From the front of the room at the 32nd Grand Canyon Synod Assembly this past weekend, I had an overwhelming sense of Holy Spirit’s presence. Friends greeting one another by name. New faces sparking conversation. Volunteers and staff serving with pride. While we spoke of singing a new song, I was also listening for new songs.

We saw newness in many ways. We sang 26 new songs. We elected new members to Synod council. We installed the Synod staff. We heard of God’s work alive throughout the country and the world from ELCA churchwide ministries, local ministry partners, and from each other. The outpouring of gifts for asylum seekers. The excitement of a new strategic plan. And a fiery surprise at the communion table.

Mystery is a part of faith. While we have a strategic plan to guide us and unite us, I know that we’re not the ones that are in control here. God doesn’t tire of answering our hopes and desires. I pray we all allow new dreams and ideas to form in God’s presence.

What is next? For the Synod staff and executive committee, as we read and gather up the comments made by participants, we will be sharing ways you can be a part of our plan. Next week we’ll share a recap of Synod Assembly on our website and newsletter.

What about you? What new song are you singing? What did you take away from Synod Assembly and how are you bringing it back to others?

Or, if you weren’t at Synod Assembly, what new melody is our creating God placing in your life?

Grateful for you and ways we are church together.

 

The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Bishop
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA

P.S. Many have asked about my mother’s double by-pass surgery. It went well. As of this morning, she is out of ICU and we continue to pray for a steady recovery. Pastor Mark and Linda Perry sent this update on Sunday: “Praise God! MRI just came back negative. Only thing keeping Jenna in ICU is sodium levels that need to normalize. Her blood pressure is good and no more meds for that. She is gaining strength and much more lucid. She looks better. We give thanks for your prayers.”