Synod Assembly

32nd Annual Synod Assembly
Lodi Grape Festival Grounds
Lodi, CA
Saturday May 11, 2019
10 AM – 4:30 PM


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A Message from Your Assembly Co-Chairs

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Two Lay Voting Members per each called minister of Word and Sacrament serving a congregation shall be elected by each congregation related to this synod, normally one of whom shall be male and one of whom shall be female, to be voting members.


If you do not know what Conference your congregation is a part of, check out the Conference Listings here!

Registration questions… contact

Synod Assembly Attendees…

  • There will be NO WIFI available at the venue. Please download the materials from the Documents tab or through the Guidebook app before you come.
  • We encourage attendees to bring a jacket (in case it’s cool in our Assembly space)
  • Bring refillable water bottles and coffee mugs
  • Bring something to add a little padding to chairs (they will be metal and wood folding-type chairs)
  • Bring a few healthy fruits and/or snacks for yourselves and to share with Assembly attendees (with plans to retrieve leftovers at the end of the day)
  • Registration costs increase after April 10.

Lunch Options

  1. Pulled Pork Sandwich
    With side of potato salad
    Catered by Salisbury Deli and Grill
  2. Taco Plate
    Street tacos, with choice of meat
    and side of beans & rice (Gluten Free)
    Catered by La Frontera
  3. House Paella
    Chicken, shrimp, sausage (Gluten Free)
    with salad and roll
    Catered by Addy’s Paella
  4. Vegetarian Paella
    Vegetarian Paella
    (Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegan)
    with salad and bread
    Catered by Addy’s Paella

Join us at St. Paul, Lodi on Friday evening, May 10th for these two special events

Friday, May 10th – 7:00-8:30pm

Documentary “Without Papers” and Dessert Social

The short documentary portrays the struggles and issues facing the migrant workers in California’s Central Valley. It also shows the work of Luis Magaña (a member of St. Paul’s) and his organization for Migrant Workers (Organización de Trabajadores Migrantes). This organization provides support and sanctuary for immigrants and their families. We have the honor to be one of their sponsors at St. Paul. Following will be a Q&A with the producer and a dessert social!

Where: Saint Paul Lutheran Church ~ Iglesia Luterana San Pablo

‘Connecting with God, each other and the world’  ~  ‘En communión con Dios, los unos con los otros y con el mundo’

701 S. Pleasant Ave, Lodi, Ca 95240
Phone: 209-368-2747 


Friday, May 10th – 5:00-7:00pm

Wine Tasting – ($10)

Enjoy an open-house style wine tasting of five premium Lodi wines by Markus Wine Co, including the Zin Boldly Zinfandel created by a Lutheran for Lutherans. Meet with Lodi Winemaker and members and staff of St. Paul, for this social event.

Where: Saint Paul Lutheran Church ~ Iglesia Luterana San Pablo
701 S. Pleasant Ave, Lodi, Ca 95240
Phone: 209-368-2747 


Tickets available at the door.

Post Assembly Private Wine Tasting

After Synod Assembly, join us for a private Wine Tasting!

Sat, May 11, 2019, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM 

Enjoy an open-house style tasting of five premium Lodi wines by Markus Wine Co, including the Zin Boldly Zinfandel created by a Lutheran for Lutherans. Meet with Lodi Wine Maker Markus Niggli, for this social event in the private garden of the Bordeaux Inn in downtown Lodi. Light appetizers served. Wine available on site for purchase – including Zin Boldly.

Tickets @ $13 each, limited availability (maximum of  50 people)

Click here for tickets: Wine tasting Saturday May 11th 

Pre-order Zin Boldly Old Vine Zinfandel – for pick up at the Lodi Grape Festival May 11th during lunch. 20% of all sales are donated to the Synod. Order here (pickup code = synod)

Additional things to do before and after assembly. Visit the Visit Lodi website here or take our word for it on these top activities!

Lodi Lake and Nature preserve. Take a stroll within the Lodi lake nature preserve, along the Mokelumne River or rent a kayak at Lodi Lake Lodi Lake and Boat House , or visit one of our natural parks/preserves

Stroll Downtown Lodi – School Street area between Lodi Ave and Lockford St.

Visit Wineries. Note wineries close by 5:00pm. Lodi Wine and Map

After hour wine experiences:
at 21 N. School Street (open Saturday until 7:00pm) &


Restaurant favorites

Fine dining:

Casual Fare:

Café & Deli:



We have a small block of rooms Holiday Inn Express at $149/night plus taxes:

  • One-night’s deposit, non-refundable within 30 days.
  • If you no longer need your reservation, please cancel ASAP so another attendee may book the room.
  • To make reservation: call 209-210-0150 and reference group code SPS when making reservations or Click Here  to reserve online.
  • Cut-off for hotel reservations is 5:00pm, April 18th, or as the room block sells out.

Additionally, we have a two-night stay available at the Bordeaux Inn, in downtown Lodi at $155/night plus taxes.  For any inquiries, please contact Diane Niggli.

 Keynote Speaker:

Instead of a keynote speaker, there will be 3 speakers giving 5 minute Faith Reflections.

Bianca Dueñas

Director of San Joaquin Immigrant Empowerment Project, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation

Bianca Dueñas is an immigration attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and a former Equal Justice Works Fellow. Her work is focused on providing immigration legal services to build capacity and empowerment among Central Valley immigrant farmworkers, including her hometown of Lodi, California. Bianca is also focused on providing community presentations and outreach to rural communities about issues that impact immigrant families. She has extensive experience working with low-income, rural communities and in assisting with a wide range of immigration relief. Bianca received her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law and her B.A. from Stanford University.

Nuri Rubio

Organizer at Unite Here Local 49, Hospitality Union, Sacramento

My name is Nuri Rubio, I was born in Mexico. I was brought to the US at the age of one. I have been here since, and grew up in Stockton Ca. My parents worked in the fields and to this day still continue to work there. I grew up wanting to understand why they did not spend as much time as we had wanted them too. I decided to put myself in their shoes and went to work in the fields during my summer breaks in high school. I am grateful for that experience since it motivated me to pursue a college degree. I recently graduated from Sacramento State University with a sociology degree and I have continued to remain active in my community. Being a DACA recipient has brought some obstacles along the way how ever I continue to strive for my goals of helping my community. I have helped organized citizenship workshops and have helped numerous
people apply for their citizenship, even though I am far from being able to apply for citizenship I continue to help others achieve their dream. Being able to help others even if it does not benefit me directly does not stop me because I know that by helping one more person
each day as a society we can make great changes.

Luis Magaña

Resumen de un luchador sin fronteras

Luis Magaña-Acevedo nació en la población de Jaripo, Michoacán, México, donde curso la primaria escolar y paso su infancia. Hijo y nieto de familias migrantes, su abuelo fue migrante antes de los 20s y su papá un ex bracero por 20 años en los 40s, 50s, y 60s.

En los años 70s, emigro con su madre y hermanos para reunirse con su padre en el Valle Central de California, donde trabajo desde niño en los campos agrícolas. Fue en los primeros años como trabajador agrícola cuando cobro conciencia de la lucha social por las injusticias y abusos que sufren los trabajadores agrícolas lo que lo impulso a organizar y orientar a sus paisanos y migrantes que vivían una vida binacional sobre asuntos de justicia económica y de derechos civiles, laborales y humanos.

A principios a de los 80’s fundo la primera organización comunitaria de ayuda mutual de trabajadores migrantes mexicanos llamada Asociación Campesina “Lázaro Cárdenas”, donde organizo huelgas y paros laborales que mejoraron sueldos a los piscadores del tomate verde y de otros cultivos agrícolas en el Valle San Joaquín.

Organizador y asesor de grupos de trabajadores del campo en el Valle Central de California para formar sus propias organizaciones comunitarias de trabajadores agricola para mejorar sus condiciones de vida y trabajo incluyendo a grupos etnicos de trabajadores migrantes indígenas mexicanos y centroamerica.

A principios de los 90’s en Fresno California, bajo su iniciativa, formó la Alianza Campesina, una coalición de nueve organizaciones campesinas e indigenas migrantes en el Valle Central.

Ha exigido y aboga ante el gobierno de México por la defensa de los derechos de los trabajadores migrantes así como exigir la atención y protección de los servicios consulares para los mexicanos en el exterior e impulso campañas por el reconocimiento de los derechos políticos de los migrantes como son el derecho civico de votar en elecciones mexicanas desde el extranjero. Ha participado en invitaciones por el Congreso de México en foros para discutir e impulsar la aprobación de la Doble Nacionalidad o la no-perdida de la Nacionalidad Mexicana. Mantiene una relación de solidaridad y trabajo con diferentes instituciones y organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG) en ambos países para apoyo a migrantes en los estados de México con más alta migración a los EU. Fue fundador del Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) en 1989 de Mexico. Fue colaborador del Fideicomiso para la Salud de los Niños Indígenas de México que dirige la actriz y activista mexicana Ofelia Medina con quien ha viajado a Chiapas para ayudar a niños indígenas pobres en las areas rurales de Mexico.

Ha participado en audiencias de subcomités del Congreso de los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica para abogar sobre temas que afectan a los trabajadores migrantes de temas de salud, vivienda, educación y derechos humanos. Asiste a invitaciones por universidades de California y México para dar conferencias y dialogar con estudiantes sobre la problemática de los trabajadores agrícolas migrantes en California y sobre asuntos de migración y movilidad humana. Ha colaborado para la elaboración de libros y estudios sobre temas de migracion y de trabajadores mexicanos migratorios.

Es fundador del periódico “Semilla”, un periódico independiente de trabajadores migrantes en California. Fundador del Proyecto VOZ de los Inmigrantes en el Valle Central de California, con el apoyo de la organización pacifista internacional de derechos humanos: American Friends Service Committee, para promover la participación cívica de la comunidad migrante y por la legalización de los trabajadores indocumentados en el Valle Central de California. Fundador de la Asociacion de Braceros del Norte de California para la dignidad, reconocimiento y justicia a los ex migrantes braceros.

Es miembro de mesas directivas de las siguientes organizaciones: Asistencia Legal Rural de California (CRLA).

Actualmente es organizador y director voluntario de la Organización de Trabajadores Agrícolas de California (OTAC) una organización sin fines de lucro de miembros trabajadores migrantes que él fundó para la defensa de los derechos laborales y humanos de los jornaleros agrícolas y para impulsar proyectos binacional productivos de apoyo a los migrantes y sus familias en ambos lados de la frontera en apoyo de sus comunidades de origen. . Fundador del Centro de la Cultura Campesina en Stockton California.

Bible Study Leader:

Our one day assembly will not include a Bible study.

ELCA Churchwide Representative: Victoria Flood

Director of Mission Support

Victoria Flood serves as Director for Mission Support in the churchwide expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Learning more about the ministries of our church through visits in synods and with congregations is one of Victoria’s greatest joys in this position.  She is often heard saying, “Mission Support is rooted in our faith and our relationships.  It is one of the most tangible ways that all of us in the ELCA demonstrate we are church together for the sake of the world.”

Victoria began serving in this position in March 2016. Prior to that, Victoria served 15 years in the churchwide expression of the ELCA as part of the team in Research and Evaluation.  Prior to serving in the ELCA, Victoria worked nearly seven years in Wisconsin state government.

Victoria earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Political Science from Valparaiso University.

She and her husband, Rod Boriack, live in Des Plaines, IL. They are proud parents and grandparents to 2 children – Katy (Christian); Jon (Brooke); and 2 grandchildren – Ayden and Zoe.  Victoria and Rod worship at both Our Saviour’s in Arlington Heights and Redeemer in Park Ridge.

Financial Gifts

In a change from previous years, we are inviting congregations to extend their generosity through financial gifts that the synod will divide equally between three ministries.

•   California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation – this program provides legal counsel for immigrants and migrant workers. There is a very active office in Lodi, our host community.

•   Lutheran Social Services of Northern California – support for those affected by wildfires


•   Sierra Pacific Synod Candidacy – an on-going recipient of assembly offerings, the candidacy program works with people who are discerning a call to ministry.



Questions? Email

Synod Assembly Display Space

Registration Ends on April 20, 2019

Click Here for Display Space Registration if you have previously displayed at Synod Assembly.

Click Here for the Request for Display Space if this is your first time to display.

If you have questions, please contact Laurie Gaumer.

Synod Assembly Workshops

There will be no workshops at the 2019 one day Assembly.

Want to be a Volunteer during Synod Assembly?

Our one-day Synod Assembly will be held on Saturday, May 11 at the Grape Festival Grounds in Lodi CA.

Are you attending as a non-voting visitor or have you always wanted to see an Assembly in action? Then sign-up to be a Volunteer! Follow the link below to our Volunteer Sign-up, choose your task and the amount of time you can help.


We will be forever grateful for your contribution!

Questions? Contact Laurie Gaumer


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