Who we are
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is one church body organized in three expressions – congregations, synods and the churchwide organization.
- 3.7 million members
- 9,300 congregations
- 65 synods
Each expression has its own particular function, but all three share a common mission of doing God’s work in the world and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
The churchwide organization acts on behalf of this church’s members, congregations and synods to unite our ministry on a scale and scope we could never do alone.
Together, we are implementing a large-scale response to human need and suffering. We are responding to social issues and working for justice and peace. We are nurturing relationships with ecumenical and interfaith partners. And we are providing resources to equip members to worship, learn, serve and witness in their daily ministry.
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shares four emphases:
- We are church
- We are Lutheran
- We are church together
- We are church for the sake of the world
Together, we are doing God’s work in the world. While one congregation is opening its doors to neighbors experiencing homelessness, another is serving meals at a soup kitchen, or caring for God’s creation by cleaning up local parks and roadways. When you serve, you serve and minister on behalf of all of us. Each one of us has a unique story, and we are part of a larger story that makes up the ELCA.
- On September 8, 2015, more than 4,000 congregations took part in God’s Work. Our Hands., a dedicated day of service across the ELCA.
- We planted 62 new congregations in 2015.
- In 2015, we launched congregational renewal efforts in 134 congregations.
- Bishop Eaton introduced two webcasts as a new way to learn and stay connected with one another. Because of the success of these webcasts, more will be broadcast in the coming months and well into the future.
- We supported 228 students at seven ELCA seminaries through the ELCA Fund for Leaders.
- We support the work of 8 ELCA seminaries and 26 colleges and universities.
- We recruit, prepare and implement a system for the assignment of more than 9,000 rostered ministers.
HUNGER AND POVERTY
- We supported creative solutions to hunger and poverty in nearly 60 countries around the world, including 347 programs in the United States through ELCA World Hunger.
- Committed to work to help end deaths from malaria in 14 countries in Africa through the ELCA Malaria Campaign.
- In 2015, gifts given to ELCA World Hunger totaled $21,944,702—more than in any single year. These are gifts that will provide immediate food and shelter, as well as support toward lasting systemic change.
- Together, we’ve raised $15 million for the ELCA Malaria Campaign to help end deaths from malaria in 14 African countries. In doing this we:
- Educated 2 million community members
- Distributed 50,000 insecticide-treated bed nets
- Tested 160,000 people for malaria, and if positive, provided treatment
- Trained 10,000 local volunteers in prevention and treatment
- Empowered 12,000 households to be economically stable
- Provided 32,000 pregnant women prevention medication
- We support The Lutheran World Federation’s global communion of churches with more than 80 companion churches in other countries.
- We sent 73 young adults into global service and added one new country program in Cambodia through the Young Adults in Global Mission program, and continued support of at least 220 missionaries in more than 40 countries around the world in 2015.
- In 2015, we awarded 6 college scholarships to promising young women from our global companion churches.