Paul Wangerin
Synod Council Vice President

Vice President’s Report to 2019 Synod Assembly

Several suggestions from our 2017-2018 Listening Post meetings asked how we could improve the prayer life of our synod. With that in mind, our Synod Council determined we should begin by looking at and thinking through our own prayer life – both individually and as a Synod Council. Thus, prayer has been a major topic of discussion for our Synod Council this past year.

We began with a discussion of our own individual prayer experience – when have we struggled and when have we felt a close connection with God. How do we pray? When do we pray? We then assigned each council member to choose several psalms meaningful to that member to read, pray and consider those psalms over the days, weeks and months until our next meeting.

In that next meeting we discussed and shared our experiences with these psalms, admitting that many of us were not as conscientious as we wanted to be in that discipline. Yet in that discussion it became evident that different people respond to the praying of these psalms, and to praying in general, in different ways. That led us to consider the various spiritual paths that exist, and that one’s spiritual path can determine how one approaches prayer, and thus how one experiences his/her relationship to God.

Our next step will be, as a significant part of our meeting, to hold specific congregations of our synod in prayer. Following that meeting we intend to send postcards to those congregations letting them know we held them in prayer. Our goal is to hold all our congregations in our prayers over this next year.

While we have not yet arrived at a best way to engage our whole synod in prayer, or what we as a Synod Council can do to help grow the prayer life of our synod, we are finding our own personal spiritual growth through these experiences.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the four Synod Council members who have served their full allotted terms and will be leaving their position as Synod Council members. These include pastors Christine Olson and Sean Smith, layperson Bruce Dalton and youth delegate Katlyn Ruddle.

I appreciate the opportunity to serve as Vice President of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod.

Paul Wangerin


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