At least three items of business on the General Synod agenda are likely to generate a good deal of interest and conversation. Each one is of significant importance in the life of the LCANZ, and for each one there is also a wide variety of viewpoints and opinions across the church.

With this in mind, the General Church Board (GCB) has requested the Churchwide team to prepare a pre-Synod engagement and communications plan, by which all church members and especially General Synod delegates will be able to learn about each of the topics and to understand why they are on the Synod agenda. The GCB also wants every member to have the opportunity to add their voice to these conversations.

The 20th Convention of General Synod is being held in two parts for the first time. Due to COVID meeting restrictions, the first part was held online (1–2 October 2021). God-willing, the second part will be held in person in Melbourne, from 9 to 12 February 2023.

As delegates prepare to engage and vote at the in-person sessions, they will be asked to read background materials and view a video on each of the three key topics: (1) Ecclesiastical Discipline Review, (2) Constitution Review and (3) Ordination of both women and men. Discussion guides will be provided. Online ‘town hall’ meetings are also being planned.

LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith says, ‘We want delegates to come to General Synod knowing better how their congregations and communities are responding to these three topics. We also want the delegates to be well-versed in each of the topics, so they can contribute in a meaningful way to the discussions at Synod and make informed choices when they are asked to vote. And of course, we do all this with prayer, asking our Good Shepherd to guide his people.’

Information about these pre-Synod engagement and communications opportunities will be advised in The Lutheran and also in LCA eNews (sign up at Your General Synod delegate or alternate is receiving updates regularly, regarding these and other Synod-related matters, at their LCA email address.

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