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Central States Synod

Providing resources and tools so that we may live out God’s purpose, united with Christ, as we walk the way of Jesus.

As congregations and ministry sites of the Central States synod, we are called to join God’s reign of radical love and justice for the world. We live out that call by traveling the way of Jesus, knowing we are united with Christ. That is our purpose as the church.

While keeping the “why” of the church (our purpose and identity) central, we also need resources and tools to help with the details and practices of being the church now. . . and so, we are launching the Central States Synod Ministry Lab.

A lab is a place of learning, a place to work with different “tools” or resources, to try things out and experiment to see what works.
In a time of increasing demands and challenges, we need to get into the lab and expand our capacity to do ministry.

Our Ministry Lab includes three areas of focus:

Lutheran theology recognizes the importance of good order to provide structures, policies, and practices that can undergird and support the ministry of the church.



Topics in this area of the lab will include:

  • Leadership

  • Constitution/Policies

  • Preparing for the Future

  • Building Usage

  • Stewardship

  • Setting agendas and leading meetings



We have an incredible gift in our understanding that we are saved by grace through the faith of Jesus.  How do we continue to lift and convey this gift so that it can be a transformational presence in our communities?

Topics in this area of the lab will include:

  • Worship and lay participation

  • Healthy Communications

  • Language/welcoming neurodiversity

  • Biblical interpretation using Scripture to guide us in challenging conversations

Remembering our purpose, we grow, learn, experiment, and work together as the church to participate in God’s reign of justice and love for the world for the sake of our neighbor. That is how we live out our faith. 

Topics in this area of the lab will include:

  • Connecting with community

  • Social statements

  • Collaboration (Collegiality in ecumenism)

  • Use of techology including social media


Where do we find the time and appropriate resources to bring an honest word from God? Together, we will discover what might be helpful to those preaching and leading worship.
This course, lectionary preaching during Advent, will serve as a pilot program for our Ministry Lab. In it, we will explore ideas for worship, themes, sanctuary art/environment, and seasonal activities. Specifically tailored to lay leadership, we hope this course will provide ideas and creative suggestions to aid those leading worship churches.

If you feel troubled or burdened under the responsibilities of preaching during Advent, just remember, the color is blue. It is the season of Hope!

November 2 & 9 - 6:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Registration: $20


Hoping to get a better understanding of how Lutherans understand scripture, and how scripture can apply to your life? Here’s a study that opens up deeper conversations, and connects faith and the Bible to current issues in our lives and the church.

The sessions in this Bible study are written so that the first three sessions build on one another, and it is most helpful if you are able to attend all four sessions. Sessions one through three develop tools for Lutheran Biblical interpretation. The fourth session applies these tools to reflect on how scripture speaks to us today.

January 16, 23, 30 &

February 6 - 7:00 p.m.

Online Via Zoom

Registration: Free


The church is filled with challenges, and to make progress on these challenges, we need people to step into leadership roles.  The pastor should not be the sole leader in a congregation, and theologically speaking, Christ calls all of us to be leaders.  If we are going to make progress on the challenges we face in the church, we won’t do so by doing things the way they have always been done.  Imagine what it would be like if we could engage others differently, even those with differing viewpoints so that we might find new ways of being church. 

January 18, February 15,
March 21 & April 18 - 6:30 p.m.
Online via Zoom
Registration: $100


Have you ever wondered. . .


What’s church got to do with it? 

  • Why do we even need the church? 

  • What is the purpose of denominations?

  • What does it mean to be part of the ELCA?

Video Recording of the recent Online Engagements

Registration: None


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