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2024 Synod Assembly Reflections

By Deacon Katie Justice

This year’s synod assembly focused on being good stewards. A month before we began our synod assembly, we had the opportunity to have four bible study sessions with Dr. Mark Powell about what it means to be good stewards. When we think of stewardship, we think of money, but Dr. Powell reminded us that being good stewards involves much more than finances. It involves all of God’s creations and the ways we can care for each of them.

Opening worship began with a word from our co-chaplains, Pastor Josh Kestner and Pastor Jesse Caniff-Kuhn. Pastor Josh leads the Lutheran Campus Ministry at Clemson University, and Pastor Jesse leads the Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina. Both opened with how exciting it was for this assembly to highlight Campus Ministries and for this year’s assembly offerings to benefit this ministry. We then got to glimpse students throughout South Carolina who are a part of LCM on their college campuses and how they participate in service throughout the state. What a beautiful way to see how our college students are helping make the world better.

The Care for Creation video was a significant part of our assembly. It focused on Bowers Farm and the dedicated efforts of Sarah and Brandon Bowers in sustainable farming. Their work exemplifies the broader concept of stewardship, extending beyond finances to encompass the responsible care of God’s creation. Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Irmo, SC, had the opportunity to visit the farm and learn what it means to care for all of God’s creation. Different members of Bethlehem were interviewed to share what being good stewards of creation means.

The closing worship involved college students from different areas of South Carolina. Some were inside, and some outdoors; from churches to college campuses, they read scripture, led prayers, and sang. This beautiful start to our closing worship reminded us that our young adults are an integral part of the church. Bishop Ginny preached the closing sermon to remind us how we care for one another, in ways as simple as giving someone a water bottle.

This year’s assembly, while online, did a great job of keeping us connected to one another and with young adults and their impact on the world.

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