July 21, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the South Carolina Synod,
The 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly will be in Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 8-12. Voting Members from the South Carolina Synod will gather with sisters and brothers from across the church under the theme, Embody the Word.
As we prepare for this Assembly, we see many ways you can connect and participate with us from here at home. We hope you will take some time to familiarize yourselves with the resource pages online so that you can anticipate the topics that we expect to be brought before us and the work we expect to be doing, but especially we hope that you will join us in prayer for the Spirit to guide this church as we meet together. Attached to this letter are prayer petitions for use in worship and at home over the next few weeks. We ask that you share the prayers, link and this information with your congregation along with our gratitude to everyone for walking with us.
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, is a process of communal spiritual discernment. When the ELCA Churchwide Assembly convenes, its voting members meet with confidence in God’s grace around word and water, wine and bread, to carry on their work on behalf of the entire church. Over the course of the assembly, voting members:
- Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;
- Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
- Elect ELCA Vice President and officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
- Establish ELCA churchwide policy;
- Worship together;
- Adopt a budget; and
- Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.
Even though you may not be there in person, we do not want any of the work of the church to take you by surprise. There are several ways you can get connected in advance of Assembly to learn what we expect to come before us, but please keep in mind that not everything can be predicted ahead of time.
The PreEvents Page lists information about the Bible Studies which are being held live on the Sundays in July (and also recorded for YouTube viewing later), and there will be Information Hearings on topics to come before the Assembly which will be held the first week of August. Find the PreEvents by following this link: https://www.elca.org/cwa-2022/PreEvents
To go directly to the Bible Studies that have been recorded click here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNDmVwhz-M36cUMtUudiwX5SCpoRYGA41
For more information and links to all the Documents that will be used at Assembly, please feel free to visit https://www.elca.org/churchwideassembly.
In the Resource Section you may wish to look at Section VII: Report of the Memorials Committee. The index will give you a list of the vast array of memorial topics that have come from various Synods. This report is filled with background information for those preparing for assembly, and those who may be interested in what will be considered. The introductory notes indicate that most of these memorials will be voted on EnBloc, unless someone at the Assembly requests that we remove an issue from EnBloc. The Committee recommends that three of the Memorials be considered separately. They are:
- A8 Land Back page 33 ff.
- B4 Restructure the Governance of the ELCA page 48 ff.
- C3 “Human Sexuality: Gift & Trust” Revision page 75 ff.
You may also find the Constitutional Amendments interesting. To get a sense of what these Amendments are about you can look at the 2022 Rationale for Proposed Amendments to the Constitutions of the ELCA.
Resources can be found at: https://www.elca.org/Resources/Churchwide-Assembly
The Daily Schedule page is found here: https://www.elca.org/cwa-2022/Schedule
Please join the voting members from the South Carolina Synod in prayer by including the attached prayer petitions in your Sunday Worship Prayers for the church on July 24, July 31, August 7, August 14 and encouraging prayer among sisters and brothers of the faith each day of Assembly, August 8-12, 2022.
We Embody the Word, and we walk together as the ELCA South Carolina Synod. Thank you for your prayers, your participation from here at home and for all the ways you join us on this journey to the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
Your Prayers for the 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly and the voting members from the South Carolina Synod are requested.
(Sunday, July 24) Loving God, through holy baptism you continue to make us new and gather us together across all human divisions, reconciling us to yourself in one body through the cross. Strengthen us by your presence, that our thoughts and actions may be rooted and grounded in your love for us. Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by your reconciling love, as this church prepares to gather in assembly. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Sunday, July 31) By your word, eternal God, your creation sprang forth, and we were given the breath of life. By your word, eternal God, death is overcome, Christ is raised from the tomb, and we are given new life in the power of your Spirit. May we boldly proclaim this good news in our words and our deeds, rejoicing always in your powerful presence. Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by your Word, as this church prepares to gather in assembly. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Sunday, August 7) O God, our beginning and our end, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, you led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a start you led the magi to the infant Jesus. Make the ways safe and the homecomings joyful for those traveling to the Churchwide Assembly and bring us all at last to our heavenly home, where you dwell in glory with our Lord Jesus Christ and the life-giving Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Monday, August 8) Let us pray for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and its members who gather this week in its Churchwide Assembly. Inspire the celebration of God’s varied works throughout the church. Instill your peace in the midst of the work you have called us to and the deliberations that will take place. Shape the work of the church according to your will for the whole world. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Tuesday, August 9) O God, you open the hearts of your faithful people by sending into us your Holy Spirit. Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by that Spirit, as this church gathers in assembly, that we might have a right judgment in all things and rejoice at all times in your peace. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Wednesday, August 10) Gracious God, we pray for your holy catholic church. Fill it with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen it; where it is divided, reunite it; Direct the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by that truth and peace. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Thursday, August 11) Almighty God, grant to your church your Holy Spirit and the wisdom which comes down from heaven, that your Word may not be bound but have free course and be preached to the joy and edifying of Christ’s holy people, that in steadfast faith we may serve you and in the confession of your name may abide to the end. Direct your church by your wisdom. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Friday, August 12) Blessed Lord, be now with our sisters and brothers who travel home from Churchwide Assembly. Give to them safe travel and renewed spirit to bring their experiences home and to share the Good News of Jesus presence where they have experienced it. Renew your whole church with purpose and power to Embody the Word and witness to the world the love and grace of God in Christ. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
(Sunday, August 14) Holy One, you formed the church to announce the words of eternal life to the world. Equip the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which concluded its Churchwide Assembly to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gather the church together into one body for the sake of our shared mission to tell of the love of God. Embodying your Word, turn the church inside out so that we proclaim your freedom and renewal to all the world. Merciful God, receive our prayer.
CHURCHWIDE ASSEMBLY PRAYER PETITIONS
Download Prayer Petitions