FOR CHURCHES2023-06-01T08:16:12-07:00

Resources for Churches

Annual Meetings

The purpose of the annual meeting is for church members to make decisions that affect their common life together and to conduct the official business for the year. It is also a time to celebrate the congregation’s life. One way to do this is to separate the meeting into three segments:

  1. Stating our purpose together as a congregation
  2. Celebrating the life we have had together in the past year
  3. Looking ahead to how God is leading us into the future.

Annual Meeting Checklist

  • Annual reports to congregation
  • Mission support pledge to Oregon Synod
  • Parochial reports to ELCA
  • Elect Oregon Synod Assembly voting representatives
  • Updating your constitution (every three years)

Annual Reports

Congregations may request written reports from committees, president, treasurer, and financial secretary.

ELCA Churchwide provides an annual report cover that includes:

  • The cover
  • A Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
  • Litany & Hymn
  • Reflections

Mission Support Plan
As your congregation prepares a budget for 2023, please share with us your Mission Support Intent amount for the Oregon Synod.

Forms A&C (Parochial Reports)
Forms A and C are annual forms that are to be filled out by each congregation. This information is submitted to the ELCA to help provide crucial data that assist in assessing the success of existing programs and in preparation of new resources. This data is also shared on your congregation’s full trend report on the ELCA’s website. (To view a congregation’s trend report on the ELCA website go to Find a Congregation and type in the zip code, click on the congregation name.)

Update Your Constitution (every three years)

Every three years, the ELCA gathers representatives from its synods for Churchwide Assembly.  One of the things that happens at Churchwide, is the updating of the ELCA model constitution. The last Churchwide Assembly was in August of 2022.

Why it’s important to keep your constitution updated
  • All ELCA congregations must comply with the ELCA model constitution AND they must add the updates made at Churchwide.
  • Keeping the constitution up to date is a matter of good faith and good governance.
    • If, for example, a congregation were sued, an out-of-date constitution might be seen as a sign of general neglect.
    • For congregations in transition, an outdated constitution can indicate a lack of vitality or congregation functionality to potential new ministers
  • As 501c3 non-profits, it is important for congregations to operate in accordance with Oregon law to retain tax-exemption status.

Has it been a while since your congregation updated their constitution? Need some help getting started? You can email Synod Vice President Greg Shea for assistance.

Elect your voting members for Synod Assembly

2024 Assembly will be online after Type of Assembly Meetings was passed at our 2022 assembly.

How many voting members do you elect?

The synod constitution provides for most Oregon Synod churches to send two “regular” voting members. If your baptized membership is over 500, you are entitled to additional members (the guide to voting members with specific numbers per congregation will be coming soon). We need a mix of people (men, women, and non-binary/gender expansive), so please elect people of two different genders. Each congregation gets a minimum of two voting members (again, different gendered), and according to the synod constitution each congregation can also send up to two additional voting members in each of these categories:

1) Adult members who are persons of color or whose primary language is other than English.
2) Youth members (not yet 18 years old) and Young Adult (18-30 years old).
3) Individuals that self-identify as LGBTQIA+

Who should you elect as voting members?

The most important qualification is that electees engage in and care about the life our church!  They should also be comfortable enough with email and computers to be able to join a Zoom meeting. Ideally, they might also be familiar with the horizon, values, and steppingstones of the synod.

Why send voting members to Synod Assembly?

The Oregon Synod is YOUR organization and the voting members at assembly comprise the highest decision-making body of the synod, made up of voting members from all the 110 churches in our synod that choose to attend. Voting members in attendance can help set the direction of the synod, comment and vote on resolutions and memorials that are brought forth, discuss the budget that will fund all the ministry of the synod in the coming year, and vote on new leaders for Synod Council and other roles and committees critical to the life of our organization.

The ELCA Constitution for Congregations states that the powers of the congregation are vested in the congregational meeting called and conducted as provided in this constitution and bylaws. (C5.02.) Congregations hold annual meetings at a time specified in their bylaws.

Other Resources for Churches