Northwestern Minnesota Synod Assembly feels concern, optimism

This post is sort of an expansion on the previous one, but, for what it’s worth…


More than 500 people have gathered at Concordia College’s Memorial Auditorium in Moorhead as it hosts the annual assembly of the Northwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America today and Saturday.

With the denomination’s controversial 2009 decisions on sexuality still causing strife in the church and this year’s financial situation leaving the synod nearly $250,000 under budget, the mood at this year’s assembly seems to be one of both optimism and concern.

While he does sense that there is concern about the financial situation in the synod, Rev. Gary Halverson, a pastor from the Karlstad area, says "I don’t feel like we’re anxious or worried about the synod."

And John Dalen, Pastor of King Lutheran Church in Fosston, acknowledged the financial issues and believes there are residual effects from the Churchwide Assembly votes last year.

But Dalen says he hopes those issues don’t “overwhelm everything else and we fail to do mission and ministry.”

Tomorrow the Assembly will consider a smaller revised budget for 2010.

Read more about the Assembly here and in Saturday and Sunday issues of The Forum.