2017 Assembly

The 2017 synod assembly was held on Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10, 2017, at the Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Dr., Tinley Park, IL 60477.


Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Report on the Thirtieth Annual Assembly
Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA
Jeffrey L. Drake

(Download report as PDF)


The Metropolitan Chicago Synod met in assembly June 9 to 10, 2017, at the Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois. This year’s theme was Yesterday, Today, and Forever from Hebrews 13:8.

After devotions and the Order for the Opening of an Assembly, the parliamentarian was appointed, the agenda approved, and committees appointed. There were no resolutions at this year’s assembly.

The assembly then heard the keynote address by the Rev. Kathryn Mary Lohre, Assistant to the ELCA Presiding Bishop and executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations who spoke about the connections the ELCA has with Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Historically Black Churches. After her report, the assembly welcomed the Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Archdiocesan Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Chicago, who brought greetings from Blase Cardinal Cupich, and spoke about the synod and archdiocese renewal of the covenant made between the two in 1989, and the service on Reformation Day that will be held at Holy Name Cathedral. Find out more at http://www.renewingcovenant.com.

After conducting conference meetings held over lunch, the assembly heard from partner ministries including Portico Benefit Services, ELCA Foundation, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, the ELCA Credit Union, and synod treasurer Yvette NewberryWhite gave her report.

The assembly then attended two sessions of workshops and hearings before reconvening in the plenary session where the budget was adopted as presented, and en bloc motions relating to updating the constitution were adopted as presented.

A Celebration of the Holy Eucharist to which all were invited concluded the day’s events. The offering will be given to ELCA World Hunger.

Throughout the plenary sessions, participants heard eight mission moments, coordinated by the synod’s Mission Interpreter Network, telling the story of congregations and partner ministries making a difference in their local communities, nationally, and around the world.

After devotions on Saturday morning, and an update on the synod’s Million Dollar ELCA World Hunger Challenge, Bishop Miller gave his report, and participants also heard the churchwide office report which updated the larger work of the church.

Mr. Terry Henderson I was elected as synod vice president, and the Rev. Erin Clausen was elected as synod secretary. Vice president Nanette Dahlke chose not to stand for re-election after serving for 16 years, and secretary Rev. Steve Srock chose not to stand for re-election after serving for eight years. Both officers gave their final reports to the assembly and their service was thanked with acclamation.

After introducing rostered leaders new to the synod, and acknowledging rostered leader and congregation anniversaries, the day ended with a closing prayer and the Order for the Closing of an Assembly.


Keynote speaker and Churchwide Office Representative, Guest Speaker, and Guest Preacher

Kathryn Mary Lohre is the assistant to the presiding bishop and executive for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Relations in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. From 2012-2013 she served as president of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the first Lutheran and youngest woman. She was the editor of For Such a Time as This: Young Adults on the Future of the Church (Judson Press, 2013) and was a consulting editor of Engaging Others, Knowing Ourselves: A Lutheran Calling in a Multi-Religious World (Lutheran University Press, 2016). From 2003-2011, she served as assistant director of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University, Diana Eck’s premier research project on religious diversity in the United States. She is married to Pastor Tim Seitz, and they have four children.

Guest Speaker

Our guest speaker on Friday morning, June 9, 2017, will be the Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Archdiocesan Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Chicago. We welcome him on behalf of His Eminence Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, who will be unable to attend due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict.

Guest Preacher

The preacher for our assembly Eucharist on Friday, afternoon, June 9, 2017, will be the Rev. B. Herbert Martin, Vice President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, and senior pastor at Progressive Community Church.


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