Bishop’s Welcome Letter

June 7, 2019 

Dear Friends in Christ, 

Grace, mercy, and peace be with you. 

I look forward to welcoming you to our Thirty-second Annual Northern Illinois Synod Assembly: Walking TogetherLoving Christ, Loving All, For the Sake of the World.” 

We are excited to have as our keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen, a “freelance theologian” who founded OMG: Center for Theological Conversation and The Spent Dandelion Theological Retreat Center, of Two Harbors, MN. Dr. Madsen will give three presentations designed to help us live out our synod mission statement, which is also the assembly theme! 

Some important announcements: 

  • You can get the most out of this year’s assembly by using the free Assembly Mobile Guide. The mobile guide gives you handy access to all the most important Synod Assembly materials including the agenda, Bulletin of Reports,  maps,  updates, photos, social media, and more. During the assembly, there will be updates that may include announcements and items that come from the floor of the assembly. Please download the guide onto your mobile device before you arrive at assembly! Find download links, instructions, and more information at
  • Highlights, photos, and select video portions of the assembly will be made available on the synod’s website ( during and after the assembly. 
  • Follow the assembly and share your own photos and experiences on social media with the hashtags #NISynod and #NISAssembly19 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  
  • For those of you staying in Swanson Commons, Ms. Nancy Corey is sending out a separate e-mail with the information you need. This information is also available online at
  • There is road construction in and near the Quad-City Area. Please exercise caution as you travel to and from assembly. 

As you prepare for synod assembly, here are a few items to note: 

  • Read through the Bulletin of Reports which is available in the mobile guide and on the synod website ( It includes the information on those standing for election to synod council and synod committees; two resolutions which have been submitted to the Assembly for consideration; reports from synod staff, officers, committees, conferences, institutions, and agencies; and other helpful information, such as the forums available to you on Friday afternoon. You will find it helpful to bring this material with you to the assembly, either electronically or as hard copies, as paper copies will not be available at the assembly.  
  • Attend the Orientation Forum on Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Bergendoff Hall building, in Potter Hall, if this is your first assembly as a voting member. This forum will introduce you to the functions and procedures of the assembly. 
  • Attend the Resolutions Committee Forum if it is not your first time at the assembly. This forum is held in the Bergendoff Hall building, Larson Hall. The Rev. Miho Yasukawa, chairperson of the resolutions committee, will discuss the two resolutions that will come before the assembly. These resolutions, as mentioned earlier, are found in the Bulletin of Reports. 
  • I have issued a $10,000 challenge for this year’s Synod Assembly Offering, which is designated for “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA.”  Please make checks payable to “Northern Illinois Synod” and note at the bottom of the check for “Synod Assembly Offering.” Gifts from congregations and individuals will be received during the offering on Saturday or may be sent to the synod office in Rockford. 
  • This year’s In-Kind Offering, sponsored by the NIS Social Ministry Committee, will be the collection of letters written by our NIS members, addressed to federal legislators on behalf of our neighbors who are hungry – across the street or around the world Please see for more information. 
  • Physically challenged parking will be available in the Centennial Hall parking lot on the east side of Centennial Hall, near the building. Golf carts will also be available during the Assembly to help transport Assembly attendees. Bus service will be provided for Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast being held in the Gerber Center Dining Hall (3435-9-1/2 Avenue). 
  • Child care will be offered off-campus.  We are grateful to St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4501 7th Avenue in Rock Island, for providing their nursery facilities
  • The temperature in Centennial Hall is variable; it is a good idea to be prepared if you tend to get cold in air conditioning.
  • If you are staying in campus housing, Swanson Commons (1010 38th Street), only provides sheets and small towels. Please bring your own pillow, blanket, bath towels, and toiletries (soap, etc.). 

If there is any way that we can be of assistance to you, please contact our Rockford office at 815-964-9934 (the Rockford office will be closed Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15) or Assembly Registrar Nancy Corey in our Rock Island office at 309-794-4004.   

We are grateful for your leadership, dedication, and commitment to Christ and Christ’s church.  

Walking with you, 

Bishop Jeffrey Clements