Synod Assembly 2022 Recap & Update from Synod Vice President

An Update from Synod Vice President Gail Kiyomura


Beloved Sierra Pacific Synod,


I write to you to share a few updates from the Sierra Pacific Synod Council and Staff in this season of transition. Over the last two weeks, I’ve worked alongside our Synod Staff, Conference Deans, and Synod Council Members to develop a plan for this in-between time in our synod. Collectively, we are working to support our congregations in transition, visiting congregations to celebrate anniversaries and milestones, and encourage rest and self-care.


The Sierra Pacific Synod has received the name of the proposed Interim Bishop from the Office of the Presiding Bishop. The Sierra Pacific Synod Council and Staff will be meeting with the proposed Interim Bishop later this week, and Synod Council will meet on Saturday, June 25th to discuss next steps.



In the meantime, we appreciate your grace, patience and prayers during this season. If you have immediate questions or concerns, you are welcome to email info@spselca.org.

Blessings,

Gail Kiyomura, Synod Vice President


2022 Synod Assembly Recap


Even during a Synod Assembly with unprecedented adjustments and difficult, but necessary, conversations, elections, resolutions and other Assembly business occurred. Below you’ll find a recap of business voted upon by the Assembly.


We’d also like to extend a big thank you to our Keynote Speakers, Pam Rocker and Rev. Christian Chavarría, our Keynote Musician, Rachel Kurtz, and the robust group of volunteers who helped bring the assembly to life. From our musicians who helped lead worship services and sing-alongs, local hospitality volunteers who helped welcome folk to Sparks, to our election support team who jumped in at the last minute to help with ballots, and to our incredible Interpreter who accompanied our Spanish speaking attendees throughout the entire assembly, we could not have done this without you all.

A special thank you to Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and Vice President Carlos Peña for their presence, leadership, and accompaniment at our Assembly. To our tech team, Big Dog Sound, a big thank you for your hard-work, flexibility, and comforting presence. Tom, Jamie, Chris and Adam worked countless hours as the assembly schedule changed and ensured that our online participants were given the same level of accessibility as our in-person attendees.

And finally, a huge thank you to the Sierra Pacific Synod Staff and Council for their planning and execution of this assembly.



Elections


At this Synod Assembly, four Synod Council positions were up for election. The Assembly elected individuals to three of these positions, as unfortunately, there were no nominees for the fourth position. The following individuals were elected:

  • Vice President (4-year term): Simon Wong, Hope Lutheran Church, El Sobrante, CA

  • Synod Council Member At-Large (3-year term): The Rev. Dr. Dawn Roginski, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, San Mateo, CA

  • Synod Council Member At-Large, Person of Color (3-year term): Kezia Darla, Good Shepherd South Asian Ministry, Fremont, CA

We invite you to view the full list of Sierra Pacific Synod Council Representatives for 2022-23 here.


Additionally, Conference Caucuses elected new Conference Deans. Our 9 Conference Deans serve as a representative of the conference, resource to the Bishop, and much more. We invite you to view the newly elected Conference Deans here.


Budget

The Synod proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-24 was passed with amendments. We invite you to view the passed budget here.


Resolutions


Two Resolutions and one Memorial were brought forward to the Assembly and passed as stated below. The RESOLVED are provided as these are the action-oriented items to which the Assembly passed.


Resolution 2022-1: Social Statement on Homelessness

  • RESOLVED that the Sierra Pacific Synod in assembly memorializes the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly to commit to developing a social statement on homelessness.

Resolution 2022-2: Regarding Sierra Pacific Synod Compensation Guidelines

  • RESOLVED that the Sierra Pacific Synod's 2022-2023 Compensation Guidelines reflect as appropriate baseline compensation for full-time Rostered Ministers the amount of $63,484 for the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, and be it further

  • RESOLVED that Sierra Pacific Synod's Pulpit Supply Guidelines for the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 be set at:

  • One Service: $300

  • One Service and Adult Class: $375

  • Two Services: $375

  • Two Services and Adult Class: $425

  • and be it further RESOLVED that Sierra Pacific Synod's Pulpit Supply Guidelines stipulate that the travel mileage reimbursement rate for the period July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 be set at $0.58.5 (58.5 cents) per mile, or as established per current IRS determination.


Resolution 2022-3: Regarding Sierra Pacific Synod Reparations Fund

  • RESOLVED that the Sierra Pacific Synod hereby establishes a designated Reparations Fund for the purpose of payment for wrongs done to the Sierra Pacific Synod’s rostered leaders of African descent and rostered leaders of color; and be it further

  • RESOLVED that the Sierra Pacific Synod Council (or its designees) shall draft operational rules and guidelines concerning the aforementioned Reparations Fund for review and possible ratification for approval at the 2023 Sierra Pacific Synod Assembly; and be it further

  • RESOLVED that – to the extent that it is fiscally and legally responsible – the operational rules and guidelines of the Reparations Fund shall embody the following values:

  • that the Reparations Fund shall be overseen by a governing board of no less than 5 people, and that a super-majority of no less than 66% of those board members be self-identified people of African descent and/or people of color, and additionally that a super-majority of no less than 66% of those board members be laypersons; and

  • that the sources of income of the Reparations Fund shall include (but not be limited to)10% of the monies generated from the sale of buildings and properties owned by the Sierra Pacific Synod, as well as 10% of monies generated through the sale of congregational buildings and property, and subsequently given to the Sierra Pacific Synod as undesignated funds; and

  • that annually at least 10% of the corpus of the Reparations Fund shall be disbursed to applicants who are self-identified people of African descent and/or people of color who are currently rostered in the Sierra Pacific Synod (or who have at one time been rostered in the Sierra Pacific Synod and/or in its predecessor bodies); and

  • that funds disbursed to qualified applicants shall—to the fullest extent possible—be used at the discretion of those recipients; and be it further

  • RESOLVED that Policy 13-001 - Policy on the Sale, Retention and Management of Real Property, shall be amended to include the phrase "10% of the net proceeds shall be deposited into the Synod's Reparations Fund," and shall read as follows: "Upon sale of any property, 10% of the net proceeds shall be forwarded to the ELCA, 15% of the net proceeds shall be deposited into the Synod's general fund, 10% of the net proceeds shall be deposited into the Synod's Reparations Fund, up to 5% of the net proceeds shall be deposited into the Property Management Fund (not to exceed a balance of $250,000-See 9f.) and the remainder shall be deposited in the Sierra Pacific Synod Mission and Ministry Endowment Fund"; and be it further

  • RESOLVED that the Reparations Fund Governing Board shall be seated no later than the first Synod Council meeting after the 2023 Synod Assembly and that the first disbursement of funds from the Reparations Fund shall be made prior to the 2024 Synod and that an annual report from the Reparations Fund Governing Board shall be offered at the 2024 and subsequent Synod Assemblies.


Resolution 2022-4: Regarding Climate Change was not discussed at the Assembly due to time, and thus, will be brought forward at the next Synod Council meeting.


Changes to the Synod Constitution Bylaws


Amendments to the synod constitution bylaws regarding conferences and the position of dean were adopted in accordance with synod constitution †S18.21, including changes to S9.03.02., S12.01.04., S12.01.05., and deletion of S12.01.06. We invite you to view the amended constitution here.

668 views0 comments