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We are part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace.  For us this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world.  Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person – questions, complexities, and all. We believe we are freed by Christ to serve and love our neighbor; with our hands at work restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ's name throughout the world. 

United with Christ in Baptism. Traveling the way of Jesus. Joining God’s reign of justice and radical love in the world. 


  • The Central States Synod would be a place that:

  • Witnesses to the centrality of faith as individuals and communities embrace and actively live the way of Jesus.

  • Empowers ministries and congregations to participate in God’s reign of justice, loving neighbor through acts of charity and the work of advocacy.

  • Nurtures engagement in spiritual practices that deepened faith and courageous acts of love for the neighbor.

  • Invites others into this transforming way of Jesus.



United with Christ in Baptism. Traveling the way of Jesus. Joining God’s reign of justice and radical love in the world.

  1. United with Christ – In the waters of our baptism, we are united to Christ and to one another. This is the reality and truth which continually transforms us and is the defining lens for our actions and behaviors.

  2. Traveling the way of Jesus – The way of Jesus is not a static concept we are invited to affirm, but an active way of living and moving into and through this world. Traveling this way invites us even deeper into a love of God and love of neighbor.

  3. Joining God’s reign of justice and radical love in the world – God’s reign has broken into our world calling us beyond acts of charity to justice for our neighbor to participate in God’s radical love which challenges the status quo to bring about reconciliation and a new way of being.


As the Central States Synod of the ELCA, we are one of 65 synods (geographic areas) in the U.S. that connect its congregations with one another and with the larger denomination. Our synod includes 160 congregations throughout the entire states of Kansas and Missouri. The synod is divided geographically into five conferences each represented by a dean who serves as a liaison between the bishop's office and the congregations in that conference. There is great diversity throughout the churches in our territory. Parishes range from small rural churches to inner-city churches, with a good number of mid-sized suburban congregations as well. Ethnic diversity also spans the synod — from Hispanic ministries in Garden City, Dodge City and Wichita, KS; an Oromo Ministry in Kansas City, MO; and a Sudanese Ministry in St. Joseph, MO.  Click on New Ministries to learn more.


The Rev. Susan Candea was elected to her first six-year term as Bishop in 2019. She oversees the ministries of the congregations in the synod; she also oversees the work of the synod's rostered leaders and Parish Ministry Associates. 

The highest legislative body of the synod is the Synod Assembly Voting members from each congregation and all rostered leaders gather annually for this meeting. Between assemblies, the Synod Council serves as the "board of directors." The Synod Council is made up of voting members from the five conferences, as well as four officers: The Bishop, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer.


Mission Support provides 80 percent of the resources to enable the ELCA to begin new ministries and accompany existing congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission. These funds also provide the staff and resources for the development of new leaders, partnership with churches around the globe, alleviating poverty, working for justice and peace, and so much more.

As partners in ministry, we invite you to make a Statement of Intent to the Central States Synod and churchwide ministries. A Statement of Intent is mailed to each congregational treasurer at the end of September. Through the spiritual practices of invitation, reflection, and response, we faithfully consider how to share God's abundant grace. In this way, we act as church together for the sake of the world. You can find stories of our work together to download and share in Stories of Faith in Action at


Congregational vitality is enhanced through active participation in our church's mission to share God's love for the world. Walking Together is filled with examples of how lives have been changed because of the generosity of ELCA members and congregations through Mission Support. This money funds the work of the synods, and some portion of Mission Support that is shared with the churchwide organization comes back to your congregation and synod in the form of services, programs, resources, and grants. Typically, more than 90 percent of a congregation's offering remains in the congregation to help pay for ministries, outreach, and the building – supporting your congregation's vital presence in your community.

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