Synod Assembly 2018 Recap

From May 4 to 6, over 400 members of the congregations across the Southwestern Texas Synod gathered in San Marcos to consider the business before our synod this year…including voting members from Peace Lutheran Church: Matt Bloom, Emily Castillo, Katie Van Gulick and Pastor Carolyn (with a siting of Amanda Castillo and Carter Wiseman at the campus ministry display table). Though the voting membership of the synod was overwhelming over the age of 50, we did our best to represent some of the younger members of the church!

The meeting included the usual yearly business – including passing the synod’s budget, holding the CrossTrails Ministries corporation meeting to approve their budget, and electing new members to synodical leadership positions. In addition, this year we elected voting members to go to the national churchwide assembly meeting in the summer of2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Throughout the gathering we got to see short videos of folks from across the synod responding to the theme “Seeds of Hope: Beyond All Imagination” by sharing stories of who had planted seeds of hope in their own lives.


Most notably, we were called to elect a new bishop, after Bishop Tiemann completed his third and final term as bishop, comprising 18 years of service in this role! After 5 ballots, surrounded by prayerful deliberation and song…and wrapped in prayer shawls made by members across the synod…the voting members elected Rev. Sue Briner, currently serving as an assistant to the bishop, to serve as our new synodical bishop beginning in September.


Matt Bloom reflects on the process: “Besides the smoothness of the election process, I was impressed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in all of the proceedings. It is clear that God wants us to welcome everyone to worship and live out our faith together. Being Church is different for everyone, and we can’t be Church to please everyone all the time. I saw efforts to be more diverse culturally yet unified in the Gospel. I especially liked the leader videos as they emphasized seeds of hope that we can emulate in our ministries at Peace and the many ways to live out one’s faith.”