Synod Assembly



It was indeed an honor to serve as a voting delegate from Faith Lutheran at the Synod Assembly and to be part of the process in selecting our Synod Bishop. The following report is drawn from the Post Assembly Report provided by UNYS.

Robert Gibson

The Rev. John S. Macholz was called to serve as the fourth Bishop of the Upstate New York Synod. Bishop-elect Macholz will take office on September 1. He received 236 votes and the Rev. Marie C. Jerge received 154 on the fifth ballot. Bishop-elect Macholz serves as Pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in Rochester and has completed eight years as the Dean of the Genesee Finger Lakes Conference. Bishop Jerge was first called to the Office of Bishop in 2002 and has served in that office for twelve years. The selection process involved long, hard, prayerful work, undertaken with a commitment to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit. Six nominees were lifted up by the conferences to begin the process and answered honestly and faithfully various questions from the elections committee and the assembly. This was not a contest among opponents but discernment among colleagues. Bishop-elect Macholz addressed the assembly after the results were announced, saying, "This election is for the whole church and how we go forward in God’s Holy Spirit, proclaiming the gospel. I ask for your prayers as we begin a new phase in the life of our church." He led the assembly in a standing ovation for Bishop Jerge and thanked her for all that she has brought to the office and the church. ELCA Secretary Wm. Chris Boerger, the Churchwide Representative at this assembly, chaired the bishop’s election. He thanked the Assembly for its careful attention to the process and for raising up many outstanding leaders. "The whole church has been watching Rochester, because of the quality of leaders here," he told the assembly. "I’m mightily impressed with the Upstate New York Synod. Keep up the good work!"

Rev. Macholz will be installed as Bishop in Rochester on Saturday, September 6, 2014

With the baptismal font as the centerpiece, prayer, hymns, and Bible study enveloped each and every part of the proceedings. Pastors Joanne Stewart and Allie Leitzel led the assembly in Bible studies. ELCA Secretary Chris Boerger preached at the Eucharist. The assembly heard a positive financial report from Treasurer Fred Risser and Mr. Greg May of the Finance Committee and adopted:

• the 2015 Mission Proposal totaling approximately $1.3 million

• a resolution in support of the ELCA Malaria Campaign

• several by-law changes and resolutions regarding the Synod Assembly

• a resolution asking the state legislature to pass legislation preventing employee discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation

• a resolution asking Synod Council to establish a way to share resources for those wishing to support people and couples of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and their families

The assembly unanimously reelected Vice President Thomas Madden and Treasurer Fred Risser.

The Mission Faire, Workshops, SERRV, and the Good Bookstore offered the assembly many opportunities for learning, service, and growing in discipleship. Two car-loads of can tabs were collected to support Cherish All Children and the Lutheran Disaster Response efforts in West Seneca near Buffalo. Almost $30,000 will be sent to the ELCA World Hunger Appeal. We celebrated the conclusion of the Feed the Roots of Leadership capital campaign and the distribution of over $750,000 to camps, campus ministries and seminary scholarships, one of which is going to our own seminarian Rebecca Truland.

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