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What is God calling the CSS to do to further God’s kingdom?

How is God calling the Central States Synod (CSS) to minister in the coming years?

What gifts will our Bishop need to help us fulfill that ministry?

Let’s figure that out together, recognizing that all our work begins and ends in God’s love and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To guide our prayerful consideration of these questions, we’ll offer a series of monthly devotions beginning April 2024 through the 2025 Synod Assembly. Additional information about how congregations or individuals can respond to these questions will be provided as the process moves forward.

We encourage you to include this message in your bulletin, newsletter, or other communications. . . 

The Central States Synod will elect a new bishop in June 2025. In anticipation of that election, the Synod Council created a team to develop a discernment process to identify the Synod’s future mission and challenges as well as the leadership skills our next Bishop will need.  Even as we rely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance in this endeavor, the team needs to hear from you. Please share your thoughts either by attending one of several Zoom discussions with others from the Synod or by completing an individual questionnaire. Find more information, sign up for a group session, or fill out the questionnaire at The team really does want to hear from as many people as possible. 

Click here to submit your responses to the team's discernment questions

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Download and print the questions to submit written responses.

The Discernment Team’s Purpose

In early 2024, anticipating the Bishop Election at the 2025 Central States Synod Assembly, the Synod Council established a Discernment Team to:

  • design and carry out a process to invite the Central States Synod into a time of discernment concerning the needs, hopes and realities of our life together as the body of Christ in the Central States; and

  • design and carry out a process for congregations and voting members to learn consistent biographical information about those discerning a call to be considered as bishop, who agree to share that information.


The Team’s Work and Schedule

To that end, the Team began publishing monthly devotions in April 2024.  That series, which recognizes our need for the Spirit’s guidance, will continue through the 2025 Synod Assembly.  The Team also developed questions designed to guide Synod conversations that identify our common understandings about the Synod’s ministries, values, challenges, and needs.  This will enable rostered ministers, in turn, to discern whether they are open to the call of serving as the Synod’s next Bishop.


The Team’s timeline is:

  • June 2024 - August 2024: 

    • Voting members at the Assembly participate in table conversations using the discernment questions.

    • Individuals, congregations, and regional groups respond to the discernment questions individually or through collaborative discussions online.

Click here to submit your responses to the team's discernment questions

  • August 2024 - December 2024:

    • The Team collates the responses along with statistical data provided by Synod Staff to develop a description of the Synod and its future calling.

    • The Team develops a set of common biographical questions for use by those who discern they are open to being called to serve as the next Bishop, and develops a process to collect the completed forms.

  • January 2025 - March 2025:  

    • Rostered ministers review the Synod description and, if they discern an openness to being called as the next Bishop, complete and submit the biographical form. 

  • June 2025:

    • Nominations may be made at the 2025 Synod Assembly through the ecclesiastical ballot process.

    • Bishop election.                                                                                      


The Team’s Members

  • Cathy Hohl - Lutheran Church of the Atonement, Florissant, MO | Team Facilitator

  • Rev. Merle Brockhoff – Retired

  • Rev. David Frerichs – St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Columbia, MO

  • Andrea Keese – Disciples of the Plains, Phillipsburg, KS

  • Rev. Kim Knowle-Zeller – St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cole Camp, MO

  • Bill Lang – Emanuel Lutheran Church, Hutchinson, KS

  • Nancy Nagel – Vice-President, Central States Synod, Peace Lutheran Church, Washington, MO

  • Debbie Schroeder-Saulnier – Living Lord Lutheran Church, Lake St. Louis, MO

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