*MNO Synod Convention Report
Pastor's Newsletter Message - May 2021
(For those of you who are grammar scholars I would like to explain that I have the habit of writing sermons as I will speak them. Over time, this has become an expression of sharing my thoughts. You will find this to be true in the following. I ask for your indulgence.)
18th MNO Synod Convention - April 23-24th, 2021
Jan Cuggy and I attended the ZOOM convention with other rostered clergy and lay delegates from across the MNO. Bishop Jason, along with Synod Council Chair Heather Howdell, the synod council executive and its members diligently worked through all the aspects of synod constitution, synod bylaws and general rules of order to lead this unprecedented convention. (MNO is the first synod to hold a convention in current pandemic circumstances.)
Chairperson, Heather, and Bishop Jason led us through the rules re-voting, permission to speak, etc.. They also remained calm in the face of technological challenges that were encountered and quickly overcome. Overall it was a well-ordered convention; financial, constitutional and bylaw business was attended to; we recognized the Clergy of the MNO who were celebrating 40-75 years of ordination (Pastor Ted is celebrating 50 years). New Synod council was elected (Martin Kruse being one) and installed.
The guest presenter was Professor Andrew Root (Luther Seminary, USA) on his most recent book "The Congregation in a Secular Age (Baker Pub. 2021) His bio representation Information: "Congregation life isn’t [an] easy task in our time. Institutions are weaker, budgets are in decline, people are uninterested, and commitment is wavering. But these are only symptoms of a bigger issue. This presentation will seek to peer beneath the symptoms and explore why many congregations find themselves in an identity crisis. The presentation examines what living in a secular age does to congregational identity and how pastors and lay leaders can find new footing within it." Insightful and challenging, yet hopeful for the church of the future.
The greatest loss in this ZOOM-style of the convention was felt by all; the inability to intermingle with the other clergy and delegates in person. Conventions are blessed opportunities to create new, and renew, relationships with other ELCIC/MNO members; to gather for Eucharist; to just plain hang out together. Bishop Jason's closing reflection recognized that the church has and continues to face great change. Things will never be as before and we are called to remember this when the time comes for us to ease into gathered worship once more. Bishop Jason, however, concluded his message with a smile on his face as he voiced the joyous uplifting of Easter resurrection and the hope of Christ. Christ is Risen Indeed!
Conclusion: In this beautiful season of Spring and in the wonderous church season of Easter "Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!" continues to be spoken, perhaps even shouted, to the world. Just as the disciples moved forward with an unclear vision of what the future ministry would be, they MOVED FORWARD and so will we. In the face of countless adversities, the disciples spoke the gospel to all. The church evolves through each generation and time. In this season of rebirth, of new growth and hope and beyond, may we trust that though worship, church and ministry change God's love, grace and salvation will never cease to be shared.
May the Easter shout of "Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!" be the joy in your heart, within your spirit and through your voice. Invite the world to cry with you.
Christ is Risen!
MNO Synod Convention April 23rd and 24th
“ I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
This year’s synod convention was held on Zoom. The theme was “Walk in Newness of Life” with Isaiah 43:19 as our theme verse. The Covid pandemic has forced us to think outside the box and do things differently as a church. Perhaps this will lead us to new ways of being the church and engaging with our community going forward. Bishop Susan Johnson helped us to reflect on this theme in her address.
Our guest speaker on Saturday morning was Andrew Root, a professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. His presentation “The Congregation in a Secular Age” examined how society has gone from being almost completely non-secular or sacred 600-700 years ago to now being mostly secular. This is leading to an “identity crisis” among congregations and is forcing us to re-examine the way we look at ourselves and our mission. If you are interested in more of what he has to say, he has written three books about the topic and you can listen to some of his presentations on YouTube.
One of the highlights of the conference was the address from Karin Achtelstetter, the executive director of CLWR. This year is the 75th anniversary of Lutheran World Relief. The work that was started in 1946 to provide support to the millions of European refugees from the Second World War, has become more important today than ever before as 1% of the world’s population has fled their homes due to conflict or persecution.
There were many rostered ministers from the MNO synod recognized for milestone anniversaries. Included was Pastor Ted who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination! Congratulations, Pastor Ted!
As delegates, we voted for the new members of our MNO synod council. It is very exciting that Martin Kruse was elected and will be representing our region. Delegates to the National Convention 2022 in Calgary were also chosen.
Bishop Jason and all of the organizers and tech people did an excellent job putting everything together for this virtual conference. Everything moved pretty seamlessly from one item to the next. Even with the online voting, there were only a couple of small glitches. I will not be surprised if some of the things we learned will be used in future conventions, even once we are able to have them in person again.
Finance Report: March 2021
Here we are just past the one-year mark since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It has been interesting to see how we have evolved as a congregation in the uncertain times that have been presented to us. Our online church services have been well attended by our congregation and Argyle Parish. We have been blessed with visits from guests and former members and family members from far away. We can only hope that we will all be fully vaccinated and normal church services can once again be held in our building.
At our Council meeting on April 19th, Dorothy presented the following financial information for March 2021. Giving was $4455.00 and Total Income from all sources was $5971.73. The year-to-date Total Income from all sources is $19736.81. The end of first-quarter income is $1686.63 behind budgeted. The Pancake Supper fund has collected $625.00 and is short by $375.00. Council hopes we can top this up to $1000.00.
On the Expense side of the budget, March expenses were$6811.64 which includes $906.14 in wage subsidy.. the year-to-date expenses are $21882.80. Expenses are $5169.58 less than budget.
Redeemer received a third Manitoba Bridge Relief Fund $5000.00 in March. Our Total Net Income to the end of March is $7854.01. Thanks be to God.
In God’s Service
Property Finance Committee
Rick Norberg Marv Hollender Don Wrobleski
2021 Elected Executive:
Chair: Heddy Mueller
Vice-Chair: Rick Norberg
Secretary: Kathy Maxon
Envelope Secretary: Sharolyn Molnar
Treasurer: Dorothy Raynor
Financial Committee: Rick Norberg, Don Wrobleski, Marvin Hollender
Mission Committee: Kathy Maxon, Jan Cuggy, Sharolyn Molnar
Parish Committee: Shelley Kretchman, Jerry Erickson, Tyler Foster
Our mailing address is:
Redeemer Lutheran Church
114 Ashgrove Blvd
Brandon, MB R7B 1E1