Report of the Vice President of the South Carolina Synod
By Pastor Michele Fischer
Deacon Lexanne Graves, Vice President of the South Carolina Synod, stood before the synod assembly on Saturday morning to share her report to the assembly. In her report she asked the assembly for two things:
- Will we lay down the single story that the Synod and Churchwide take our money and give back nothing in return?
- Will we join the larger Church in the neighborhood?
Deacon Andrew More shared a Bible reflection on Friday about how easy it is to see the single story, to believe a two-dimensional stereotype instead of seeing the whole person and their whole story. Drawing on Deacon More’s language, Vice President Graves reminded the assembly how easy it is for us to think only about our own congregations and what we are getting in return. That is the single story. Our synod council, our bishop, assistants to the bishop and staff work very hard for the benefit of all our congregations, and the wider church. Our synod staff works 4 days a week to save money, and until this year we have not paid our bishop and assistants to the bishop according to synod guidelines. Further, 16% of income to the synod went back into South Carolina Synod congregations through programs like Farming Church, speakers and the new initiatives led by Pastor Rick Carter.
Vice President Graves challenged the assembly to join in the work the synod is doing in neighborhoods across the synod and the work that Churchwide is doing in neighborhoods across the country and across the globe. We do this work together in many ways such as Global Missions and the Young Adults in Global Mission program.
Over the last year, Synod Council has been intentional about going into the neighborhood. Synod Council members visited churches to offer thanks for their support of the synod. They went to St. Paul’s, Pomaria for a retreat to witness for themselves the passage from death to the resurrection as they heard that congregation share how a fire which destroyed their sanctuary became new life as they rebuilt. Will we say yes and lay down our single story about who the synod is and what the synod does? Will we say yes and join the larger Church in neighborhoods across the state, the nation, and the world?
This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here.
We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.
ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201