Mission Interpreters

Become a mission interpreter

Mission interpreters, volunteers from congregations in each synod of the ELCA, tell the story of how our offerings and gifts are transformed into effective ministries. They remind us of how we make a difference in Christ’s mission and the work of the church, and they thank our people for their faithful giving.

This is primarily done through temple talks, visits with councils and committees, and helping in any way they are asked to share information, provide resources, and give guidance on doing God’s work at the congregational, synodical, and churchwide expressions. They also develop connections between the ELCA membership and its leadership and mission. Mission interpreters are trained in the various aspects of church ministry and mission and have the resources available to carry them out as a member of the ELCA.

Download the Full Brochure

What Are the Qualifications?

  • Be faith-filled, loving Christ and the church.
  • Be knowledgeable about the ELCA.
  • Be an active member of a congregation.
  • Be a strong steward.
  • Be willing to attend training sessions.

Congregations Benefit from Mission Interpreters
When members understand their identity as partners in a wider church, they become strong advocates supporting the mission and ministry we share beyond the congregations, through the synod and then on through the churchwide organization.

The Mission Interpreter Ministry helps congregations by increasing the understanding of the work we do together beyond the congregation. By looking beyond the congregation, members see how they are personally connected to mission and ministry around the world!

“Mission minded” congregations are growing in membership and spirit!

Mission Interpreters Receive:

  • Training Workshops
  • Resource Materials
  • Coaching
  • Inspiration
  • Networking
  • Annual Gathering to share ideas and information

Watch Mission Interpreters at 2017 Assembly

Thumbnail image for DSC_5426.jpgWatch Mission Interpreters at this year's assembly in videos shared in the Mission Interpreter's Facebook page.

Mission Interpreters at 2016 Synod Assembly

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Mission Interpreters were active and visible at the 2016 Assembly. Our display was close to the entrance to the Assembly hall and provided an opportunity to share information about Mission Interpretation with many. Our display included a wide range of information, but had a strong emphasis on World Hunger. This was a good tie with the challenge to the Synod to raise $1 million for World Hunger by October 31, 2017. Our workshop was well attended and was another way to reach folks with information about Mission Interpretation. We look forward to having several folk join our MI team in the coming months as a result of this effort. The Mission Moments were again a highlight of the Assembly.

Thanks to Erv Uhlman for coordinating this effort.

The Moments included:

Advocacy - Ken Olson
World Hunger - Rev. JoAnn Post
RefugeeOne - Greg Hammond
Five Loaves and Two Fish - Dan Dorman (on video)
Kidz Express - Rev. Kathy Nolte
Lutheran Suicide Prevention Network - Sue Cahalan
Antiracism Team - Barbara Wahler, presented by the Rev. Ben Adams
Walk for Water - Maggie Paulson

Click here for transcripts and images from the Mission Moments.

Sharing Mission Interpreter Information at the
Synodical Women Organization's Convention

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Mission Interpreter (MI) information was shared with those attending the 2015 SWO convention on October 17 through a display table and presentations in the workshop session. It was a good opportunity share what is being done, say "Thank You" for assisting in the Malaria Campaign and invite others to join the MI team.

Welcome to Our New Mission Interpreters

A Mission Interpreter Orientation was held on Thursday evening October 8.

We are pleased to welcome four new MIs to our team and look forward to their active participation. They are (l to r) :Roxanne Doremus - Lutheran Church of Martha and Mary, Mt Prospect; Donna Sell - Holy Trinity, Lombard; Kevin Lang - Trinity, Des Plaines; Barb Olson - Lord of Life, Schaunburg.

This was the first time that we have held an evening orientation and it went well. Thanks to the Lutheran Church of Martha and Mary in Mt Prospect and to MI Marilyn Thompson for hosting the event.

Mission Interpreters at the 2015 Synod Assembly

See how mission interpreters participated at this year's synod assembly by clicking here.

Welcome to Mission Interpreters

Welcome to Cathy Godfrey, Karen Edwards, and Mary Frank from St. Paul in Wheaton and Fernando Mercado from Trinity in Warrenville who took part in Mission Interpreter training on July 12, 2014. Thank you to St. Paul's in Wheaton for hosting the event.

Mission Interpreters Participating in the 2014 Assembly

See how our Mission Interpreters and partner ministries shared their stories at the 2014 synod assembly.

Welcome to Mission Interpreters

We are pleased to welcome Carrie Gaide from Messiah Lutheran Church in Wauconda and Janet Kittlaus from Trinity Lutheran in Des Plaines to our Mission Interpreter team. Both participated in our orientation on February 22, 2014, at Lord of Life in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Our new MIs (I to r): Carrie Gaide and Janet Kittlaus

Welcome to New Mission Interpreters

We are pleased to welcome the most recent additions to the Metropolitan Chicago MI Team. Thanks to Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Schaumburg for hosting our orientation on January 21, 2012, and to Mary Anderson for helping lead the session.

In spite of the first major snowfall of the season, everyone was able to participate. Our new MIs (I to r) are: Mary Ann Smith - Gloria Dei, Downers Grove; Andrea Delaney - Christ the Lord, Elgin; and, Erv Uhlman, St. Mark's, Waukegan

They are all very active in the life of the church and have great stories to tell. I’m sure they will all do a great job of sharing with their congregations and others how we the church are doing “God’s work, our hands.”

Thanks to Grace Lutheran Church in Villa Park who, in spite of basement flooding the day before, hosted our orientation on July 23, 2011. A big thanks also to Judy Twist for leading the session.

There was a great turn out as the following enthusiastic members joined our MI team:

Cindy Johnson, Cathy Zeiss, Emily Ishida, Jeanne Herring, Heidi Johns, Pat Hubbard and Carol Bloemke from Grace in Villa Park; Mary Lee Platz, Lynn Lullo, Sharon Brakmeier, Pilvi Innola, Jayne Boeckelman and Leroy Boeckelman from Faith Lutheran in Glen Ellyn, Greg Hammond from Grace in Mt. Prospect, Karen Fazio from Prince of Peace in Addison, Linda Sosnowski from Lutheran Church of the Cross in Arlington Heights, Joy Medrano from LSSI and Marilyn Thompson from Lutheran Church of Martha and Mary in Mt. Prospect.

Welcome to New Mission Interpreters

Thank you to the Lutheran Center for hosting our new Mission Interpreters Orientation on Saturday, October 9, 2010. Like our existing mission interpreters, they will help share stories of the ELCA's mission and ministry within their congregations, and help share their congregations' stories with the larger church.

Back row (l-r): Dick Spreitzer, Mayfair LC, Chicago; Jim Keister, St. Mark’s LC, Waukegan; Mary Anderson, ELCA MCS Mission Interpreter Coordinator; Kate Knoerzer, Treasurer IND/KY Synod ELCA; Liam Carolan, St. Luke’s LC, Park Ridge; Beth Ann Lynch, St. Luke’s LC, Park Ridge; Steve Homberg, Assoc. to the Bishop, MCS ELCA; Jan Hanson, St. Luke’s LC, Park Ridge.

Front row (l-r): Carole Spreitzer, Mayfair LC, Chicago; Anne Laurence, Grace LC, Evanston; Cindy Keister, St. Mark’s LC, Waukegan; Phyllis Biermann, Faith LC, Glen Ellyn; Bev Moody, LC of the Good Shepherd, Prospect Heights; Bob Hein, St. Paul LC, Wheaton.

Welcome to Mission Interpreters

Thanks to our host congregation, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Schaumburg, our third Mission Interpreter Orientation was held Saturday, August 7,2010. This group will definitely make a difference in their congregations as they tell how we Lutherans are using our hands (and dollars) to do God’s work in our synod, our nation and the world.

(L to R) Steve Homberg, Associate to Bishop for MCS; Paul Kirchdoerfer, First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Blue Island; Rev. Peter Hellstedt, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Schaumburg; Rev. H├ęctor Garfias-Toledo, Associate to Bishop for MCS; Front row: Lin Hodkinson, Peace Lutheran Church, Lake Zurich; Mary Anderson, Mission Interpreter Coordinator MCS; Bonnie Jones, Messiah Lutheran Church, Wauconda; Beth Gibbs, Peace Lutheran Church, Schaumburg

Telling the stories of our hands doing God’s work in the world.

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod (MCS) welcomed its second group of Mission Interpreters during orientation and commissioning on January 16, 2010. They are now eager to spread that word about how Christ is making a difference in people's lives through the ELCA and its partners around the world.

From left: Rev. John Roberts, Mission Interpreter for Resurrection Lutheran Church, Chicago; Rev. Hector Garfias, Associate to the Bishop, MCS; Steve Homberg, Associate to the Bishop, MCS: Julie Paschal, Luther Memorial Church, Chicago; Derek Paschal, Luther Memorial Church, Chicago; Ken Olson, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Schaumburg; Mary Anderson, Mission Interpreter Coordinator, MCS; Patrick Briggs, Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Elk Grove Village; Paul Johns, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Hinsdale; Tammy Jackson, Holy Family Lutheran Church, Chicago; Sharon and Art Howells, St. James Lutheran Church, Western Springs; Judi Keippel, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Chicago.

Synod Welcomes First Group of Mission Interpreters

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The Metropolitan Chicago Synod welcomes its first Mission Interpreters, commissioned on September 26, 2009, and who are now sharing about how our hands are doing God’s work, in following the ELCA tagline “God’s work, our hands.”

Front row: Janice Palucci, Grace Lutheran Church, Westchester; Chienyu (Jade) Yi, seminary student; Carolynn Joesten, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge; Sharon Katterman, Grace Lutheran Church, LaGrange; Jackie Grinvalds, University Lutheran Church, Evanston; Barbara Burswold, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge; Mary Anderson, Metro Chicago Mission Interpreter Coordinator and member Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington; Mary Coonda, Ascension Lutheran Church, Riverside; Jannine Oakes, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge.

Back row: Daniel Schwick, Lutheran Social Services of Illinois; Grace Jorgensen, Messiah Lutheran Church, Wauconda; Shirley Lyles, Lutheran Church of the Master, Carol Stream; Hector Garfias Toledo, Associate to Bishop, Metro Chicago Synod; Patricia Gerber-Bornholt, Lutheran Church of the Master, Carol Stream; John Roberts, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Chicago; Jeffrey Roelofs, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, LaGrange Park; Judy Twist, Faith Lutheran Church, Brookfield; (partly hidden) Mary Hasse, Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Barrington; Steve Homberg, Associate to Bishop, Metropolitan Chicago Synod.

Page URL: http://www.mcselca.org/what/stewardship/mission_interpreters/