These questions have been sourced from the face-to-face training conducted around Australia and New Zealand and also via submission to the LCA Convention of Synod email address. If you have questions about Convention that are not answered here or elsewhere on the Synod website, please contact the Convention of Synod planning team via the button link below.
The dates have been announced, but the sessions will not in fact be held in 2022. Considering all prevailing circumstances, GCB agreed that the best possible dates for the in-person sessions are 9-12 February 2023. These sessions will be held in Melbourne.
The agenda items for both the 2021 and 2023 sessions can be accessed from the Business tab on this website.
An Addendum to the original Book of Reports was published on the Business page on 9 January and delegates where notified via email on the same date. In addition, the physical Addendum was posted to delegates on 17 January.
No. GCB has decided that only amendments to existing proposals will be accepted.
No. Nominations for the 2021–24 synodical term closed on 15 May 2021.
Yes. While only delegates will be able to speak and vote, visitors will be able to watch via livestream in an adjoining room.
No. Bishop John Henderson presided over the 2021 online sessions. Bishop Paul Smith will preside over the 2023 in-person sessions.
It is being proposed that the Synod affirms that the online sessions is the beginning of the synodical term, to maintain the three-year synodical cycle. The 21st Convention will be held in 2024. (Note however that the in-person sessions of the 20th Convention will be held in February 2023.)
No, there is only one fee, which covers both the 2021 and 2023 sessions.
Delegates for the 20th Convention of General Synod were elected before the 2021 online sessions. They were contacted in November 2022 at their LCA email address and regularly after that (also to their personal addresses) to confirm their attendance for the in-person sessions. For catering and other purposes, delegates need to confirm their attendance no later than 23 January 2023.
If a parish’s elected delegate is unable or unwilling to attend the in-person sessions of the 20th Convention of General Synod, the parish will need to appoint an alternate (more information about this in the next FAQ). If an alternate cannot be found, the parish will need to register an apology.
Yes, parishes may elect an alternate to attend the 2023 in-person sessions, but the elected delegate retains his/her position for the remainder of the three-year synodical term. It is important to note that an alternate may only be appointed if the elected delegate is unable to attend the Convention. Every effort should be made to elect a lay person alternate to stand in for a lay delegate. In some circumstances, however, it may be possible, with the permission of the District Bishop, for the parish pastor to be the alternate for a lay delegate (By-Law 7.1.4).
Elected pastor delegates remain delegates even if they have moved to another District or retired.
No, but training is highly recommended, even for experienced delegates. Training is available on the ALC iLearn website. Details for access are on the Delegates page on this website.
At the time of the union of the two synods (ELCA and UELCA) into the new Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA), one of the major sticking points was what was meant by the ‘inerrancy’ of Scripture. This led to a lengthy debate before the union, which continued for almost two decades within the young LCA. Seminary lecturers, pastors and presidents all contributed. The debate resulted in a number of doctrinal statements on the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, the most recent of which is the Consensus Statement on Holy Scripture (1984). The documents capture and present the progression of the debate chronologically, providing access to the variety of theological opinions presented through original documents preserved in the Lutheran Archives. The dossier is available at https://e-resources.alc.edu.au/Pages/inspiration-and-inerrancy.aspx
Readers might also find this article helpful, ‘The authority of Scripture’ (https://lca.box.com/shared/static/aitvrt4gskbdg4pwtyaevjecqia2m1rf.pdf), by Bishop John Henderson, which appeared in the Lutheran Theological Journal 51.3 (December 2017).
Only the closing service, 9.30am (AEDT) Sunday 12 February, will be streamed. You will be able to watch it on the Worship page.
No, but registered visitors at Convention will be able to watch them via a live feed.
The closing date for Synod proposals was 15 May 2021. Only amendments to existing proposals can be submitted to the in-person sessions in February 2023.
No. The closing date for nominations to LCA boards and committees was 15 May 2021.
This principle applies to all of the issues to be considered at the Convention of Synod.
Yes. Sessions are recorded for archival purposes. Upon confirmation of attendance, all delegates permitted their image and voice to be recorded.
Yes. As is customary, congregations are invited to contribute to the General Synod offering. The recipient of the 2021 offering was the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG), a partner church of the LCANZ. The offering will support in-service training of pastors in the ELCPNG so that they may be strengthened in their ministry of the gospel.
The recipient of the 2023 offering will be advised closer to the event.
Congregations are invited to deposit their offering in the Synod offering account at the LLL (https://donation.lca.org.au/project?id=P21006). Alternatively, the deposit may be made to this account: LCA Synod Account; BSB 704942; Account 100698743.
It is important that all delegates can access the information available on this website and receive General Synod eNews, which provides important updates about Convention. All communications to delegates will be emailed to their LCA address throughout their three-year synodical term.
Yes, but we are promoting responsible use of social media by delegates, and there may be some sessions where delegates will be respectfully asked not to use these media. The chairperson of the session will inform delegates when this is the case. The reason for this approach is that, at some times during Convention, it will be important that the information is formally approved for general release by the LCA Bishop or his representative, with the support of the LCA Communications Manager.
No, not at this stage.
The General Pastors Conference (GPC) met online in July 2021. Given the limitations of the online forum, GPC did not discuss General Synod business. It is intended that GPC will be able to attend to this business at its meeting in 2022 and make recommendations to General Synod on matters referred to it by the General Church Board.
No, it cannot veto a proposal. However, it can recommend amendments as outlined in the by-laws above.
We are grateful for the support of the LLL, the major sponsor of Convention of General Synod.