There was major business to be conducted---changes to the Constitution that put in place leadership directives and accountability, the HIV/AIDS policy, a policy statement on Domestic Violence to Women and Children, the Election of the National Bishop to a four-year term, and new directives for financial management. The delegates took their responsibilities seriously and many people watched, very orderly, very interested, and very faithfully coming each day. Our friends, James and Manoa, came as observers and they wanted to meet Don and Laura Just from North Carolina since Manoa had attended the North Carolina Synod Assembly in June, 2009.
"Walking Together with Faithful Believers in Acts of Love" This theme guided the Bible Study and business activities of the 27th Synod Assembly as delegates and observers gathered for five days from January 11-15. Each day began with Bible Study and singing. "You are my brother; you are my sister; we are all God's family". This was a much-repeated refrain throughout the week. As we sang the words, we turned and pointed at one another, faces lit with delight as we all felt the connection we have as God's family. The Assembly Hall was filled to its capacity of 800 people daily and many people stood outside or sat on the ground as they participated. Delegates were seated with their districts. The meeting was conducted by Acting Bishop Zau Rappa and two elected co-presiders to share the duties. International guests included representatives of missionary partners from Germany (Bavaria, Leipzig, and North Albion), Lutheran Church of Australia, and ELCA in the United States. Several members of Parliament or Governors of Provinces joined us throughout the week.