This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Thanks to digital net-


works, Justin DeVore, a


member of the Northeastern Iowa Synod disaster net- work, can


maintain his commitment


to synod min- istries—and his family.


grows mission Digital media In Iowa synod, ministry networks


rely on technology-based meetings By Marcia Hahn


F


ive minutes after Justin DeVore left the most recent Northeastern Iowa Synod’s disaster network meeting, he was giving his 3-year-old son a bath. There was no small talk after the meeting, no extended goodbyes, no 35-minute drive home. Just a click on his keyboard, and DeVore was back to being a dad at home. The meeting was one of many in the synod that are now conducted elec-


tronically through conference calls or Skype, a video calling service that enables face-to-face communication over the Internet. Instead of driving an hour or more to attend a meeting, DeVore and eight other network members meet face-to-face over the Internet from their homes, offices or wherever they have a high-speed Internet connection.


Hahn is The Lutheran’s correspondent in the Northeastern Iowa Synod. 32 The Lutheran • www.thelutheran.org “You shouldn’t have to invest an


hour-and-a-half to get to an hour- long meeting,” said DeVore, who is also a synod council member. “I don’t have to give up a Saturday a month to be part of this ministry. Now I invest only an hour on a Tues- day and we still get done what is needed. This makes an abundance of sense.”


The prospect of making it easier for people to participate in synod ministries—while reducing costs and time commitments—led the 2011 Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly to adopt a resolution amending the synod constitution and bylaws so most of the traditional boards, committees, task forces and work groups could transform into a more fluid system of networks. Bishop Steven Ullestad said the new structure of 10 networks ties in with recommendations from Liv- ing into the Future Together (LIFT). The LIFT task force looked at ways to better position the ELCA for the future in serving God’s mission www.elca.org/lift). Among its rec- ommendations: use global digital media and develop flexible networks


JEANNE HANSEN PHOTOGRAPHY


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