By the Rev. Katie Yahns
The bulk of the assembly’s business came to the floor Monday. In the morning plenary session, Resolution #2 inspired hearty debate about the issue of lay people presiding at Holy Communion. The resolution would have allowed congregations to designate lay people to preside at the table as needed, making the current procedure of requesting permission from the bishop for a trained lay leader to preside unnecessary. After one attempt to call the question was defeated, discussion continued and ultimately the resolution was defeated. The accompanying memorial was also defeated after a brief discussion.
Monday late afternoon saw the discussion and tabling of Memorial #1, the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. This memorial would have asked the ELCA to reject the principle that this continent’s American Indian population had no property rights, allowing Europeans to lay claim to North American land. After some amendments were attempted to include native Hawaiian populations, the memorial was tabled so that suitable language could be composed. It will come again before the assembly Tuesday morning.
Elections were also completed for synod secretary, synod council, and the Committees on Discipline and Consultation. The Rev. Deborah Turley will become synod secretary at the close of this assembly and the Rev. Krista Mendoza will continue as the Southern Tier representative to synod council.