vice President: Jennifer R. Lau

  • Synod Treasurer: Joseph M. Stepansky

  • Synod Council Class of 2023 – ordained minister:  The Rev. Molly K. Haggerty, The Rev. Brian A. McClinton
  • Synod Council Class of 2023 – lay woman: Linda J. Long, Stacy L. Schroeder
  • Synod Council Class of 2023 – lay man: James F. Druckenbrod

  • Synod Council Class of 2024 – youth: Laura A. Willoughby

  • Consultation Committee – pastor: The Rev. Karen E. Larson, the Rev. Timothy J. Seitz-Brown, the Rev. Gwenn L. Trout

  • Consultation Committee – layperson: Rhada J. Hartmann, Evan P. Williams

  • Committee on Discipline – pastor: The Rev. Martha S. Boyd, The Rev. Stephen R. Herr

  • Committee on Discipline – layperson: Natalie A. Kratzer, Joseph A. Ricci

  • Synod Council Class of 2024 – ordained minister: The Rev. Kathleen A. Kuehl, the Rev. Hans E. Becklin

  • Synod Council Class of 2024 – lay woman: Kay A. Hinkle, Barbara G. Miller

  • Synod Council Class of 2024 – lay man: Zachary J. Weiss

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member – youth: Laura A. Willoughby, Greta Haley

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member – young adult: Elizabeth P. Eckman

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member -ordained person of color/ language other than English: The Rev. Carla S. Wilson

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member -lay woman of color/ language other than English: Byambatseren Adiya

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member -lay man of color/ language other than English: Moses R. Kavishe

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member – ordained: Deacon Marsha L. Roscoe, the Rev. Stephen R. Herr, the Rev. Beth A. Schlegel

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member – lay woman: Kay A. Hinkle

  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Member – lay man: Joseph M. Stepansky

  • Churchwide Assembly Conference-nominated Voting Members: The Rev. Marissa Becklin, Rayne Debski, the Rev. Del Akech Del, Karen Landry, Wanda Neuhaus, Karl Segletes, and Michael Swank

  • Churchwide Assembly Conference-nominated Alternate Voting Members: Russell Kaltreider, Joyce Ray, the Rev. Michael Reist, the Rev. Maureen Seifried, Joseph Stepansky, Judith Swartz, and Suzanne Tilley