One godparent member of the Church will soon be enough

At its November conference, the General Synod decided that it will now be sufficient for a baptised person to have a single baptised and confirmed godparent who is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. According to current rules, baptised persons must have at least two godparents who are baptised and confirmed church members.

The motivation behind this change is to ease baptismal arrangements for families and allow more children and adults to be baptised. The decision serves especially those families that struggle to find godparents that meet the Church’s current requirements.

The one-godparent policy is already effective in practice: since 2010, the vicar of a baptised person’s parish has been able to grant special permission to administer baptism to a person with only one godparent. Under certain circumstances, the vicar may also give permission for a child to have a maximum of two additional godparents added after baptism.

The Church Act and the Church Order will be amended to reflect the one-godparent requirement, with the changes likely to take effect in January 2020.

Church Order amended to include young influencer groups

In order to offer young people the opportunity to be more involved in the Church, parishes will now be required to establish influencer groups for the young. The General Synod decided to amend the Church Order to reflect this requirement.

Parishes are free to decide how these influencer groups will be established and what influencing practices will be created, but it must be young people playing the main role in this work. Influencer group members must be confirmed parish members under the age of 29.

General Synod granted special funding to promote carbon neutrality

The General Synod budgeted EUR 215,000 for 2020 to promote the Church’s energy and climate strategy, Carbon Neutral Church by 2030. This special project funding will be used to help implement the energy and climate strategy adopted by the Church Council in February 2019. The Church wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and seeks to put its strategy in practice in the everyday life of the Church and its parishes.

The General Synod made the final decisions of its four-year term at its November conference. The new General Synod’s term will begin in February 2020.