Dear Friends in Christ,
Grace, mercy, and peace be with you.
I look forward to welcoming you to our Thirty-first Annual Northern Illinois Synod Assembly: “Vim, Vigor, Vitality: In Christ a New Creation.”
We are excited to have as our co-keynote speakers the Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan, Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology, Wartburg Theological Seminary and the Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director of the ELCA Domestic Mission Unit. Dr. Bouman is also our ELCA Churchwide Organization representative. If you have come to the Synod Assembly before, you will notice a few changes in the schedule, to allow for more learning time, and to separate Assembly business sessions from recognitions.
Some important announcements:
- You can get the most out of this year’s Assembly by using the free Assembly Guide app. The app gives you handy access to all the most important Synod Assembly materials including the agenda, Bulletin of Reports, maps, updates, photos, social media, and more. During the Assembly, there will be updates that include announcements and items that come from the floor of the Assembly. Please download the guide before you arrive at Assembly! Find download links, instructions, FAQs, and more information at nisynod.org/assembly/guide.
- Highlights, photos, and select video portions of the Assembly will be made available on the synod’s website nisynod.org/assembly during and after the Assembly.
- Follow the Assembly and share your own photos and experiences on social media with the hashtags #NISynod and #NISAssembly18 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- For those of you staying in Swanson Commons, Augustana College has asked that your room be vacated by 12:00 noon on Saturday. The Residence Hall desk in Swanson Commons will be staffed 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and again from 4:30 p.m. to 12:00 midnight.
- There is road construction in and near the Quad-City Area. Please exercise caution as you travel to and from Synod Assembly.
As you prepare for Synod Assembly, here are a few items to note:
- Read through the Bulletin of Reports which is available in the Guidebook app and on the Synod website (nisynod.org/assembly/bor) for download. It includes the information on those standing for election to Synod Council and Synod Committees; four resolutions which have been submitted to the Assembly for consideration; reports from Synod staff, officers, committees, conferences, institutions, and agencies; and other helpful information, such as the forums and workshops available to you on Friday afternoon. You will find it helpful to bring this material with you to the Assembly, either electronically or as hard copies, as this information will not be available at the Assembly.
- Attend the Orientation Forum Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Bergendoff Hall building, in Potter Hall, if this is your first Assembly as a Voting Member. This forum will introduce you to the functions and procedures of the Assembly.
- Attend the Resolutions Committee Forum if it is not your first time at the Assembly. This forum is held in the Bergendoff Hall building, Larson Hall. Mr. Mike Reibel, Chairperson of the Resolutions Committee, will discuss the four resolutions that will come before the Assembly. These resolutions, as mentioned earlier, are found in the Bulletin of Reports.
- This year’s Synod Assembly Offering is designated to be divided between “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA” and The Nursing Project – Tanzania. Please make checks payable to “Northern Illinois Synod” and note at the bottom of the check for “Synod Assembly Offering.”
- This year’s In-Kind Offering, sponsored by the NIS Social Ministry Committee, will be the collection of Basic Needs Bags for the Homeless. Please see nisynod.org/assembly/in-kind-offering for more information.
- Physically challenged parking will be available in the Centennial Hall parking lot on the east side of Centennial Hall, near the building. Golf carts will also be available during the Assembly to help transport Assembly attendees. Bus service will be provided for Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast being held in the dining hall of Gerber Center (3435-9-1/2 Avenue).
- Child Care is offered off-campus for those who have pre-registered for this service. We are grateful to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4501 7th Avenue in Rock Island, for providing their nursery facilities.
- The temperature in Centennial Hall is variable; it is a good idea to be prepared if you tend to get cold in air conditioning.
- If you are staying in Campus Housing, Swanson Commons (1010 38th Street), only provides sheets and small towels. Please bring your own pillow, blanket, bath towels, and your own toiletries (soap, etc.).
- When the Assembly is in session, emergency telephone calls can be received by calling Centennial Hall (Art Gallery) at 309-794-7459. When the Assembly is not in session please call Augustana’s switchboard at 309-794-7000. If an emergency message is received, we will locate the rostered leader and/or lay voting member as soon as possible. All other messages will be posted on the message board in Centennial Hall.
If there is any way that we can be of assistance to you, please contact our Rockford office at 815-964-9934 (the Rockford office will be closed Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15) or Assembly Registrar, Nancy Corey in our Rock Island office at 309-794-4004. We are grateful for your leadership, dedication, and commitment to Christ and Christ’s church.
Walking with you,
Bishop Jeffrey Clements