What is a synod?
The word synod comes from a Greek word meaning "to travel a common road; to walk together." Walking together as we follow Jesus is important as we live out our vision that we can be a whoever church that by grace can grow everywhere.
The Church is a people called by God in Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, called and sent to bear witness to God's creative, redeeming, and sanctifying activity in the world. The Church proclaims God's saving Gospel. The Church nurtures its members in the word of god so they can grow in faith, hope, and love, see daily life as the place to live their Christian calling, and use the gifts of the Spirit for their life together.
In order to accomplish its mission, our Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is expressed in three dimensions:
- The people are gathered together in congregations under the care of pastors and other leaders.
- Congregations are gathered together in synods in geographical areas under the care of a bishop and his/her staff.
- 65 Synods are gathered together as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, under the care of a presiding bishop and the churchwide divisions, offices, committees, and organizations.
The synod empowers and serves congregations and their members. The synod's committees and task forces serve to equip those ministries in congregations and to advocate, educate, and serve on behalf of congregations in the synod's territory.
What is a Bishop?
The bishop and his/her staff assist congregations with the calling of pastors and lay professionals, pastoral care, ecumenical relationships, discipline, public relations, support of congregations in need, and establishment of new ministries. The bishop of a synod is pastor to the synod and public spokesperson for the Church in that place.
What is the center of our church?
The center of our church, of our synod, of our congregational ministries as Lutherans is Word and Sacrament ministry. From that center we reach out with spiritual gifts of learning, witness, service, and support. Our reach as individuals, as congregations, as a synod extends from parish to community to the territory of the synod to the nation to the world through the expressions of the one church of which we are a synod, in which we walk a common road. The prime purpose of the synod is mission--that we do together what we cannot do as individual congregations to proclaim and live the Good News of Jesus Christ.
God is calling the Southeast Michigan Synod to renewal in faith, built on the foundation of basic, core, central things as articulated simply and powerfully in Acts 2:42: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." As Jesus revealed himself to his disciples on the road to and in the house at Emmaus on the first Easter (Luke 24), Jesus reveals himself to us in these central things. It is from the assembly gathered around Word and Sacrament that we are sent on the Way together, and that Way is Christ himself.
Bishops Seminarian Fund