The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly is meeting next week, August 5-10, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Here are some things you need to know.


What is a Churchwide Assembly?

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly is the highest decision-making body in the ELCA.  It meets every three years and consists of voting members from every synod.  Voting members of the Assembly:

  • Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;

  • Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;

  • Elect officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;

  • Establish ELCA churchwide policy;

  • Worship together;

  • Adopt a budget; and

  • Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization

This year in particular voting members will:

  • Elect the presiding bishop and secretary. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, elected in 2013, is open to serving another six-year term. Secretary Chris Boerger, elected in 2013, is retiring after this term. The secretary is elected to a six-year term.

  • Consider and vote on Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action. The recommended proposed social statement covers a range of issues in which the ELCA is called to action, including gender-based violence, workplace discrimination, economic inequality and more. A user’s guide is available to help members explore the statement.

  • Consider and vote on Report and Recommendations of the Entrance Rite Discernment Group that recommends ordination for Ministers of Word and Service.

  • Consider and vote on A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment A Policy Statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  This proposed declaration reflects the realities of our long-standing inter-religious relations as a church, while giving us a framework for a common articulation of our context, our calling and our commitments to this vocation.

  • Consider and vote on proposed amendments to the ELCA Constitution and Bylaws.

  • Consider and vote on memorials from synod assemblies.

Who are the Voting Members from the Northeastern Iowa Synod?

  • Sydney Brinkman

  • Rev. Hillary E. Burns-Kite

  • Sue Cira

  • Rev. Judith Converse

  • Stephen Converse

  • Rev. Anne Edison-Albright

  • Daniel Grainger

  • Sthela Hanitrinirina

  • Tyler Hoey

  • Nicole Kiefer

  • Sam Lubs

  • Rev. Joshua Martyn

  • Menzi Nkambule

  • Douglas Poppen

  • Rev. Linda Johnson Prestholt

  • Rev. Kristen Rod

  • Bishop Steven Ullestad

How can I be involved?

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.