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.
Sunday, Sept. 6, commit to end racism
August 25, 2015
Dear sisters and brothers,
The bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church have issued a statement and call to action to recognize Sunday, Sept. 6, as “Confession, Repentance and Commitment to End Racism Sunday.” The African Methodist Episcopal Church is a longtime ELCA dialogue and ecumenical coalition partner. I responded to them pledging our support and stating that I would invite our bishops, pastors and leaders to participate in this effort, especially by preaching on racism and racial justice in church and society. This is a way to accompany our sisters and brothers in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and to continue in our own church the conversation about racism.
I believe we are experiencing a kairotic moment. Something is happening in our church and in our country. Many of us are hearing and seeing in ways we haven’t before, and we are motivated to take action. Participating in “Confession, Repentance and Commitment to End Racism Sunday” is a start. This link connects you to ELCA worship resources under the liturgy tab for Sunday, Sept. 6. You can also find more information and resources from the African Methodist Episcopal Church here. I encourage you to reach out to a nearby African Methodist Episcopal congregation to build relationships together.
ELCA members, congregations and groups are also warmly invited to participate in the events in Washington, D.C., Sept. 1-2 that will launch the “Liberty and Justice for All” movement. For more information, please click here. The link to RSVP is here.
The road to ending racism is long and hard, but we are not alone. Jesus walks with us. Let's take this step together.
Thank you for your ministry.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Register for Workshop on Professional Boundaries for Rostered Leaders, November 5 or 6, 2015
The synod will host a free workshop for all rostered leaders on November 5 and 6, 2015, that will address boundary issues. This workshop is being offered on two different days and at two different locations. It is the expectation of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA, that, once every three years, all rostered leaders attend a workshop focusing on appropriate boundaries in ministry. Boundary awareness workshops typically focus on sexual boundaries in ministry, this training will also include: financial boundaries, conflict of interest and complications of social media. The workshop will explore internal and external reasons why it is so difficult to set and maintain boundaries in a church system. Finally, the workshop will focus on prevention and ways to support healthy boundaries in self and congregation.
The presenter is David Olsen, the Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling Center of the Capital Region (Albany, NY) David recently co-authored Saying No to Say Yes: Everyday Boundaries and Pastoral Excellence (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, March 2015).
Why Are Our Health Care Costs Going Up?
Join Portico for a webinar, August 28, 2015, 10:30 – 11 a.m. (Central Time), to see what drives ELCA health contribution rates, such as market trends and our collective use of care. Invite other decision-makers to attend, too.
Date: Friday, August 28, 2015
Time: 10:30 – 11 a.m. (Central Time)
Duration: 30 minutes
Description: Join Portico Benefit Services for a look at what drives ELCA health contribution rates, such as market trends and our faith community’s use of care. This live, 30-minute webinar will include an opportunity to ask questions. Organizational decision-makers are invited to attend, such as congregation presidents, treasurers, senior pastors, or others who help shape their ministry’s budget.
Bishop Miller’s Upcoming Sabbatical
July 28, 2015
Dear congregations and rostered leaders,
Bishop Wayne N. Miller will be on a three-month sabbatical from September 21, 2015, through December 21, 2015. While he is away, neighboring bishops from ELCA synods will cover any contingencies requiring a bishop to be present. Also during this time, the Rev. Cynthia K. Hileman will be acting bishop and attend to the day-to-day activities of the synod office.
Sabbatical leaves are quite common for clergy, and most bishops take one sabbatical during each term of office. This is the first sabbatical of Bishop Miller’s career.
Please note that throughout his sabbatical, Bishop Miller will not be available for any work relating to the synod office.
If you have any questions, please contact the synod office at 773-248-0021.
Video: New Church Rising
New Church Rising is the first in a series of brief videos from the Metropolitan Chicago Synod and Bishop Wayne N. Miller. The videos are designed for congregational use to foster discussion about the church. In this installment, the bishop examines the current state of the church, and a vision for the future.
Final Resolutions, Assembly Election Results, Bishop's Report, and Video Available Online
Final resolutions adopted by the assembly, the results of elections, links to videos, and the PowerPoint from the bishop's report and the video —"New Church Rising"—that was part of his report, are all available online here.
Learn about Affiliated Mission Communities in the Synod
Affiliated Mission Communities (AMCs) are one way the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA, is sharing the good news of God's love for us in Jesus Christ.
Intended to respond to a need that is not currently being met by existing structures and programs, Affiliated Mission Communities may take a variety of shapes, depending on the context in which they are developed. Each AMC is defined and developed in close collaboration with both the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, and a host “Incubator Congregation.”
Issue 20.1 of Let's Talk on "The Catechumenate" Now Online
The North African church father Tertullian once said that "Christians are made, not born." The new Lent issue of Let's Talk: Living Theology in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod looks at how area pastors, catechists and sponsors are engaged in making Christians by reclaiming, in a diverse array of forms, the ancient tradition of the catechumenate.
Featured are testimonies from Monte Johnson of Immanuel, Edgewater; Krista Kapp and Tim Brown of Luther Memorial, Lincoln Square; Ben Dueholm of Messiah, Wauconda; Sister Christina Fuller of St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Evanston; and former catechumen Marcus Lohrmann, now a leader at Holy Trinity, Lakeview.
Plus, Mark D. Williamson on customizing the catechumenate for your context, PJ Malin on catechizing parents of the baptized, Frank Senn on preaching with catechumens present, and Heidi Haverkamp reviews Paul Hoffman's Faith Forming Faith.
Comments and responses are always welcome.
Rostered Leader Reports to Synod Bishops
The Rostered Leader Reports to Synod Bishops are available here on the ELCA webpage. You will need to select the "Synods" tab, and then the appropriate form.
Please e-mail the completed forms to Mary Richardson at the synod office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.