In Our Synod
Thank you to those who registered for the Bishop's Convocation! 
We are looking forward to seeing and being with you in Newport October 17-19. Please book your hotel room by calling the Best Western Agate Beach at (541) 265-9411. Mention the OR Synod Bishop's Convocation to get the special negotiated rate before September 25 (when the room block will be released). More information and an agenda will be sent in early October. 

Registration for convocation is now closed. No registration will be available at the event. Refunds are available until 10/1 (after this time the dollars are committed to the hotel). 
Congratulations Rev. Jill Rowland! Rev. Jill will be serving as the new director of spiritual care & ACPE Clinical Pastoral Education at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Randall Children’s Hospital, The Oregon Burn Center, and Unity Center for Behavioral Health (after serving eight years as staff chaplain). Here are some things to know about her:
  • She is an ELCA rostered minister, a board-certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains, and a certified educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • She received an MDiv. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and a DMin, from Luther Seminary. She also completed a certificate in spiritual care management & leadership from Rush University. 
Rev. Jill thrives on creativity, collaboration, and a focus on clinical excellence. Outside of work, she enjoys running, playing golf, reading, cooking, wine tasting, watching and cheering on her favorite college basketball and football teams (Go Bucks!), and spending time with her spouse, her adult children, and her Golden Retriever, Luther.
Synod Leaders Quarterly Meetings
  • September 24, 9-10:30 am. Congregation presidents and leaders with VP Greg Shea and Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar. Meeting link
  • September 24, 10:30-11:30 am. Treasurer's meeting with Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar and Synod Treasurer Mark Dickman.  Meeting link
  • October 6, 1-2 pm. Administrators and secretaries with Synod Administrator Jemae McCanna. Meeting link
Come and learn about the dying process, what happens shortly after death, and advance planning. This on-line course will meet on eight Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8 pm (Pacific Time) beginning September 20. Course participants and/or their congregations are encouraged to donate, as they are able, on a sliding scale between $20-$160, but donations are not required to participate.  Register here.
October 16 is World Food Day and Hunger Sunday. 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. 
September Advocacy Cafe: With stories from faithful advocacy leaders and one another, we'll reflect on barriers to voting and what we can do to keep the right to vote protected and within reach. Tue. Sept. 27.
Upcoming Connections Calls

September 27, 5 pm PT. Conversation with H. Paul Santmire author of EcoActivist Testament: Faith Explorations for Fellow Travelers. Register here.

October 25, 5 pm PT.  "Doctrine of Discovery's Roots in Climate Injustice." Watch the 30 min documentary "Are We There Yet?" and hear from film's creators, Calvin Lee and Marisa Prince. The film chronicles their cross-country road trip to better understand the Doctrine of Discovery, its connection to contemporary Christian Nationalism, and if it’s possible to chart a new course for the American Christian Church. Register here
Registration is open for Byberg Preaching Workshop 2023! This year will feature Rev. Traci Blackmon as the main speaker and Br. Stefan Andre Waligur as the chaplain and musician.  January 23-25 in Seaside, Oregon. Learn more and register
Oregon Synod Holy Land Pilgrimage for November, 2023. Contact Nick Doversberger directly for more information, either by email at or by phone at 503-956-4666.
Western States Youth Gathering 2023 and Western States Multicultural Youth Leadership Event is back! Coming to California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, CA from July 4-9, 2023. The event is open to high school aged youth in ELCA Regions 1-4. The theme is “Revive, Reunite, Rejoice.” The event will feature an outdoor festival-style main stage, interactive and service learning opportunities, team-building activities with Lutheran outdoor ministries, creative worship elements, and exciting nightlife events. Learn more here.
2023 Update on Portico Health Rates and Plan Changes

What's changing for 2023:
  • ELCA-Primary health contribution baseline rate will increase 3%1, the same rate increase as last year, which was the lowest in eight years. The 3% increase also applies to sponsored members receiving the ELCA Medicare-Primary health benefit Standard option.
  • ELCA-Primary Gold+ option deductibles will increase to $1,500 for member only, $2,250 for member and child(ren) and $3,000 for member and spouse or member, spouse, and child(ren). Coinsurance, out-of-pocket limits, and prescription drug cost-share will not change.
Prepare for 2023 Annual Enrollment
As you prepare to make selections in October, keep these things in mind:
  • The ELCA recommends two ELCA-Primary health benefit options: (1) Gold+, or (2) Silver+ with a monthly employer contribution to the member’s health savings account (HSA). Sponsoring employers (congregations and organizations) will selection the option they will offer their employees Oct. 3-14. Your registered EmployerLink user can access the 2023 Decision Guide and their Custom Comparison Report to help determine 2023 costs and options. Note: any organization that does not make a selection will be assigned Silver+ (A) to offer their plan members the ability to choose the coverage that works best for them.
  • Sponsored members, watch for an email from Portico with specific information about 2023 Annual Enrollment, including when your selection period will be open. Most – but not all – plan members will make their selection between Oct. 20-27.
Invest in Your Emotional Health
Boost your emotional health this fall by joining live webinar led by Learn to Live’s clinical team. September’s sessions–which run 15- or 30-minutes–provide useful tips and guidelines to improve your mental well-being". Learn more about the webinars, use the code PORTICO to register for free.
Stewardship Kaleidoscope: Sept. 26-28. Join virtually to hear practical stewardship tips from outstanding plenary and workshop leaders:
  • New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs, whose numerous books include The Year of Living Biblically and My Life as an Experiment: One Man’s Humble Quest to Improve Himself
    The Rev. Dawn Hyde, pastor at the thriving Downtown Church in Columbia, S.C.
    The Rev. Michael Bos, senior minister at Marble Collegiate Church and author of A Church Beyond Belief: The Search for Belonging and the Religious Future
Register here
Not satisfied with the traditional court-based system of crime and punishment? Lutheran Community Services Northwest is pleased to announce a new effort with the Portland Police Bureau that leans heavily on restorative justice principles. Check out their new webpage for info, such as how to become a volunteer facilitator.
Resisting an Ancient Hatred: Antisemitism in Church and Society, the 12th Annual Lutheran Studies Conference.  This year’s conference is animated by the sharp increase in Antisemitic hate speech and crimes since the fall of 2016 and the rise of white “Christian nationalism.” Learn more and register here. The conference is free and open to the public. Thursday, September 29 at 7:00 pm.
Legacy Emanuel has space available in its CPE winter extended internship. It runs for 19-weeks from January 9 to May 19, 2023. For more information about the unit, including how to apply, please visit their website.
Queer Grace monthly gatherings at Spirit of Grace, BeavertonSunday, September 18, 7:00-8:30 pm. 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.
Awakening Faith Communities to Address Addiction conferenceOctober 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.
This year there will also be a pre-conference gathering for recovering clergy, imams, rabbis and seminariansLearn more about the event and register here.

Fall session has begun!  Fifty and Better is designed for people who are 50 years of age or older and want to continue learning. They offer interactive courses and extracurricular activities for the pure enjoyment of pursuing knowledge and stimulating social engagement. All classes are virtual. Click here to learn more.

New Clergy Leadership Roundtables starting in October. This virtual program gives pastors the opportunity to 1) connect with thoughtful peers outside their usual circle 2) get clear about the next right thing to do, and 3) feel lighter and less burdened by ministry through these days. Groups meet monthly for 90 minutes. 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
  • a link to your church website
(We do not post job descriptions, just the links that point to the job description.)

Sept 17: Synod Council Meeting

Sept. 24: Congregation presidents and leaders with VP Greg Shea and Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar, 9-10:30 am. 

Sept. 24: Treasurer's meeting with Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar and Synod Treasurer Mark Dickman, 10:30-11:30 am

Oct 6: Administrators and secretaries meeting 1-2 pm

Oct 16: Hunger Sunday

Oct 17-19: Bishop's Convocation in Newport, Oregon

Nov. 14-17: First Call Theological Education

January 23-25: Byberg Preaching Conference

May 20: Online Synod Assembly

July 17-20: ELCA rostered ministers gathering
For Pastor Kristi Kreamer for healing as she has replacement hip surgery and healing for her husband James who underwent quadruple bypass surgery yesterday.

For Oregon Synod Disaster Preparedness and Response Team member Jan Wierima whose son is in the hospital in serious condition with COVID-related health impacts.  

For Pr. Jane Baker, her husband Barry and the saints of Atonement Lutheran as the two of them settle into Newport and deal with a new cancer diagnosis. Their new address is P.O. Box 974 | Newport OR 97365.

For the people of Ukraine, and for all those who suffer during war.

For all the Ukrainian refugees and those sheltering them, including our sister synod The Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland.
Go and do God's work!
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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 Rev. Melissa Reed-
Synod Administrator Jemae McCanna- 
Director of Candidacy Rev. Matta Ghaly -
S.A.L.M. and Lay Education Coordinator Christie Bernklau Halvor -
Disaster Response & Preparedness Team Coordinator Sarah Loose -

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