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Sierra Pacific Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Synod Council Meeting

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Sierra Pacific Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Synod Council Meeting

Mercy Center, Burlingame

January 23-24, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009


Present Karen Goldsmith, Karen Anderson, Merle Hanson, Pam Bertani, Don Strauch, Jay Hines-Shah, Pr Susan Birkelo, Pr Newt Kerney, Pr Tom Beck, Ann Brannen, Perry Grey-Reneberg, Pr Paul Theiss, Sharon Seegmiller, Pr Sarah Isakson, John Kuehner, Secretary Pat Cash, Vice President Larry Moeller, Treasurer Pr Mark Price.
Absent Mary Tidwell, Gisela Daetz
Other Discipling Chairs-Pr. Jim Goldsmith, Ann Watkins; Staff: Associate to the Bishop Nancy Nelson, Pr. Harvey Blomberg; Ministry Partner Representatives: Mark Carlson (LOPP), Marilee Spangler (Mt. Cross), Barbara Droher-Kline (LSS), Joel Wudel (PLTS).
Welcome The meeting was called to order at 2:20pm by Vice President Moeller who welcomed and introduced new council members and visitors.
Devotions Devotions were led by Diane McGeogh (Word and Sacrament DT).
Agenda The following changes/additions were made to the agenda:

IV. Reports, add f) Christ the King, Orangevale

VI. New Business, correct date on d) to September 22

change f) to Insurance Coverage
SC09.01.01 MSC (Beck, Kerney) to accept the agenda as amended
Minutes MSC (Brannen, Hansen)The minutes were accepted as written with the following corrections:

SC09.01.02 . page 3, SC08.09.49, add the word “Group” following the word “Working.”

Page 3, under Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Ministries, sentence beginning…Explanation… change the word “growth” to the word “group.”

Report Bishop Mark’s report moved to Saturday morning, after he arrives back from the Rwanda trip.


Report Treasurer Mark Price distributed and reviewed the December Financial Report. Council was asked to break into groups to discuss ideas with respect to the use of one-time gifts to the synod. Input from the discussions was submitted to Mark, and he and the Finance Committee will create a draft policy.
Discipling Team

Reports Written reports were received. Additional comments

Witness and Service Chair Jim Goldsmith pointed out items 5 and 6

Word and Sacrament Chair Ann Watkins highlighted the video received by Bishop Mark related to use of media in worship.

Leadership Nancy Nelson made mention of the plan to hold pre-retirement seminars mid-summer of 2009.

Merle Hansen will report back to the Campus Ministry folks and others the decision made by the Leadership Discipling team regarding the 4 year review process proposed at the 2008 Assembly.

Office of the

Bishop Pr. Nancy Nelson gave an update on the new website and the new e-newsletter that is being sent through Constant Contact. Please forward to the office e-mail addresses to be added to the newsletter mailing list. Chrism Masses will be held in Rohnert park and Modesto.
Pr. Harvey Blomberg reported that EOCM has three areas of focus: new starts, renewals, and stewardship. New ministries within the synod include: a new start being examined in American Canyon; mission strategy development in San Francisco; Doris Ng working with Grace, Richmond; El Buen Pastor, Salinas, awaiting Pastor Patricia Vargas; Asian ministry start in Cupertino. Eleven ministries are under development in this synod, soon to be 13, with 175 nationwide. Of the 11, only 2 are ‘suburban, white, anglo” ministries.

Transformational Ministry Training will be held May 7-9, 2009 at Christ Lutheran, Fairfax.


Reports Oral reports were received:

LAMN – green page 27. Tom Beck reiterated the thanks expressed for support from the Synod.

Campus Ministry- Merle Hansen reported on the December Fundraisers..

Candidacy – Susan Birkelo reported on Mission Development classes at the seminary.
Christ the King, Orangevale- the congregation expressed an interest in more active discussion of best practices, was appreciative of the healthy starts work and the communication and work of the new Bishop’s office.
Unfinished Business

SC09.01.03 MSC (Isakson, Anderson) to ratify the e-vote accepting the final agreement between LSS and First English, Sacramento.

New Business

Calendar Additions: IV. Candidacy Committee- Rebecca Schlatter

VI. Appointment to LOPP Policy Council- Becky Herhold

VII. Removal of Delores Wright from the Synod Resource Center Credit

Union account and addition of Cynthia Eckert to said account.

V. Greg Brown, call to special service

SC09.01.04 MSC (Isakson, Theiss) to approve Consent Calendar as amended.

To the Retired Clergy roster per recommendation of Bp Mark Holmerud

Corazon Aguilar (3/1/08)

Kelvin Nesheim (7/1/08)

David Thune (7/1/08)

Elder Care Alliance Board of Directors- Fred Wentker

Candidacy Committee – Kathleen Hurty, Laura Gaumer

Discipling Teams

SC09.01.04 MSC (Brannen, Hansen) to approve appointment of Discipling Team chairs for 2009:

Jim Goldsmith (Witness and Service), Ann Watkins (Word and Sacrament) and Margaret McLean (Leadership).


SC09.01.05 MSC(Kerney, Kuehner) to table discussion/approval of SAWC until the May meeting.
Keillor Event Sponsorship

MS (Isakson/Brannen) to have individual members of the Synod Council contribute the

$5000 sponsorship amount for the LSS Garrison Keillor event in September, 2009.

MSF (Goldsmith, Bertani) to amend the motion to take $2500 from Synod budget and have Council members give $2500.

Call for the question (Isakson); vote on original motion failed.

SC09.01.06 MSC (Beck, Anderson) to contribute $5000 for sponsorship from the recently received undesignated gift. (One opposed)

SC09.01.07 MSC (Price/Beck) to engage Gilbert Associates, Inc for this year’s audit. Note: The additional $12,000 in cost is not budgeted.

2010 Budget Presentation

MS (Beck/ Theiss) to accept the proposed budget.

MSC (Beck, Seegmiller) to table until Saturday morning
Dinner Break

Arrival: Bishop Mark Holmerud
Insurance Coverage

SC09.01.08 MSC (Theiss/Beck) to change the Synod insurance carrier to Church Mutual effective January 1, 2009. Executive Committee charged with comparing line by line coverage assessment between Church Mutual and Charity First.
Synod Outreach Fund Policy 97-002

MS (Price, Isakson) to adopt the changes to Policy 97-002, Synod Outreach Fund with editorial changes as noted, naming the Witness and Service Discipling Team as administrators of the Fund.

MSC (Kerney, Isakson) to amend item X. A. to read “In furtherance of its duties and responsibilities as custodian and administrator of the Fund, the Witness and Service Discipling Team shall have the power, subject to the approval of Synod Council:

SC09.01.09 Amended motion carried

Assembly Committee appointments

MSC (Theiss/Anderson) to authorize the Executive Committee to make/approve these appointments.
2010 Budget Discussion

MSC (Grey-Reneberg/Kuehner) to go into the Committee of the Whole for 45 minutes for discussion of the 2010 Budget.

Evening Devotions

Diane McGeogh led evening devotions.

Council recessed at 8:47pm until 9:00am Saturday morning.

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Council reconvened at 9:00am
Devotions Pr. Karen Woida from Word and Sacrament Discipling Team joined Diane McGeogh in leading morning devotions using materials from the Book of Faith Initiative.
Bishop’s Report Bishop Holmerud presented his report on his recent trip to Rwanda. He spoke of the Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation that has been established there along with the emphasis the Rwandans are placing on empowerment of women, quality of life and HIV/AIDS

Bp Mark reported that he has been working with the Assembly Planning Committee and announced that the Council of Deans is planning district gatherings for the fall (instead of conference gatherings). He continues his work with the Synod’s ministry partners and reported on the Racial and Ethnic Ministries Working Group which has planned a gathering for March 27-28 to focus on Cultural Competency, Anti-Racism and Racial/Ethnic Ministries. The Mutual Ministry Committee and the Staff Support Committee are in process of being ‘staffed.”

Warner Trust

SC09.01.10 MSC (Price, Seegmiller) to accept the recommendation of the Trust Committee to grant the following requests totaling $7000:

Grace, Richmond-youth Orchestra and choral Program $1380

American, Woodland- 8 camper-ships for those outside

the congregation $2920

Good Shepherd, South Asian Ministry after-school

program, carpeting $2700

2010 Budget MSC (Beck/Hines-Shah) to remove the proposed budget from the table.
An explanation was presented regarding the removal of full amount of support for Ministry Partners from the actual budget and the genesis of the Second Mile Giving. The Council at the time had decided that a stronger emphasis needed to be given to new ministries/starts and funding was directed there.

SC09.01.11 MSC (Isakson/Grey-Reneburg) to adjust Line 30 to $18000 as per request of Ann Watkins (Word and Sacrament DT)
SC09.01.12 MSC (Price/Anderson) to add new line 32 Working Group on Racial and Ethnic Ministry with an amount of $5000.
SC09.01.13 MSC (Holmerud/Grey-Reneburg) with 1 opposing the following amounts

Line 7 $2,588,250

Line 18 1,332,949

Line 21 105,525

Line 22 6,030

Line 23 80,400

Line 24 6,030

Line 25 6,030

Line 26 6,030

Line 27 400

Bottom Line 2,507
SC09.01.14 MSC (Price/Hansen) to change line 36 to $19,200 and the bottom line to $1307.
Council offered extremely positive input regarding the format of the budget presentation and recommended that the presentation to Assembly be fashioned as the Sierra Pacific Synod Mission Plan, left hand option: Support Congregations, Grow in Evangelical Outreach, etc as offered by Mark Price.
ALAMEH Representatives from the Association of Lutherans of Arab and Middle Eastern Heritage

Joseph Husary and Gabrielle Schroeder were presenters. ALAMEH is one of five recognized ethnic groupings in the ELCA, and officially recognized as such in 1995. Current President of the Association is Fuad Nijim of Santa Clara. Some history: in 1850 the first Christian Missionaries arrived and were the first to build schools and provide social services. Currently 5 churches in Amman, Jordan, plus schools in the Holy Land. 56% of Arab/Middle Eastern Christians live outside of their homeland.

Contact information: Joseph:


Mission Endowment Fund Policy 97-001

Place on agenda for May meeting

Bryan Cave Letters

For awareness


SC09.01.15 MSC(Anderson/Kerney) to accept with regret Mark Price’s resignation as Synod treasurer effective at the close of the 2009 Synod Assembly and direct the Executive Committee to submit names for the treasurer’s position to Council to obtain e-vote approval.
Following a closing prayer, meeting was adjourned at 12:06pm.
Respectfully submitted,

Pat Cash, Secretary

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