‘It’s time to get ready’ is the message coming from the LCA national team—it’s time to get ready for the 18th LCA General Convention of Synod.
Throughout March, Convention delegates will start getting ready by attending a series of pre-Convention half-day training sessions to be held across Australia and New Zealand. This is the first time that Convention delegates, whether ‘old hands’ or not, have been asked to attend a training session.
‘The aim is to prepare both experienced and new delegates for active and meaningful contribution’, says LCA Bishop John Henderson. ‘We want this to be an engaging, healthy and inclusive Convention in which delegates are well prepared, so that they can participate fully and effectively.’
Delivered by Grassroots Training (of Australian Lutheran College), the training will cover issues such as: what Synod is and what it does, principles and practice of dialogue, meeting procedures, and an introduction to the major issues likely to be before Synod and how they will be managed.
For this General Convention, delegates were elected earlier than usual (by 31 January) in order to allow them to attend the training in March and to have some months before Convention to practise dialogue in their congregations and other groups. This will be a skill they will need to use at Convention, as another innovation is the way issues will be discussed and debated. At least some of the sessions will involve table conversations, in order to encourage the contribution of as many delegates as possible.
Regarding the voting responsibility of delegates, Bishop Henderson has given this guidance: ‘Parishes can meet with their delegates to work through issues but should not “direct” their delegates with a “how to vote” card. Otherwise there is no point in meeting as Synod.
‘So you need to trust your delegate to contribute, consider and finally vote. It is important to avoid trying to “stack” Synod so that it becomes politically driven rather than a discussion by the people of God under his word.’
Parishes that have not yet elected their Convention delegate and entered their details into LAMP should do this urgently. If assistance is required, they should contact the LCA National Office (08 8267 7300 firstname.lastname@example.org )
More information about General Convention (including how to upload delegate details to LAMP, and the delegate training program) can be found here.