God has a plan… We’re it!

2009 SEPA Synod Assembly

Summary of Assembly actions

Read on for a summary of Assembly actions suitable for inclusion in your newsletter, e-news or bulletin. (more..)

22 May 2009 at 11:43 - Comments

Unapproved Assembly minutes

The draft Assembly minutes, not yet approved, are available for download here: 2009_sepa_synod_assembly_minutes-unapproved

22 May 2009 at 10:48 - Comments

A different kind of Assembly

bluethemefaceswallOver the past year the people of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod have been listening together for God.  We gathered to celebrate God’s activity among us and through us, and to discern though discussion, prayer, and bible study where God is leading us — right here, right now! Almost 2,000 people all across our synod participated.


We have heard that God has a plan…and we’re it! And we are hearing God call us to focus our resources in four strategic directions, easily described through the acronym FACE:


Faith formation  +  Faith in Action  +  Connecting and communicating  + Equipping and developing


FACE is a theological metaphor. God is seen in the FACE of Christ. Christ meets us FACE to FACE. We FACE our own sin and make an about-FACE in order to be the FACE of Christ to our neighbors.

Rather than a traditional “strategic plan” and funding goals, we have discerned God’s call to us and want to find people whose passions and gifts extend those directions, and release them for service.


Now it’s time to move from listening and talking to doing.


Rather than a traditional “strategic plan” and funding goals, we have discerned God’s call to us and want to find people whose passions and gifts extend those directions, and release them for service.


Four circles of leaders have been meeting and praying and dreaming about what can be released in these four directions. But most of what will happen will be thought up and prayed up by you in your congregation and in your daily life. And you’ll be able to connect with others with similar passions to make things happen beyond your local context.


Read on through this website to learn about what is already happening in these directions and what is possible. Major presentations are available in video format, so you can share in them even if you weren’t at the Assembly. You’ll also find information about the business of the church conducted at this year’s Assembly.


12 May 2009 at 15:09 - Comments

Discussion guide available

picture-6The “facebooklet” used by the faith, action, connecting and equipping circles as part of their Assembly presentations is available for you to download and use in your congregation.

Developed with the assistance of church consultant Kelly Fryer of A Renewal Enterprise, the booklet includes discussion questions that you can use to discern your congregation’s strengths and passions in each of the four directions, notice what God is already doing in and around your church and community, and listen for what God is calling you to do in each of these areas.

The guide also outlines a process by which you can listen, pray, discuss and above all act on what God is calling you to do!

Download facebooklet (more..)

12 May 2009 at 14:04 - Comments

‘Hopeful’ budget passed for 2010

The Assembly passed a 2010 budget with an anticipated income of $2,876,000 and anticipated expenses of $3,167,175. The 2010 budget represents a 2% increase over 2009 and an anticipated deficit of $291,175. (more..)

9 May 2009 at 13:45 - Comments

Check out our video library

Videos of selected Assembly presentations are being posted on our new video library. Presentations will be added in the coming days. Please check back for updates.

9 May 2009 at 13:45 - Comments

Proclaim Christ in people’s language and on their turf


The challenge that Paul responded to in Athens Is the same challenge we have been
called to respond to today. And that challenge is this: Jesus never told the world to find
their way into a church, but he did the tell his followers to “Go into all the world and
proclaim the good news to the whole creation.”


9 May 2009 at 13:32 - Comments

We are God’s FACE in the world today


This year’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly celebrated its presence as God’s FACE in our communities and the world. Update: links to video presentations below the fold.

“We are God’s incarnational presence, the very Body of Christ, the hands and feet and FACE of our Lord,” said Bishop Claire Burkat as she unveiled the results of the year-long discernment process that involved nearly 2,000 people across the synod. It represents four strategic directions that emerged: (more..)

9 May 2009 at 12:45 - Comments

New horizons for the 21st Century church


Reminding the Assembly how the printing press of the 16th century made the spread of the Protestant Reformation possible, Bishop Claire Burkat asked the Assembly to reflect upon how new technologies can be examples for us today. What can the church learn from the new networks of the 21st century like Craigslist, Wikipedia, and e-Bay? (more..)

9 May 2009 at 12:17 - Comments

Video: Bishop’s Sermon

“God is using us to build God’s kingdom in this world in a new and energizing way,” and that divine plan can’t be derailed even by financial crisis, Bishop Claire Burkat said in her sermon opening the 2009 Synod Assembly. (more..)

9 May 2009 at 08:36 - Comments