The Synod Council met at Christ the King Retreat Center in Syracuse on October 21-22, led by Vice President Tom Madden. Some of the decisions and items that were discussed are summarized below:
- Elizabeth (Beth) Yenchko reported on her work as the Interim Director of Evangelical Mission (DEM). The Synod Council acted to request the ELCA through the Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit (CSM) that they once again fund a full-time DEM in the Upstate NY Synod beginning in 2012.
- Beth Yenchko and Vice President Tom Madden reviewed the Mission Support Challenge and encouraged Synod Council members to make contact with congregations regarding their mission stories.
- Finances. Jill Parmeter, from Dermody, Burke and Brown, the Synod's Auditor, presented an overview of the Synod's overall financial health. She commended the Finance and Executive Committee for paying close attention to this and Karen Brundige, our bookkeeper, for her work. Like all not for profit organizations, finances have been tight and income has been in decline for several years. The good news is that as of the end of September, the general operating budget was holding its own with good watchdogging by staff and finance committee, but we must work on paying down the funds we advanced to the Feed the Roots of Leadership Capital Campaign. We affirmed the efforts of the capital campaign committee to focus on individual major donors. Two further actions included:
- reducing our mission support percent to the ELCA from 47.2% to 40% for the remainder of this fiscal year, with the understanding that if our position changes we will restore as much as we're able.
- dealing with an old loan to Vanderkamp, we will take $7500 from the 2011 grant to Vanderkamp and an equal amount in 2012 so that the loan will be paid in full.
- The Synod Council agreed to the request of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Blossom to terminate their relationship with the Upstate NY Synod and the ELCA with the intent of joining the Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC.)
- Pastor Mary Johnson, Assistant to the Bishop for Candidacy, led our Bible study and reviewed the Candidacy Process.
- Decisions were made on Seminarian scholarships and Trexler grants to rostered leaders.
- Members were elected to the Niagara Lutheran Health System, Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center and Lutheran Social Services of Upstate New York Boards of Directors.
- Those who attended the Churchwide Assembly shared their thoughts and reflections.
- Special calls and On Leave from Call Status of Rostered Leaders was reviewed.
- Revisions to the Continuing Education Policy for the Upstate NY Synod were adopted. The revised document will be posted in the document center on the Synod's website as soon as possible.