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Synod Assembly 2018

Synod Assembly 2018

June 1-3

at Embassy Suites, Kissimmee

Registration opens March 15, 2018

2018 Secretary’s Letter

Assembly Theme: Grounded in the Gospel

“I came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b)

Abundant life is life for the sake of the other.  Abundant life is more than material and social achievement or accomplishment.  Abundant life flows from a deep rootedness in truths that strengthen and sustain life in the midst of changing seasons. Abundant life results in growth, vitality, fruit, and generosity. Abundant life is bold, creative, innovative and open to possibilities.  Abundant life embraces and engages all aspects of diversity. Jesus came so that we might have life…and have it abundantly.

In our baptismal liturgy, we hear these words: “By water and the Word, God delivers us from sin and death and raises us to new life in Jesus Christ.  We are united with all the baptized in the one body of Christ, anointed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and joined in God’s mission for the life of the world” (ELW, p. 227).  Rooted and grounded in this gift of life, we are called, gathered and sent through the Holy Spirit into the world.

As the gathered Assembly of the Florida-Bahamas Synod, you are invited to participate in God’s abundance as we are grounded in the Gospel.  Learn and be nourished.  Celebrate and be refreshed.  Connect and be encouraged.  Rest and be renewed.

Keynote Speaker--Dr. David Lose; Churchwide Representative--Rev. Stephen Bouman

David J. Lose serves as the senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN.  Dr. Lose previously served as president of Lutheran Theological Seminary. Before that, he held the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, where he also served as the Director of the Center for Biblical Preaching. He is the author of Preaching at the Crossroads: How the World — and Our Preaching — Is Changing (2013), Making Sense of the Cross (2011), Making Sense of the Christian Faith (2010), Making Sense of Scripture (2009), and Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World (2003). He speaks widely in the United States and abroad on preaching, Christian faith in a postmodern world, and biblical interpretation.




The ELCA Churchwide Representative will be Rev. Stephen Bouman, Director of the Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA.

Bio and more information coming soon.


Hotel: Embassy Suites, Kissimmee

Registration for Synod Assembly will open on March 15, 2018.  At the end of the registration form, you will be given a link to register for a hotel room.  Please reserve your room(s) early.

Please note that the link to reserve a hotel room will only work  for ONE ROOM.  If you need to reserve more than one room, please call the hotel directly.


Synod Assembly will be at the beautiful Embassy Suites Hotel in Kissimmee.  Breakfast is provided each day, and there’s a free manager’s reception each evening.  There are plenty of restaurants in the area for other meals.  There is a fitness room, a swimming pool and a video arcade.  You can find out more about the hotel here.

Parking at the hotel is limited, so please consider carpooling with others from your area.

Room reservations need to be made in addition to assembly registration.  Reservations can be made through a link available at the end of the registration process, or by contacting the hotel directly.  For reserving more than one room for your group, please call the hotel directly.

Print and fill out the Travel Equalization Form


Worship at Assembly

There will be multiple ways to nurture your spirit and come together around prayer, Word, Sacrament, and reflection during the Assembly.  Music will be led by a variety of excellent musicians from throughout the synod.  Worship is open to all, even those who are not registered for the assembly.

Assembly Chaplain

There will be a chaplain available throughout the assembly for prayer and personal conversation as needed. A prayer room will be available for personal prayer and reflection.


Assembly Offering:

Part of the Assembly offering will go to the ELCA Campaign (2018 focus: leadership).  To learn more about the ELCA Campaign, CLICK HERE.

Watch this video to learn more about this year’s focus on leadership:


This year’s assembly is a Workshop Assembly.  There will be a variety of workshops offered.  Watch this space for more information coming soon.

Plenary: Business, Nominations and Elections

Notes about the Plenary

The agenda for the Assembly will be available in Guidebook.

Standing Rules–All Assemblies

This year’s assembly will be voting for synod council positions and other committee positions, and considering the budget for the next year.


Nomination Form-2018- Fillable (works best when saved FIRST, before filling it out)

If you think you are open to be nominated from the floor at the Assembly, please come to Assembly prepared with a filled out nomination form and a picture.  If there is someone in your congregation open to being nominated from the floor, please bring their paperwork and picture to the Assembly with you.

2018 Synod Assembly Elections:

  1. Synod Council Representatives (in good standing for a three year term)
  • Southwest Mission District – Lay Female (Includes Lake, Mid Gulf, Tampa, Sun Coast, Gulf Coast & Caloosa Conferences)
  • Southeast Mission District – Lay Male (Includes Miami-Dade, Broward-Bahamas, Tradewinds & Space Coast Conferences
  • North Mission District – Clergy (Includes 1st Coast, Heart of Florida, Pinelands, Panhandle & Flagler-Volusia Conferences)
  • Youth – Male or Female – any mission district

Nominees for the youth position shall be 15-18 years of age AND be a rising 9th through 11th Grader in school at the time of election

After all the open positions on Synod Council are elected, the need for an at-large member, if any,             will be identified and announced.

  1. ELCA 2019 Churchwide Assembly Voting Members – due to a reduction in the size of our voting membership, nominees will come from each Mission District as follows:
  •  Southwest Mission District – 1 Lay Female, 1 Lay Male, 1 Clergy, 1 *PCLE (Includes Lake, Mid Gulf, Tampa, Sun Coast, Gulf Coast & Caloosa Conferences)
  • Southeast Mission District – 1 Lay Female, 1 Lay Male, 1 Clergy, 1 *PCLE (Includes Miami-Dade, Broward-Bahamas, Tradewinds & Space Coast Conferences)
  • North Mission District – 1 Lay Female, 1 Lay Male, 1 Clergy, 1 *PCLE (Includes 1st Coast, Heart of Florida, Pinelands, Panhandle & Flagler-Volusia Conferences)

Each District is strongly encouraged to fill one of the lay positions with a Youth (here Youth is defined as a young person age 15 to 22).  *A person of color or language other than English.

  1. Consultation Committee 4 positions (in good standing for a six year term)
  • Two Lay                                           Male or Female
  • Two Clergy                                      Male or Female
  1. Discipline Committee 3 positions (in good standing for a six year term)
  • One Clergy                                      Male or Female
  • Two Lay                                          Male or Female

Nominations from the floor are strongly discouraged.  Please submit nominations before May 15.  The person being nominated has to agree to be nominated and has to fill out a nomination form.  A fillable nomination form can be downloaded, saved and emailed to Michelle Collins (  Please include a photo with the nomination form.

The Assembly will not be considering resolutions and memorials this year.  Resolutions and memorials will be directed to the Synod Council.


Technology at the Assembly

Please bring your own laptop, iPad, tablet or other device to access Guidebook and relevant materials throughout the assembly.  We are continuing our commitment to a paperless assembly, and are working closely with the hotel to ensure adequate wireless bandwidth.  We will be attempting to use voting machines for elections, but everything else will be on Guidebook, which is available as an app or is available online.  Using Guidebook means we can make updated information available much easier.

Instructions on Accessing guidebook from an internet browser

If you prefer printed material, please print it before you come to assembly.  Please note that the worship material is also on Guidebook, and printed bulletins will not be provided for worship at assembly.

Fellowship and Fun

There are plenty of restaurants in the area around the hotel, and time is built into the agenda for fellowship and relaxation.  Here are a few highlights to keep in mind.

Networking Opportunity:

On Saturday afternoon (June 2), there will be time on the agenda for networking.  This is an opportunity for you to intentionally connect with individuals or groups in whatever way you desire.  There will be a small number of meeting rooms available for groups who want to designate a specific place to meet for fellowship or discussion.  Email Michele Hilton ( if your group wants to reserve one of these rooms.  No refreshments or snacks will be provided, but we will print a sign and include your group meeting space in announcements.


Special feature at Assembly: coming soon


Manager’s Reception each evening

Each evening, enjoy a beverage ‘on the house’ as a part of the Manager’s Reception.


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