News & Events‎ > ‎

2017 ELCA Southeastern Synod Assembly

Assembly Actions & Highlights

The following were elected to serve on the Synod Council for 2-year terms (unless 
otherwise noted) beginning May 2017:
The Rev. Randy Jones, Messiah, Montgomery, AL, Synod Secretary (4-year term)
Ms. Rebecca Parson, Trinity, Lilburn, GA, Youth representative 
Ms. Deborah Baumgartner, Good Shepherd, Woodstock, GA, At-large representative
Dr. Santha Jetty, Christ the King, Peachtree Corners, GA, At-large representative
Mr. Jim Drinnon, Redeemer, Savannah, GA, Conference 1 representative
The Rev. Michelle Kuhlman, Grace, Carrollton, GA, Conference 2 representative
Mr. Imran Siddiqui, St. John's, Atlanta, GA, Conference 3 representative
The Rev. Kim Stover, All Saints, Lilburn, GA, Conference 4 representative 
The Rev. Tim Morgan, Faith, Cleveland, GA, Conference 5 representative
The Rev. Monica Weber, Epiphany, Collierville, TN, Conference 8 representative 
       (1-year unexpired term)

The following were elected to the Consultation Committee for 6-year terms:
The Rev. James Thomas, Lenoir-Rhyne-LTSS, Columbia, SC 
The Rev. Fritz Wiese, Christ Our Shepherd, Peachtree City, GA
Mr. Terry Fletcher, Ascension, Jackson, MS
Mr. Mike Franklin, Holy Trinity, Nashville, TN 
Ms. Ami Layton, Amazing Grace, Lawrenceville GA

The following were elected to the Discipline Committee for 6-year terms:
The Rev. Deryck Durston (retired)
The Rev. Pamela Smith, First, Nashville, TN
Mr. Robert Schwartz, Amazing Grace, Lawrenceville, GA
Dr. Santha Jetty, Christ the King, Peachtree Corners, GA

2018-19 Ministry Funding Plan
The Assembly approved the 2018-19 Ministry Funding Plan.  It is available here.

2018 Compensation Guidelines
The Assembly approved the 2018 Compensation Guidelines.  They are available here.

Resolutions and Memorials
The Assembly adopted the following resolutions and memorials:
2017-01   A Resolution Concerning the role of the Church in combating antimicrobial                          resistance.
2017-02   A Resolution Regarding the ELCA draft Social Statement on Women and Justice:                    One in Christ.
2017-03   A Resolution of welcome for our refugee neighbors.
2017-04   A Resolution of Thanks

Governing Document Amendments
The Assembly approved the adoption of the amendments to its governing documents 
as proposed.  The proposal may be found here.   


Presentation of the Robert S. and Jean E. Graetz Advocacy Award

At its meeting on May 25, the Southeastern Synod Council approved the creation of the 
Robert S. and Jean E. Graetz Advocacy Award.  It also named the Rev. and Mrs. Graetz as
the Award's first recipients.  Accepting the award on their behalf (pictured above) are the
Rev. Randy Jones, pastor, Messiah, Montgomery, AL and members of Messiah in 
attendance at Assembly.  The Graetz' are members of Messiah, Montgomery and were 
unable to be present as Pr. Graetz was hospitalized at the time.  We are happy to report 
that Pr. Graetz' health continues to improve.

In addition to the Award, three proclamations were presented to the Rev. and Mrs. Graetz 
at the Assembly.  Proclamations honoring them and their work were presented by 
Ms. Terri A. Sewell, member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 7th 
District, Birmingham, AL, Mr. Andy Berke, Mayor, Chattanooga, TN, and Mr. Todd Strange,
Mayor, Montgomery, AL.

You can learn more about Robert and Jean Graetz and their life's dedication to the work of 
advocacy, justice and racial reconciliation through this video.

Bible Study Leaders

The Rev. Dr. David Ratke, who serves as Dean, College of Theology, Lenoir-Rhyne University, led Friday's Bible Study based upon 1Corinthians 1:18-31.

Saturday morning, Deacon Melanie
Johnson, Program Manager for
Volunteer, Congregation and
Community Engagement, Refugee
and Immigration Services, Lutheran
Services of Georgia & Deacon, Rock
Of Ages, Stone Mountain, GA, led
Bible study based on
Jeremiah 31:31-34. 

Pastor and Mission Developer of Gathered by Grace, the Rev. Tiffany Chaney led the Assembly in reflection on John 20:10-18 on Saturday afternoon.  Gathered by Grace is an ELCA mission serving young adults in the Montgomery, AL and Tuskegee, AL communities.

Worship services were held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Worship is central to the work
that the Assembly does and offers spiritual nourishment for participants throughout the 

On Friday Bishop H. Julian Gordy presided with Synod Vice President Doris Underwood, 
Messiah, Montgomery, AL serving as assisting minister. 

The Rev. Cuttino Alexander, Christus Victor, Ocean Springs, MS  preached. 
Saturday, Bishop Gordy preached at the service marking the synod's observation of the 
Year for Care for Creation. The Rev. Uijin Hwang, Incarnation, Marietta, GA, presided and 
Deacon Allison Ward, Redeemer, Savannah, GA and Hospice Care of Georgia, Richmond 
Hill, GA served as assisting minister. 

On Sunday the Rev. Kathryn Love, Martin Luther, Mobile, AL (pictured above) served as the 

The Rev. Karen Boda, Faith, Clay, AL presided with Deacon Michelle Angalet serving as the 
assisting minister. 

The Assembly welcomed returning pianist Mr. Ted Wilson, Christ, Nashville, TN, 
(not pictured) and cantor (pictured above) Ms. Judy Farrington Aust, Holy Cross Catholic 
Church, Atlanta, GA during the weekend.

                 To see more great photos from the Synod Assembly, click here.

                          Our sincere appreciation to photographer 
                          Mr. Greg Williams, St. John's, Atlanta, GA.