The 2014 Synod of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, convened on Thursday, April 3 at Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, N.C.
More than 210 delegates from Southern Province congregations, fellowships and related ministries began their work to discern and legislate for the coming four years.
The Provincial Synod has the supreme legislative power of the Province in all things not committed to the Unity Synod. Provincial Synods examine and oversee the affairs of the Province and its congregations.
At Synod, the church legislates in regard to constitution, worship and congregational life of the Province; provides vision, direction and expectations for Provincial mission and ministry; elects the Provincial Elder’s Conference and its president; elects representatives to interprovincial agencies, boards and other agencies; elects bishops (when appropriate); elects delegates to Unity Synod; acts as the final court of appeal to hear and redress grievances; and more.
The 2014 Synod, themed “Jesus Still Lead On,” opened with worship led by the Rev. Dr. Amy Gohdes-Luhman, pastor of Waconia Moravian Church in Waconia, Minn. The service mixed the Moravian Liturgy for Creation with additional music and scripture (Psalm 8). The Rev. Gohdes-Luhman preached on “God’s Sacrifice of Creation.”
During the initial session, delegates learned more about the purposes and history of Synod, took roll call, adopted the Synod program and standing rules of Synod and introduced those who will lead the groups and committees during the four-day session. The session also introduced candidates for elections to boards and ministries for the coming four years.
This will be the first Southern Province Synod to use electronic balloting, which should streamline the election process. In previous Synods, these elections consumed a great deal of time in plenary sessions, materials, and physical counting. The new process will enable more time for discernment and discussion. Synod business will include election of representatives to the various provincial leadership boards, educational institutions, and ministry groups. The election of the President of the Provincial Elders and Bishop will still use ecclesiastical balloting.
For coverage of the 2014 Synod, visit our visit our Synod roundup.
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