Christ has been raised from the dead. Through grace, we, too, are made alive in Christ. God’s vision for the Kingdom is alive in the world. The Holy Spirit is alive in our communities and in our lives, calling and compelling us to share life with others. As we come to know Christ, faith comes alive in us. As we live into our mission and vision, Synod Assembly will be an opportunity for us to celebrate various signs of the Spirit’s Life in us and be invited to be part of God’s dream of life for all.
logo design: Amy Ryckman Cappelmann, JOY Lutheran, Palm Bay
Hotel: Embassy Suites, Kissimmee
Room reservations need to be made in addition to assembly registration. This year, there is a 2-night minimum requirement to reserve a room at the Embassy Suites – Lake Buena Vista. Those only planning on attending the Assembly for one night might find rooms at a nearby hotel:
- Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando – S. Lake Buena Vista – 407-396-8700.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Lake Buena Vista S. – 407-997-1400.
- SpringHill Suites – Orlando Kissimmee – 407-997-1300.
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. You can call the hotel directly (TEL: +1-407-597-4000).
Parking at the hotel is limited, so please consider carpooling with others from your area. This year, there is an additional $5/night parking fee charged by the hotel at check-in.
Print and fill out the Travel Equalization Form
Special Guests at this year’s Assembly include:
ELCA Churchwide Representative: The Rev. Gabi Aelabouni, Director, ELCA Fund for Leaders
Full Communion Church Partner Representative: Rev. Joyce Liberman, Executive Presbyter and Stated Clerk of the Synod of the South Atlantic, PCUSA.
Sue Ellen Spotts, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
This year’s Assembly Service Project will benefit the Community of Hope Center of Osceola County, and will have a particular emphasis on serving and supporting the working poor of the theme parks. Watch for more details coming soon.
Learn more about the Community of Hope Center: http://hope192.com/
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.
Pr. Viktor Jortek will serve as the Assembly Chaplain. Pr. Jortek will be available throughout the assembly for prayer and personal conversation as needed. A prayer room will be available for personal prayer and reflection. Specific times to gather in the prayer space for guided prayer will be included in the agenda.
Part of the Assembly offering will go to the ELCA Fund for Leaders.
Notes about the Plenary
The agenda for the Assembly will be available in Guidebook.
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 2019 – fillable (works best when saved FIRST, before filling it out). Send in to Ileana Sardinas (email@example.com)
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.
2019 Synod Assembly Elections:
- 1. Synod Council Representatives (in good standing for a three year term)
Southwest Mission District – Minister of Word and Sacrament (Includes Lake, Mid Gulf, Tampa, Sun Coast, Gulf Coast & Caloosa Conferences)
Southeast Mission District – Lay Female (Includes Miami-Dade, Broward-Bahamas, Tradewinds & Space Coast Conferences)
Southeast Mission District – Person of Color or Language other than English (PCLE) male or female, lay or Rostered Minister (Includes Miami-Dade, Broward-Bahamas, Tradewinds & Space Coast Conferences)
North Mission District – Lay Male (Includes 1st Coast, Heart of Florida, Pinelands, Panhandle & Flagler-Volusia Conferences)
North Mission District – Person of Color or Language other than English (PCLE) male or female, lay or Rostered Minister (Includes 1st Coast, Heart of Florida, Pinelands, Panhandle & Flagler-Volusia Conferences)
Youth – Male or Female – any mission district – 2 year term
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.
Deadline for nominations is May 1, 2019. The nominations form is available and can be emailed to Ileana Sardinas (firstname.lastname@example.org). Nominations from the floor will be accepted for all positions using a “Floor Nomination Form” which will still require the written consent of the person being nominated and must be submitted as a paper copy only at the Assembly. Please include a photo with the nomination form.
Save the date and Plan ahead
The 2019 Synod Assembly will be at the Embassy Suites in Kissimmee, from 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 6th, 2019 through Noon on Saturday, June 8th, 2019.
ATTENTION ALL ROSTERED MINISTERS with a Call or in Interim Ministry
As you know, the Florida-Bahamas Synod has provided annual Photo Directories for the last 4 years. We hope this is a useful tool for our rostered folk – a way to put a name with a face – a way to see who is serving where – and a way to circulate current contact information.
Each photo in the directory has a ‘year’ in the top left hand corner (or no date).
- If your picture year is 2016, 2017 or 2018 – you are all set.
- If your picture is not in the directory, and you have a Call (either in specialized or parochial ministry) or you are active in Interim Ministry….please plan to have your picture taken at this year’s Assembly.
- If your picture is dated 2015….or there is no date…..you will need to sit for a new picture for the 2019 Directory. (or not be listed in the 2019 Directory)
Bring your smile!
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.
Embassy Suites restaurant/food options:
Breakfast for Embassy Suites guests is complimentary.
A la carte items are available for lunch, as well as the sit-down restaurant in the hotel.
A buffet is available in the evening for $18.
The hotel bar is open each evening.
This year is a plenary assembly, meaning there are no workshops. But there are blocks of time when groups can gather for networking and fellowship. One specific block of time is on Friday during lunch, from noon-2:00 pm. With notice to Michele Hilton, a group can request space to gather during this time. We cannot guarantee technology set-up or food, but we can reserve space. This is an opportunity for you to intentionally connect with individuals or groups in whatever way you desire. Email Michele Hilton (email@example.com) if your group wants to reserve space for networking and conversation on Friday. No refreshments or snacks will be provided, but we will print a sign and include your group meeting space in announcements.
Friday, 12:30-2:00 (location TBA): Times of transition have their own particular dynamics that affect congregations, whether that transition comes from a pastor’s departure, a new pastor’s arrival, or a desire to find new direction in mission and ministry. This gathering will examine those dynamics and focus on what it is that motivates ministry so that the “yet to be” is fully in the hands of God, and God’s people are themselves renewed in the transition. The session will include information that is shared in the training of pastors for Transition Ministry in the Florida-Bahamas Synod. Bring your lunch and join the conversation.
Special feature at this year’s Assembly:
FRIDAY: Friday evening will include a special wine/cheese/fruit bar, with special music provided by guest musicians. More information coming soon.
SATURDAY: WEAR YOUR COLORS! Wear your ‘church’ shirt…it can be an ELCA shirt (like God’s Work Our Hands), or your Synod Shirt or your congregation shirt!
Manager’s Reception each evening
Each evening, enjoy a beverage and lite hors d’ouvres ‘on the house’ as a part of the Manager’s Reception.
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. Assembly materials will be available on Guidebook by May 1.
Instructions on Accessing guidebook from an internet browser
We will be using electronic voting machines. Please note that these machines work best when other devices are not on the internet. Downloading materials beforehand and putting your device in airplane mode during voting will help the voting machines work well.
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.
This year, there will again be a space for resources and exhibit tables. Reflecting the Assembly’s theme, those with exhibit tables will specifically be giving witness to how their resource/ministry brings life, adds vitality, etc to their audience/community. The Synod Resource Center will have a few tables to share updated resources for congregations and individuals. Watch this space for an updated list of exhibit tables coming soon.