March 3, 2017

Dear Partners in Rostered Ministry,

Earlier today, in addition to the appointment of the Rev. Marcus Lohrmann as interim bishop effective April 1, the synod council made the thoughtful decision to move the annual Synod Assembly from June to October. This will allow needed time to prepare for and encourage prayerful discernment for the election of my successor as Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod.  

Because the assembly will now fall near the dates planned for the Conference on Ministry, I have decided that, in the interest of good stewardship of time and resources, we will cancel the Conference on Ministry this October.  At the same time, I want to encourage your attendance instead at the first ever churchwide ELCA Rostered Ministers Gathering in Atlanta, August 7-10, 2017. This would be a good alternate use of funds that your congregation has set aside to cover the Conference on Ministry.

This first ELCA Rostered Ministers Gathering is an incredible opportunity for us to gather from around this church to give thanks for the ministry to which God has called us, to discuss where we are being called forward together in Christ, to be empowered for the work of justice in our church and in our world, and to be nourished in worship, song, and Bible study. The time includes a wide variety of topical workshops, service-learning opportunities and keynote speakers. We will come together under the theme β€œOn the Way – Together,” using the road to Emmaus story (Luke 24:13-25).

Registration is now open. Register for this gathering now at
I have no doubt that you will be energized and renewed by this churchwide gathering of rostered deacons, pastors, and bishops from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Limited scholarship funding is available as described on the website. I encourage you to sign up today. I continue to be thankful for each of you and I thank God for our partnership in the gospel!

Peace be yours,

+ Robert G. Schaefer
Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod 

BOLDLY Sharing Christ. PASSIONATELY Making Disciples. FAITHFULLY Doing Justice.