SYNODS

SYNOD 2023

12 – 14 October 2023

at St Crucis Lutheran Church
East London

The topic: “God sees!” – but also focusing on the intergenerational diversity within our congregations / church with a focus on the youth.

DOCUMENTATION

Prayer of Confession Centering Prayer
(inspired by Romans 8: 22-27)

The Apostle Paul tells us that the Spirit of God prays for us “with sighs too deep for words”.
Through the Life-Giving Breath of God, we are given all that we need.

Let us breathe deeply—
inhaling the good gifts that God provides,
and exhaling all of the things that we need to release.

Let us breathe in strength. (Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale our exhaustion.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in freedom. (Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale all that holds us back.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in a new sense of direction.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale the paths we no longer want to use. (Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in hope. (Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale self-doubt.
(Pause for breath…)

Let us breathe in unconditional love.
(Pause for breath…)
And, let us exhale distrust and hate.
(Pause for breath…)

Holy Spirit, let us feel the mighty rush of your presence in this place.
Blow away our fears and worries, and help us to breathe in your gifts of new life. Amen.

Seeing, listening and discerning on being church here and now

Reflection and report by Bishop

Honourable Synod Delegates and Guests, dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, gathering for a synod meeting is an expression of the willingness to seek answers together to the ever-important question: what does it mean to be church here and now? We have come through the pandemic by God’s grace, realizing that being church brings with it new opportunities and new challenges. Despite of the changed situation, we discover in different circumstances that the church’s core function and purpose remains the same. We are called and sent to go out into the world, and make disciples of Jesus Christ (Mat 17 28) Being church means being the Body of Christ with and for the people……

Communication Desk Report 2023

We are living in atime where there is so much information available and where we also receive so much information, that it is impossible to read it al. Iwant tostart this report with aquotation from Liz Papadpulos:

“EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONREQUIRES MORE THANAN EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION. WHEN
DONE RIGHT, COMMUNICATION FOSTERS UNDERSTANDING, STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS, IMPROVES TEAM WORK AND BUILDS TRUST.

Personally I like this quote as it reminds me and you,…….

Report on the Theological Education of UELSA July 2023

Dear Members of Synod, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I thank you for allowing me to present a summary report of my work as Tutor and Director of Studies for the Theological Education ofUELCSA.
When I started out more than 6 years ago, I was appointed ni a part time position (25%) as tutor for UELCSA theology students at the faculty oftheology of Stellenbosch. In the meantime, many organisational matters have been finalised. Now UELCSA is an official partner of the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University and we have become valued participants on various levels of the work being done at the faculty both with the students and with the staff. And I have been appointed full time in the post of Tutor and Director of Studies for the Theological Education of ULCSA (this includes both the students and the interns of our three churches).
In this report I want to give you an overview of what my work with our candidates for the ministry entails and what I, being appointed full time, hope to do more effectively as I grow
into this task. I report on my work from a down to earth perspective, describing plainly what I do with the students and interns…….

Communication Desk Report 2023

We are living in atime where there is so much information available and where we also receive so much information, that it is impossible to read it al. Iwant tostart this report with aquotation from Liz Papadpulos:

“EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONREQUIRES MORE THANAN EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION. WHEN
DONE RIGHT, COMMUNICATION FOSTERS UNDERSTANDING, STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS, IMPROVES TEAM WORK AND BUILDS TRUST.

Personally I like this quote as it reminds me and you,…….

Legal Desk Report 2023

Introduction.

Dear Delegates, the role of church law is to enable us as members of God’s body to use our gifts and talents to the glory of God. Church law’s aim is to foster good working relationships in the local congregations and in the greater CAPE CHURCH. Church law clearly clarifies and defines duties and expectations of a local congregation and its members; and the duties and the expectations between the congregations, the synod and church council. There are three main sources that according to the Lutheran Tradition govern our church law: the Word of God, the Three Creeds, and the Confessional Writings. Church law is never static and always evolving.

Training

Over the past year I have met with the following congregation to do a workshop around the constitution of the Cape Church that governs the congregation order B200. The outline of the training is as follows:…..

CCE SYNOD REPORT

2023

As congregations within the CCE we realisethat we form part of the larger body of Christ. We need each other and cannot remain isolated from each other. When working more closely together we can share our resources so that we may continue to be church here and now. Therefore, it is of vital importance to build bridges to each other so that we can strengthen each other and be there for one another. This happens within the CCEon different levels and within different forums:….

.

CCW SYNOD REPORT

2023

Iwould like to thank my exco team for their time invested into the CW. Al of them were very committed to work for our common goal, the wellbeing of our Circuit. The Exco meets at least 4 times a vear, mostly via zoom and sometimes in person. A new c c exco will be elected at our next AGV in January 2024…….

Preacher training / Faith course

 

Synod report 2023

 

In March 2022 a new preacher training / faith course has been launched. The aim of this course is threefold: Firstly, it aims at training church members to become official preachers within their own congregations. Secondly, it gives members who are already preachers the opportunity to expand their knowledge and to refresh important aspects regarding this invaluable ministry. Thirdly the course is designed in such a way that anyone who is interested in growing in their faith and learning more about God, the Bible and the Church of Christ, can also participate. We are happy to say that this concept seems to be working. Currently there are sixteen participants, who take part in this course. Of these, five are already active preachers, seven would like to become preachers and the rest are taking part simply for the benefit of learning more about God and faith.

A new topic is generally presented once per term, during a Saturday morning session (9h00-12h30) and then during further Tuesday evening sessions (19h00-20h30) as the need arises.

The aim is to get through the preacher training curriculum within a time span of two years. This however does not mean that participants will then automatically qualify as preachers. Before anyone is accepted as preacher by their local congregation and the church council every participant still needs to pass an exam sermon and hand in a paper on Lutheran theology.

The courses are all presented online, via Zoom and are thus accessible to anyone who has a computer and internet. The advantage of this is that you, no matter where you are, can join in and get to know others from different congregations across the vast expanse of the Cape Church. Another advantage is that this saves time and traveling costs. However, it also has its disadvantages, it is difficult to have real fellowship via virtual media, participants can’t chat and share with one another during tea breaks and practical aspects regarding preaching, like reading and non-verbal communication exercises are difficult to train online. This means that the local pastor needs to play a more active role in the training of potential preachers, guiding them and mentoring them on the way and giving them the opportunity to practice within the church life of each participants local congregation.

Our hope is that in the near future more and more members will make use of this course and embrace this exciting ministry of preaching, proclaiming the good news of Jesus in word and sacrament; thereby growing the notion of the priesthood of all believers in a tangible manner within our church.

Finally, I want to use this opportunity to thank all the pastors from the ELCSA (Cape), who have presented a course and have made this whole endeavour possible, an endeavour that helps fellow believers to do what we are all called to do with these words from 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

May we together grow in faith and always continue to discover the great treasure that lies within the Gospel and may we become ever bolder and more courageous in our proclamation of Christ Jesus, through words and deeds.

Yours,

Frank Schütte (Coordinator)

ST. JOHANNIS LIFESTYLE SYNOD REPORT

Brief Background

The St. Johannis Organisation, trading as St. Johannis Lifestyle Estate, is constituted by:

St. Johannis Gardens, a Retirement Village with 50 houses/flats offered as life rights (“Gardens”); and

St. Johannis Park, a sectional title unit extension of the Retirement Village with 46 houses/flats (“Park”).

The St. Johannis Organisation adopted a new Constitutionin October 2022 tore-organise itsgovernance and adjust the Constitution in view of legislative

St. Lukes Mission Station Report: – Synod 2023

The St Lukes project was a spontaneous result of the outcome of the Synod 2019 when the topic was “Land Reform in its different facets”. One of the guest speakers at that synod was the representative from the Shack Dwellers Association and actually resided in the settlement of St Lukes.

2019 the settlement had about 1110 residents – from baby to elderly and most of them receiving social grants. This settlement is located 35 km inland from East London. From donations of clothing, household items the Coastal Parish was able to assist this community.

With the outbreak of the Covid – 19 pandemic this settlement was throw into dire need of assistance. Schools and businesses…

PAARL – EAST SOUP KITCHEN

(Report 4.9.2)
Over 25 years ago, the then Paarl Lutheran St Petri congregation decided to become involved in supporting Rose Daniels, who had been running a soup kitchen in Paarl East Tromherhome.
Initially50 meals a week were provided which was later extended to 100 meals.
Upon the closure of the St. Petri congregation, certain residual funds were used together with new donations to maintain the support to Rose Daniels.
When these funds became depleted in 2020, Bishop Gilbert Filter facilitated contact with the
ELM in Hermannsburg, Germany ot apply for support ni ot extend the soup kitchen also to the UELCSA COD congregation Paarl East. The Paarl East congregation had previously run a soup kitchen but due ot lack of funds, ti had been terminated. Funding byELM was approved and provided from September 2020. Further funding was obtained by generous donations from the Friedrich Schweizer Kinderheim Trust from 2021 onwards.
With this financial support, the number of meals at Rose Daniels’ house was extended ot 2 x per week at 100 meals (200 weekly meals) and initially once a week 150 meals were prepared at Paarl East. Over time we have managed to increase the number of meals at Paarl East to the current 300 meals per week, for a total of 500 meals per week at the two serving points.
Further funds are raised from donations from private individuals and from special collections by Lutheran congregations. We are very grateful for the productive cooperation and support we receive from Bishop Filter and the Cape Church.
This year our budget per meal is R10 and with this we are able toprovide a nutritious meal (soup/stew/sandwich with fruit and juice/hot chocolate/tea). In addition, when funds allow it, we buy clothing, soap or stationery items for school.
Christmas we provide a lovely meal and makeup gift parcels which include educational toys, stationery and hygiene articles as well as some sweets and juice. In 2022 there were
300 parcels for children as well as 50 for families in need – these included tinned and dry food, hygiene products etc.
The prices of food and the demand for meals increase annually. We would like to provide more than just food, namely interaction and support for the children, but this has proven to be unlikely with the current participants and structure. We appreciate the helpers are providing invaluable help and support to their maximum resources and abilities.

Christa and Hermann Böhmer Paarl
8 October 2023

Stories on living studying and doing theology.

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Lutheran World Federation 13th Assembly Message

Preamble

As delegates to the Thirteenth Assembly of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), we gathered in Kraków, Poland, from 13 to 19 September 2023, to worship, reflect, discuss, and discern the way forward for our global communion of churches, inspired by the theme of “One Body, One Spirit, One Hope” (Ephesians 4:4).

Before we came here,……..

 

EKKLESIA: Research done by the Unit for Innovation and Transformation for ELCSA (Cape Church) August 2023

 

 

Background

The question about intergenerational ministry came up during the discussion on the youth requesting that the role of the youth/young adults in the church should be focused at synod. But having a synod about youth, without many young people as delegates is not helpful. Yet we want to engage with them through a survey, virtually, and include them as guests at synod, if not enough are elected as delegates.

A challenge for the Cape Church is not just that the youth seem to be not active in many congregations, but also that different age groups in different congregations have moved to the fringes of church life. On contacting them they confirm their membership but remain absent from church life.

Worldwide we hear the comments that the church has changed after the pandemic. This survey is to help us understand the church post-pandemic and to understand what is needed so that we do not keep saying “we ought to” but that we go over to action in such a way that congregations take ownership.

The following invitation was sent to congregations………..

Stories on living studying and doing theology.

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SYNOD 2021

Below is a list of documents related to the Synod held in Philippi 29.10.021 – 1.11.2021

Praying the Psalms for Life, Faith, Hope. – Here! Now!

Getting from disorientation to re-orientation.

I say, “It has been impossible for me to fulfil the expectations of God. I’m going to hang on to the foot of Christ.” And Christ speaks to the Father: “He’s hanging on to me. I died for him. Let him slip through!” Martin Luther

by Bishop Filter

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. AmenDear Congregation,

In the age old liturgy of the church the Psalms are prayed together in the opening section of the divine service, they help us to become aware of being in God’s presence as well as orient ourselves in terms of where we are emotionally, socially and politically – it is good to be reminded that these Psalms are central to the worship of God’s people Israel and the Christian faith community. They are prayers and songs that are sung together, or said responsively, so that the prayers can encourage each other to be alive and present as God’s people, trusting that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46 has become famous as…

Sermon on Psalm 46

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Dear Congregation,

In the age old liturgy of the church the Psalms are prayed together in the opening section of the divine service, they help us to become aware of being in God’s presence as well as orient ourselves in terms of where we are emotionally, socially and politically – it is good to be reminded that these Psalms are central to the worship of God’s people Israel and the Christian faith community. They are prayers and songs that are sung together, or said responsively, so that the prayers can encourage each other to be alive and present as God’s people, trusting that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

What are we learning from Covid for the future of our church?

ELCSA (Cape Church) Pastors’ Reflections
Endorsed by the Synod of ELCSA (Cape Church) on 30.10.2021

Covid has taught us…

  • to be able to adapt, re-think and re-imagine.
  • to find new ways to be church with the people and to reach them in their situation.
  • new ways of doing worship and fellowship.
  • to form new meaningful habits (e.g., daily prayer/devotions via WhatsApp).
  • to rethink the whole concept of big church buildings and big gatherings (and maybe move again towards smaller house-type church services and structures).

. . .

Report on the Training of UELCSA Theology Students at the Theological Faculty of the University of Stellenbosch
At the Second Ordinary Meeting of the XVth Synod of ELCSA (Cape Church)

Dear Members of Synod, dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I thank you for allowing me to present a summary report of my work as Mentor and Tutor for the Theology Students of UELCSA in Stellenbosch.

When I started out roughly four years ago, many organisational matters had not been finalised. Now we can joyfully report that UELCSA is an official partner of the Theology Faculty of Stellenbosch and we have become valued partners on various levels of the actual work being done at the faculty both with the students and with the staff.

This year our work has again been crippled by the confusions caused by the “Prevention of Covid Measures” implemented by the University on the recommendations of our president – classes changing from “in person” to “online” to “hybrid” and back again and many students not really able or willing to fully participate in the work that we had planned to do…

Felix Meylahn

Report on activities of the CCW Cape Church 2020/2021

(to be forwarded to Synod)

  1. The impact of the Corona pandemic is still very eminent since 03/2020 not only on the CCW activities but certainly on most activities in our congregations. In addition to this challenging factor comes an overall lack of support from the CCW Congregations for inter-congregational relationship. As this should be the main focus of activities within the CCW it leaves a frustrating mark on the current committee.
  2. At our 2020 AGM all previous executive members resigned (it nearly led to a crises of further existence of the CCW) and a new (steering) committee …

CCE (Circuit Conference East) Report Synod 2021

Introduction

Since our last Synod in 2019 in East London, all of our lives and the life of the congregations have been impacted in one way or another through the Covid-19 epidemic. We have lost congregation & family members, friends and even Pastors Oziel due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

We are all on a journey in our life and Paul reminds us in Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” The covid-pandemic has drained all of us and tired us out. Deep down we just feel empty, alone and we wonder where we will get the strength to keep on going? But we have not been alone in these tiring and exhausting times. The wonderful assurance we have

Pastor Hans-Peter von Fintel
Chairperson of the CCE
28/09/2021

CHURCH LAW REGARDING THE SYNOD

WHO IS THE CAPE CHURCH?

OVERVIEW CHURCH STRUCTURE

Overview
Orders of the Governing Synod

THE COMPOSITION

ORDINARY
MEMBERS
EXTRAORDINARY
MEMBERS

Use the arrows right/left to scroll through the slides

Alternatively download the Powerpoint Presentation (1,4Mb)
Orders of the Governing Synod

The Centenary of the Synod 1895 – 1995 by Reino Ottermann

Index of Names –  The Centenary of the Synod 1895-1995

Church Council Report of Synod 2019 in East London