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Synod Assembly In Review

“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (1 Peter 4:10)

The 2024 Central/Southern Illinois Synod Assembly was held June 6-8 at Decatur Conference Center and Hotel with 277 people in attendance, including 145 lay voting members, 86 rostered ministers, and 46 visitors.

Bishop Greg Busboom presided over his first Synod Assembly with the theme of “Many Gifts, One Mission,” based on 1 Peter 4:10, highlighting that we each have different gifts that we bring together to carry out the one mission of the church.

This year’s Assembly featured a large slate of elections for open positions at both the synod and churchwide levels.

  • Synod Vice President: Ms. Molly Berry
  • Synod Council Members: Mr. David Poland and Ms. Cassie Roach
  • Male rostered ministers nominated to the 2025 ELCA Churchwide Assembly for election to the ELCA Church Council: the Revs. Ryan Anderson and Adam Dichsen
  • Voting members to the 2025 ELCA Churchwide Assembly: Mr. Scott Dietrich, Mr. Christopher Edmonds, the Rev. Jon Fry, Ms. Bella Karunas, Ms. Sundae Johnson, the Rev. Julia Rademacher, and Ms. Ana Viera. They will join Bishop Busboom and Ms. Molly Berry, who serve ex officio.

Voting members approved the synod’s 2025 budget of $1,230,000. Of that, $578,100 (47%) will be directed to the ELCA for ministry at the churchwide level, with $651,900 (53%) to be used by the synod.

Festival Worship

A moving Festival Worship Service was held on the evening of June 6, hosted by Central Christian Church, Decatur. Mr. Tim Fink of Epiphany Lutheran Church, Carbondale, composed a new contemporary-style liturgy for this service, influenced by musical theater styles. The archived livestream can be viewed at YouTube.com/@csiselca.

We continued our tradition of using the Festival Worship offering to support the ministries of our companion synods in Madagascar — this year, we brought in over $11,000! Individuals and congregations that still wish to contribute may give online at CSIS-ELCA.org/offering or send a check to the synod office.

Spirit Labs: Synod Visioning

The Assembly received the results of our synod-wide visioning surveys and listening sessions, which identify values, mission, vision, and emerging priorities. “Spirit Labs” breakout sessions were used to continue drilling down and identifying specifics that will shape our future as a synod.

Friday Evening BBQ & Hymnsing

Assembly members gathered at Holy Cross, Decatur, for a delicious catered meal of pork and beef barbecue sandwiches. We celebrated 20 years of our Synod-Authorized Ministry program with cake and a prayer of blessing for our SAMs. And we could not have a gathering of Lutherans without singing a few favorite hymns, old and new, led by Bishop Busboom on the keyboard with instrumentalists.

Our evening fellowship event concluded with pies thrown in the faces of the synod staff as part of the incentives for completing the synod-wide survey. Assembly attendees submitted their names for a drawing to be the pie-throwers. Deacon Jason Fisher took a pie straight to the face, while Pastor Amy Ziettlow was “reminded of her baptism” with her pie; in addition to the pie with his name on it, Bishop Busboom received a double-whammy with his own pie and the remains of Pastor Amy’s pie.

2025 Assembly

The 2025 Central/Southern Illinois Synod Assembly will be held June 5-7 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Bloomington.