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2017 Northern Illinois Synod Assembly Highlights

The thirtieth annual Synod Assembly was held June 16-17, 2017 at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, under the theme “Called forward Together in Christ.” Over 450 voting members (60% lay and 40% ordained) from across the synod worshipped, learned, laughed, celebrated, and deliberated together as the highest legislative body of the Northern Illinois Synod.

During Bishop Clements’ report to the assembly, he spoke of his goal to revitalize the synod together by discerning where God is leading us.

Special Guests

ELCA Churchwide Representative, the Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla, Exec. Dir. of Global Mission, gave the churchwide report, brought video greetings from Presiding Bishop Eaton, and answered questions. He also gave a forum entitled “Touching People’s Lives for the Flourishing of Human Community” and a Bible study entitled, “Dismantling Economic Sexism.” 

ELCA GLocal Musician Educators led the assembly in music during worship, led multiple forums, and shared stories and songs at a special event on Friday evening that invited attendees into deeper connection with God’s story.


Forums included Budget / Synod Council, Campus Ministries, Congregational Life Committee, diakoniaprogram, ELCA Youth Gathering 2018, Global Mission Committee, LYO /Youth Ministry, Ministry Support Committee, NIS Women of the ELCA, Nursing Project Task Force, Outdoor Camping Ministries, Outreach Committee, Portico Benefits, Social Ministry Committee Climate Change Task Force, Stewardship, and World Hunger. Because we were running ahead of schedule, Bishop Clements led his “Conversation/Questions with Bishop” forum with everyone during Plenary III.


Celebrating 50 years of ordination were the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, the Rev. Roger V. Asplund, the Rev. Harold Grafe, the Rev. David W. Lawson, the Rev. William J. Nelson, the Rev. Dr. Leo H. Patterson, and the Rev. Joseph N. Robb. Also recognized were others celebrating anniversaries, pastors who retired this past year, and Synod Council members completing their terms.


Festive services of Holy Communion opened the Assembly on Friday and closed the Assembly on Saturday. Pr. Malpica Padilla preached on Friday and Bishop Clements preached at Saturday’s service. The offering of $3,619 will be divided between Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and the ELCA Global Mission Unit.


Pastors Matthew & Laura Kamprath led the Prayers of Remembrance service on Saturday morning which honored faithful NIS rostered ministers who died this past year: the Rev. Richard Horst, the Rev. Wanda McNeill, the Rev. Gordon Carls, the Rev. LaVern Johnson, and Deacon Frederick Becker.


The assembly passed both resolutions as written: R-1 Lutheran Social Services of Illinois Celebrating 150 Years of Ministry and R-2 To Maintain Foreign Assistance and Domestic Safety Net Programs.

Find more at nisynod.org/assembly.

Election Results

Synod Council
Bill Bartlett – Vice President, 
Ruth Fairchild, Carol Swenson, Gwen Sefrhans-Murphy, Ryan Mackey, Sarina Mugino – youth rep.

Congregational Life Committee
Georgiana Grossman, Larry Cording, Scott Benolkin

Global Mission Committee
Linda Patterson, Ron Henning, Tammy Anderson

Ministry Support Committee
Ken Reinhardt, Jen Beamsley, Andy Tyrrell, Cheryl Reimer

Outreach Committee
Janet Stoller, Stacie Fidlar, Frank Langholf

Social Ministry Committee
Amy Hoening, Peter Kivisto, Robin Caldwell

Consultation Committee
Karen Krzak, Calvin Klopf, Terrie Wilder, Dustin Lenz, Katie Gallagher

Discipline Committee
Kristi Gleim, Walt Farley, Julane Nease, Andy Tyrrell