Making New and Active Connections
The communities and people our synod serves are among the most diverse areas in the country. Our effort to renew our congregations, to establish new connections, in the midst of such diversity must be equal in strategy. The opportunities to live out our faith, to be God’s hands and feet in our communities are significant. We aim to connect 3,000 new people—a 10% growth across our synod—to engage in the ministry in our existing congregations. To achieve this, the synod will:
DEVELOP LAY & ROSTERED LEADERSHIP
As members of our community adapt to a new era in communication, we understand that connecting with those individuals requires church leaders to develop new skills. We will work with lay and rostered leaders to strengthen storytelling and stewardship awareness, highlighting God’s work through our congregations and extending opportunities to join in that work.
REVITALIZE EXISTING CONGREGATIONS
Where needed, the Synod will provide funding grants to further leadership and skill development of both rostered and lay leaders in an effort to revitalize congregations which have declined, or may encounter merging with other congregations. Intentional focus will re-engage disconnected members of existing congregations, to elevate the talents and skills of our church bodies.
ENGAGE ONE ANOTHER
Our Synod is uniquely positioned in a center of diversity—of age, ethnicity, economic circumstance and ideology. When we come together, we better understand the needs of our community and are better equipped to meet those needs. To encourage mutual understanding and collaboration in our communities, the Synod will work with congregations to create space to connect people of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
ESTABLISH NEW MINISTRIES
Some of the newest congregations in the Synod are attracting worshippers, while some of our longer-existing congregations experience decline. Population trends in the Washington D.C. metro indicate the growing number of younger and more diverse residents are seeking different worship opportunities. In response, we aim to launch at least three new congregations which can help to teach existing congregations new ways to connect with our communities.
TITHE TO THE ELCA - EXTEND OUR MISSIONAL REACH
Because we are a community of believers, we recognize a need to join in the work of our brothers and sisters across the country. To further God’s work beyond our synod, 10% of our fundraising goal will be directed to the ELCA for new congregations.