By Rebecca McDonald, Office Manager
Are you ready for Synod Assembly? Whether you’ve already registered and want to know more about what’s in store, or if you’re still wondering if you’d like to attend, read on to learn more about this year’s assembly.
Before the assembly starts, be sure to get your Guidebook app and download this year’s guide, proudly sponsored by the Mission Investment Fund. Not sure how? Look for instructions on the Assembly FAQ page, or once you’re at the hotel visit the Help Desk near registration. Guidebook can be accessed on almost any smart phone or tablet and will help you have a great assembly experience. This year’s guide contains voting member materials, agendas, maps, reports, exhibitor lists, relevant links, a restaurant guide, and more. Use the “check in” feature to be able to connect with other attendees. And don’t forget to post your assembly photos to the Guidebook photo album and share your experience via social media links.
We will open and close the assembly with dynamic experiences of corporate worship. We’ll share the Holy Eucharist and hear messages from Bishop Mike Rinehart and from Pastor Rudy Rasmus, our guest speaker. Pastor Rasmus took St. John’s United Methodist from 9 members in 1992 to over 9,000 today. Third Stream, the worship band from St. John Lutheran, Angleton, and Mariachi Reyes will lead us in song.
Get ready for an exciting variety of presentations from synod staff and partner ministry organizations. Pastor Rasmus will deliver a keynote address, and Bishop Rinehart will address us on the State of the Synod. We’ll elect lots of new leaders to represent the synod. Learn more about our campus ministries and our companion synods in Peru and the Central African Republic, and how you can support them.
Be sure to look for our Spotlight Ministry displays, which feature unique evangelism programs throughout our synod. You can learn more about the Spotlight Ministries on Saturday morning. And you won’t want to miss any of the great exhibit booths from our ministry partners, including the Hands of Faith Fair Trade Store and the Cokesbury bookstore, featuring books recommended by Bishop Mike and Pastor Rasmus.
We’ll participate in a panel discussion with young adults, hearing responses to questions about how the church can better at reaching the 18—35 demographic. Peggy Hahn will teach us about the Tune In process, and then we’ll break into conference groups, where your dean will help you learn skills and tools you can take back to your own community.
On Thursday night at 8:00 pm, you won’t want to miss the Fun and Games after dinner, graciously sponsored by Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest. Bring your Monopoly or other board games (Bible-opoly, anyone?) and have fun with friends old and new throughout our synod. Enjoy snacks and get ready for the lip sync contest! Everyone wants to know, will Bishop Mike show us his lip sync prowess?
Registration closes on April 1, so don’t delay. Reservations at the Hilton must be made by March 25 to receive our group rate. If you have any questions, if you’d like to volunteer to help, or if you’d like to enter the lip sync contest, please contact Rebecca McDonald. See you at the assembly!