The convocation was held May 17 and 18 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, SC. They were the most recent congregation to join our mission district in January of this year. The pastor is The Rev. Leon Rawl. The members of the congregation were the most gracious of hosts.
The convocation began with the Service of Holy Communion. The preacher was The Rev. Carl Haynes. The Rev. Leon Rawl presided.
The first Business Session began at 2:45pm during which time delegates adopted the Rules of Procedure and the Agenda and approved the minutes of the 2012 convocation.
Greetings were given to the convocation from The Rev. David Wendel our NALC representative and The Rev. Carl Voges, STS from the Society of the Holy Trinity.
Special Guests in attendance were recognized. They included:
- The Rev. Steve Shipman, Chair of Lutheran CORE
- Dr. Mary Havens, Director of the Department of Lutheran Studies
- Dr. David Yeago, adjunct professor of the Department of Lutheran Studies
- Nine of our Seminarians: Paulette McHugh, Ron Hamm, Randy Drafts, Chris Metze, Mark Metze, Tonya Brittain, Joshua Morgan, Dawn Rister, and Will Dulin
- St. Peter’s was recognized for hosting us.
Various presenters and organizations with displays include:
- TomMurray, Concordia Publishing House
- Sola Publishing
- Rev. Matthew Riak & Carolyn Nestingen, Great Commission Society
- Rev. Dan Ruth, Lutheran World Relief
- Scott Licht, Lutherans for Life
- Rev. Eric Swensson, Institute for Lutheran Theology
- Fred & Roberta Anderson, World Mission Prayer League
- Danny Ward, Naomi’s Heart Mission
- Rev. John Cobb, Lutheran Book Exchange
- Samar Ghandour, Victory Ministry
The new Department of Lutheran Studies was introduced along with the Director, Dr. Mary Havens, and Dr. Neely Gaston of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. A PowerPoint was shown and a thumb drive with the PowerPoint and other information regarding the DLS and GCTS was given to each congregation represented.
The first business session ended with The Rev. Carl Haynes being elected Dean by acclamation as there were no other nominees for the position. Elections for pastor and lay positions to the Executive Council followed.
Delegates and pastors went to a variety of breakout sessions. We enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by Shealy’s BBQ in Lexington, SC and our day closed with the Service of Compline led by Dr. Nathan Yoder.
Saturday began with Matins led by Pr. Melinda Jones. During the service The Rev. Mark Ryman was commissioned by the Dean to begin a Vespers Project Mission Outpost in Greensboro, NC.
The 2nd Business Session began with Pr. Mark Ryman telling us about the Vespers Project. It is an outreach project whereby pastors and congregations can begin mission outposts in nearby areas to in an effort to plant a new church. The election results were announced: Pastors Melinda Jones and Brack East were elected to the Executive Council and Melanie Corn was the layperson elected to the Executive Council.
We heard greetings from Sandra Bollinger of the Carolinas Lutheran Women and Pr. David Nuottila and Pr. Brett Collins of the newly formed men’s task force.
Dr. Nathan Yoder gave the Executive Council report. I gave the Dean’s Report. The Rev. Ralph Kempski gave the Treasurer’s Report and then presented the 2013-14 Budget. The budget of $21,625 was approved. This comes to a benevolent share of each congregation in the Carolinas Mission District of $655.00.
Committee Reports were given: Youth & Family – Melanie Corn; Discipleship – Rev. Brack East; Clergy & Lay Professional Convocation – Rev. Jason Sigmon; and Communications – Rev. Mark Ryman.
Delegates and pastors attended more breakout sessions. A fabulous lunch was provided by the people of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and enjoyed by all in attendance.
In our final business session we recognized Dr. Monte Luker, OT & Hebrew Professor at the DLS at GCTS. The outgoing Executive Council members were thanked: Bishop Ralph Kempski, Pr. Randall Cauble and Mr. Steve Suther.
Since the 2012 Convocation Fourteen pastors: Mark Ryman, Randy Conley, Stéphane Kalonji, Michael Greenhauer, David Hefner, Brett Collins, Ron Hughes, Leon Rawl, Harvey Mozolak, George Rushe, Bill Ketchie, Mary Havens, Steve Johnson and Melinda Jones; one AIM: Candice Johnson and four congregations: Holy Trinity, Little Mtn., SC; Advent, North Charleston; St. Timothy, Goose Creek, SC; and St. Peter’s, Lexington, SC were welcomed into the mission district.
Two pastors retired since last convocation: Rev. Bob Alle from Miller’s, Hickory, NC and Dr. Larry Yoder, Grace, Newton, NC.
We recognized St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC for their 175th Anniversary; Trinity, Fletcher for two years and St. Martin’s, Maiden for 125 years. We celebrated pastors with special anniversaries of ordination: Pr. Ken Reed Concordia, China Grove)– 10 years; Pr. Tom Corbell (retired)– 40 years; Bishop Ralph Kempski – 50 years.
Reports were heard from the following mission congregations: Immanuel, Sumter, SC; Advent, Kings Mountain, NC; Reformation, New Bern, NC; Trinity, Fletcher, NC.
The Rev. Matthew Riak, missionary to South Sudan told us about his mission – St. Luke’s College to train ministers of the gospel.
The Rev. Samar Ghandour told us of Victory International Ministry which reaches out to people establishing congregations in Africa.
The Rev. David Wendel, NALC Representative, gave us an update on the NALC and answered questions.
The Rev. John Cobb told us of the need for Ministry to the German speaking population in the Carolinas Mission District.
The business of the convocation was completed and we went to the sanctuary for the closing worship service. Dr. Mary Havens was the preacher. The Rev. David Wendel installed the Dean and Executive Council members. The Dean, Carl Haynes installed Dr. Havens as the Director of the Department of Lutheran Studies. Holy Communion was celebrated, God was worshiped His praises sung. We gave thanks for His grace and mercy and went to our homes encouraged to share the Good News.
—Dean, Pr. Carl Haynes