Welcome to the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Spanning four counties, eight conferences, and over 200 congregations and worshipping communities, our synod works each day to support parishioners and Lutherans in Chicago and its surrounding area. As part of the ELCA, our mission is to share God's love made known to us in Jesus Christ.
Learn more about our synod in Who We Are.
Bishop's Christmas Message 2014
“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered”
So now we have yet one more thing to worry about as we enter the holiday season. Every year we must re-enroll for our health care benefits. It’s kind of a nuisance. All of a sudden we have to think about one more thing that used to be automatic. We were cared for; it was someone else’s problem.
Of course, it is also true that before, a whole lot fewer people were enrolled. They were simply lost between the cracks, forgotten, invisible to the empire. But now there has been a decree—and somehow, when I think about this, my nuisance feels like a gift to celebrate instead of burden to complain about.
And, perhaps it is a good thing, this week, to have to think about the fact that Caesar is not the only one who issues a decree at Christmas. By virtue of God’s decision to rend the heavens and enter the world as a child who might so easily have fallen through the cracks in the barn floor and remained lost and invisible, God also sends out a decree that ALL the world is enrolled in God’s promise of hope, and life, and salvation—no one left out; no one invisible; no one sliding through the cracks.
And in just a few days, sisters and brothers, you and I will be the ones entrusted as the messengers on the mountain who announce the decree.
Have a beautiful and joyful Christmas!
Wayne N. Miller
Bishop, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA
New Issue of Let's Talk on "Communion and Community" Online
How does the church understand "membership" in a culture of light affiliations? Can the restriction of holy communion to the baptized be sustained in a world of permeable religious identities? Can participation in a faith community be purely "virtual"? These questions are at the heart of the new issue of Let's Talk: Living Theology in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, featuring Frank Senn on radical intimacy at the Lord's table, Ben Dueholm on aggressive hospitality, Ben Stewart on the theological accents of the communion debate, Francisco Herrera on reciting the passion story in a non-church setting, E.L. Bodenstab on the limitations of our language for sacraments, Tim Brown on the challenges of virtual relationship, and Craig Mueller on membership and today's ambivalent religious environment. Comments and responses are always welcome.
Consider Something Extra to the ELCA’s Ebola Outbreak Response
Because of the synod’s long-standing relationship with Bishop Jensen Seyenkulo of the Lutheran Church in Liberia, and the needs that continue in West Africa because of the ongoing Ebola outbreak, the synod council is encouraging all congregations to consider an extra gift this year to the ELCA’s Ebola Outbreak Response.
ELCA Bishops Support Obama’s Immigration Reform Announcement
CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Conference of Bishops released a statement Nov. 20 in support of President Obama’s announcement of immigration reform.
“The positive role of immigrants in our history, economy and our community is unmistakable. We support this compassionate first step toward reforming an immigration system that is flawed and requires many of our neighbors to live in the shadows in fear,” the statement said.
The ELCA Conference of Bishops is an advisory body of this church that includes 65 synod bishops, the presiding bishop and secretary. The Rev. Jessica R. Crist, bishop of the ELCA Montana Synod, chairs the conference. - See more at http://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/7707.
2015 Rostered Leader Salary Guidelines Available Online
The 2015 Salary Guidelines for Rostered Leaders are available here (see upper left-hand corner of page).
For a printed copy of the guidelines, please contact Sandie at email@example.com or 773-248-0021. If you have any questions about the guidelines, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-248-0021.
Invitation to Participate in the Open Hands Open Hearts Stewardship Initiative
The Open Hands Open Hearts Stewardship Initiative website is available at www.openhandsopenhearts.com. The first step in participating is for a congregation to complete a Congregational Assessment. Once completed, the results of the assessment, a planning tool, and a password are sent to the congregation. The password provides congregational leaders website access to an extensive menu of resources. This enables the congregation to develop a self-directed–yet strategic–systematic plan of action, including participation in a congregational peer cluster.
If you want to learn more about the process and the website, a recording of the Saturday, July 19, introductory webinar is accessible on the Open Hands Open Hearts page here.
See Mission Imagination at Work - Watch the First Affiliated Mission Community Video
See the short film BRIDGING THE GAPS. The Metropolitan Chicago Synod is on the front of an innovative movement called "Affiliated Mission Communities," and this story documents the first installment, Urban Acacia. This is the video featured as part of Bishop Miller's report at this year's assembly
You can also download the video at the same site to play at worship, council meetings, or as part of other presentations.
Turnaround Synod Initiative
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod works to energize and renew congregations, supporting their efforts to “turnaround” and begin to grow and thrive. Our Turnaround Synod Initiative (TSI) is our program that invites these congregations to be inspired, challenged, and empowered to increase participation in their congregation and community and become more engaged.
Get more information and answers to questions, or a packet of information to share with your congregation’s leaders by clicking here.