Synod Assembly Speakers

Bible Study Leader

Dr. Sam Giere, Warburg Theological Seminary
Samuel D. Giere serves as Associate Professor of Homiletics and Biblical Interpretation at Wartburg Theological Seminary.  He holds degrees from Concordia College, Wartburg Seminary, and the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), where he earned a PhD in Old Testament and played a little golf.  Sam’s research and writing are primarily in the areas of biblical theology, preaching, and bible and film, and he is the creator of  He served parishes in Eastern North Dakota prior to teaching at Wartburg.  Originally from northwestern Minnesota, Sam lives with his wife, Rev. Amy Current, their two children, and one dog in Dubuque, Iowa.  His avocations include photography and bagpiping, and he enjoys giving time to cultural diversity and inclusivity work within the local schools and community.

Assembly Bible Study:   Christ Dwelling in You (Eph 3.17): Orienting and Unifying Faith

Dr. Giere will lead three sessions of Bible Study during the Assembly based on our theme.  In the time of the Reformation grace was for sale all around, but faith stood as central to Reformation theology.  In a current social climate that often seems to encourage deeper division and distance between oneself and one’s neighbor, how can faith serve to unify and build relationship instead?

 ELCA Churchwide Representative

Victoria Flood, Director for Mission Support
Victoria Flood serves as Director for Mission Support in the churchwide expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Learning more about the ministries of our church through visits in synods and with congregations is one of Victoria’s greatest joys in this position.  She is often heard saying, “Mission Support is rooted in our faith and our relationships.  It is one of the most tangible ways that all of us in the ELCA demonstrate we are church together for the sake of the world.”

Victoria began serving in this position in March 2016.  Prior to that, Victoria served 15 years in the churchwide expression of the ELCA as part of the team in Research and Evaluation.  Prior to serving in the ELCA, Victoria worked nearly seven years in Wisconsin state government.

Victoria earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Political Science from Valparaiso University.  She and her husband, Rod Boriack, live in Des Plaines, IL.  They are proud parents and grandparents to 2 children – Katy (Christian); Jon (Brooke); 1 grandchild, Ayden, and one grandchild on the way.  Victoria and Rod are members of Trinity Lutheran in Des Plaines.

Assembly Chaplain

Rev. Chris Lenning, First Lutheran and Shell Creek Lutheran, Plaza, ND
Pastor Chris Lenning will be sneaking up on his 20th year of Word and Sacrament ministry in 2018.  His family ties are in Iowa where he graduated with a BA in communication from Wartburg College and then attended the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, receiving his Master of Divinity degree.  His first call was to a one-point open-country parish in Hooper, Nebraska—an hour from Omaha.  His second call was as an intentional interim in Chadron, Nebraska, followed by a short-term call as director for our synod’s Camp of the Cross Ministries.  He has been serving Plaza Lutheran Parish since 2005 and they have joined with Parshall United Church of Christ in an ecumenical agreement.

Chris has been married to Jennifer Nodland-Lenning of Halliday, ND for the past 20 years and they have two teens, Aspen and Bradyn that attend North Shore-Plaza High School.  They live on an acreage North of Plaza with three horses, four dogs, rabbits and cats and occasionally foster young children for Mountrail County.  Chris has been involved with the Clergy Coaching initiative in our synod as well as administering a $25,000 Lily grant for setting up Rostered Leader Care Groups or WISE groups (Wisdom, Inquiry, Support and Empowerment.