October 2018 Synod Council Meeting Highlights

All members were present as well as Judy Parker, Bishop Sid Haugen’s assistant.  Bishop Sid led devotions for the meeting.  Assistants to the Bishop, Jerry Borkowsky and Dennis Serfas also attended for a portion of the meeting.

*Orientation of new and returning council members.  The governance manual will need to be overhauled to bring it into line with the changes to convention cycles and member terms passed at convention.

*Actions out of convention:  1) congregations are encouraged to pray for peace for South Sudan and to provide financial support to  CLWR’s mission work in Uganda to assist the South Sudanese people.

2) sacramental ministry pilot project is in the final stages of approval.  This will be an extension of present practices with a vice pastor supervising lay ministers to administer sacraments in underserved areas.  LTS now has curriculum for authorized lay ministry.

3) a conversation with St. Paul Lutheran Home, Melville members encouraging further discussion with LutherCare happened.  Representatives from LutherCare also attended a portion of the meeting and were encouraged to remain in dialogue with St. Paul Lutheran Home board.  A follow up meeting is in place for October 29.

*Changes in the office:  Secretary Cheryl Bauer-Hyde and Bishop Sid outlined the busy summer they had hiring.  Anna-Marie Skogsrud is ¾ time Office Manager.  Judy Parker is ½ time Executive Assistant to the Bishop and Monica Johnson will be Finance Director one day a week.

*National Convention delegates: council appointed 5 Lay delegates and 1 youth with alternate.  8 clergy positions remain and a call out for this will be launched soon.

*Legacy funds: discussion about setting up a legacy fund will be pursued by the Finance and Audit committee.  This will give closing congregations other options for their funds that can support ministries or missions of the church.

*Sask Synod Council Executive:  an ecclesiastical ballot was held for the position of chair and vice-chair.  Rev. Doug Schmirler was elected Chair and Cindy Hoppe, vice-chair.  Other committee appointments were carried out, with some appointments outstanding.  Nancy Beiber and Sask Synod Council member Rev. Doug Shmirler were appointed to the St. Paul Lutheran Home board.

Congregations in Saskatoon are encouraged to look for a lay and clergy member for the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism.

*Spring Regional Meetings:  Bishop Sid is looking for suggestions for topics of interest to engage our members to attend the regional meetings.  Please send your suggestions into the Synod Office to his attention.

*Conference funds: conferences should distribute as they see fit.

*National Church Council:  Rev. Iris Kristjansdottir attended the meeting to highlight work of the NCC.  A study guide for congregations on Medical Assistance in Dying is ready.  A draft document on Inclusive Language Guidelines has been affirmed.  A task force on benevolence has been initiated.

*Seminary discussions:  Dr. Harrison has sent a letter to begin discussion of the Seminary’s future.  There are 24 part time students this year in a building that will require increasing funds to maintain going forward at the expense of the academic program.  Conversation has begun about what makes sense for the future.

*Salary Recommendations:  council passed a motion approving a 2.5% increase effective January 1.  This is in line with inflation in Saskatchewan.  The Rostered Ministers Compensation Review Committee will work on the Supply Preaching and Other Services rates in their next meeting.

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