Ideas for congregations to connect with the work of the 2022 Churchwide Assembly. Many of us are already caught up in the demands of the fall - school rhythms return for younger families, the church calendar fills up, neighborhood and city events begin in earnest. And yet, your church met in Ohio in August and did some good work together in the gospel! How might you be a part of the work of the larger church?
  • Host a viewing party of the tremendous sermon Bishop Patricia Davenport offered on the assembly theme, "Embody the Word." Discuss!
  • Study with others in your congregation or neighborhood the 2016 ELCA Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, and then learn more about the tribe nearest your church or your house.
  • Host a two-session adult education series on the Land Back Memorial that passed overwhelmingly at the Oregon Synod Assembly and then at Churchwide Assembly. Ask what this means for your congregation.
  • Host a three-session adult education session on climate change, congregational challenges from the memorial on greenhouse gas reduction, and then invite Sarah Loose, the synod's new coordinator for disaster preparation and recovery, to visit your church and share the work of the synod on climate change and disaster preparedness.


How might I prepare for my own death? 
What are ways to be present, grounded,
and supportive as someone dies or grieves? 

Join with others from around the synod as we learn more about the dying process itself, what happens shortly after death, and advance planning.  We'll explore the legacies we want to leave, knowing our own grief, being present for others' grief, and related rituals. This on-line course will meet on eight Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8 pm (Pacific Time) beginning September 20Learn more and register here. Here is a flyer to share with your congregations.
With gratitude and good wishes, we say farewell to synod employee John Core. John Core has been a member of the Oregon Synod Disaster Preparedness and Response Team since its inception four years ago. In this time, he has worked as a liaison on behalf of the Oregon Synod with many county, state, and federal agencies including FEMA Region 10 and Oregon Emergency Management (OEM). A survivor of the 2020 wildfires, John worked with dedication and spirit to help others affected by fire. His skills, experience, and heart will be missed. John will be continuing his dedication to disaster preparedness and response and work with the OEM through his new role at Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. Blessings to you, John!
Congratulations Rev. Mark Knutson and Marilyn Keller!! Along with Rabbi Michael Cahana, they will be awarded the Ecumenists of the Year award by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO). They are receiving the award for their role getting IP 17 (now Ballot Measure 114) on the ballot this fall. The award will be presented on September 20 at Together Again: A fundraising gala for EMO.
Do you enjoy editing? How about accompanying Oregon Synod congregations in good governance? Join the Oregon Synod Constitution Review Team! This team provides critical support, consultation, and review of draft constitutions so they can be voted on by the congregation and approved by the Synod Council. If you have a computer with Microsoft Word and a few hours to dedicate (it takes about 4-6 hours per constitution to review it), we'd be grateful for your faithful participation in this work. We request a commitment to review 3-4 constitutions per year. Training and support will be provided. Email Synod Vice President Greg Shea if you are interested.
Are you or someone you know sensing a call to ordained ministry? Curious about the path to becoming a deacon or a pastor? Wondering about the various ways you can serve in a Christian community, chaplaincy setting, or a faith-based non-profit, just to name a few possibilities? We are delighted to start the conversation and we are here to accompany you towards fulfilling your life's purpose. Please reach out to Pr. Matta Ghaly (they/them) to begin the conversation. 
October 16 is World Food Day and Hunger Sunday in the Oregon Synod. Your congregation is invited to celebrate Hunger Sunday by learning how we can get at the root causes of hunger and to creatively and courageously work toward a just world where all are fed. Please consider supporting ELCA World Hunger through a special offering. The Oregon Synod Hunger team will be providing service materials and Bishop Laurie will be supplying a recorded sermon. Materials will be available the first weekend in October, the sermon the second weekend in October. 
Volunteer Opportunity: We're looking for volunteers interested in serving as member representatives of the Pacific Lutheran University Corporation. In collaboration with other constituent communities, the PLU Corporation will represent and advocate for Lutheran higher education including its values and traditions. Interested in serving? Please contact Synod Administrator Jemae McCanna.


Webinar series: Building an Anti-Racism Team: Next Faithful Stepsa follow up series to the ELCA European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice webinar on "How to Build a Congregation, Synod and/or Campus Anti-Racism Team." The first session is TODAY at 4:30 pmRegister here. Open to anyone in the ELCA, specifically interested in connecting with other folks building or working at a synod, campus or congregational anti-racist team.  Learn more.
"A Mighty Fortress: Copyright Reporting as a Commitment to Justice." Friday Sept. 9, 11 am. Dr. Katie M. Deaver and Sierra Ronning of ONE LICENSE address questions about worship planning and copyright concerns. They will cover some copyright basics and explain why reporting music usage is truly a justice issue. They will also share insider tips and tricks for searching and reporting through your ONE LICENSE account.
Faith and Democracy in Crisis: Resisting Authoritarianism, Protecting Human Dignity, a seven-week series hosted by Spirit of Grace, Beaverton.  This series will address the anti-democratic insurgency in our country, bringing it into conversation with foundational, ecumenical Christian teachings on church and society, as well as present opportunities to take action. 7:00-8:15 pm on seven Wednesdays from September 14 to October 26 on Zoom. Presented by Rev. Dr. Brian Brandt and Rev. Dr. Janet Parker, with a visit from guest presenter Dr. Anna Floerke Scheid. Register here. Additional questions can be directed to Pastor Robyn Hartwig.

Vanco Presents: 4 Simple Steps for Increasing Stewardship, presented by Keith Mundy, Vanco Faith, on Thursday, September 15 at 12 pm PT. Here's what you’ll be learning.

  • How to improve your financial call and compel people to greater generosity.

  • How to incorporate storytelling to strengthen your ask.

  • How to encourage donations through Vanco Online.

  • How easy it is for your congregation to use Vanco Online to meet giving goals.

Queer Grace monthly gatherings at Spirit of Grace, BeavertonSunday, September 18, 7:00-8:30 pm. These coffeehouse-style gatherings will feature a new storyteller each month sharing how being queer has affected their relationship with faith, the Bible, church, God, and themselves, followed by a panel and Q&A. This month Hezzie will share their story as a queer, gender-fluid, high school senior. All are welcome to attend! RSVPs are appreciated but not required. Upcoming gatherings are 7:00-8:30 pm on Sunday, October 23 and Sunday, November 20.
Presented by Pr. Terry Moe and Peggy Lindquist. Saturday, September 24, 9:00 am-4:00 pm. $65 includes lunch. To register, call Benedictine Sisters, 503 845-2556 or send a check to Benedictine Sisters, 840 S. Main St., Mt. Angel, OR 97362, Attn: Sr. Dorothy Jean, by September 21. Flyer.
Awakening Faith Communities to Address Addiction. October 6-8, in Bloomington, MN. Attend in-person or virtually. Open to anyone interested in exploring the devastation of addiction and co-occurring disorders and the remarkable healing process of faith. Featuring:
  • Internationally known keynote speakers
  • Breakout sessions
  • Spiritual practices that may be used in a parish
  • General CEUs available, up to 9 hours.
Learn more about the event and register here.

Fall 2022 National Bold Gathering, a time for men to come together to learn, to network, and be equipped to boldly live out their faith! In-person at Carol Joy Holling Conference & Retreat Center, Ashland, NE – October 7-9. Registration is open.

Planning Your Legacy, presented by the ELCA Foundation. This session will highlight a few key details of the current economic climate, give an overview of what you need for a solid estate plan, and teach you how you can leave a legacy to support ELCA-related ministries and save on taxes.  Recommended audience: This presentation will be suitable for all ages and levels of understanding.  October 19 at 4:00 pm CT. Register here.


“Housing: A Practical Guide for Learning, Advocating and Building” is a new ELCA World Hunger resource for congregations who want to learn about and take action to address the housing crisis in their communities. This resource provides step-by-step guidance on how to build awareness and capacity around the root causes of homelessness, how to become an advocate for affordable housing and people experiencing homelessness, and, finally, how to build affordable housing. For congregations already involved in this work, the resources in this guide can help with congregation and community education, training new volunteers and refining your current project. 
Resources to help you plan for God's work. Our hands. Sunday including:

ELCA World Hunger Education and Networking Grants cycle 2 application window is open! Past grants focused on a wide variety of areas, including climate change and sustainability, housing security, racial justice, worker justice, reducing food waste, and economic justice. Click here for more information. To apply, register at, and submit your application by December 1. 

Are you interested in training at an ELCA seminary to become a spiritual director?  Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Lenoir-Rhyne University in South Carolina has a spiritual direction certification program. New intensive cycles begin in January of each year. Intensives are held in-person in January and June over a two-year period. Dates for the next cycle beginning in January are:
  • January 4-7, 2023
  • June 14-17, 2023
  • January 10-13, 2024
  • June 12-15, 2024
Application deadline is November 15. Learn more here.
Check out current openings in the synod on our job board!  Have an opening?  Send us a link to the job description and church website and we'll include it. (We do not post job descriptions, just the links that point to the job description.)
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Oregon Synod
2800 N. Vancouver Ave., Suite #101
Portland, OR 97227

(503) 413-4191

Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar-
Bishop's Associate Juan Carlos La Puente-
Bishop's Associate Pr. Melissa Reed-
Synod Administrator Jemae McCanna- 
Disaster Response & Preparedness Team (Sarah Loose) -

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Oregon Synod, ELCA · 2800 N Vancouver Ave, Suite 101 · Portland, OR 97227 · USA