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“God is at work. And you, beloved children of God’s new creation, you are part of that work, messy and surprising as it may be. You were baptized into this new world, and your work changes the world." – Bishop Stacie Fidlar

The promises of our baptism were lived out through the 2024 Synod Assembly, held June 14-15, at Augustana College in Rock Island. This year, nearly 400 voting members and visitors gathered under the theme, “Open God’s Story.” Through worship, reports, resolutions, and conversations, the assembly lived out being the body of Christ as a Gospel-centered community.

Voting members spent time on both Friday and Saturday conducting the business of the assembly, including passing the 2025 Rostered Minister Guidelines and the budget for the fiscal year 2026 (February 1, 2025 – January 31, 2026). Three resolutions were presented to the assembly, and all passed: R-1: Celebrating and Supporting the 50th Anniversary of ELCA World Hunger, R-2: Northern Illinois Synod to Consider Becoming Reconciling in Christ, and R-3: Reject Christian Nationalism.

One of the great joys of the 2024 Northern Illinois Synod Assembly was blessing a new synod banner that was part of the Synod Parament Project led by the Rev. Julie Monnard, Assistant to the Bishop. This beautiful banner is made up of fabric donated by over half of our congregations and pieced together by ten congregations. This banner is a true piece of collaborative art. Due to congregations’ generosity, there is enough fabric left over that will be used to create other paraments as well.

We were excited to have the Rev. Miguel Gomez-Acosta present with us to serve as our keynote speaker as well as be our churchwide representative. During Rev. Gomez-Acosta’s keynote, he challenged the assembly to see what we can learn from the woman at the well in terms of evangelism. He invited each of us to ponder where are the potential wells in our communities, and who are the Samaritan women in our communities. We are grateful for the questions and the invitation to be prepared to welcome others into our worshipping communities. 

On Friday evening, those gathered celebrated with those rostered ministers who hit certain milestones, including celebrating with the Rev. C Franklin Samuelson who celebrated 65 years of ordained ministry. Alongside celebrating with rostered ministers, the assembly recognized St. John Lutheran Church in Princeton as they celebrated 175 years of ministry. The evening was a true celebration of the work that is being done in and through the Northern Illinois Synod.

The assembly gathered for worship on both days. On Friday, we heard Bishop Fidlar open God’s story by reminding us of the power of the parables. “God uses these parables that don’t always make sense to break through to us – beloved and broken people who don’t always make sense ourselves – but to break through to our hearts, to trust that the living love of God shows up and that Christ still has some surprises in store for us, for you, today.” On Saturday morning, the Rev. Jennifer Ohman-Rodriguez and Ms. Janice Forrest guided the assembly through a service of lament and healing, giving us space to breath and center ourselves.

This year, our offering was split between Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center and ELCA World Hunger, both ministries are celebrating their 50th anniversary. We give thanks for the photos of local food drives that support food pantries across the synod that served as our in-kind offering. If you are interested in giving to this year’s offering, please visit and select “2024 Synod Assembly Offering” from the drop-down.

To view recordings of the plenaries and worship services, along with reports from committees, officers, agencies, and institutions please visit  

To view a summary of actions taken at the 2024 Synod Assembly, please click here or visit