Dave and the vicar at Central Lutheran Church, Ethan Bergman attended the ELCAWH Leadership Gathering in Minneapolis July 18-21. This event is held every 18 months. We celebrated the successful completion of the church’s Always Being Made New campaign, and learned much about food insecurity and programming to address this serious problem. Ethan Bergman, vicar at Central, and I attended this event, and enjoyed a Twins baseball game one evening!
This year’s Bishop’s Convocation, Northwest Intermountain Synod, was held October 28-30, 2019 at Camp Lutherhaven south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dr. Mark Skinner, professor of New Testament, led sessions on the book of Acts called, REMEMBERING THE PAST TO FIND OUR WAY INTO FUTURE (WITH HELP FROM THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES). Over 90 rostered leaders from the synod attended. Here are photos from the event:
Carolyn’s niece, Heather (and Nick) Crist, along with their son, Grayson, welcomed a baby into their family on Monday, September 16, 2019. Gunner Maddox Crist weighed 8 # and 13oz, and was 21 inches tall. Welcome, Gunner Maddox, and congratulations Heather and Nick!
Dave’s nephew, Tyler (and Ashley) Grossenbacher, along with their son Tysen, welcomed a baby into their family also on Monday, September 16, 2019. Teagan Kay Grossenbacher weighed 6# 11 coz. and was 20 inches tall. Welcome, Teagan Kay, and congratulations Tyler and Ashley!
The second Sunday in September is always God’s work Our hands” Sunday! It’s a special day in the life of the church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It’s a day for members of ELCA congregations to celebrate their mission to the world, recognize what they have done over the past year in witness to others. We gather for food and fellowship, and do service projects together. This year, all three ELCA congregations in Yakima, Central, Christ, and Tree of Life/Arbol da Vida, came together in Central Lutheran’s Fellowship Hall. After enjoying a barbecue and meeting new friends/rekindling old acquaintances, we heard about the ELCA World Hunger program from Vicar Ethan Bergman and Deacon Dave Hellerich. We ended the day by working on several projects together: Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits (70), Camp Hope Health Kits (25), Days for Girls Hygiene Kits (40), and Quilts for the Youth Homeless Shelter and Triumph’s Parent-Child Assistance Program (many). We had 73 participants for this, the first-ever gathering of all 3 area congregations for this purpose. A good time was had by all. Thanks be to God!
Carolyn and I attended the DOTAC conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver August 14-20, 2019. Carolyn took part in the 2002 DOTAC conference in Winnipeg as a deaconess. This year’s program, “Respecting Covenant: Risking the Journey Toward Reconciliation” was filled with excellent speakers, wonderful field trips, and decent weather. The ELCA Deacons for Ecumenical Engagement Affinity Group was officially welcomed into DOTAC, and by association, Diakonia World Federation at this conference. We visited Stanley Park, the Museum of Anthropology, the Historic Joy Kogawa House, and enjoyed seeing deacons and deaconesses we know. Vancouver is a busy, beautiful city. So many amazing buildings! UBC campus is also a beautiful campus. Much construction going on there as well. Next stop, Darwin, Australia for the DWF Conference in July, 2021!
Carolyn and Dave enjoyed about a week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin attending the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America August 5-10, 2019. Much was discussed, sometimes amended, mostly passed, with a few things deferred. The theme was: We Are Church. We are an inclusive, forward moving, outward reaching church sharing God’s Love throughout the world! So proud to be a part of this church!
Here’s a list of some things this assembly accomplished:
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
A declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.
Approved resolution declaring the ELCA is a “sanctuary church body,” encouraging participation in the ELCA AMMPARO initiative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work.
Approved support for the World Council of Church’s Thursdays in Black, awareness movement for a world without rape and violence.
Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
Approved a declaration for inter-religious commitment, reaffirming ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
Approved the recommendations from a strategic taskforce which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
Approved memorials: affirming but not “endorsing” the Poor People’s Campaign, care for immigrants and refugees, and other statements.
Adopted a new social statement, “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Lutheran Call to Action,” and its implementing resolutions.
Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.
Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.
Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women’s ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy.
Carolyn and Dave attended Augsburg’s Summer Music Clinic held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood, WA onJuly 26-27, 2019. Jeremy Bankson and Robert Hobby were the clinicians. Lots of very interesting information, beautiful new music, and arrangements of old. It’s the first one we’ve been to, it’s well worth the time!
Dave went to a Minnesota Twins vs. Oakland Athletics (lost 5-4) baseball game at Target Field on July 20th and a Seattle Mariners vs Detroit Tigers (won 10-2) baseball game at T-Mobile Park on July 25th. That’s definitely a record for Dave, two sports ball games in a week!?!?!?
Many members of Christ Lutheran Church – Yakima and their friends gathered for food and fellowship at Red Willow Vineyard near Wapato, WA on July 13, 2019. A good time was had by all! We held Holden Evening Prayer up the hill by the chapel before returning home.