Sometimes I wonder how important it is to have a Vice President Report included with our Assembly Bulletin of Reports. Some of what I include would be duplicated in other reports, and some of the message is a carry over from a previous year’s report. That being said, I do want to share with you what has been a Synod Council (SC) focus over the past year.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has forced us to hold all our SC meetings on zoom. We finally were able to hold our first in person meeting in two years on April 9. This is important as for the last eighteen months, we have been looking forward to holding a two day retreat in which we would focus on setting those few key goals or areas of action for our synod work. To be successful, such a retreat must be held in-person, and we have had to wait until easing of the pandemic would allow such a meeting.

Setting these key areas of focus are important as this would help provide direction for our bishop and our DEM as they carry out their work. It would also align with the Synod Mutual Ministry Committee (SMMC) as that committee works with the bishop and the SC in addressing and reviewing these action areas. And I believe it helps to keep the SC on task.

The SC appointed a Planning Committee to do preliminary work leading to this SC retreat, and the Planning Committee has identified several key areas for the SC to consider. Two such areas include: assisting congregations to move forward following the challenges the pandemic has posed; and addressing the need posed by the many vacant pulpits in our synod. Both of these areas link into other work being addressed by committees/task forces.

Our Synod Lay Worship Leaders committee is continuing work on developing this SLWL program, which is intended to bring lay pulpit leadership for synod congregations. Furthermore, both Bishop Riegel and DEM Schafer have been working with congregations in vacancy as well as congregations struggling through the effects of the pandemic. It is intended that when the SC meets in retreat, we may be able to provide more direction and assistance in these tasks. At the same time, our SC retreat would also address other challenges facing our synod. Both financial concerns and long-term feasibility questions always need to be on our radar screen.

We are planning to hold this retreat in the fall when the new SC members can participate. Additionally, we intend to invite those outgoing SC members to the retreat as their perspective will continue to be helpful.

Finally, I want to thank all our Synod Council members for their faithful work over this past year – over zoom, our attendance has been close to 100% at every meeting. The input from every council member has been important.

I pray that our Gracious God would continue to provide guidance, strength, and blessings to the work of our bishop, DEM, SC and all of our WV/WMD Synod.

Paul Wangerin
WV/WMD Synod Vice President


Was this helpful?

Yes No
You indicated this topic was not helpful to you ...
Could you please leave a comment telling us why? Thank you!
Thanks for your feedback.

Post your comment on this topic.

Post Comment