2024 Annual Meeting of the Synod of Living Waters

By Rev. Greg Goodwiller

2024 Annual Meeting of the Synod of Living Waters

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” went the old motto of U.S, Postal Service. In January of 2024, it could have been said of the commissioners to the 2024 annual meeting of the Synod of Living Waters and the synod’s leadership and covenant partners. It was already planned as a “virtual” meeting, the decision of what is now the synod’s Administrative Board to hold meetings virtually in even numbered years, and in person in odd numbered years. The synod leadership and our guest preacher (Dr. Andrew Pomerville – President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary), however, had intended to gather at the Presbytery of St. Andrew’s office for worship followed by the business meeting.

But an unprecedented winter storm blew through our bounds the previous week that left practically the entire synod covered with ice and snow. And we southerners are well known for inability to even get out of our houses and down our driveways, let alone out on the highways in such cases.

Incidentally, in Oxford where I live, the U.S. Postal Service was down the entire week despite their lofty motto. So with worship adapted, and a hastily created communication plan between myself, Stated Clerk Charlie Evans, and Moderator Ann Laird Jones, we completed our “appointed rounds,” so to speak, working through a lengthy agenda that included several important actions.

First, the anticipated revision of the synod’s Manual of Administrative Operations was adopted without amendment. It is available on the synod’s website, www.synodlw.org.

In addition to a new numbering system, the overall goals of the revision are to make the synod’s structure more understandable and easier to follow, as well as to expand the synod’s work (without overly burdening its volunteers). What was called the Permanent Administrative Commission, or “PAC” has been renamed the Administrative Board. The size of the Board has been increased with additional At Large Members from among the synod’s commissioners, and two new Board Committees have been added.

A new Synod Ministries Committee will, among other things, oversee and expand the synod’s work of offering grants from its various reserve accounts, and engaging in ministries opportunities in our region.  And a Board Nominations and Recruitment Committee will have the responsibility of filling out the standing committees and any special committees that are created with volunteers from around the synod.

In addition to hearing from a number of our covenant partners – which is always a highlight of our synod gatherings – we were please to renew our covenant with King University at this meeting, and then for the first time in many years, the synod voted to create a new covenant with Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, Alabama – an historic ministry of the presbyteries in that state that is expanding its work and presence in our area and is doing amazing ministry “providing healing and hope for at risk children and their families.” Go to their website and see for yourself: https://phfc.org/.

One of the commitments we are making in our new and renewed covenants is to do a better job of highlighting the work of all our covenant partners on our synod website and in our communications – including the Virtual Voice. So expect to see articles focused on our partners in the future, and if you want to see the full list of partners (complete with links to all their websites) they are available on the “Resources” page of the synod’s website: https://synodlw.org/resources/.

The final actions of the meeting were the adoption of a 2024 budget, and the election of two additional At Large members to the Administrative Board, as required by the revision of the Manual.

Mark your calendars now for the 2025 Annual Meeting that will be held (weather permitting!) in person in the Nashville area on January 27, 2025.

Greg Goodwiller, Synod Executive