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The representatives of nine congregations took part in the Synodical meeting of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Eesti Synod held in Los Angeles at the Estonian house on March 29th and 30th. The local organization of the Synod was done by the ELCES Los Angeles Congregation. Three members of the clergy participated in addition to the surrogate bishop: Revs. T. Vaga, K. Kadakas, M. Vaga, G. Karu. There were six lay representatives.
There were all together thirteen independent congregations in the United States during 2013, plus one in Canada, ministered by five pastors. The reports of these congregations showed that the number of services held during 2013 in these congregations and local assemblies ranged from fifty to one. The Lakewood congregation was the only one having services every Sunday and on major church festival days; the other congregations held services either ten or twenty times per year.
Deacon Pastor Gilda Karu gave an overview of the meeting called on the 23rd of November 2013 to draw up a statement/application of incorporation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Eesti Synod in the State of New Jersey. The meeting was chaired by Valter Must who submitted the registration for incorporation document to the State of New Jersey.
A longer discussion with a number of suggestions was held in the question of adjusting the existing Constitution (Põhimäärused) of the Estonian Evangelical Luthern Church to make it more congregation centered and less under the administrative authority of the Bishop or Archbishop and Consistory. Since the task of working through the constitution paragraph by paragraph would take more time than the Synod meeting allowed, it was decided to enlarge the committee elected by the Synod in 2013, and leave the task of making adjustments to the committee composed of: Valter Must, Gilda Karu, Riina Klaas, Heino Nurmberg, Jüri Silmberg, Thomas Vaga, Kalle Kadakas, Markus Vaga, Asta Auksman and Kuno Lill.
The Synod progressed positively with a good spirit of cooperation.
A worship service of the Synod with Holy Communion, together with the local congregation, was held on Sunday the 30th of March in the Latvian Lutheran Church that the Los Angeles congregation uses for services. A time of fellowship around a table of sandwiches and baked goods was held with the congregation after the service.
Front row from the left: Mr. & Mrs. Auksman, LA Congregation Chairman Heino Nurmberg and the clery presiding over the Council blessing and Closing Synod Services: Chicago 1st Congregation Deacon Gilda Karu, Toronto Vana Andrese Pastor Kalle Kadakas and the E.E.L.K. Acting Bishop Dean Thomas Vaga.
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