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Synod Assembly

The Saint Paul Synod Assembly gathers annually at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minn. As the highest legislative authority of the synod, delegates from congregations engage in conversation and vote on resolutions, synod council and committee nominations, in addition to other synod business. The 2015 Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly theme, We Are Church: Here and Now, offers an occasion for us to pay attention to the changing demographics in our communities, as well as develop an understanding of what it means to ‘be church’ in the 21st century.

The 2015 Saint Paul Area Synod Assembly gathered at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville on April 24-25, 2015. For a full agenda and more about the theme, We are Church: Here and Now, download the Pre-Assembly Booklet (PDF). Photos from the 2015 Synod Assembly can be found on the synod's Facebook.

Bulletin of Reports

Reports from task force groups and synodical committees, ministry partners, and agencies and institutions affiliated with Saint Paul Area Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are located in this PDF document.

These reports outline the array of work we undertake as congregations together in the
Saint Paul Area Synod and as part of the whole church as we carry out global ministries,
seek to become more inclusive and hospitable to all, develop resources and equip leaders,
advocate for justice and the common good, serve the needs of the poor and marginalized,
and fine new, collaborative, effective ways to work together as the body of Christ in the

Those submitting printed reports include:

  • Iringa Committee (Bega Kwa Bega)
  • Guatemala Task Force
  • Hunger Work Group
  • Local Mission Partners
  • Carthage College
  • ELCA Region 3 Archives
  • Augsburg College
  • Lutheran Social Service
  • Luther Seminary
  • Lutheran Advocacy
  • Lutheran Campus Ministry
  • Mission Investment Fund
  • Minnesota Council of Churches
  • Women of the ELCA
  • Wartburg College
  • Portico Benefit Services
  • ELCA Region 3
  • Concordia College

Please note, the reports included are of those organizations who took the initiative to report to the Saint Paul Area Synod. All reports are published as they were recieved.

2015 Synod Assembly Speakers

Heidi Neumark, Trinity Lutheran Church (New York City), Keynote Speaker
The Reverend Heidi Neumark hails from New Jersey and was educated at Brown University and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She is a lifelong student of ecumenism, human rights and peace with justice. Since 2003, she has been the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church—a growing, diverse, imaginative, justice-seeking congregation on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Prior to her current call, she served Transfiguration Lutheran Church in the South Bronx for nineteen years. During this time, she was a founding member of South Bronx Churches, an ecumenical organizing group which trained local leaders, built affordable housing and established a highly-ranked public school.

She is the author of numerous articles and two books, Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx and a forthcoming book (due out in October of 2015), Hidden Inheritance: Family Secrets, Memory and Faith which explores her later-in-life discovery of her Jewish roots and the story of her grandfather who died in a Nazi concentration camp. She and her husband Gregorio are the proud parents of two children, Ana and Hans. Find copies of her keynote addresses on the synod assembly resources page.

Craig Helmstetter, Senior Research Manager, Wilder Research, Demographer
Craig Helmstetter has worked for Wilder Research since 2001. He leads a team of twelve staff who focus on data-driven projects which provide information about and for people experiencing homelessness (MN’s Homelessness Management Information System, HIMS), children and families in search of out-of-school activities (Sprockets), and the overall quality of life in our state (MN Compass). Prior to joining Wilder Research, he worked for the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, in a survey research center and as an intake counselor at a homeless shelter. 

A native of Minnesota, Craig attended Luther College (BA) and then the University of Oregon (MA, PhD). He speaks locally and nationally, and teaches university-level seminars on both quantitative research and the issues surrounding homelessness. In his free time, Craig enjoys being outside with his family, including running and skiing with his dog. Find a PDF copy of his presentation on the synod assembly resources page.

Sue Rothmeyer, Executive for Administration, Office of the Secretary, ELCA, ELCA Churchwide Representative
Sue Rothmeyer hails from Calmar, Iowa, a town of about 1,000 just south of Decorah, and was educated at Luther College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She joined the staff of the Churchwide offices in 1995. Prior to that she was Secretary of the Southeastern Iowa Synod and a Lay Campus Minister at Iowa State University. She is an Associate in Ministry in the ELCA and is joining us to present the Annual Churchwide Report. Find links to the videos she shared on the synod assembly resources page.

Synod Assembly Business Passed

Churchwide Assembly 2016, Voting Members
The Rev. Peter Hanson, Christ the King, New Brighton
The Rev. Jacqueline Belzer, Pueblo de Fe, West Saint Paul
The Rev. Karen Williams, Grace, Saint Paul
Jennifer Schneider, DM, Atonement, New Brighton
Anne Gerrietts, St. Timothy, Saint Paul
David Peet, Humble Walk, Saint Paul
Ryan Muralt, Lydia’s Place, Saint Paul
The Rev. Dan Streeper, House of Prayer, Oakdale
Erin Morris, DM, St. Andrew’s, Mahtomedi
Viki Bosin, St. Stephen the Martyr, White Bear Lake
Michael Johnson, Trinity, Stillwater
The Rev. Meredith McGrath, Elim, Scandia
Tashina Good, Trinity, North Branch
The Rev. Tim Bernard, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Roseville
Colin Owens, Abiding Savior, Mounds View
The Rev. Brent Erler, Family of Christ, Lakeville
Mary Kay DuChene, Easter, Eagan
Roberta Olson, St. James, Burnsville
Kristen Holien, Shepherd of the Valley, Apple Valley
The Rev. Amanda Simons, Gustavus Adolphus, Saint Paul
Lynette Zika, Immanuel, Saint Paul
The Rev. Amanda Olson de Castillo, St. Luke, Cottage Grove
* Carol Hood, Vice President, Mount Calvary, Eagan
* Bishop Patricia Lull, Gloria Dei, Saint Paul
* Under constitutional provisions, the bishop and vice president are automatically included in the delegation.

Synod Council
The Rev. Megan Torgerson, Augustana, West Saint Paul
Doug Johnson, Trinity, Stillwater
Paige Grebin, Youth Representative, Mount Calvary, Eagan

Conference Deans
The Rev. Walt Lichtenberger, St. James, Burnsville, South Conference
The Rev. Meredith McGrath, Elim, Scandia, North Conference

Consultation Committee
The Rev. Pam Stofferahn, Redeemer, White Bear Lake
Bonnie Meyers, St. Mark’s, North Saint Paul

Committee on Discipline
The Rev. Darin Easler, Gloria Dei, Saint Paul
The Rev. Lauren Wrightsman, Trinity, Lindstrom
Cheryl Grasmoen, Gloria Dei, Saint Paul
Don Marsh, AiM, Augustana, West Saint Paul

Nominating Committee
The Rev. Margaret Kelly, Shobi’s Table, Saint Paul
The Rev. Julie Rogness, Christ, Lake Elmo
The Rev. Michael Mandsager, Highview Christiania, Farmington

Amendment to the Bylaw Regarding the Synod Attorney
Resolution 2015-1 New Model for Mission Development in the Hugo Area
Memorial 2015-2 Memorial on Divestment from Fossil Fuel Corporations Within the ELCA Endowment Fund

Complete texts for the amendment, the resolution, and the memorial can be found in the pre-assembly report.