The Northern Illinois Synod (NIS) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will hold its annual assembly this Friday and Saturday, at Augustana College, 639 38th St., Rock Island.
In June of 1987, 507 delegates from 159 congregations of the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America, located in the 22 counties of what would become the Northern Illinois Synod, gathered together in a constituting convention at Augustana College in Rock Island.
Twenty-five years later, Bishop Gary Wollersheim will preside over almost 700 voting members, rostered leaders, and visitors who will gather not only to do the annual legislative work of the synod but also to celebrate and worship. “What better way for the synod to celebrate its 25th anniversary than in worship?” NIS Assistant to the Bishop, the Rev. Jeffrey Clements, said according to a news release. “We will offer our thanks to God for all that has been and in anticipation of all that is to come. We will gather to sing, pray, and hear and taste God’s word. Then, we will be sent out, refreshed and renewed, to make Christ known though word and deed in all the communities of northern Illinois.”
Voting representatives, clergy, and lay rosters from three Sycamore-DeKalb Congregations will be participating in this event: Bethlehem and First Lutheran in DeKalb and Salem Lutheran in Sycamore. Carla Vanatta, associate in ministry from Salem will direct the choir for the Ordination Service on Friday evening. Ron Vanatta, Salem organist, who serves on the NIS Worship Committee, has planned all the worship services for the event.
Special guests to the assembly include the Rev. Dr. Wyvetta Bullock, executive for administration in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, who will serve as churchwide representative. Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Lowell Almen, the first Secretary of the ELCA (1987 to 2007). The Rev. Herbert Chilstrom, first Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, will preach at the special 25th anniversary Festival Worship Service on Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, a service of Holy Communion and Ordination will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jessica Harren, Dennis Hill, Miranda Hinrichs, and Douglas Liston have been called by God through the church to serve as pastors and will be ordained to the holy ministry of word and sacrament.
The assembly begins at 10 a.m. Friday, and concludes following the Festival Worship Service at 1:40 p.m. Saturday. More information and 25th anniversary video at www.nisynod.org/assembly.