I Will Pour Out My Spirit

Two millennia after the original Pentecost, we assemble. And, like the first disciples, we trust God to pour out the Spirit. Will the old among us dream dreams; will the young see visions?

Certainly, as with the community in Acts, the church today needs the Spirit’s inspiration. So, we assemble – for Bible study and witness, storytelling and singing, budgets and elections – and we pray together for the Spirit’s guidance and power.

And we firmly believe the Spirit who gathers us will also stir us up and send us forth with new boldness to participate in God’s work of mercy, community, and justice in the world.

May 4 & 5, 2018

With keynote speaker Archbishop Musa Panti Filibus, Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria,
ELCA Churchwide Representative Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton,
Bible Study Leader, Dr. Michael Chan,
Worship music led by Jonathan Rundman and band, and poetry performances by Joe Davis

Musa Panti Filibus is the Archbishop of The Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), a companion synod to the Minneapolis Area Synod. Before being elected Archbishop in 2016, he served as bishop of the Mayo Belwa Diocese.

In 2017, Filibus was elected President of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF). He is the second church leader from Africa to hold this position since LWF was founded in 1947.

He has a broad range of experience with LWF, having served in various positions between 2002 and 2013, including that of Deputy General Secretary.

Musa hails from north-eastern Nigeria. He was ordained as a pastor in 1994 and studied theology in Nigeria and in the United States (at Luther Seminary, St Paul, MN), where he obtained a PhD in pastoral theology. He and his wife Rev. Ruth Filibus have three adult children and three grandchildren.

Elected as the ELCA’s fourth presiding bishop at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Music Education from the College of Wooster.

Ordained in 1981, Eaton served three congregations in Ohio before being elected bishop of the ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod in 2006 and re-elected in May 2013.

Eaton’s four emphases for the ELCA are: We are church. We are Lutheran. We are church together. We are church for the sake of the world. These four emphases are fundamental to identifying who the ELCA is.

In 2015, under Eaton’s leadership, the ELCA underwent an extensive vision process to help this church journey faithfully and effectively together in the years ahead. The process resulted in Future Directions 2025, a strategic framework that serves shared leadership across the ELCA to realize common aspirations and better face the challenges of this church.

In addition, with Eaton’s guidance, the ELCA launched Bishop Eaton’s Leadership Initiative, which encourages all ELCA members to seek out and inspire gifted people in our congregations and communities to consider a call to the ministry of the gospel.

Eaton also called together a task force in 2016 to draft a policy statement for inter-religious relations in the ELCA. As the chief ecumenical officer of the ELCA, she represents this church in a wide range of ecumenical and interfaith settings. She is the vice president for North America on the Council of The Lutheran World Federation and serves on the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA Governing Board and Development Committee, and Religions for Peace USA Council of Presidents.

As presiding bishop, Eaton travels extensively, representing the ELCA in a variety of capacities. This has included a visit to a Syrian refugee camp, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with Lutherans from around the world in Namibia and participating in an ecumenical service commemorating the Reformation in the Lund, Sweden, cathedral with Pope Francis.

Eaton’s husband is the Rev. T. Conrad Selnick, an Episcopal priest. They are parents of two adult children, Rebeckah and Susannah.

Michael J. Chan, Ph.D. did his graduate studies in Hebrew Bible at Emory University and the University of Helsinki. After teaching Old Testament at Luther Seminary for 4.5 years, he took an opportunity to use his linguistic education in service of his country in the United States Navy. Development of a vision disorder, however, eventually rendered him unfit for service. Michael and his family now reside in Kingman, AZ, where he has transformed his passion for photography into a new career photographing portraits, architecture, and sports.

Election Results

The Minneapolis Area Synod has elected a bishop in the second ballot. Seventy-five percent is required for election. The results:

  • Ann Svennungsen, 337
  • Jeff Nehrbass, 50
  • Connie Tiede, 32
  • Gary Kinkel, 28

Rev. Ann Svennungsen has been re-elected to a six-year term.

There were 448 ballots cast.

There were 447 legal ballots.

There was illegal ballot.

Votes needed for election: 336



12:00 pm         Displays Open

12:30 pm         Registration Opens

1:00 pm           Orientation for Voting Members

1:30 pm           Doors to Plenary Hall Open

2:00 pm           Opening Worship

                           Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Preaching; Bishop Ann Svennungsen and Rev. Jorge Espinoza, Presiding
Jonathan Rundman and Guests, Music

3:30 pm           Plenary 1

                          Liturgy to Open an Assembly, Introduction to Assembly Theme
Introduction to Guidebook App, Adoption of Rules, Order of Business
Reflection on the Office of the Bishop
Ecclesiastical Ballot Instructions
Credentials Report
4:00 pm          *Nominating Ballot for Bishop
                            Introductions of New to Synod, Interns, Elected Leaders, Committees
Welcome from Lord of Life
Bishop’s Report
Video: I Will Pour Out My Spirit – A Synod Story
Keynote:  Archbishop Musa Filibus, Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria
                        Report of the Nominating Ballot

5:35 pm           Dinner
                            Servant of Christ Award from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

6:45 pm          Plenary 2
                            Bible Study:  Dr. Michael Chan
Isaiah 61
Video: I Will Pour Out My Spirit – A Synod Story
Vice President’s Report
Credentials Report
7:25 pm           *First Ballot for Bishop (narrow to 7 nominees or election with three-fourths majority)
                            Report of the Reference & Counsel Committee
Resolution: Gun Violence Prevention
Churchwide Report, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Joe Davis Performance
Announce First Ballot Results

*Please note:
1. Registration will close 30 minutes prior to each bishop election ballot.
2. If a bishop nominee reaches the required threshold on any ballot the remaining ballots will not be necessary, and the Order of Business will be amended.

8:00 am           Registration and Displays Open

8:30 am           Deadline for submitting Nominations & Resolutions

8:45 am           Plenary 3
                            Bible Study: Dr. Michael Chan
Joel 2:28-32
                           Overview of Remaining Bishop Election Ballots
Bishop Candidates Address Assembly
                           Credentials Report
9:45 am           *Second Ballot for Bishop (narrow to 5 nominees or election with three-fourths majority)
                            Video: I Will Pour Out My Spirit – A Synod Story
Nominating Committee Report
Election of Synod Vice President
Elections for Synod Council, Churchwide Assembly Voting Members
Treasurer’s Report         

10:40 am         Break

11:00 am         Plenary 4
                            Announce Second Ballot Results
Question & Answer Session with Bishop Nominees
                           Credentials Report
12:30 pm         *Third Ballot for Bishop (narrow to 3 nominees or election with two-thirds majority)

12:40 pm         Lunch
                            Youth Lunch with Presiding Bishop Eaton

1:45 pm           Plenary 5
                           Announce Third Ballot Results
5-minute Presentations by Bishop Nominees
                           Credentials Report
2:10 pm           *Fourth Ballot for Bishop (narrow to 2 nominees or election with two-thirds majority)
                            Budget Resolutions
Memorial on 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women
Constitution Resolution
Announce Fourth Ballot Results
Final Bishop Candidates Address Assembly
                          Credentials Report

3:05 pm           *Fifth Ballot for Bishop (election of bishop with simple majority)
                             Announce Fifth Ballot Results
Words from Bishop Elect
Litany and Prayer for Bishop
Unfinished Business
I Will Pour Out My Spirit – What will your story be?
Closing of the 2018 Synod Assembly

*Please note:
1. Registration will close 30 minutes prior to each bishop election ballot.
2. If a bishop nominee reaches the required threshold on any ballot the remaining ballots will not be necessary, and the Order of Business will be amended.

Download the agenda as a PDF


Bishop’s Election

2018 Bishop’s Election Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Your church’s allocation of voting members is determined by baptized membership reported in your 2016 Annual Report.
Find your numbers for 2018 here >

Each congregation is invited to bring one youth voting member in addition to their allotted number of voting members. The fee for a youth voting member is $60.

If a congregation would like to bring more than one youth, they have two options:

  1. They can bring him/her/them as a replacement for one of their allotted voting member and pay $125.
  2. They can bring him/her/them as a visitor and pay $100. When choosing this option, the youth would not be able to vote, but would be included in all other areas of the assembly.

Contact Jeni Huff if you have more questions.

A dinner buffet is served on Friday evening; snacks are provided during breaks.  A lunch buffet is provided for Saturday lunch. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know when you register so we can accommodate them.

Aligning with our goal to be a paperless assembly, we will not provide paper packets for each individual this year. Instead, all documents will be uploaded to the website and to Guidebook for use during the gathering. Guidebook is an app that you can download and use during the Synod Assembly. Instructions to download the app will be coming soon. If you would like a paper copy of something, please ask your congregation if they can print it off before you attend. We will also provide recycling and composting in multiple locations around Lord of Life.

Thank you to our sponsors!