Synodical Assignment

Yesterday was the Synodical Assignment for Region Seven. There were about 10 candidates that came to Philadelphia (I think every seminary was represented) to be interviewed by the bishops of Region seven and their assistants. It was not really a job interview but a time for them to get to know you and to see if you would be a fit in an opening that they have in their synod.

Now my wife and I wanted to go back to New England.  We both grew up in New England and have lots of connections there including family and friends.  So we were going into the day hoping that was going to happen.
So Sunday morning we had worship around 8:00- it was amazing. Dr. Lathrope preached and presided and I must say that when I am worshiping and he is leading I am just in awe. The Seminarian musician and another student chanted the Passion in a way that I have never heard before and most likely will never hear again. It was beautiful and it brought a whole new light to the passion text.

After worship we had breakfast and it was my first chance to talk with some bishops and kinda relax before the conversations began.

Then the bishops met — this was the first time we had to wait- we did alot of waiting I think, or at least it felt that way. After about 45 min or so we all met and the bishops got to talk about their synod and the cool things that happen in their synod and why we should go there.

After that we went to look at our interview schedule. The way it worked is that the bishops signed up to talk with us. They had first dibs as to who they wanted to talk with and they left open spots so that if there was someone that we wanted to talk with we could sign up.

There was a mad rush to the papers, I think everyone wanted to make sure that they could talk with a certain bishop. It so happened that four of the bishops signed up to talk with me. I was pretty excited about that.  It meant to me that some of the bishops liked me and wanted me to come to their synod.

I won’t go into detail about the day but basically all the interviews went well.

I went in being me and being honest with everyone about what I thought about certain things an about who we were. They asked Katie some questions and she did a real good job at her answers as well. After every interview they were saying that I would be a good fit for their openings and I thanked them and we ended.

Overall each bishop said it would be great to have me in their synod – they also added that most of the bishops wanted me and they knew it was going to be a fight to get me. So that kinda made me feel good, but also nervous.

Then the waiting game happened again. This time about an hour- the bishops were deciding who was going where. We spent alot of that time in conversation with one another and silent prayer.

Then the moment of truth came and the list was read. My name was listed under Upstate New York Synod.

Now don’t get me wrong, Upstate NY is a great Synod. It was not what our plan was.

I know that we will like Upstate NY and I am excited to learn more about the synod and more about how I can be involved. I am excite to learn about their camps and how I can be involved there. I think there will be plenty of opportunities for us.

This is a great lesson for me about how my plan is not always God’s plan – I am accepting of the fact that I knew what I wanted, what my family and friends wanted and I kept telling myself that I am open to what God wants but I think deep down inside I did not believe that. I did not accept that with my whole heart. I am coming around to accept that and to embrace my new call in life and to move on to better things.

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8 thoughts on “Synodical Assignment

  1. Joe,

    Thanks for sharing this grueling process with us. While things don’t always work out as hoped, it sounds like you are already living into this with faith and high expectations for a great first call. God is good, and God will provide! PEACE to you and your family as you step into this new place of being.


  2. An emotional day to be sure. Your’s will be an exciting adventure and God will lead you to great places.

  3. Thanks Christoph — yea we are getting more excited about it, we do have high expectations because we want to know wherever we go we are going to be happy and do the best we can.

    David — yes it was an emotional day, but good day- it is good to have some sort of direction now. I can’t believe we are going to be pastors soon!

  4. Things are so different now. Congratulations on being wanted by many Bishops. I wonder if they trade choices like football players in the draft?

  5. Joe, Sorry to hear that you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, but I can tell you Upstate NY is awesome! I went to college up there, and loved it! Let me know where you get placed, I’d be interested in hearing.

  6. Knowing you, Joe, you’ll thrive wherever you’re planted. I hope it’s a terribly enlightening experience for both you and your family. I don’t know Jack M. Squat about Upstate NY so I can’t even comment on that, but people seem to figure their place in the world one way or another — I have faith in your ability to do so!

  7. Congratulations Joe. What an exciting time for you and your family! I know you’ll do great up there – just don’t become a NY Yankees fan!

  8. Thank you everyone for your comments. I am learning more about the area and synod. And don’t worry James, I will not become a Yankee’s or Bill’s fan.

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