Conventions & Christmas:

News & Notes

Conventions & Christmas:

A Message from Bishop Lecakes regarding changes at the synodical level in regard to our convention cycle, and special consideration for the Advent and Christmas Season

Saints in Christ of the Atlantic District,

Blessed Advent greetings! This season of preparation has provided us a series of unique challenges and yet our Christmas hope remains in Jesus as He comes to us as Savior and Lord, offering us His love and forgiveness.

We all know and continue to live through this global pandemic and its effect on our worship and our communities. This pandemic has greatly impacted us in many known and unknown ways.

Regarding our Convention Cycle

One effect of this pandemic is that the Atlantic District is moving the district convention from June 4 to a date yet to be determined. This decision was made in consultation with the Atlantic District Board of Directors. It is being moved because we are currently unable to hold a convention with the current restrictions and guidelines due to COVID-19. A date will be chosen based on the results of the ballot being sent by the LCMS to the congregations.

Rev. President Matthew Harrison of the LCMS sent an email that could impact district and national conventions. At the Council of Presidents (COP) meeting in November the COP unanimously asked Rev. President Harrison to allow for district conventions to be held in either 2021 or 2022.

Rev. President Harrison’s letter details some of the issues that are being faced during the current convention cycle. The reality our church faces is a number of districts will not be able to hold a “normal” convention, including the Atlantic District. I will strive to keep you informed as the ballot is released and advise you on the impact for our district.

Loving Our Neighbors

Since the onset of COVID-19, the conversation has centered on how we can love and protect our neighbors. This fundamental question of how we can walk through this together must continue to be considered as we ask “How do I love my neighbor in the midst of a global pandemic?”

This season of Advent presents its own set of challenges in the midst of this pandemic. Even as we look toward a future convention we prepare for Christmas. There are a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the nation. Governor Cuomo continues to share a plan for dealing with the pandemic in New York State. These factors may impact our ability to gather for in person worship.

How can we love and protect our neighbor in this time? Some congregation are choosing to provide only online worship services for Christmas, while others are expanding service times with smaller worshipping groups.

We need to stay the course. We need to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and local municipalities. Wearing a mask, social/physical distancing, proper cleaning and other guidance has helped keep the members of our congregations safe. We need to be aware of and be prepared to act if the situation changes.


The challenge we face during Christmas is how do we maintain the safe environment we have built? How do we maintain appropriate protocols for guests that may desire to attend worship with us? How can we make Christmas special in the midst of a global pandemic?

It is about Jesus. It is about the message of His love and forgiveness. It is about the Gospel He brings to this world. It is about Jesus and his love that comes in human form that we are blessed to share with the world around us.

May Jesus, the infant in a manger, the Savior of this world, be the message that you hear and share this Christmas.

How can you love your neighbor during Advent and Christmas?

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Derek G. Lecakes

President/Bishop of the Atlantic District

If you did not receive the letter from the President links provided below.

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