Synod Assembly 2024

Jesus names us “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world,” and compares the kingdom of heaven or reign of God to “leaven” (Matthew 5:13–16; 13:33).

At the 2024 Synod Assembly, the North/West Lower Michigan Synod will celebrate ways our congregations are ”salt of the earth,” “light of the world,” and “leaven” of the kingdom in ways large and small as we prayerfully participate in Jesus’s own work of reconciling the world to God’s very self. 

The 2024 Synod Assembly will be held virtually via Zoom on May 11, 2024. Due to its virtual nature, this year’s Synod Assembly will be primarily business focused. Therefore, only voting members will be able to register for and participate in the Zoom meeting. All non-voting members and visitors are invited to watch the Synod Assembly via livestream on YouTube.

In the coming months, updates and resources will continue to be posted on this page. If you have additional questions, please email assembly@mittensynod.org.

Robert’s Rules of Order

ELCA Synod Assemblies and Churchwide Assemblies use parliamentary procedure to conduct business. A synopsis of Robert’s Rules of Order is provided for reference. Learn More.

Registration 

Registration is now open! Given the nature of this year’s Synod Assembly, only voting members will be able to register. All non-voting members and visitors are invited to watch the Synod Assembly via livestream on YouTube. Registration forms must be completed online and submitted by April 8, 2024. There will be no late registration. 

Given the technological nature of this Synod Assembly, voting members should be comfortable using computers, mobile devices, and/or tablets, learning and using applications, and accessing information from websites. Additionally, each voting member will need their own email address and voting device (smartphone or tablet). They will also need access to a computer to participate in the Zoom meeting. It is recommended that voting members use a computer to host the Zoom meeting and use a smartphone or tablet as their voting device. 

When completing the registration form, make sure to complete the country code field of the address section. For addresses in the United States, the country code is US. If you are registering multiple people who want to attend pre-assembly sessions on different dates, you will need to complete their registrations separately. If you have issues completing the form using Google Chrome, please try accessing it in a different internet browser (Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, etc.). If you have issues completing the form on a mobile device, please try completing it on a computer. 

Register Now.

Pre-Assembly Sessions

We will be offering Pre-Assembly Discussion Sessions and Technology Orientations via Zoom in advance of Synod Assembly. Registration for these sessions is included in the Synod Assembly Registration Form. When registering, voting members should select the sessions they are interested in attending. 

The optional Pre-Assembly Discussion Sessions will be focused on Resolutions and Memorials and the Budget and Compensation Guidelines. We strongly encourage voting members to attend!

  • Pre-Assembly Discussion on Resolutions and Memorials: April 30, 6:00-8:00pm ET.
  • Pre-Assembly Discussion on Budget and Compensation Guidelines: May 2, 6:00-8:00pm ET.

All voting members are required to attend a one-hour Technology Orientation. These sessions will provide an overview of Zoom basics along with training on the voting process in advance of Synod Assembly. Voting members must attend an orientation in order to receive their voting credentials.

  • Technology Orientations – May 6,7,8: 6:00-7:00pm ET.

Nominations

The Nominating committee is seeking nominations for six Synod Council Positions and seven Churchwide Assembly Voting Members.

Position Information and Bio Form:

All completed bio forms must be submitted to Sandy Schlesinger (sandyschlesinger@gmail.com) by 5pm on March 22, 2024.

If you have additional questions about nominations contact Sandy Schlesinger, Chair of the Nominating Committee.

Resolutions and Memorials

To be considered for the 2024 Synod Assembly, all proposed resolutions and memorials must be submitted to the North/West Lower Michigan Synod Resolutions Committee in advance of the Synod Assembly. All resolutions and memorials must be submitted by 5pm on March 22, 2024 to Ann Stavros (annstavros@mittensynod.org).

Guidelines

  • Resolutions and memorials must come from a voting member, congregation, committee or an agency of the Synod.
  • Each proposed resolution and memorial must include the names of at least 25 confirmed members of the Synod who support consideration of the proposed document by the upcoming Synod Assembly.  
  • Resolutions must be submitted by 5pm on March 22 to be reviewed by Legal Counsel and the Committee on Reference and Resolutions prior to publication. 
  • Any resolutions submitted after the deadline will not be considered until the 2025 Synod Assembly gathering.
  • Counsel and the Committee on Reference and Resolutions will consult with the maker(s) of the resolution if changes are required prior to publication. The goals of this process of review and revision (if necessary) include guaranteeing that resolutions
    • are consistent with the Lutheran confessions and the governing documents of the ELCA,
    • pertain to the life and ministry of the Synod,
    • deal with matters of significance requiring consideration by the Assembly,
    • be stated clearly, concisely and objectively, and
    • contain complete, accurate and documented information.

Direction from the ELCA Office of the Secretary

  • Any memorial or resolution directed to the ELCA churchwide organization that contains a funding mandate for the churchwide organization must be considered and evaluated by the Synod Council prior to submission to the Synod Assembly.
  • Any memorial or resolution that asks for actions that are not consistent with the governing documents of this church are out of order and, if adopted, are null and void.

Authors should review the following documents for guidance on drafting and formatting proposed resolutions and memorials:

For additional guidance, contact Pastor Jonathan Reid, Chair of the Resolutions Committee at pastorj@suttonsbayimmanuel.org.

Assembly Book

The “Assembly Book” will again be a series of pdf documents published on the Synod website. All materials for the Assembly Book must be submitted to Rebecca Bossenbroek (finance@mittensynod.org) by 5pm on March 22, 2024. 

We look for annual reports from:

  • the Bishop
  • Synod Officers
  • Committee Chairs and Ministry Leaders (e.g. Global Mission, Campus Ministries, New and Renewing Mission Table, Publicly Engaged Church Table)
  • Shared Ministry Leaders (e.g. Living Water Ministries, Samaritas, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Wittenberg University, ELCA Fund for Leaders, ELCA Mission Investment Fund, Portico Benefit Services, Global Refuge.

Reports for the Assembly Book should be submitted as Microsoft Word documents in 12-pt font. 

Synod Ministries Video Submissions

Synod ministries, synod tables, and synod committees are welcome to submit a short video to be considered for the Synod Assembly. Each group may submit one video that is one-two minutes in length. Videos should feature the work of the ministry, table, or committee. Given the business focus and time considerations of this year’s Synod Assembly, submitted videos are not guaranteed to be shown during Assembly. All videos will be released via social media after Synod Assembly. To be considered, all videos must be submitted by April 3, 2024. Submit Video.

Salt, Light, and Leaven Video Submissions

In order to celebrate and share the ways our congregations are “salt of the earth,” “light of the world,” and “leaven” of the kingdom, congregations or groups of congregations are invited to produce and submit a video showcasing one way they are salt, light, and leaven. Four videos will be shown during the 2024 Synod Assembly. Congregations who submit a video will receive a $100 donation to their ministry and congregations whose videos are selected to be shown at the 2024 Synod Assembly will receive a $500 donation to their ministry

All congregations in our synod are invited to submit a video for consideration. There is a limit of one video per congregation. The goal of the video is to provide an experience of the congregation’s ministry rather than a report about it. Think of the video as a “virtual tour” of an aspect of the congregation and ministry. This might be an annual event, such as providing backpacks to school kids, or an on-going ministry such as a food pantry. Preference will be given to ministries that in some way include sharing the story of Jesus. Videos must be 8-10 minutes in length. All videos must be submitted by April 3, 2024 for review. 

Selected congregations will be notified on April 17, 2024. Videos from congregations who are not selected will be shared on the Synod’s social media after the conclusion of the 2024 Synod Assembly. As this opportunity is for congregations, Synod task forces, tables, and ministries are not eligible. Congregations should review the submission guidelines carefully and contact assembly@mittensynod.org with any questions.

Video Submission Guidelines

  • Congregations must be located in the North/West Lower Michigan Synod. Synod task forces/tables/ministries are not eligible for this opportunity. 
  • There is a limit of one video per congregation.
  • Videos must focus on one area or ministry that shows how the congregation or group of congregations is salt, light, and leaven. Preference will be given to ministries that include sharing the story of Jesus.
  • Congregations must produce and submit their own videos. The Synod Staff is not available to assist with video production.
  • Videos must be 8-10 minutes in length. 
  • All videos must be submitted by April 3, 2024. Submit Video.

Offering for Synod Assembly 

As the 2024 Synod Assembly is a one-day, business-only, virtual event with no worship service, and therefore no designated offering. At congregations’s request, we offer a few giving suggestions for those who desire to make a contribution in lieu of the traditional Synod Assembly offering:

  • Living Stones Initiative – The recently renewed Living Stone initiatives for the period of 2023-2025continues to provide a way for those committed to, and appreciative of, synodical ministry to give directly to the synod. Learn more.
  • Synod Disaster Relief Fund – This fund is instrumental in providing assistance to those affected by natural disasters both in our synod and across the country.

Ways to Give

  • Make checks payable to North/West Lower Michigan Synod and indicate your designation/s on the memo line and/or on an enclosure. Mail checks to P.O. Box 517 Dewitt, MI 48820
  • Make a contribution online. Select the desired fund from the dropdown menu.

We extend heartfelt thanks to congregations and individuals who have already contributed to these ministries, many of whom continue to do so on a monthly basis. Your faithful generosity is crucial to the ministry we do together to make a difference in the lives of others for the sake of Christ.