Global Mission

Upstate New York Synod

Victoria Falls.JPG

Global Ministry Team

(Formerly the Global Mission Committee)
Chairperson: Beth Walker or (315) 945-5539

The Upstate NY Global Ministry Team meets three times a year in winter, spring and fall and helps facilitate and tell the story of Upstate NY Synod congregational engagement with ministries around the globe. The focus of all relationships is accompaniment or walking together. The Global Ministry Team also works with the UNYS bishop to promote Companion Synod covenants and relationships with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa), including personnel exchanges and visits.

The GM team strives to represent the entire Upstate NY Synod in its membership.  New members are welcome and desired. World Hunger and Global Ministry teams meet together at least once a year to exchange ideas and coordinate goals.

Congregational members can become a Global Ministry contact person for their congregation. Please contact the chairperson listed above!


Mission Statement  

Proactively make the abstract of accompaniment in Global Ministry concrete for the congregations of the Upstate New York Synod.

Enabled by

a. Maintaining contact with ELCA Global Mission personnel to learn of current opportunities for engagement,

b. Identifying, facilitating and developing resources around the ideas of Global Ministry for congregations and individuals,

c. Facilitating communication and networking between individuals from across the synod who have common interests in Global Ministry,

d. Identifying and communicating opportunities for Global Ministry engagement to congregations throughout the year but especially at the synod assembly, and

e. Inviting and challenging individuals in congregations to become leaders in Global Ministry.


Recent accomplishments include:

  • Hosting various bishops and other personnel from our companion synods,
  • Identifying a malaria chairperson in the Upstate NY Synod and sending activity and information packets to every congregation,
  • Visiting ministeriums to speak on our companion synod program and answer questions,
  • Compiling and distributing Global Church Sunday material and ideas,
  • enabling representation from the ELCZ and ELCZa at Bishop Macholz’s installation,
  • Hosting Pastor Gracious Moyo as a visiting pastor from Zimbabwe,
  • Facilitating a month-long exchange in Zimbabwe of an UNYS pastor and his son,
  • Pursuing inclusion of a GLOCAL event at the 2017 synod assembly, and
  • Working with Bishop Macholz to identify a Companion Synod Sunday, maintain communication with our global partners, and update companion synod covenants.

Companion Synods

The Upstate NY Synod is in a Companion Synod relationship with two other Lutheran bodies: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia (ELCZa). These relationships are designated and supported by the ELCA Global Mission office. Both relationships revolve around the idea of accompaniment, not financial support.

Upstate New York Synod Companion Synods logo


  • A member of Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA)
  • Companion Synod covenant
  • Communication between synod bishops and communication between the Global Ministry team and ELCZ head office and pastors
  • Lay and clergy personnel exchanges
  • Congregation to parish twinning exhibited through texts, letters, pictures, prayers and other celebrations.

Visit the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe Website »


  • A member of Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa (LUCSA)
  • Companion Synod covenant
  • Former missionary Pastor Arden Strasser
  • Synod to synod communication
  • No current  twinning opportunities
  • Some mutually agreed upon projects: Hope for the Heart Outreach Center & Nursery School (Luther Memorial, N. Syracuse), pig and rice farming (Immanuel Lutheran, Webster), and Pastors’ Digital Library and Kindles (Bethlehem Lutheran, Fairport).

Pentecost Sunday has been designated by Bishop Macholz as Companion Synod Sunday in the Upstate NY Synod. For more information about our companion synods or twinning, please contact Beth Walker or (315) 945-5539.

Upstate New York Synod Companion Synods map