2018 Synod Convention – Basic Information

The Seventeenth Biennial Convention will be held June 14 – 16, 2018 at University of Alberta – Augustana Campus, Camrose.

The 2018 Convention theme is Faith, Hope, Love.  Our theme, based on 1 Corinthians 13:13 invites us to grow in faith, hope and love as we journey together.

Keynote Speaker and Convention Guests

Convention highlights include three keynote presentations by our Guest Presenter, The Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen. Time will be given during the plenary sessions for delegates and guests to reflect on each presentation.

Anna Madsen was the guest presenter at the 2016 Synod Study Conference. She is a “freelance theologian” in Two Harbors, MN. After graduating from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, she served a small South Dakota parish for three years before earning a Ph.D. in systematic theology in Regensburg, Germany. Immediately prior to her return to begin teaching as a college professor, an accident killed her husband and severely injured her young son Karl. Daughter Else was eight months old at the time.

 This event shaped her theology and her life profoundly, not least of all by being a springboard to create OMG: Center for Theological Conversation. Here, individuals and groups, laity and clergy, come for questions, conversation, and study. Through OMG, she also speaks, blogs and writes.

We will also receive greetings from our Companion Synod, The Iglesia Evangélica Luterana de Colombia (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia) through Bishop Atahualpa Hernández Miranda who along with a delegation from Colombia, will be attending our convention and then sharing throughout the Synod. We are pleased to welcome Bishop Atahualpa and his wife, Rev. Angélica Bernate Rojas, along with Rev. Diana Carolina Londoño Espinosa and her husband, Óscar Ricardo Niño Durán.

In addition to these guests, we are also welcoming Paulina Dasse, Manager for Relationships, Latin America and the Caribbean Global Mission from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Other highpoints of the convention include:

  • a welcoming reception,
  • uplifting worship services,
  • a celebration banquet honouring all rostered leaders who will be celebrating ordination anniversary milestones,
  • the recipient of our leadership award,
  • video presentations featuring individuals from across the Synod and a “take-home” DVD and discussion guide on our ongoing Synod Mission Priorities,
  • the election of synod delegates to the 2019 National Convention

as well as plenty of opportunities for food and fellowship.

This is also the Convention year in which we will elect a Synod Bishop and Council Secretary for the upcoming term.

New for this convention is an invitation for submissions of artwork to be displayed in the assembly hall, reflecting the theme of the convention. We are hoping to display a variety of mixed media, paintings, charcoal, pastel, etc. and fabric pieces. These works may have been prepared previously, or created specifically for the convention. Easels will be provided to display the pieces, and the art must be collected at the conclusion of the convention.

In order to plan for adequate space for the displays, congregations or individuals who have artwork to share are asked to please RSVP via the online form which is available here:  2018-synod-convention-art-display



Re:  2018 Synod of Alberta and the Territories Convention – Information for Registrants

Thank you for your commitment to attend our upcoming Synod Convention.  This email contains important information about the Convention site, Convention program, and other resources and tips.  Please take time to read and review this information before attending the Convention June 14 – 16, 2018.


Convention Theme

The 2018 Convention theme is Faith, Hope, Love.  Our theme, based on 1 Corinthians 13:13 invites us to grow in faith, hope and love as we journey together.


Convention Highlights

Convention highlights include three keynote presentations on the Convention Theme by our guest presenter, the Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen.  Be prepared to be inspired, to listen, to contribute to the conversation, to be challenged with questions, and to be immersed in faith, hope and love.


We will also receive greetings from our National Bishop Susan Johnson, En Misión Con El Salvador: In Mission with El Salvador staff The Rev. Dr. Brian Rude, CLWR, Lutheran Theological Seminary and our Companion Synod, The Iglesia Evangelica Luterana de Colombia (The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Colombia) through Bishop Atahualpa Hernandez Miranda, who along with a delegation from Colombia, will be attending our convention and then sharing throughout the Synod.  We are pleased to welcome Bishop Atahualpa Hernández Miranda and his wife, Rev. Angélica Bernate Rojas, along with Rev. Diana Carolina Londoño Espinosa and her husband, Óscar Ricardo Niño Durán.  In addition to these guests, we are also welcoming Paulina Dasse, Manager for Relationships, Latin America and the Caribbean, Global Mission, from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Other highlights include:  uplifting worship services, a Welcome Reception, an Art Show featuring the work of various Synod artisans, a celebratory banquet honouring milestone ordination anniversaries, Lunch and Learn Forums on Friday and Saturday, video presentations and discussion on our mission priorities, a “take-home” DVD and discussion guide on mission priorities, a Chillin’ With the Chaplains gelato break, and interesting and informative displays from many Synod affiliated groups, and, of course, plenty of opportunities for food and fellowship.


Convention Site

For the 17th Biennial Convention we return to the University of Alberta—Augustana Campus in Camrose, and look forward to the familiar hospitality of this first class facility.


Camrose is a charming city with a strong Norwegian-Lutheran heritage.  If you are able to visit the area before the Convention begins, you will find a friendly host city that has a variety of shops, parks, golf courses, restaurants and museums.  Booklets about Camrose and area will be available at the Convention`s Hospitality Desk.  If you have a smartphone or tablet, you may want to download the CamroseNow App from iTunes or from Google Play. It’s the app that puts Camrose in your pocket!  The Camrose Now information is also available on-line at www.camrosenow.online.


Convention Chaplain

The Chaplain for Convention is the Rev. Jeff Decelle, Pastor at Unity Lutheran Church, Medicine Hat.  If you have a prayer request during Convention, please speak to Chaplain Jeff.


Worship and Offerings

Worship is a significant focus of Convention as we will begin and close each day with worship. A Worship Committee, chaired by Carolyn Ethier and including Chaplain Jeff Decelle, Colleen McGinnis, Rev. Kathy Calkins, Robyn Simpson-Mohr, and Dr. Joy Berg has planned a series of unique services to bless and enrich our worship time together.


The celebratory Opening Eucharist with organ and brass begins in the Chapel at 2:00 pm on Thursday, June 14. We gather again in the chapel for Thursday evening’s Jazz Vespers, a time of prayer as well as remembrance of those who have died. Each day we share in Morning Eucharist with a time of Dwelling in the Word in the Convention Hall. Our brief Sending Worship, with installation of Synod Council and Blessing of the Bishop, is scheduled for 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 16. Offerings will be shared equally between the Lutheran World Federation Endowment Fund and the ABT Synod Bishop`s Discretionary Fund.


Convention Choir

There will be a Convention choir singing at the Opening Eucharist service that you are welcome to join.  The practice for the Convention choir will be held in the Convention Hall at 12:30 pm on Thursday, June 14.  Dr. Joy Berg will lead the choir.


Bulletin of Reports

The Bulletin of Reports is now available for download from the Synod website.  Please make yourself familiar with the information in your Bulletin of Reports to ensure you can fully participate in the business of Convention.  Delegates and visitors may either download the Bulletin of Reports to their preferred device before they come to Convention or print off a hard copy and bring it to Convention.  The Wi-Fi on campus may not be strong enough to download the Bulletin of Reports on campus, so please either download or print it before heading to Camrose.  Please note, there will be no hard copies of the Bulletin of Reports provided at Convention.


Audited Financial Statement and List of Convention Committees

The 2017 Audited Financial Statement will be posted on the website (in the same area as the Bulletin of Reports) once it has been completed and approved by the Synod Council.  The list of Convention Committees will be distributed at the Convention.


Registration and Information Desks

The Registration Desk, located beside the café in the newest part of the Faith and Life Centre, will be open to serve you as of 10:30 am on Thursday, June 14th.  The Registration Desk will provide you with your colour-coded nametag, which will also serve as your meal pass and designate whether you are a registered delegate, a visitor, a guest, or a staff/volunteer, as well as your room key and information if you are staying on campus.  Close-by you will find the Information/Hospitality Desk which will remain open throughout the Convention for your convenience.


Orientation for First Time Delegates

An orientation for first time delegates will be held in the Convention Hall at 1:00 pm on Thursday, June 14th.  A short orientation of all delegates will be held at the beginning of the First Sitting of Convention, beginning at 3:30 pm on June 14th.


Accommodations and Amenities

Unless you have booked a hotel room at the Convention hotel (the Norseman Inn), your registration covers accommodations in the residences at Augustana campus beginning on Thursday evening.  These rooms are designed for double occupancy.  If you have not indicated a room partner, you will likely be assigned a roommate.  In special circumstances, we are able to provide a limited number of single occupancy rooms, but these arrangements must have been made in advance.  Please note that the residence rooms do not have private baths, but on-floor access to common bathrooms.  Bedding is supplied, but you may want to consider bringing your own pillow.  Please also bring all of your own towels and toiletries.  A limited supply of soaps and towels will be available at the Convention Registration Desk in the event you forget to pack these items.



Your nametag will serve as your meal voucher for each of the meals while at the Convention, beginning with Thursday dinner.  Visitors who have registered online were able to select which meals they will require.  Each delegate also has one seat reserved at the Friday evening banquet.


Water Bottles/Cups

Delegates are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups to the Convention for use at the Refreshment and Hospitality table.  Although a limited supply of biodegradable, disposable cups will be available, we ask you to consider reducing our impact on the environment by bringing your own reusable drink holders.


Banquet and Ordination Anniversary Celebration

A celebratory banquet will gather delegates, visitors, guests, our first recipient of “The Synod of Alberta and the Territories Stephen D. Wildfang Leadership Award” and ordination anniversary honourees at the Norseman Inn (6505 – 48 Avenue) on Friday, June 15 at 6:30 pm.  Rostered Ministers who have served the Church for 25, 40, 50 or 60 years will be honoured at the banquet.  Doors for the banquet will open at 6:00 pm.  Seating for the Leadership Award recipient and the ordination honourees and their guests will be reserved at the front of the banquet hall.


Delegates receive one banquet ticket with their congregational registration fee.  Additional banquet tickets were available to be reserved via the registration process for purchase by delegates or visitors at a cost of $50.00 per ticket.  If you have any special dietary needs which we need to be aware of for the banquet, please contact Gail Berg, our Banquet Lead at pgberg4@gmail.com or Anne Lyseng, our Hospitality Lead at aelyseng@gmail.com, with a copy to the Convention Manager at wendy@albertasynod.ca.


Chillin’ With the Chaplains

At the Saturday morning coffee break, the Synod Campus Ministry Team will be on hand to serve delegates gelato out on the quad outside the Convention Hall (weather permitting) or from their Campus Ministry booth in the display area.


Convention Newsletter and Synod Website

There will be a welcome newsletter that sets the stage for what to expect during Convention available on tables in the plenary when delegates arrive.  Convention highlights from Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be captured in an electronic newsletter distributed to Convention attendees by email after Convention and posted to the Synod website.  Select photos from Convention will be streamed on the Synod website.


Travel to Convention and Expense Reimbursement

If you are a delegate travelling more than 200 km to Convention, you are eligible for a reimbursement of $0.12 per km.  Forms for reimbursement will be available on-site from the Stewards or can be accessed after the Convention, online on the Synod website at www.albertasynod.ca.   Please note that any travel reimbursement claims must be received in the Synod office no later than June 30, 2018.  Reimbursement cheques will be issued by the Synod office and mailed out to delegates who have submitted a reimbursement form.


Please note If you wish to donate back your expense cheque to the Synod as a charitable donation and to receive a receipt, a separate cheque must be issued (we can no longer accept a cheque endorsed back to the Synod due to accounting rules).


Parking at Augustana and Construction in Camrose

Parking is available in the visitor lots at the north end of the campus.  There is currently bridge construction on main street in Camrose impacting those coming into Camrose from the west.  Follow the detour signs and the detour takes you almost to the campus.  This will also impact anyone travelling from Augustana to the Norseman Inn for the Friday evening banquet.  Again, follow the detour signage and you should be fine!


Early Arrival?

We encourage everyone to plan their arrival for some time on Thursday prior to 2:00 pm.  However, if distance or other circumstances require you to travel on Wednesday, please plan to take care of your own accommodation needs on Wednesday evening.  There will be no access to the dorm accommodations on Augustana campus prior to Thursday, June 14, 2018.



Wi-fi connection is available anywhere on campus for free under Guest@UofA.  Data download is limited to 1 GB every 24 hours, so please remember to download your Bulletin of Reports or any other items to your mobile devices before arriving on campus.


Emergency Contact Number

In case of emergency, you or family member may contact the Convention Manager during Convention by cell phone or text at 780-975-0493.


Take Homes and Post Convention

Delegates will be taking home a special individual gift (it’s a surprise), a copy of the video series on Mission Priorities (one per congregation) and an accompanying discussion guide, and many experiences and stories to share.  A link to an on-line evaluation of Convention will be forwarded to delegates electronically after Convention.  Your feedback on the evaluation will help us plan and deliver the next Convention in 2021.


Blessings to each of you as you prepare to travel and attend the Convention in a couple of weeks.  Please pray for God’s blessings on the convention and for those who are planning and preparing for it.  Looking forward to seeing you!

Important Deadlines and Dates

February 21, 2018        Online registration open for delegates and invited Convention guests (keynote speakers, press, etc.)

February 1, 2018        Deadline for ABTLA Nominations (nominating form and supporting documentation must be                                         received in the Synod office by this date)

March 1, 2018            Online registration open for visitors

April 1, 2018               Registration Deadline for delegates, and invited Convention guests.

May 1, 2018                Registration Deadline for convention visitors

April 14, 2018             Deadline for Nominations to be National Convention Delegate (signed nomination forms must                                         be received in the Synod office by this date)

May 14, 2018              Deadline for Biographies of National Convention Delegate Nominees (biographies must be received in                                         the Synod office by this date)

June 30, 2018              Deadline for submitting delegate expense requisitions