What Is a Synod?

The English word "synod" comes from two Greek words, syn hodos, which literally mean "a way together." This word points to the fact that we are part of an interdependent church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has three expressions: over 10,000 congregations, 65 regional synods, and the churchwide organization. The North West Lower Michigan Synod is a regional expression of the ELCA.

We are Evangelical

  • By the work of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit we can be open, gracious, strong and forgiving toward everyone.
  • The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a possession to be safeguarded, but a means of grace and blessing to be flung into a broken world like seeds scattered to the earth.
  • We are passionate about working for justice and caring for creation.
  • We have something to share.

We are Lutheran

  • Grace-centered in Christ.
  • We are biblically and confessionally grounded; proclaiming God’s will and the promise revealed in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  • Our faith is renewed constantly in experience of the living Word through Baptism and Holy Communion.
  • We strive to live out our Luthern Christian identity.

We are Church

  • Our primary unifying practice is weekly worship around Word and Sacrament and a grateful response of personal giving, service and hospitality.
  • As the Body of Christ, we are called to live out our interdependence as a gift of God.
  • Our stories, worship, service and gifts are regularly magnified beyond us through collaborative partnerships that are local, synodical, national and global through the ELCA and beyond.

We are Empowered to Lead

  • God is working in each of us for a more faithful future. Every gathering in grace and every ministry has more capacity to reach beyond itself than we know and more capacity for change than we have imagined.
  • Cultivating leadership that dares to increase our collective wisdom and facilitates needed change.
  • The Mission and Vision is not ours, but God’s. We discern what God is doing in our midst and join God through our actions.
  • Discipleship - We consider faith formation and discipleship to be for all ages. We honor the gifts of all members as they are used to the glory of God.
  • Congregational Health - We are healthy and able to go through transition and conflict in ways that lead to positive growth.
  • Connections - We seek to increase synodical capacity to do God’s work by strengthening connections between and within all expressions of the ELCA. We collaborate with the Southeast Synod of Michigan and with our companion synods in Honduras, Latvia and Papua New Guinea. We also maintain ecumenical relationships with our full communion partners.

Synod Statistics

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is comprised of about 4.1 million members in 9,638 congregations.
  • The N/W Lower MI Synod (NWLMS) is one of 65 synods in the hLoCAp.. The synods are organized into nine regions, and the NWLMS is part of Region 6, which includes Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.
  • About 40,719 baptized Christinas, including 220 pastors and other professional leaders, comprise 120 congregations.
  • Congregations are grouped into 8 geographic conferences: Bay, Capital, Greater Grand Rapids, Jack Pine, Kalamazoo, Stony Lake, Sunrise, and Traverse. Each conference has a Dean who serves as a liaison between the bishop’s office and the congregations in their area.
  • Offerings from Congregations to the NWLMS were $1.4 million in 2011. Fifty percent supports the synod and fifty percent supports ELCA Churchwide ministries.
  • The Office of the Bishop is located at 2900 N. Waverly Road, Lansing, MI 48906
© 2013 North/West Lower Michigan Synod ELCA ● 2900 N. Waverly Rd. ● Lansing MI 48906 ● 517-321-5066