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About Us

Together, we are the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

The word "Synod" comes from Greek, meaning "walking together". The New Jersey Synod is congregations and individuals walking together in faith to cultivate Christ-centered, generous, resilient, missional communities for the sake of the world. We are guided by six Core Values- Faithfulness, Respect, Diversity, Generosity, Change, and Interdependence. 

The New Jersey Synod is a geographical grouping of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations that share the mission and ministry of the Church on the New Jersey territory. It is one of 65 synods in the ELCA. 

The NJ Synod is comprised of 148 congregations, which include almost 44,000 baptized members.



Who Leads the Synod?

A Bishop, The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew, provides pastoral and administrative leadership.

The Synod Assembly, whose voting members include lay representatives from NJ congregations, clergy, associates in ministry, and deaconesses, is the Synod's highest legislative authority. Meeting annually, the Assembly elects the Synod Council, Bishop, and other officers, and voting members to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. In addition, it is a time of gathering, discussion, reflection, and discernment for the ways that we are the church in New Jersey.

The Synod Council appoints Mission Teams and recommends program goals and budgets, and carries out the resolutions of the Synod Assembly. It issues letters of call to ordained ministers and to associates in ministry, deaconesses, and diaconal ministers.


How is the Synod Funded?

The Synod relies primarily on annual mission support gifts from congregations. 


What is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)?

The ELCA was formed in 1987 by the merger of three Lutheran Church bodies -- the ALC (American Lutheran Church), the LCA (Lutheran Church in America), and the AELC (Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches). To learn more, go to the ELCA's website.

Where Can I Find Information About the Lutheran Faith? 
You are welcome to worship at a local congregation and speak to the Pastor about classes and where to find more information. You can also check out the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) website for information about Lutheranism.

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