By Deacon Lexanne Graves
Vice-President, South Carolina Synod
After three days they found Him in the Temple Courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
Our South Carolina Synod is divided up into 9 Conferences that include each of our 153 congregations. Each conference is led by a Dean that is voted upon by each conference. This Fall I have asked each of the conferences to host a gathering with some dedicated time set aside for holy “listening” and holy conversation among our lay and rostered leaders. This holy listening and sharing time will provide space for lay congregational members and rostered leaders to share gifts and talents a person may need to be the next Bishop of our South Carolina Synod for the next 6 years and beyond. We want people to talk, share, listen, dwell, wrestle with scripture, and then, be educated on how our ecclesiastical election ballot process for electing a bishop works. We want each person in this Synod to have a voice in this Spirit led process over the next 9 months as we approach our Synod Assembly in May 2020. We will capture this shared time of listening and responses, and compile these valuable insights into a document to be distributed in Spring 2020.
Below is the list of the Fall Gatherings (you are welcome to attend your conference or another conference’s gathering that best suits your schedules):
- Amelia Conference is Sunday November 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 8160 Old State Road, Cameron, SC
- Heartland Conference/Dean Rev. Michael Price—Sunday, October 13th from 3:00-5:00pm at Summer Memorial, 1609 Milligan St, Newberry.
- Upstate Conference/Dean Rev. Hobby Outen—Sunday, October 13th at 3:30pm at Springs of Grace, 320 Holden Dr., Inman.
- Epiphany Conference/Dean Rev. Jason Lee—Sunday, November 3rd at 3:00pm; First United Methodist Church, 1001 5th Ave., Conway, SC 29526.
- Western Conference/Dean Rev. Lisa Isenhower–Sunday, November 10that 3:00PM at Wittenberg Lutheran Church, 233 N. Lee St., Leesville.
- Saxe Gotha Conference/Dean Rev. Nathan Gragg—Sunday, November 10th at 3:00pm at Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church, 3011 Leaphart Road, West Columbia.
- Coastal Conference/Dean Rev. Ryan Lyles—Sunday, November 17th at 5:30pm at Redeemer, 714 Riverdale Dr, Charleston.
We will update the following conferences (Foothills, Amelia, Midlands) once we get the information.
At our recent Synod Assembly, we began this listening process for what gifts does a Bishop need to possess to lead our diverse, missional oriented synod; we look forward to gaining further insights from you at these conference gatherings. Again, I invite all lay congregational members and rostered leaders to attend one of the Fall Conference Gatherings above that suits your schedule/geographical needs. Our goal is to hear each person’s voice in this Spirit led process of electing the next South Carolina Synod Bishop. If you have questions, please contact me via email.
May the Lord continue to bless this process.
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