Staff Liaison: Deacon Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop

Our Mission/Purpose is to

Support and equip congregations to carry out their ministries. Currently, in addition to the work carried out by the group as a whole, there is also work is carried out by subcommittees in four areas: Worship, Youth Ministry, Safe Church and Stewardship.

Our Current Goals are

To plan and implement the Congregational Resourcing Events (CREs) in March of every year, to offer grants to be used as seed money to assist congregations to begin new ministries, to offer workshops in the area of keeping the congregations safe places for children (currently using the “Safeguarding God’s Children” material), as well as support the work of the other subcommittees. We hope by these efforts we can empower the people of the Northern Illinois Synod to develop creative ways of reaching our mission of providing support, encouragement and resources to the ministry that occurs within the congregations of the Synod.

Our Future Goals are

To maintain the current efforts as well as seek out other ways to support our congregations in their ministries

A Brief History

Congregational Life is one of the five standing committees, formed in the Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA, and is mandated through the Synod’s Constitution.

Members will be Expected to

Attend the scheduled committee meetings (usually four per year); be part of the planning and implementation of the Congregational Resourcing Event; serve as a committee liaison with one of the subcommittees; speak from their own experience, expertise, and commitment to congregational life; and share their ideas and skills.

Time Requirements of this Ministry are

Four two-hour committee meetings per year, attendance at the CRE preparation meeting and the event itself (8 – 10 hours) and three to four sub-committee meetings per year which will vary in number and time. Currently all meetings are held via Zoom.

Our Commitments to Members are

Prayer, support from the Chairperson and the Assistant to the Bishop, and orientation at the fall meeting.

Members Should Know

Congregational Life in our Synod, as it is expressed through ministry at the Synod level, is understood as a calling to be present in the lives of our local congregations as they proclaim the Gospel where they are. The Congregational Life Committee is one of five standing committees of our Synod and oversees the work of four subcommittees:

The Stewardship subcommittee develops strategies for stewardship education and resourcing for congregations. The Stewardship subcommittee also plans workshops for pastors and lay leaders.

The Worship subcommittee plans and conducts worship for all Synod events, such as Synod Assembly, ordination services, and the Professional Leaders Conference. The subcommittee is also seeking ways to resource local congregations, perhaps through conference and synodical events.

The Safe Church subcommittee provides training for those who work with children and youth in our congregations. We also encourage congregation leaders to take the training, in order to ensure that their congregation is a safe place for children and youth.

The Youth Subcommittee/Light Youth Leadership Team is currently working to put together a new model of Youth Ministry in the Synod, lead by the youth themselves, supported by congregational Youth Leaders