A number of important decisions were made about the future of our church at the 48th SA-NT Convention of Synod, as delegates gathered at Tatachilla Lutheran College from May 4 to 6.
The event formally commenced with an opening service on the Friday night, with this year’s theme, ‘Hearts Burning’, highlighted by Bishop David Altus in his opening sermon.
The 2018 theme was based on the text from Luke 24:13-35 and delegates gained a further understanding of this through worship and discussion over the weekend.
Much of the Saturday featured business sessions and some interesting points of discussion were raised. Proposals given the green light by delegates were the Revised Working Structure of the SA-NT District, reducing the number of pastors on District Church Council by two, constitution changes to the Assistant Bishop for Mission role and interest from the Zinnbauer Fund to be used to sustain chaplaincy ministry for the next two years.
Delegates also endorsed a deficit budget of $80,478 for 2018, after learning the District’s financial results have been positive over the past few years. For the 2017 year, the District had budgeted a small surplus of $4,333, but had an actual surplus of $31,030. The 2018 projected deficit will be significantly reduced as the interest from the Zinnbauer Fund to support chaplaincy ministry was approved by delegates.
A proposal from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Adelaide, recommending that the SA-NT District hold annual one-day Convention of Synods, instead of the current format every two years, was debated and defeated.
A number of elections for positions and councils/boards were also held during Convention. Bishop David Altus was re-elected for a two-year term and First Assistant Bishop Tim Klein was also re-elected. Pastor Eugene Minge was elected as the District’s Second Assistant Bishop.
Naturally, Convention also provided an opportunity for guests to meet new people and catch up with others. One opportunity was the Convention of Synod dinner, which about 200 people attended on the Saturday evening. Guests at this event were treated to some fantastic musical entertainment from students at Tatachilla Lutheran College.
A major highlight of the weekend was Sunday morning worship, which was enjoyed by hundreds of delegates and visitors from neighbouring congregations. The offering of more than $8000 was donated to Lutheran Community Care’s Alice Springs Playgroup Appeal.
Sunday continued to be a day of celebration for the church, with District departments presenting their achievements, and some challenges, over the past few years. The Mission Stimulus Grant recipients for 2018 were also announced, with $10,000 awarded to the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir to assist with their tour to the United States this year. St John’s Tea Tree Gully also received $15,000 to help with strategies to engage young people.
As Convention came to a close for another year, First Assistant Bishop Tim Klein encouraged attendees to ‘head for home with burning hearts’ during the final worship service.
A more detailed report of the 2018 SA-NT Convention of Synod will be included in the June edition of the Together magazine.
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