Thank You for Becoming “Church Together”

Thank You for Becoming "Church Together"

Our first ever One Day Synod Assembly, “We are Church Together: Working in God’s Vineyard” is now, as they say, “in the rear-view mirror.”  Thank you to all who helped to plan and implement our Assembly:

+        our Assembly Planning Committee, Chaired by Pr. Charlane Lines and Pr. Tom Miller; the members of this committee worked for months to prepare for our one day together

+        our AMAZING synod staff – Pr. Katy Grindberg, Pr. Tita Valeriano, Pr. Kathryn Gulbranson, Laurie Gaumer, Diana Suruki, Debbie Cook, Sabrina Casillas, Kathye Hamm, and Livvy Belisle —it truly is a blessing to work with these people at all times and especially before and during an Assembly

+        our Synod Council Members who helped in many ways throughout our Assembly

+        the pastors and members of St. Paul Lutheran in Lodi who provided space for our Synod Council to meet and who added much to the Spirit of our Assembly

+        those who provided music leadership for worship – Owen Myers, Monte Hummel and Susanna Peeples

+        The Central Valley Arts and Culture Dancers

+        all the volunteers who provided wonderful hospitality inside and outside of the Grape Pavilion.  A special shout out to Vicar Frances Le Bas for coordinating the volunteers and Lisa Achen for heading up the hospitality team

+        the members of the Elections, Resolutions and Credentials Committees

+        Vice President Gail Kiyomura and Secretary Jeff Pennington — thanks for your leadership and presence on the dais

+        Treasurer Linda Lownes and the members of the Finance Committee

+        Our Conference Deans who chaired the Conference Gatherings and to those who have agreed to serve as Conference Deans for the next three years

+        Our Meeting Planner Diane Niggli of Helms Briscoe who coordinated many details of our gathering, including our lunch!

+        Tom Hoegel and Pr. Tim Huff and Big Dog Sound for A/V support

Thank you. And thank you to all who came, some from great distances, to invest in the work of our synod’s ministry for a day. Thank you for the good spirit and the willingness to try something we have not done before. Thank you for the way we became “Church Together” in so many tangible ways.  Thank you for your thoughtful attention to the speakers “from the vineyard” and to the pastors who were celebrating 50 years of ordained ministry and to our Churchwide Representative, Ms. Victoria Flood.

There is much to ponder about this Assembly, especially as we take to heart the words and encouragement of those who called us to seek and serve the people we often overlook — those who live on the margins – migrants and immigrants who live and work all around us. I hope and pray all of us left our brief time together with a new perspective, a new vision for our work and witness, a renewed faith, and a new hope that we will be the answer to Christ’s lament — “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”

God’s peace,
Bp. Mark