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2022 Synod Assembly -- June 9-11, 2022

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"Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life."

The Earth Charter - The Way Forward

2022 Assembly Election Results:

  • For the synod council position for At Large Female POC, the results were:

    • Tullia Hamilton               119

    • Suah Gweama                71

  • For the synod council position for Deacon, Mindy Tillberg was unopposed and received 189 votes. 

  • For the synod council position for At Large Young Adult, Joanie Saltzman was unopposed and received 184 votes.

  • For the synod council position for At Large Male, the results were:

    • William Meyerkord         87

    • Dallas Rakestraw            100

2022 Synod Assembly

2022 Synod Assembly

2022 Synod Assembly
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01 Morning Prayer

01 Morning Prayer

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02 Bishop's Report

02 Bishop's Report

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Keynote I

Keynote I

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2021 Synod Assembly --

June 4-5, 2021

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2021 Walking Together

Reports of the ministries of the Central States Synod

Summary of the Synod Assembly:  


Assembly began Friday evening, June 4 with a worship service inviting us to journey through the waters and give thanks for our baptism. The music selections were from the new ELCA hymnal “ All Creation Sings.” 


View the worship service here :

Then Judith Roberts, Sr. Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the ELCA invited us into “sacred circles” to talk about the complex dynamics of racism and our call as people of faith to address the injustice of racism.  Even though it was adopted by the ELCA in 1993, the Social Statement: Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture   continues to express the ELCA’s calling to celebrate culture and ethnicity.  This calling commits the ELCA to confront racism, to engage in public leadership, witness and deliberation on these matters, and to advocate for justice and fairness for all people.    Ms. Roberts encouraged us to continue the conversations, even in the midst of the uncomfortable feelings it may raise, for there is much to learn as we listen to one another, there is much work for us to do to do.


View Ms. Roberts' presentation here :

On Saturday morning, we took the “business” agenda of the assembly. 

  • We amended our synod constitution to bring our by-laws into conformity with the required provisions approved at the 2019 churchwide assembly including the following:  No more than 50% of lay voting members of the assembly shall be of the same gender.

  • We approved Compensation Guidelines for Rostered Ministers for 2022, which encourages congregations to use a worksheet to calculate compensation.

  • We received the report from the treasurer which indicated that mission support from congregations increased in 2020 and the response to the annual appeal was the largest we had ever seen. In the words of our treasurer, “I am always grateful for the support that we receive from our congregations but this year that gratitude is mixed with surprised, administration, and an affirmed spirit of partnership.” 

  • We approved a budget of $1,674,534 which includes the release of $63,634 of restricted funds from the surplus from 2020.

  • The DEMs, Kendra Nolde and Donna Simon, gave a presentation regarding Faithful Innovations to invite congregations to listen, act, and share.

  • We passed the following resolutions:

    • A Season of Global Awareness which designates the Epiphany season as a time for congregations to lift up the church around the world; October 3, 2021 as a Sunday of solidarity with our companion synod in Russia; April 24, 2022 as a Sunday of solidarity with our companion synod in Papua New Guinea

    • Embracing the Earth Charter which calls congregations to become acquainted with the Earth Charter (link), consider joining its implantation initiative in our synod, and prayerfully consider what actions to take to become better stewards of creation.

    • Calling for a Social Statement on Child Protection which memorializes the ELCA to develop and adopt a social statement on Child Abuse and Children Protection and encourage all congregations to adopt child protection policies and engage in education on effective discipline for children.

    • Racial Justice which commits us to being communities of repentance and transformation, working for reconciliation and restoration for the harms of racism due to our church and society; commits rostered ministers and SAMs to engage in anti-racism training every two years; encourages the recognition of Juneteenth, June 19th commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the US in 1865 and endorses and empowers the Racial Justice Team of the synod to continue this important work.

    • Thanksgiving for Ministry lifting up the names of those rostered ministers who have died this past year, who have retired, and those congregations which closed or left the ELCA.

  • Elected the following people:

    • Synod council – David Frerichs, Janice Hawley, Terrance Freeman, Chelsea Deines. (We still need to appoint a lay male from Western KS Conference and a female youth.)

    • Consultation and Disciplines Committees – Dan Glamann, Rhonda Templing and Ann Rundquist. (We still need to appoint two lay males and one clergy.)

    • Churchwide Voting Members to the August 2022 Assembly – Melissa Woeppel, David Stock, Zac Sturm, Chris Deines, Donovan Lucas, Joanie Saltzman, Linda Lockhart, and Becky Keil. Bishop Candea and Vice-President Nancy Nagel will also be attending.  (We still need to appoint a lay male from Western KS Conference and a lay male youth or young adult.)

We ended the assembly with a brief worship service in which we heard prayer that we may answer you call, and to which we all responded  “ Yes, Lord.” 


View the sending worship here :

Many thanks to all the staff, synod council officers, and volunteers who made this assembly possible. As we go forward from this assembly, we pray:


Direct us, O Lord God, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and extend to us your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you we may glorify your holy name; and finally, by your mercy, bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.



2020 Assembly
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2019 Assembly

The Synod Assembly is the highest legislative authority of the synod and is charged with electing members to the Synod Council, other synod committees and churchwide voting members, voting on a budget and on other resolutions that are presented to the assembly. In addition to conducting the business of the synod, voting members and visitors gather for worship, presentations, and workshops designed to support the ministry we do together as a synod. The Synod Assembly is held annually in June at different locations throughout the synod.


The 2019 Synod Assembly was held June 6–8, 2019 at the Marriott Kansas City/Overland Park, KS and included the election of a new Bishop.

Video Library -

Watch key elements of the 2019 Synod Assembly. Videos are cataloged by topic for convenience.

Daily Summaries -

Daily recaps of the events and activities of the 2019 Synod Assembly. A bulletin insert is also available.

Resolutions -

Resolutions as amended and adopted during assembly.

Minutes -

Complete minutes of the 2019 Synod Assembly.

Agenda -

Tentative agenda for 2019 Assembly, information subject to change.

Assembly Binder -

Complete Assembly information and materials

Bishop's Election - 

Information on the election process, and explanation of the Ecclesiastical Ballot, and submission of individuals for consideration.

Presenters & Special Guests -

Learn who will be joining us this year.

Nominations -

A list of positions within the Synod and current nominees.

2018 Assembly

2018 Synod Assembly: Sharing in Hope

The 2018 Central States Synod Assembly was held June 7–9 at Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. Our theme was Sharing in Hope: God's Story, Our Voices. Our emphasis was on evangelism. Special guests included ELCA churchwide representative, Rev. Ruben Duran, Director and team leader for Congregational Vitality Team, ELCA. in addition to providing a churchwide update, and sharing a video message from Presiding Bishop Eaton. . . ​​

Rev. Duran also presented a workshop entitled "Detectives of Divinity" which invites us to re-enter God's world and discover anew: What in the world is God doing? How can we participate in it? and How can we do this ecumenically? Saturday morning, Rev. Duran led the closing worship service delivering a sermon reminding us that Jesus rose from the dead and "nothing else matters." View Rev. Duran's Sermon here.

Glocal Musician Educators



Dr. Adam Pryor, Assistant Professor of Religion and Director of Core Education at Bethany College provided us with a two-part Bible study exploring evangelism and by inviting each of us to explore our Ultimate Concern. Watch the complete presentation here.


2017 Assembly

2017 Synod Assembly: Growing in Hope

More than 375 voting members and visitors gathered from congregations across Kansas and Missouri to attend the 2017 Central States Synod Assembly at the Adam's Mark Hotel, Kansas City, MO on June 8–10, 2017. This year's theme was "Growing in Hope/Growing in Discipleship." We welcomed special guest Elizabeth Eaton, presiding Bishop of the ELCA, who encouraged all to study Luther's Small Catechism and hear the words of grace that free us in our vocations as disciples of Christ. Each congregation received a copy of Luther's Small Catechism in the time capsule they were given as part of the work of Team 500 to help congregations observe the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
In addition to inspiring worship, a jazz service the opening night of the assembly, and a festival community service at Atonement Lutheran Church on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., assembly voting members and visitors engaged in conversation around discipleship asking the question of what needed to die in order to be a more faithful church. They also attended a number of workshops focused on discipleship and the Reformation.

Presentation of stole designed and made by local refugees to Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Pictured (l to r): sewing instructor Ann Say, Rev. Susan Candea, Rebecca Kuuai, Tasilia Dalles, and Bishop Eaton. (Sewing instructor Dayna Kerr is behind Tasilia and not visible). The refugees also made the banners in the background at right. Rebecca and Tasilia arrived from refugee camps one year ago and their country of origin is South Sudan.

Here are news updates provided at the assembly and a summary report:

Thursday Update

Friday Update

Saturday Update

Summary Report 


The assembly conducted the business of the synod by:

  • Approving a budget for 2018 of $1,753,806 (50% is shared with churchwide)

2018 Narrative Budget

  • Electing the following people to the synod council: David Strommen, Jeanie Schuler, Susan Boxberger, Grace Vannoy, Kristen Koch

  • Adopting the following Resolutions:

    • Designating the Epiphany Season as a Season of Global Awareness and one Sunday during Epiphany as a Sunday of Celebration for the Global Church

    • Designating June 17, 2018 as a Sunday of Solidarity with our Companion District, the Kotte District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea

    • Designating September 24, 2018 as a Sunday of Solidarity with our Companion Synod in Russia, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East

    • Designating November 5, 2017 as Bethany Lutheran Home Sunday

    • Designating September 16-17, 2017 as Lutheran Senior Services Weekend

    • Designating August 27 as Christian Vocation Sunday

    • Supporting Environmental Stewardship

    • Encouraging congregations to pray for and be advocates for refugees and immigrants


Summary of Resolutions and Actions

Final Resolutions Text


Here is key content from the assembly:


Key portions of the Assembly were recorded on Facebook Live video. Click on the link and scroll down on the page to watch the videos:

  • Presiding Bishop Eaton's keynotes

  • Bishop Gustafson/Rev. Keith Hohly/Rev. Donna Simon Discipleship presentation

  • Closing Festival Worship at Atonement Lutheran Church


Thank you to all who attended and worked tirelessly to make this such a wonderful experience of being church together for the sake of the world.​​

2016 Assembly

June 2nd through June 4th
Hyatt Regency, Wichita, KS


Giving in Hope was the theme of the 2016 Central States Synod Assembly. Grace Duddy Pomroy and the Rev. Len Dale were our keynote speakers. Assembly began on Thursday evening with dinner and worship. Friday's agenda included presentations and workshops on giving and stewardship, as well as the opportunity to enjoy the River Festival fireworks on Friday night. We concluded on Saturday with business and worship.

Opening Worship Sermon-Bishop Gustafson
Keynote Presentations
Embracing Stewardship
Proclaiming Why

2016 Synod Assembly: Giving in Hope


Stories of Hope

Over 30 Stories of Hope from across the synod were distributed in this booklet and we received many positive comments. Thank you to all of the ministry leaders who submitted their inspiring stories. We encourage congregations to read and share them.

To download a PDF please click here.

Testimonies from two first-time assembly attendees:

"It was a great conference to attend. Wonderful to meet others who are interested in the same things we are and to hear their strategies and share ideas for continuing our Mission. The sessions we attended were extremely helpful and exhilarating, as was the entire conference. So much positive energy in one place. Made me realize how far we have come as a congregation and how proud I am to be a member of St. Mark Hope and Peace." -- Sherry Chapa, Kansas City MO

"As a first timer to our Synod Assembly I didn't know what to expect besides what members [from my local church] had told me when they previously attended. Throughout the Synod Assembly I was uplifted through worship and engaged in thought-provoking workshops. I was appreciative of the stream-lined business meeting and relevance of the information the Keynote speakers shared. Overall, I was glad that I had the opportunity to attend and be a part of the larger church." -- Mark Snider, Emporia KS

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