March 8, 2021
Weekly Update
announcements & events
Nominating Committee Update
At our May 15 Synod Assembly, we will be holding elections for synod council, consultation committee, committee on discipline, and voting members for the churchwide assembly.
Read about all of the roles - and how to nominate yourself or another member of the synod here:
Forms need to be completed by March 31.

This week, we would like to highlight the position of Churchwide Voting Member
Our synod is invited to send a total of 9 persons to the 2022 Churchwide Assembly to be held in Columbus, Ohio, August 8 through 13, 2022. The Churchwide Assembly is held every three years and is the primary decision-making body of our denomination. Over the course of the week, voting members:
  • Enjoy meeting other Lutherans from around the ELCA;
  • Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;
  • Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
  • Elect officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
  • Establish ELCA churchwide policy;
  • Worship together; 
  • Adopt a budget; and
  • Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.
Learn more about it here:

Of the nine we send, 7 will be elected at our upcoming synod assembly. (In addition to the 7 we will elect, our Bishop and Synod VP also attend as part of our delegation.) In keeping with the parameters set by the ELCA, the nine will include 40% rostered ministers and 60% laypersons; 50% of laypersons will be male and 50% will be female; at least 2 will be persons of color – or persons whose primary language is other than English; at least 1 person will be a youth (not yet 18 at time of election); and at least 1 person will be a young adult (age 18-30 at time of election.)

We are seeking persons who are excellent listeners and thoughtful discerners - and who are able to commit to traveling and participating for that full week. Costs for travel, housing, registration and meals are covered. Perhaps that is YOU - or a person you know who is a member in the synod.
THANK YOU for prayerfully considering potential nominees for this role.
Please have the nominee complete an online nomination form HERE by March 31.
If you have questions, please reach out to our committee via email at:
Happy International Women’s Day!
Today, March 8, you can celebrate and support the incredible women leaders of the global Lutheran church as they make an impact in the world. Your generosity to International Women Leaders will help provide full-tuition scholarships to ELCA colleges and universities, as well as scholarships for advanced graduate studies and gender justice seminars. Learn more and give here:
ELCA Statement on anti-Asian Racism
The Asian and Pacific Islander Association of the ELCA issued this statement addressing the increase in violence directed toward Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The ELCA Conference of Bishops affirmed the statement during their virtual meeting last week.

"The COVID-related surge in anti-Asian violence is physically and spiritually assaulting Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. This violence re-emerged from America’s historical and pervasive sin of racism. Asian American and Pacific Islander children and adults are facing assaults with racial slurs, bullying, spitting, physical injury, and even death. These are not new in communities where Peoples of Color live. These violent acts of racism have and are happening in cities and towns across the United States. The virus of racism cannot be allowed to run rampant.
We the Association of Asians and Pacific Islanders-ELCA call on our church to once again unequivocally denounce racism by taking immediate actions to defend, protect, and uphold the safety and lives of Asian Americans. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are one body with many members. This member of the body is suffering. Let us bear this suffering together as one body.
We call on our church:
  • to model the example of Jesus whose compassion was made visible by acts of love, culminating in embracing bodily harm to save us;
  • to undergird and measurably advance its fight against racism and apathy, in all expressions of the church;
  • to model how to tap into Jesus’s deep empathy as our collective power to stand against violence and promote the way of Jesus instead;
  • to urge, facilitate, and invite all people in the ELCA’s sphere of influence, both within the church and beyond it, to unite in this crucial battle;
  • to declare a Sunday during this Lenten season to lament in order to express solidarity, help in healing, and support the victims of violence against Asian Americans;
  • to show how the ELCA will oppose racism, its death-dealing manifests, and proclaim ways to move forward as a church and society where all God’s people of color can be free to build world of true peace, equality, justice, and kindness with others."
Virtual Choir Invite
A HUGE thank you to Sung Lee, Music Director at Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church, for his willingness to share his time, technology smarts, and spearhead this collaboration! We will be singing Jesus Never Fails arr. by Bradley Knight - to be part of a synod-wide, pre-recorded service for April 11. Recordings are due by March 15.
Learn more here:
ELCA Domestic Hunger Grants
Are you part of a ministry (or know of one) that draws on the strengths of its community to break the cycle of hunger and poverty for good?

Invite them to apply for a Domestic Hunger Grant!
Registration: March 17, 2021–May 5, 2021
Application: April 19, 2021–May 21, 2021
Learn more and apply here:
Future Church:

In her March column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reflects on the meaning behind “evangelical” in our name and the future of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: “I believe God will transform this church.”

Read her column in English at and in Spanish at 
Global Survey on Being Lutheran
An invitation from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton:
There are many ways to reflect on our identity as Christians and Lutherans, one of which is by engaging each other across our global Lutheran family. As part of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), we seek to contribute our North American Lutheran perspectives to the larger Lutheran tapestry, made up of 77 million members across 99 countries! And like the ELCA, the LWF has a rich history of theological study processes that can help us better understand ourselves and what it means to be church. In 2019, the LWF launched a study process to explore the ways our global Lutheran identities are lived out through biblical interpretation, worship and the work of justice, peace and reconciliation. As a member of the LWF, the ELCA is taking part in this unique study process in a number of ways as we examine our Lutheran identity in our own context here in North America. We hope this process will allow us to experience the diverse ways our Lutheran tradition is being lived out. This is an opportunity to discern the ways in which we, in our own contexts, express law and gospel, faith and works, nature and grace, justification and sanctification, freedom and vocation – all parts of our common theological identity.
This Lent, I invite you to reflect on your Christian and Lutheran identities by participating in the Global Survey on Being Lutheran / Encuesta Mundial Sobre lo Que Significa Ser Luteran.
The survey will be open through March 31, and responses gathered will help to shape the 13th LWF Assembly in 2023.
In addition, between now and June you are invited to take part in a larger conversation that will transpire across the LWF communion. The LWF has produced a discussion guide titled We Believe in the Holy Spirit: Welcome to a Global Conversation on Being Lutheran / Creemos en el Espíritu Santo: Bienvenido/a a una Encuesta Mundial Sobre lo Que Significa Ser Luterano/a.
This guide will help lead your congregation’s Christian education and/or youth group on a journey of mutual discovery and learning. Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. They will contribute to furthering our understanding of what being Lutheran means in this time and place as we continue to journey together in Christ through these next 500 years of reformation. 
National Fund for Sacred Places - Grants Available
Does your congregation or historic sacred place have local, regional, or national significance? 
Are you community-minded, and do you want to affect change for others? Have you often wondered how you will complete that complex preservation project with so many priorities competing for attention and money? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the National Fund for Sacred Places, managed by Partners for Sacred Places, might be the program for you. 

The first and only program of its kind, The National Fund for Sacred Places is a grant-making program of Partners for Sacred Places in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This groundbreaking program, made possible thanks to Lilly Endowment's generosity, strives to help congregations large and small invest in their assets and capacity to serve. 

To learn more about the program, the application process, and the substantial impact congregations like yours have made since joining the program, visit The National Fund for Sacred Places
Living Stones Ministry Update

Monday, March 8, 3pm via Zoom

Join Pastor Chris Ode for an update about what is happening in the Living Stones ministry. He'll be sharing the progress being made with our new site at the Monroe Correctional Complex and our growing relationship with the NWWA Synod as well as where we're at with the COVID outbreak at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton.
Each day brings us one day closer to worshiping with our men again!
Join Zoom Meeting here:
Synod Hunger Team
Tuesday, March 9, 7pm via Zoom

All are welcome to join this renewed ministry team.
The team meets at 7pm on the second Tuesday of the month.
Meeting ID: 883 5123 8652 Passcode: Abundance!
Weekly ELCA Coaching Event
Next Session is Wednesday, March 10 at 11am

Topic: A Hybrid Reality: A Church that is Online and On-the-Ground - w/ Dr. Dave Daubert

All are invited to join this weekly online gathering designed to provide encouragement and support for ELCA leaders across the church. Participants will hear topical presentations related to how we are called to be Church, as well as have an opportunity to be in small group discussions with an ELCA group coach facilitating the conversation. This is where the magic happens. All of this is designed to help us process our emotions and thus create a space where we can each name our next most faithful step forward in our unique context. 

Meeting ID: 180 439 412 - Password: 648160

We understand a number of folks are unable to make this day and time each week. We record the main session and debrief time. We share each recording with supporting documents here, typically by the following day:
Fifty and Better (FAB) at California Lutheran University
March Lectures
The two-hour lectures are $8 each and are open to everyone.
Learn more and register HERE (registration open now!)
  • Mysteries of the Sistine Chapel - The Hidden Messages of Michelangelo with Christine Maasdam on Thursday, March 11 at 10am
  • Politics on Broadway with Cary Ginell on Wednesday, March 17 at 10am (PST)
  • The World of Neuroscience: From Single Neurons to Human Behaviors with Wesley Tierney on Tuesday, March 23 at 10am
  • Can the Golden State Be Made to Shine Again? with Herb Gooch on Monday, March 29 at 10am

Fifty and Better Spring Session
Spring Session is April 5-May 20 - registration is open now
  • Art of the Belle Époque with Katherine Zoraster, Mondays 10am-12pm
  • Architecture and Design in the Reign of the 16th-19th Century European Rulers with Eleanor Schrader, Tuesdays 10am-12pm
  • The Beach Boys in the Studio, 1962-72 with Cary Ginell, Wednesdays 10am-12pm
  • Accompanying Seminar, Thursdays 1-2pm
  • The World of Jewish Art and Artists with Christine Maasdam, Thursdays 10am-12pm
  • Authorship and Cinema: Four Directors with David Parsons, Fridays 10am-12pm
  • Something's Fishy: An Introduction to the Study of Fishes with Steve Norris, Fridays 1pm-3pm
  • The American Civil War: History and Meaning with Cliff Wilcox, Saturdays 10am-12pm
Strategic Team for Authentic Diversity
Thursday, March 11, 2pm via Zoom

Rostered Ministers. Mission Developers and Interns are encouraged to attend. Perhaps you have experienced members of your faith community saying or doing something that is racist, homophobic, or along the lines of Christian nationalism, even if it's subtle. Our next monthly Strategic Team for Authentic Diversity conversation led by Pastors Anja Helmon and Jana Schofield will offer general and specific case studies to discuss how we respond in our own contexts to those situations. If you have a case study we could discuss, please describe your example in an email and send to by Wednesday, March 10 at noon. We are especially interested in examples that are subtle/microaggressions.
In preparation for the conversation, listen or read the transcript of this recent NPR story on Christian nationalism. We'll listen to a clip as part of our discussion, as well. Come find support, ideas, and courage from your colleagues! Find the zoom link in your rostered minister email.
Synod Executive Committee
Thursday, March 11, 4pm via Zoom

Committee members: please find materials and link to meeting in your inbox and/or on Teams.
One Year Changed: Faith in Pandemic

Thursday, March 11, 5pm online

Church Anew Presents this free ready-made Lent retreat - open to all... We have been leading, parenting, learning, working, neighboring, and simply existing within a global health crisis for over a year. It has changed the way we live our lives, the ways we connect meaningfully with one another, and perhaps it has also changed our faith. In this evening virtual retreat format, gather with other people of faith to ponder how we might be moved into a different sort of spirituality this year.

What have we let fall that we will never pick up again? What practices have emerged that may be meaningful far into the future? If this is truly a humanity-defining moment, what have we learned about our species? About ourselves? About our spirits?

With seven-minute talks from faith leaders, activists, artists, and more, we will memorialize the way this moment has shaped us and will continue to influence us. We will spend time in prayer and reflection, considering how the Spirit might be moving all of humanity in this moment. 

World Mission Institute 2021 Conference - Thursday, March 11 at 5pm 
All are welcome to join this conference on the connection between migration, mission, and spirituality. Peter C. Phan’s keynote, “Is the Christian God a Migrant?” argues that the great tragedy of today's migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers must be at the center of the mission of the church.

The event is free, but registration is required.
Learn more and get registered HERE.

Sponsors: Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Catholic Theological Union, McCormick Theological Seminary, and A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at LSTC.
Pi Day w/ Luther's Table
Sunday, March 14

Run or walk the 3.14 mile course on the Cedar River Trail or use any 3.14 mile course of your choice.

All local participants will receive a personal pie at the end of the event.

National Lutheran Choir Virtual Hymn Festival: Hope Lives!
Sunday, March 14 - premiering at 2pm

Join singers of the National Lutheran Choir and guest artists, the Keith Hampton Singers & Friends, in a virtual hymn festival.

Sing well-known hymns that highlight the joy of an ever-growing hope, and new hymns that speak to our time, inviting all people to sing in joy together “…as all the world in wonder echoes shalom”.

Learn more and watch the concert here:
Living into a Fresh Vision for God’s Church
Third Thursday monthly webinars (11am Pacific) featuring well known scholars and church leaders that focus on key areas:

March 18 – Hybrid Community: Virtual & In-Person
April 15 – The Future is Now: Creative Expressions of Church

Go to to learn more and get registered.
Pastors and congregational lay leaders can sign up for only a $25 donation to register for the entire series. All conference proceeds are donated to the ELCA Fund for Leaders.
Listening Circle Toward Inclusion & Diversity in the NW WA Synod
Sunday March 21, 6:30pm-8pm on Zoom

We become more fully a community when we hear one another’s stories. This Listening Circle Toward Inclusion and Diversity will offer us an opportunity to listen and respond to the stories of people color about their experiences in our Lutheran Christian community. As we listen and speak, we trust that God is gathering us more fully into God’s story of healing, reconciliation, and mutual respect. 

This event, led in partnership with Paths to Understanding, is open to all in the synod - and is free of charge. Please register for the Zoom event here.
Elizabeth Gregory Home Virtual Gala: Building Hope Together
Sunday March 21 at 6pm

In this special virtual 45-minute program, women who have experienced homelessness will share their journeys to healing, hope, and home. We are also excited that our program will feature former Governor Christine Gregoire, who will share her perspective on homelessness in our community and how Elizabeth Gregory Home plays a key role in addressing it. 
You can simply register for the event (no cost) and learn more through their website here.

Your participation will ensure that vulnerable women will have access to lifesaving services.

We look forward to sharing this experience with you and we thank you for your support! 
Bishop's Spring Convocation
Living into Authentic Diversity: Sharing Our Stories
Monday-Wednesday, April 26-28, Online
Monday, 1-4pm | Tuesday, 9:30am-3:30pm | Wednesday: 9am-12noon

Rostered ministers, mission developers, and interns of the synod are invited to gather online over these days to explore diversity in the Church from the perspective of listening deeply to the uniqueness of our diverse journeys of faith. How do our familial/cultural/ denominational/personal identities and histories shape our experience of being Church Together? Following an introductory session with the Strategic Team For Authentic Diversity (STAD), we will be joined by keynote speaker the Rev. Lenny Duncan. We will also invite four local church leaders to share their diverse stories. We will have time to reflect together on both the gifts and the challenges these stories bring to us. 

Look for registration link in the Rostered Minister email from last week - or in tomorrow's email...
Synod Assembly - Saturday May 15, 9am-4pm ONLINE

Registration for Voting Members is now open. A "get registered" email invite was sent to the emails of all Rostered Ministers and Congregations last week. Please review that email and get your crew registered by March 31.

Nominations for various positions are now being accepted. Read about the roles and how to nominate yourself or another synod member HERE.
Submit nominations by March 31.

Resolutions you wish to have considered by the assembly are now being accepted. Learn how to write and submit a resolution HERE. Submit resolutions by March 31.
Want an item included?
Email Susan Berg, Communications Administrator
All items due by 2pm on the prior Thursday

Northwest Washington Synod / ELCA
5519 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103