News and Resources from the Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


Synod Assembly Registration Opens April 1

Registration opens this Saturday, April 1, 2017 for the 2017 Synod Assembly and Glocal Event, Building Bridges. The registration fee is $100. Meal costs are in addition to the registration fee and are listed on the registration page. Synod Assembly is open to all who want to attend, not just rostered leaders and congregational voting members. Child care will be offered. Sign up for the Upstate Update and visit to register and to get all the advance information. Registration closes on Friday, May 19 so sign up early. After May 19 we cannot guarantee meals for late registrations.

Questions About Synod Assembly

Who attends Synod Assembly?

+S7.21. of the synod constitution states that “The membership of the Synod Assembly, of which at least 60% of the voting membership shall be composed of laypersons, shall be constituted as follows:

  • All ministers of Word and Sacrament under call on the roster of this synod in attendance at the Synod Assembly shall be voting members.
  • All ministers of Word and Service under call, on the roster of this synod shall be voting members in the Synod Assembly, in addition to the voting membership of lay members of congregations provided in item

“Pastors from a church body with which a relationship of full communion has been declared and established by the ELCA may gain voice and vote privileges in the Synod Assembly by sending a letter to the Bishop requesting such privileges.” SC/R7.27.

Additionally, our synod constitution in continuing resolution SC/R7.21.c. states that “each congregation will be allowed at least two voting members to the Synod Assembly.”

Visitors and Guests are also invited and strongly encouraged to attend the Assembly especially this year with our Glocal Event that will offer more opportunities for visitors to be engaged in learning and wonderful international music. Congregations – please encourage folks from your church to join in the fun!

What happens at Synod Assembly?

  • Plenary sessions where voting members attend to the business of the synod which will include Keynote Speaker, the Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman, the Report from the ELCA, adopting changes to the synod constitution, Global Mission information, Elections, special recognitions, Glocal Musician Educators, voting on the 2018 Synod Mission Plan, hearing from our partners in ministry and much more.
  • Mission Expo – explore the many vendor displays showcasing ministries and missions from around the synod and beyond; listen and experience international musicians entertaining during the Friday afternoon Expo
  • Workshops – Visitors and Guests can attend workshops during the plenary sessions on Friday morning and EVERYONE has time on Friday afternoon to attend two (2) workshops. There are three workshop tracks [Global, Local and Social Justice] and topics include: Short-term Mission, Challenging Your Assumptions, Twinning, Campus Ministry, Cross-Generational Engagement, Immigration, Disaster Preparedness, Creative Accompaniment, All Things Legal for Congregations, and much more.
  • Eucharist Worship, Friday evening at 7:30pm with Bishop John Macholz presiding and music by our Glocal Musician Educators. Other worship opportunities include early morning prayer and prayer and anointing in the Prayer Room with our assembly chaplains.
  • Fellowship – Thursday evening at the Radisson and Friday evening the Women of the ELCA will host us in the Galleria at the Convention Center.


The Radisson Rochester Riverside, 120 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604 is our home away from home during Synod Assembly. Centrally located in downtown Rochester the Radisson is easily accessible to the adjacent Joseph Floreano Riverside Convention Center via a sky bridge. The Radisson offers 460 spacious hotel rooms with gorgeous views of the Genesee River and the downtown area. The comfortable accommodations feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, work desks and premium bedding.

We will have a designated table staffed by volunteers in the hotel registration area during busy check-in times to help answer your questions and facilitate the check-in process. Please look for our Upstate New York Synod sign and stop by to say hello.

Here are some important things to know about reserving your room at the Radisson:

  • Check-In time is 3:00pm. The Check-out time is 11:00am.
  • Guarantee Policy – the Radisson requires that all reservations be guaranteed either by a credit card or by a cash/check deposit for one night’s room and tax. Guarantee/Deposit will not be refunded unless the reservation is canceled more than 24 hours in advance.
  • Parking is at the Radisson Parking Garage and is free for hotel guests.
  • Reservation Information -Individuals are able to make reservations by calling (800) 333-3333 or (585) 546-6400 and referring to the Upstate New York Synod Assembly.
  • Reservations must be made no later than May 17 to guarantee the event rate of $109.
  • Taxes and Tax Exempt to be tax exempt your organization must provide the Radisson with a valid New York State (ST-119) Sales Tax Exemption Certificate. Organizations that are exempt from sales tax including occupancy and food and beverage taxes include: certain religious, charitable or educational organizations which have received exempt organizations certificates from the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. You will also need to pay with an organization check or credit card. You cannot receive tax exempt status if paying with a personal credit card.

World Hunger Campaign: Bridge Over Troubled Water

“Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you?”
Matthew 25:37-38

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER is the theme of the 2017 Synod-Wide World Hunger Campaign. You and your congregation are invited to join in this effort to assist refugee families.

The UN Refugee Agency Global Trends Report finds 65.3 million people were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015 and more than half are under the age of 18. You can help!

Lutherans are known for their stellar work in providing shelter and support to refugees – managing some of the biggest refugee camps in the world. After a long and dangerous journey to safety, food and water are critical to help families recover their strength and prepare for a fresh start.

A gift of $200 feeds a refugee family for one month. The goal for this campaign is to raise $45,000 to provide meals for 225 refugee families.

Synod Assembly is GLOCAL

The GLOCAL event and the Upstate New York Synod Assembly are one and the same June 8, 9, and 10, 2017

The theme of this local/global event is Building Bridges. All are invited and encouraged to attend. You do not have to be a voting member. Child care will be available.

International themed worship and music, social events, the Global Café, a Mission Expo, workshops,speakers, a gift shop, and international food and activities will be featured. Any and all can attend to share ideas and learn about connecting and building relationships in mission. Come and meet others from around the synod who have the same passion as you for putting faith into action.

You can look forward to:

  • Receiving educational materials on accompaniment, global and domestic mission
  • Worshiping and singing with a band of international musicians.
  • Learning international dances
  • Interacting with dynamic keynote presenters on global and domestic mission and culture
  • Participating in skill-building workshops
  • Sharing meals with other Lutherans interested in mission
  • Learning ways to better practice “accompaniment” in your own congregation, the local community and across the globe.

Watch the Upstate Update for more information. All attendees must register for the event. Voting members will need to attend plenaries as representatives of their congregations. Workshops will be offered during plenaries for non-voting attendees, as well as during dedicated workshop times.

Questions may be addressed to: Beth Walker (Bethlehem, Fairport) ~ (315) 945-5539 ~