New England elects Keurulainen to fifth term

New England
June 4-6
Springfield, Mass.


  • Rev. James E. Keurulainen, Dedham, Mass., fifth term, by acclamation.
  • Rev. Timothy Yeadon, New Hartford, Conn., first vice president.
  • Rev. Larry Nichols, Smithfield, R.I., second vice president.
  • Rev. Scott Schuett, Lebanon, Conn., third vice president.

Under the convention theme of “Ignited in Christ to be Ablaze in HIS Mission!,” delegates voted to:

  • formally adopt a “Blueprint for Missions” developed by a district task force, by declaring New England’s six states to “be the primary mission focus of the district for the next three years” and calling on members to “study, discuss, and pray about how the [blueprint] might give direction and spawn new ways of spreading the Gospel … .”
  • encourage circuit collaboration in mission outreach.
  • continue the district’s partnership established in 2006 with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, including short-term mission opportunities “specifically in, but not limited to, Kenya, Africa.”
  • establish the part-time position of district coordinator for short-term mission trips.
  • encourage congregation revitalization and endorse the Synod’s Transforming Congregations Network, in which nearly half of the district’s 58 pastors currently participate.
  • provide strategies and resources for church workers regarding gender identity issues.
  • The resolution points out that “a number of [actually, five of the six] New England states have adopted same-sex marriage laws and that “our clergy and other church workers who echo the Bible’s condemnation of same-sex marriage in light of the Sixth Commandment come into conflict with society’s views in the matter.” It calls for providing theological, psychological, and legal resources 1) for churches and workers to minister to those struggling with gender identity issues, as well as their families; and  2) “to support and assist in the defense of those upholding” the Synod’s position against same-sex marriage.

Re-posted Sept. 4, 2009

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