Welcome to Synod Assembly!
As we continue to live into the realities of COVID-19, Synod Assembly this year will be hosted virtually on Zoom. This decision was determined by the Synod Council in January. All business, plenary, and worship will take place virtually beginning the morning of Friday, June 4. Assembly will close on Saturday, June 5 around 1 PM CT.
We know that for so many, this may seem like one more meeting sitting in front of a screen, but we are excited to create space and opportunities for us to be connected as a Synod all the while staying safely distanced. The assembly planning committee and synod staff are working with a professional production company to make this a highly interactive and user-friendly event. We have a great line-up of speakers and sessions to make this year’s assembly an enriching experience. BONUS: there will be no need for travel this year!
At this year’s Synod Assembly we are Journeying Together in Christ with our Neighbors in Solidarity. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke’s Gospel we hear the question posed by the lawyer, “and who is my neighbor?” As a participant in God’s mission here in South Dakota, you will learn of who our neighbors are and what we can do to accompany them on the journey.
We are eager to gather with you as we learn to lean into the challenges of the past year, and look forward to the journey God is inviting us into.
Online Registration for voting members of the Synod Assembly opens on April 1 and closes May 10.
Reference the assembly timeline for important dates. Please note that there will be no registration for visitors. The Synod Assembly will be accessible to visitors via livestream at no cost.
Who do I contact for help?
If you have questions on how to register, please contact the Assembly Registrar, Lois Borchardt, in the synod office at 605-274-4025 or email Lois at firstname.lastname@example.org. General inquiries about the assembly can be emailed to email@example.com.
The Journey to Synod Assembly
Thursday, April 1
Online Registration Opens for Voting Members
Monday, May 3
Preliminary Report and Assembly Materials Available Online
Monday, May 10
Online Registration Closes for Voting Members at 11:55 PM CT.
No late registrations will be accepted. Please note this important deadline!
Tuesday, May 18 – 12:30 PM CT
Virtual Assembly Orientation – Option 1
Saturday, May 22 – 11:00 AM CT
Virtual Assembly Orientation – Option 2
Wednesday, May 26 – 8:00 PM CT
Virtual Assembly Orientation – Option 3
Thursday, June 3 – 8:00 PM CT
Ministry Meet & Greet – Online
Friday, June 4 & Saturday, June 5
Virtual Synod Assembly
$150 – Voting Member – Lay, Youth, Rostered Minister Under Call, and Synod Authorized Minister Under Contract
$75 – Rostered Minister On Leave from Call (voice, but no vote)
$0 – Retired Rostered Minister (voice, but no vote)
$0 – Synod Council Voting Member
Registration closes on May 10 at 11:55 PM CT. No late registrations will be allowed.
For additional information regarding voting members, please reference Chapter 7 of the Synod Constitution.
How do I participate in the virtual event?
The event will be held primarily in a Zoom meeting for voting members. Please make sure you download the latest version of the Zoom app/program to the device you plan to participate from so that you have access to all the possible features. If you are not going as a voting member, but would like to participate and watch the assembly, please know that we will be live-streaming the event.
What each voting member needs:
- A device to participate in the Zoom meeting such as a computer/laptop or tablet that has a microphone and webcam available.
- Recommended: A second device, like a smartphone or tablet, for ballot voting and access to the Assembly Guidebook. This device must connect to the Internet and allow you to access the email account you registered with. You will use this device to cast your ballots for certain votes. Voting may also be accessible in a separate Internet browser window.
- Access to your email. (Make sure it is the email address you–and only you–used to register for the event.) Each voting member will receive a special code to login to the voting platform.
We know technology can present its challenges which is why we are hosting three virtual synod assembly orientation sessions. See the dates in the timeline. Details on these events will be shared out after registration closes.
Rev. Amy Reumann
Rev. Amy Reumann is Director of Advocacy for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Willette Capers is the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD.
At this year’s Synod Assembly, we will be electing three officer positions: Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Nominees and biographical information will be posted in May.
+S8.21. Vice President
The vice president shall be elected by the Synod Assembly. The vice president shall be a layperson. The vice president shall be a voting member of a congregation of this synod. The vice president shall not receive a salary for the performance of the duties of the office.
The secretary shall be elected by the Synod Assembly. The secretary shall be a voting member of a congregation of this synod. The secretary may be either a layperson or a rostered minister.
The treasurer may be elected by the Synod Assembly or may be appointed by the Synod Council. The treasurer shall be a voting member of a congregation of this synod. The treasurer may be either a layperson or a rostered minister.
I’m not going as a voting member. Can I still watch the assembly?
Yes! Visitors and guests can watch the synod assembly for free through our live-stream broadcast on Facebook and YouTube. A link will also be posted on the synod website. No registration is required for visitors.
I’m not “tech-savvy.” Is this assembly for me?
While technology presents challenges, we are working very hard with a professional production company to make this assembly user-friendly and an enjoyable experience. As long as you can click a link and access e-mail, this assembly should be accessible to you. With that said, this is our first virtual synod assembly so there may be hiccups. To ease the stresses associated with technology, we are hosting three virtual synod assembly orientation sessions in May. Check out the dates at sdsynod.org/assembly.
It’s after the registration deadline. Can I still register late?
NO! We will be having a hard cut-off date of Monday, May 10 at 11:55 PM CT. This allows us ample time to be in communication with voting members and to do the necessary setup in our voting system. You can contact the Assembly Registrar, Lois Borchardt, with questions at 605-274-4025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking of registration. Why is the fee the same as 2019?
While we do not have the same expenses for in-person assembly, we have new costs associated with technology and production assistance that we did not have in 2019.
What should I prepare to have for the virtual synod assembly?
For the best experience, we strongly recommend utilizing two devices. One device for using Zoom (tablet, laptop, or desktop) that has a webcam and microphone and a second device (such as a smartphone or tablet) that you can use to access the assembly Guidebook and voting.
Will this just be a typical Zoom meeting?
We know that for so many, this may seem like one more meeting sitting in front of a screen, but we are excited to create space and opportunities for us to be connected as a Synod all the while staying safely distanced. We have built-in the agenda interactive speakers, music, and breakout sessions to make this year’s assembly enjoyable.