Synod Staff News

It is with mixed emotions that we share that our Synod Administrator, Traci Hall, will be concluding her time on synod staff on June 10.

We will greatly miss her many talents and her joyful presence. However, we are very excited for her next adventure as she has accepted a deployed ELCA Churchwide position that will allow her to move to sunny Nevada and be closer to family.

Please hold Traci in your prayers as she wraps up her work with us and prepares to become the ELCA Congregational Vitality Training and Development Coordinator for Christian Community and Leadership!

Please hold your synod staff in prayer as we prepare to seek out and welcome a new ad-ministry partner. (More details on this coming soon…)
May is Mental Health Awareness Month

In this video, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton reminds us that caring for our mental health is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of courage, faithfulness, and hope.

We pray for those who are struggling.
We give thanks for those who walk alongside and provide care, support, and love.
Asian American and Pacific Islander
Heritage Month
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed in the US during May. We are grateful for the rich gifts of culture, language, and heritage of these siblings. We give thanks for the many AAPI members in our synod.

We celebrate these ethnic specific ministries: Bethel Chinese Lutheran Church, Grace Chinese Lutheran Church (Seattle), Grace Chinese Lutheran Church of South King County (Renton), Grace Chinese and Love Me Ministry (Sammamish), Ministry to International Students and Scholars (UW, Seattle), Seattle Community Covenant Fellowship.
Continue to open our ears and eyes in the ways to welcome, honor, partner, and advocate for these beloved neighbors. Be sure to check out this anti-racism resource, Hidden Gems: Educational Tools for Combating Anti-Asian Racism  
Learn more about the ELCA's Asian and Pacific Islander Ministries.
Indigenous Americans: 
In Search Of Truth And Reconciliation

Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Everett held this four-week course earlier this spring - led by Rev. Dr. Rick Rouse with guests Marlene Whiterabbit Helgemo of the Ho Chunk Nation and Former Montana Synod Bishop Jessica Crist, Co-Chairs of the ELCA Task Force for the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, as well as members of the Upper Skagit Tribe.
THANK YOU to them for sharing the recording of each session below.
For more information, contact Rick at

Session 1: "Confronting our Violent Past: From the Doctrine of Discovery to the Trail of Tears"

Session 2: "Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Native Tribes in the Pacific Northwest

Session 3: "In the White Man's Image: The Tragedy of the Indian School and its Traumatic Legacy"

Session 4: "Repentance and Redemption: Lutherans Offering Healing and Hope"
Synod Events this week:

Mon, May 23, 6pm - Assembly Orientation ONLINE
Tues, May 24, 10am - Synod Staff Meeting - Synod Office
Wed, May 25, 6pm - Synod Budget Hearing ONLINE
Thurs, May 25, 10am-3pm - Candidacy Committee Meeting - TLC, Everett
PRE-Synod Assembly
ONLINE Events:

All Voting Members & Observers are strongly encouraged to attend these online events to help you be well-prepared for our June 4 Assembly! Please pre-register for them!

TONIGHT, Monday, May 23, 6pm - Orientation

Wednesday, May 25, 6pm - Budget Hearing

You will find the Zoom registration links on our assembly webpage:
ELCA Coaching Network - Weekly Sessions
Wednesdays at 11am (Pacific)
ELCA Coaching will continue with the theme of COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP. We have invited various ministries to host these gatherings each week. There will usually be time for small groups in breakout rooms so that leaders across the church can continue to learn from each other and leave each gathering with at least one action step.

On Wednesday, May 25, we welcome The Rev. John P. Martinson. His presentation will provide a high level introduction to systems theory and then focus on key concepts of the theory that have particular value for faith leaders. Discussion will include the nature of emotional systems, their roots in the study of family systems, the significance of our own family of origin in shaping how we function in emotional systems, and several key concepts around the importance of staying in touch. Participants will be invited to reflect on these key concepts and how they have impacted their own leadership during the following small group discussion with other faith leaders.

Join Zoom Meetings here:
Meeting ID: 180 439 412 / Passcode: 648160
Recordings from prior gatherings can be found here:
ELCA Civics and Faith Listening Event
What is important to you when you think about government?
What about how the church and the state relate to each other?

Tues, May 24, 5pm-6:15pm
Wed, May 25, 5pm-6:15pm (Note for our assembly voting members, this session conflicts with our online budget hearing)
A task force is at work on a new social statement about civics and faith, and it wants to hear from you. This social statement was requested by the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. A key piece of this process is hearing from ELCA members about their priorities and perspectives. Social statements establish the basis for the ELCA’s public voice and policy decisions. They also serve as a teaching tool to help people discern and discuss their views on an issue.
This month YOU can connect directly with the task force to let them know what’s important to you! Join members of the ELCA social statement task force for an ELCA-wide virtual listening event. The event will introduce what social statements are and how they’re developed. Then, participants will have a chance to share with task force members directly in breakout groups.

The main questions will be:
What themes, ideas or topics do you think the task force needs to talk about or consider for the social statement?
What is important for the task force to consider in creating an effective social statement?
There are two opportunities to participate:
Register HERE:
Dementia 101 for Congregations
Thursday, May 26 at 9am (Pacific)

Certified Dementia Practitioner Debbie Selsavage will start us off with a brief overview and discussion of characteristics of dementia. Then, she'll share tips and techniques she’s used to train churches on how to support members and families dealing with dementia and how to become Dementia Friendly.
Can I Really Give More Than I Have?
Presented by the ELCA Foundation

Friday, May 27 at 10am (Pacific) on Zoom

Have you ever wished you could do more for your family and the ministries that matter the most to you? What if you could? If you owned 20% more in assets, what would you do with it? With careful planning, you may be able to give away more than you have. Join us for this webinar to learn more about the charitable giving options available that can help you support both your loved ones and the ministries you care for so deeply. Presenters: The Rev. John Eggen, CFRE, Director of Gift Planning, ELCA Foundation and Kim Kernodle, J.D., Director of Gift Administration, ELCA Foundation.
Register for the Zoom here:
Upcoming Installation Services:
Pastor John Schraan Installation
Sunday, June 5, 2pm at Our Saviour's Lutheran in Arlington
We give thanks to God as Pr. Schraan is installed as the new pastor at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church! God bless this new ministry partnership!

Pastor Jim Killough Installation
Sunday, June 12 at 10am at Central Lutheran Church in Everett
We give thanks to God as Pr. Killough is installed as the new pastor at Central Lutheran Church! God bless this new ministry partnership!

Pastor Pr. Rhonda Bostrom Installation
Sunday, June 19 at 2pm at Holy Trinity Lutheran on Mercer Island
We give thanks to God as Pr. Bostrom is installed as the new pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church! God bless this new ministry partnership!
Pacific Northwest Association of Church Libraries

June 24-25 in Federal Way

This organization was founded in 1967, and represents church librarians from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho who strive to support their congregations by providing literature and theological texts, both current and foundational for utilization by all members, young and old. 

Keeping current and relevant is our constant aim; reimagining as needed, plus advocating for further establishment of libraries in churches without them. Their annual conference helps to do this!
Upcoming Ordinations!

We are delighted to celebrate these individuals who will be ordained into word and sacrament ministry! Thanks be to God!

Pam Karas Ordination
Saturday, June 18, 10am
at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Everett
Pam has been called to serve as pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Everett. God bless this new ministry partnership! Pam will be installed at Faith on Sunday, June 19 at 10:30am.

Paul Benz Ordination
Saturday, June 18, 2pm
at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Seattle
Paul (son of Pr. Paul Benz - formerly of Faith Action Network!) has been called to serve as the Street Minister of Operation Nightwatch. God bless this new ministry partnership!

Sara Funkhouser Ordination & Installation
Saturday, June 25, 3pm
at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Seattle
Sara has been called to serve as pastor at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Seattle. God bless this new ministry partnership!
Seattle Pride Parade
The Synod is registered to march - and we are looking forward to participating with YOU on Sunday, June 26!

The parade officially begins at 11am. Our actual walking start time is dependent upon where we are in the parade order. It generally takes two-three hours to complete the 1.75-mile parade route once we start moving.
Would your congregation like to march with other Lutherans from our synod?
Email ASAP (NO LATER THAN MAY 25) with this info:
1) an RSVP that you would like to bring a group AND
2) name of a point person for your congregation/ministry site
(This point person will be the contact for your delegation of walkers = promoting the event at your church, inspiring signage & fun attire, sharing information from the synod planning team, verifying vaccinations of your group, and getting your best total count of group participants to the planning team by May 25.)
Want an item included?
Email Susan Berg, Communications Administrator
All items due by 2pm on the prior Thursday

Northwest Washington Synod / ELCA
5519 Phinney Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103