Report from Synod Assembly

Alpine Lutheran Church is part of the Northern Illinois Synod, one of 65 synods that form the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (E.L.C.A.) Each year our synod (region) gets together for an assembly where we worship together, vote on important decisions, statements, or resolutions, and welcome new Pastors and churches that have joined our synod in the last year. This year we were also privileged to elect a new bishop to lead or synod for the next six years.

The Rev. H. Jeffrey Clements was elected on the 5th ballot with 278 votes to 181 votes for the Rev. Stacie Fidlar, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island, IL. Our new bishop’s first response was “Thank you. I am overwhelmed…. In my term, I promise to utilize the amazing talents of our lay and rostered leaders across this synod, and they are amazing. I also want to say that I am honored, humbled, and quite joyful in your confidence, but also fearful of what God has in store. I am acutely aware that I am male, white, and approaching old. It is important to know that you, young and old, male and female, person of color, member of the LGBT community, theologically liberal or theologically conservative, you have a voice in this synod, and it will be respected.”

Rev. Clements has served as Assistant to the Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod, since 2002. He previously served at First Lutheran Church, Prophetstown, 1990-2002; Immanuel Lutheran Church, Dixon, 1987-1990; St. John’s Lutheran Church, rural Elizabeth, 1983-1987; and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, LaCrescent, MN, 1981-1982. The bishop-elect earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a Master of Divinity from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary.

Rev. Clements will be installed as bishop Saturday, September 24, at 10am at First Lutheran Church, 225 S 3rd St., Rockford, IL with a reception to follow at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural St, Rockford, IL.

Other than electing a new bishop, the assembly voted to pass the following resolutions

  1. In support of the ELCA Always made New campaign,
  2. Repudiating the hostility and hatred aimed at Muslims and also encouraging congregations to reach out to engage our Muslim neighbors in friendship, in conversation, and in cooperative effort.
  3. To further the efforts of the Lutheran Advocacy movement in Illinois
  4. Reaffirming that African American and other ethnic lives matter and strive with Christ to eradicate walls of racism in our communities.

Further reports and information can be found at the assembly website.

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