“Hearing the Call to Lead”
“Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)
In less than 30 days, voting members from across the synod will gather at Love of Christ Lutheran Church, Mesa, Ariz., to focus on the theme “Hearing the Call to Lead.” The assembly will be able to listen to current seminarians serving in and from our synod on how God called them to prepare for ministry in the ELCA, and how we might be used by God to influence others in our communities to be open to that call. We will listen to the Associate Director for the ELCA Fund for Leaders, Rev. Mark Olsen, who will share our common goal of providing full-tuition seminary scholarships for any future leader who feels called to ordained ministry in the ELCA. To date, the Fund has grown to an endowment of over $47 million!
On our first day of the assembly, intentional time will be devoted as voting members gather in Conference Caucuses to discern together who might be nominated and elected to serve in the various leadership positions of the synod. There will also be conversation around the transition process leading to the election of a new bishop at our assembly in 2018. It will be important for our Synod Council to listen to those gathered to be aware of what brings the most hope during our interim year and what creates the most anxiety. Fall Conference gathering dates are being scheduled to draw other congregation leaders into the conversation. It is hoped that by January 2018, a synod profile will be completed so that those individuals who are discerning their openness to the call to serve as bishop can assess how their spiritual gifts align with the leadership needs of the Grand Canyon Synod.
2018 voting members will be invited to Spring Conference gatherings to prepare for the process of electing a bishop, and to review the profile, so that gifts that are needed for the office of bishop, rather than personalities, drive the discernment process. The wisdom of the above Proverbs verse is being integrated by the Synod Council into the important work of transition and identification of who will be blessed to be the next bishop of the Grand Canyon Synod. Please pray for the voting members to be able to listen to the Spirit’s guidance as we gather in assembly next month.
In Christ’s Service,
Bishop Steve Talmage