2019 Mission Fair

The 2019 Synod Assembly Mission Fair features short presentations by partners and supporters of our mission. During the 11:45 am-1:45 pm time block, participants may attend the presentations and visit the Great Hall for lunch.

TopicFacilitatator(s)RoomSession 1
Session 2
Session 3
Session 4
They Are Us! Extending Welcome in Times of Great ChallengeMarta Spangler
Margaret Yapp
B01 (Choir Room)XX
AMMPARO/Guardian AngelsAlicia RodriguezB02 (Music Room)XX
Congregational Vitality: New Mission StartsKari Olsen
Gilo Gora Agwa
Congregational Vitality: Redevelopment of CongregationsLiz Eide
Chris Steubing
Lutheran Campus MinistryNate Crary102ABXX
Young Adults InitiativeClaire Kaiser
Katie Henrikson
Lutheran Advocacy MinnesotaTammy Walhof203BXX
Global Lutheran Evangelism in the 21st CenturyAndrew Steele203BXX
Global Companion Synods: ILAGJanet Metcalfe
Joan Felice
Bradley Schmeling
Global Companion Synods: Bega Kwa BegaRusty Brace
Peter Harrits
Elizabeth Wilder
Synod Budget DiscussionDavid Laden
Greg Triplett
Synod Work GroupsVarious204ACreation CareCherish All ChildrenAdvocates for Racial Equality

Session Descriptions:

They Are Us! Extending Welcome in Times of Great Challenges

Marta Spangler (Gift  Officer, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) & Margaret Yapp (Volunteer Facilitator for Refugee Services, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota)
LIRS and LSSMN work together to empower the church to answer Christ's call to welcome the stranger. This workshop will help participants gain a better understanding of current immigration policies and realities, and lead them in discerning what the Bible and Lutheran faith tradition calls us to do in response. They will hear local and national perspectives and learn ways to engage in service, advocacy, and support for refugee and migrant families both personally and alongside their congregation.


AMMPARO/Guardian Angels

Alicia Rodriguez (Office Manager, Saint Paul Area Synod)
Three years ago, the ELCA approved a strategy known as AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation and Opportunities). Designed to address the needs of thousands of unaccompanied children and migrant families who come to the U.S. each year, it trains volunteers through its Guardian Angels program accompany migrant children and families as they go through the U.S. immigration court system, providing the physical presence of the church in the courtroom. Learn how our synod has gotten involved and how you and/or your congregation can be a part of it too!


Congregational Vitality: New Mission Starts

Deacon Kari Olsen (Shobi’s Table) and the Rev. Gilo Gora Agwa (African National Ministry)

Come and hear stories about how God’s kingdom is being made known through the ministry of two of our newest mission starts. Deacon Kari and Pastor Gilo will share about the exciting and challenging work of starting a new worshipping community. Come, learn, listen, and ask questions and find out how you can support these efforts.


Congregational Vitality: Redevelopment of Congregations

The Rev. Liz Eide (Lutheran Church of Peace, Maplewood) and the Rev. Chris Steubing (Christ the Servant, Vadnais Heights)

Pastor Chris and Pastor Liz will discuss the “surgery” that is redevelopment. The work of leading a congregation from a breaking point to a thriving ministry is hard work. Yet, by the grace of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit, redevelopment is happening in these two settings. Come and find out more!


Young Adults: Finding Connection on Campus

Nate Crary (Outreach and Program Director, Lutheran Campus Ministry - U of M)

The University of Minnesota is an overwhelmingly large institution, but—despite endless opportunities for students to join groups on campus—we are encountering students who long for a place where they can be real and build deep, meaningful relationships with others. Come learn about how we are discovering what being connected looks like, how we go about building those connections, and how campus ministry is part of the wider mission of the synod.


Young Adults: Synod Young Adult Initiative

Claire Kaiser (Green Line 2018) and Katie Hendrikson (Atlanta 2019)

The synod kicked off a Young Adult Initiative in 2016. At the heart of our work with young adults are immersive learning experiences—come hear from participants in the 2018 Green Line and 2019 racial justice trip to Atlanta. They will share about and reflect on those experiences, and—more broadly—on what it mean to be a young adult person of faith today. Learn more at www.spas-elca.org/mission/domestic-mission/young-adults/.


Public Witness: Living Out Our Call Through Advocacy

Tammy Walhof (Director, Lutheran Advocacy-Minnesota)

The church is called to act for justice for those who are most vulnerable. People are struggling with poverty and hunger and insecure resources, and God’s creation is hurting thanks to poor stewardship and exploitation. Join us to learn why the church acts through public witness and advocacy; how to share that vision with your congregation; the issues we are jointly addressing; and how you and your congregants can be effective citizen advocates!


Global Lutheran Evangelism in the 21st Century

Andrew Steele (Director for Global Mission Funding, ELCA)

Two years after the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, new Lutheran denominations are being born all over the world! Come and learn about Lutheran evangelism in the global context and how peace, reconciliation and interfaith dialogue serves as foundations to growing Christ’s church.

Video Resources:


Global Companion Synod—Guatemala: Relationships, Dignity, and Solidarity

Janet Metcalfe (Augustana, West St. Paul), Joan Felice (St. Michaels, Roseville) & the Rev. Bradley Schmeling (Gloria Dei, St. Paul)

Learn about the amazing work being done in Guatemala to lift up indigenous church leaders, to offer young women choices for the future, and to improve the health and dignity of the poorest of the poor. You will learn about the eight different ministries that make up the Iglesia Luterana Agustina de Guatemala (ILAG) and how partnerships from the Saint Paul Area Synod are creating strong relationships. Learn more at www.spas-elca.org/mission/global-mission/guatemala/.


Global Companion Synod—Tanzania: Following God’s Call Both Here and There

The Rev. Peter Harrits (SPAS), the Rev. Elizabeth Wilder (Gethsemane, Maplewood) and the Rev. Rusty Brace (Farmington, Farmington)

Through our companion synod relationship with the Iringa Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), as led by the Holy Spirit, we say, "We envision deeper faith and fuller life for all as we accompany one another in God's ongoing mission in both America and Tanzania." In this session, you will hear from participants in the 2019 Congregational Leadership Summit in Iringa. Through their witness, you'll learn about the growth of the church in Tanzania and discover what they've been inspired to do in their communities at home as a response. Learn more at www.spas-elca.org/mission/global-mission/tanzania/.


Synod Budget Discussion

David Laden (Synod Treasurer) & Greg Triplett (Financial Administrator, Saint Paul Area Synod)

Learn how the synod uses your mission support dollars to further its mission both within the borders of our synod, locally, and globally through its support of our global companion synods. A discussion of the synod’s 2019 and 2020 budgets will illuminate how your mission support makes ministry partnerships, new and renewing congregations, education, and churchwide support possible.


Synod Work Group—Advocates for Racial Equity: Listen. Learn. Respond—Racial Equity Conversations

The Rev. Jen Collins (Hosanna, Forest Lake) and other members of the Racial Equity work group

Advocates for Racial Equity (ARE) is one of the synod’s public witness work groups. Participants work to identify racism and white privilege in our church, to make evident pathways for confronting them, to convene congregational leaders ready to start and sustain the journey toward justice, and to encourage people to move beyond awareness to public advocacy and activism. ARE has put together a list of resources, workshops, and trainings to support congregations taking intentional steps forward. We ask, "Who isn't our neighbor?" Learn more at www.spas-elca.org/mission/public-witness/.


Synod Work Group—Cherish All Children: New Youth Training and Resources

Joy McElroy (Executive Director, Cherish All Children) and Monica Jones (Youth Program Coordinator, Cherish All Children)

Want to train youth about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and staying clear of potential sexual exploitation? Come hear about curriculum we can provide to your church youth group, and resources for parents. Not a Number prevention training inspires youth to make safe choices, utilize healthy support systems to decrease vulnerabilities, and builds individual strengths around issues our youth deal with such as social media pressures, dating violence, and the influence of society and culture. Learn more at www.spas-elca.org/mission/public-witness/.



Synod Work Group—Caring for Creation: Exploring Congregational Challenges and Opportunities

Diane Jacobson (Lutheran Church of the Redeemer) and other members of the Caring for Creation work group

Join us as we share some of the insights and practices we have been gathering to help congregations to get engaged in the holy work of caring for creation! Share your thoughts, ideas, concerns, challenges and experiences with us and others. You’ll go home with lots of new ideas! Learn more at www.spas-elca.org/mission/public-witness/.


Click here to download the 2019 Pre-Assembly Report


Click the links below the learn more about the 2019 Synod Assembly: