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


Staff and Deans Focus on Transition

Bishop Marie Jerge and Bishop-Elect John Macholz gathered with the Synod Staff and Conference Deans for some time apart at Notre Dame Retreat Center, Skaneateles. Jennifer Cornish Genovese helped us to reflect together on healthy transitions. David Preisinger led us in a time of Biblical reflection and sharing our faith journeys. We began the orientation of the new Deans. We reviewed the new Resource Book that has been six months in the making, to assist the Deans and Staff in their work with congregations and clarifying their roles in times of pastoral transition and call process. We worshipped together, shared in the Eucharist, played together (you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen the physical prowess of this group playing Frisbee and bocce!), and went out for ice cream. Perhaps the most touching moments came when Bishop Jerge invited the Deans and Staff to offer Bishop-Elect Macholz words from Holy Scripture as a foundation for this new calling and then together we prayed for him. Bishop Lee Miller had invited the Executive Committee to offer the same gift to Bishop Jerge twelve years ago. This time apart is funded by Health and Wellness fund and assists us in functioning more fully as a team.

New Mobility Database Up and Running

When rostered leaders and congregations log in to review their new forms they will see two options. They will see a link to open a PDF version that is for reviewing, printing, and saving. And they will also see another link that is for editing and re-submitting when they are ready to be in a call process. We want you to be clear about the difference between these two options and to be able to help clarify this with rostered leaders and congregations. Please read the descriptions below and share this information with congregations and rostered leaders in your synod. We have included this same information on the page where Rostered Leaders will access these new forms. And let Kathy Neugent ( know if need more clarification.

If reviewing your RLP: When a rostered leader logs into ELCA Community to review their RLP, we recommend clicking on the first link that says “Review/Print My Rostered Leader Profile (PDF)”. This will open a pdf version of their latest RLP, which will allow review, but will not change the status of their paperwork (ie, inactive, active, archive) The PDF is “read only”.

If editing your RLP: click on the second link that says “My Rostered Leader Profile (RLP.)” The paperwork may be edited and then saved by clicking on the “Save” buttons. This will then reset the RLP status. For example, if it was Active, the rostered leader will have to go through all of the pages and click the Save and Complete to re-submit. It will then need to be re-activated by the synod CPA/office to be seen by other synods.

Rostered Leaders are Invited to Join Us for the Annual Ministerium Retreat

Preaching Jesus Today is the theme of the 2016 Annual Synod Ministerium Retreat. We are delighted to welcome The Rev. Dr. David Lose, President of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, as the keynote speaker. In addition to Dr. Lose’s four plenary sessions there will be workshops on Preaching Through Privilege, Transformational Ministry, Forgiveness, and Natural Systems.

Join us September 12-14 at the Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua as the Rev. Dr. David Lose explores what it means to preach the person of Jesus today.  How do we tell the story, name the name and speak his message of grace in a new era and generation.


View the 2016 Ministerium Brochure Here

Bishop Installation Update

On Saturday, September 6, 2014, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Rochester, NY will host the Installation of The Rev. John Stanley Macholz to the office of Bishop of the Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The installation service for Bishop-Elect Macholz, who was elected June 3 to a six-year term as bishop during an assembly hosted at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, will begin at 2 p.m. We will have more information as it becomes available. DIRECTIONS

Welcome to the New Upstate New York Synod Council

After reconfiguring the Synod Council, in order to make it more flexible and streamlined, the following persons were elected by the Synod Assembly to serve:

Rev. John Macholz, Bishop-Elect
Mr. Thomas Madden, Vice-President
Ms. Patrice Sampson-Bouchard, Secretary
Mr. Fred Risser, Treasurer
Rev. Aileen Robbins (Genesee Finger Lakes)
Ms. Alyssa Strassburg (At Large Youth)
Rev. Becca Ehrlich (Southwestern)
Mr. Christopher George (Niagara Frontier)
Rev. Frank Hanrahan (Dean’s Representative)
Rev. Imani Dodley (Genesee Finger Lakes)
Rev. John Saraka (Central Crossroads)
Rev. Norma Malfatti (Southern Tier)
Ms. Samantha Rossi (Hudson Mohawk)
Rev. Sara Litzner (Foothills)
Ms. Sharon Hamilton (Southwestern)
Ms. Susan Fayle (Niagara Frontier)

The new Synod Council has already been hard at work at an orientation retreat, along with the Conference Deans and Synod Staff. Please hold them in prayer as they begin their work.

Congratulations to all who were elected. Thanks be to God for those who are willing to serve the church in these ways. It is a delight to have such a strong leadership base as the Upstate New York Synod moves into the future.