“The Synod Council shall be the board of directors of this synod and shall serve as its interim legislative authority between meetings of the Synod Assembly. It may make decisions that are not in conflict with actions taken by the Synod Assembly or that are not precluded by the provisions of this constitution or the constitution and bylaws of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” (Montana Synod Constitution, S10.02)
The Montana Synod Council met this past weekend to fulfill its duties. We were a little light in attendance, with several people having conflicts and 2 having to resign because of family matters. But we had a quorum, we conducted our business, and we had good conversations.
At each Synod Council meeting, our Vice President Tom Gossack asks each of the Synod Council members to prepare a brief reflection on one of the Synod’s benchmarks. Do you know the benchmarks? (If you were on the Synod Council, you would be able to recite them in your sleep!)
Once again, Council members shared what a particular benchmark means to them. It may sound repetitive, but it is really a way that the Council has come to look at everything we do.
The Council heard an update from the Reformation Anniversary Task Force. Tonya Eza and Megan Pratola shared some of what the Task Force is working on. Look at the News of the Week and the web site for more.
Alvina Olstead gave a report on the women’s trip to Bolivia. She will be presenting it again to the Northeast Cluster (and beyond) on Reformation Day. You can find more information on Bolivia on our web site.
Tom Schlotterback gave an update on LSSMT. The Director has resigned to take a new position, and there are offices open in Kalispell, Missoula and Billings. LSSMT is part of St. John’s Lutheran Ministries, based in Billings. He also gave a thumbnail sketch of the ministry and future of St. John’s.
Carol Karres filled us in on Intermountain Children’s Home, the ministry we voted to join at the Synod Assembly. She encourage the Council and Synod to learn more about Intermountain and its programs for children.
The Council heard that despite rumors to the contrary, LSS and Intermountain are not in competition. They serve different sectors and could be complementary.
In business, the Council adopted a continuing resolution on youth and young adult participation. It was the same resolution we affirmed at the synod assembly, but with a different number. And we approved various changes to the roster (on leave from call, retirement, etc.), and appointments to the Hetzel Board (Steve Martin and Dale Peterson), and Mission Interpreters Coordinator (Scott Southwick).
The Council appointed Alex Tooley of New Hope, Great Falls, as the youth representative, and will be receiving new members from the Great Divide Cluster, the Crazy Mountain Cluster and the Southeast Cluster.
The Council also discussed a proposal to find ways to encourage suicide awareness, including doing an inventory of Lutheran responses. This conversation will continue.
If you are interested, you can find the Report of the Bishop, and the Report of the DEM on our Synod website.
The next Synod Council meeting is February 26-27.
Jessica Crist, Bishop
Bishop Jessica Crist
Bishop of the Montana Synod of the ELCA