Samuel Maston of Hudson, 17, is among fourteen voting members from the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church In America who will attend the August 5-10 ELCA Churchwide Assembly In Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sam joins an impressive list of local delegates, including Synod Bishop James Hazelwood, as well several hundred others – pastors and lay people from all over the country.
“I’m really excited for churchwide, “ said Sam who is looking forward to major elections and is “generally curious as to how the whole thing is going to play out. I don’t have any preconceptions or ideas. By the end I hope to have a better understanding of how the church operates on a national scale.” As a member of the ELCA’s Youth Core Leadership Team, a national group of just 12 youth, Sam became more aware of the churchwide assembly, and filled out an application.
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, “is a process of communal spiritual discernment,” said presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton. The group will meet “to discuss and make decisions about how to go about God’s work as a church.
This year the assembly will gather under the theme ‘We are church.’” Voting members, Bishop Eaton noted “meet with confidence in God’s grace around word and water, wine and bread, to carry on their work on behalf the entire church.”
Over the course of the assembly, voting members:
• Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;
• Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
• Elect officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
• Establish ELCA churchwide policy;
• Worship together;
• Adopt a budget; and
• Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.
“Together,” noted the ELCA Bishop, “we will worship, pray, engage in Bible study, deliberate and conduct business in plenary sessions.”