Synod Assembly 2007 - Opposing the death penalty & helping the hungry
We just finished our annual Synod Assembly. I want to say thanks to Chris and Steve for serving as our delegates this year. It is important that our congregation is represented at the assembly and we are grateful that they both stepped foward and offered their time and attention to the business of the church beyond the local congregation.
There wasn't too much on the agenda at the assembly this year -- but a couple of important resolutions did come up. The item that elicited the most discussion was a resolution asking the synod to express our opposition to the death penalty. Needless to say, with almost 500 voting delegates not everyone was of the same mind. But in the end a substantial majority voted to approve the resolution. Personally I was very happy with the outcome. I have a hard time with people who are quick to cite the Old Testament -- "an eye for an eye and a life for a life" -- and then seem to totally forget that Jesus said things like -- "but I say to you. . .love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," and "Let the one without sin cast the first stone." As Christians and civilized people we should listen first and formost to the words of Christ -- not only in our personal lives but in our communities, state and nation as well.
Another interesting resolution asked the voting members at the upcoming church wide assembly of the ELCA to forgo eating a meal and donate the cost to Lutheran World Relief's fight against world hunger. The resolution seemed to have widespread support, but the logistics of imposing it on the assembly turned out to be pretty much impossible (due to the nature of the convention business where the cost of meeting facilities, delegate lodging and meals are intricately tied together into complex packages). Never-the-less we voted to encourage the voting members to voluntarily skip a meal, spend time in fasting and prayer, and donate a portion of their per diem to world hunger. I hope many of them do so. Until all God's children are fed and nourished day in and day out, our work is not done. Perhaps we too could dedicate a meal and an hour during the assembly to fast, pray and donate to the hungry.