LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith has urged the wider church to pray for the delegates, officials, organisers and volunteers who will meet for the in-person sessions of the LCANZ’s Convention of General Synod in Melbourne from 9 to 12 February.

The call for prayers comes in the lead-up to the meeting, which continues the 20th LCA convention opened with online sessions in October 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adjourned until this month, the convention will consist of two full days of business at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, bookended by part-days with gathering and closing worship services.

In his ‘Because we bear your name’ column in this edition of The Lutheran (see page 4), Bishop Smith speaks of ‘our Lutheran ethos’, in which ‘the cross is central, … the word of God is properly distinguished as law and gospel and … God’s people strive daily to lead a holy life, even as Christ has made them holy’. Bishop Smith is calling on the Lutheran family in Australia and New Zealand to pray for those who will meet as Synod and that God will continue to build his church ‘through our Christian witness and service’.

‘In February 2023, we are gathering for the second part of our Convention of General Synod in Melbourne. Delegates will have significant matters before them, including proposals regarding whether only men or both women and men are to be ordained as pastors among us. Some are troubled about what is ahead for our church’, he says.

‘As we gather for Synod 2023, we continue this united common faith that we have received: to know Jesus Christ and him crucified. Nothing can be conceded or given up of this doctrine of the gospel. Please pray for those who gather in February, that the Lord would continue to build his church through our Christian witness and service, as people of the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand.’

As part of convention preparations for delegates, in November-December last year the church hosted three ‘town hall’ online sessions on the ordination proposals to go before General Synod.

More than 235 people attended the sessions as delegates or Synod consultants, while a further 164 people viewed the livestream of the sessions, facilitated by LCANZ Executive Officer of the Church Brett Hausler and General Church Board (GCB) member Charmaine Harch. Bishop Smith, and GCB members Tim Wiebusch and Pastor Tim Stringer made up the panel which addressed participant questions. Written responses to questions from the three sessions have been prepared and are available to read on the General Synod website at

Meanwhile, the offering from General Synod will support a Finke River Mission (FRM) project revising and reprinting Lutheran song and hymnbooks in Central Australian Aboriginal languages.

Along with other volunteers and FRM staff, Pastor Rob Borgas, who formerly served as an FRM support worker, has been working on the revision of hymnals in three languages – Pitjantjatjara, Western Arrarnta and Alyawarr. In addition, the Pintupi-Luritja language worship resource will be revised.

Congregations can donate to the offering via the LLL (details below) or, if they prefer to put their offering on the plate during worship, can send a cheque made out to ‘LCA Synod’ or cash to Synod with their delegate.

To donate to the Synod offering:

Name of account: LCA Synod

BSB: 704942  Acct number: 100698743

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