Congregational Life

The Congregational Life Committee supports and equips congregations to carry out their ministries.  Currently, most work is carried out by subcommittees in four areas: Worship, Youth Ministry, Safe Church, and Stewardship.

Chairperson: Mike Parmele
Staff Liaison: Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop

Our Mission/Purpose is to: Support and equip congregations to carry out their ministries. Currently, most work is carried out by subcommittees in four areas: Worship, Youth Ministry, Safe Church, and Stewardship.

Our Current Goals are: To plan and implement the Congregational Resourcing Events (CRE) in March of every year, maintain the Synod’s Web Site, help support the Synod’s Stewardship efforts through the “Synod Stewards”, and to offer grants to be used as seed money to inspire. We hope by these efforts we can empower the people of the Northern Illinois Synod to develop creative ways of reaching our mission of providing support, encouragement and resources to the ministry that occurs within the congregations of the Synod.

Our Future Goals are: To continue to focus on improving communications by maintaining the synod website; offering grants to be used as “seed money” for resources in congregations; locating designated “Synod Communicators” in all of our congregations to help disseminate information on CREs, educational workshops, etc.; as well as continuing to search for strong speakers and topics for the CREs every year; and finding new and innovative ways to offer resources to congregations.

A Brief History: Congregational Life is one of the four standing committees, formed in the Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA, and is mandated through the Synod’s Constitution.

Grant Application

Members will be Expected to: Attend three to four committee meetings per year; serve as a committee liaison with one of the subcommittees; speak from their own experience, expertise, and commitment to congregational life; and share their ideas and skills.

Time Requirements of this Ministry are: Three to four committee meetings per year, and three to four sub-committee meetings per year which will vary in number and time.

Our Commitments to Members are: Prayer, support from the Chairperson and the Assistant to the Bishop, and orientation at the fall meeting.

Members Should Know: Congregational Life in our Synod, as it is expressed through ministry at the synod level, is understood as a calling to be present in the lives of our local congregations as they proclaim the Gospel where they are. The Congregational Life Committee is one of four standing committees of our Synod and oversees the work of four subcommittees:

  • The Youth subcommittee‘s purpose is is to facilitate faith-formation of young people through:
    The building up of relationships, resourcing of leaders, and organization of youth ministry events that congregations can’t do on their own. The subcommittee also promotes involvement in regional and ELCA events.
  • The Stewardship subcommittee is developing a strategy for stewardship education and resourcing for congregations. Their “Synod Steward” program trains lay persons to work with congregations in the area of stewardship. The Stewardship subcommittee also plans workshops for pastors and lay leaders.
  • The Worship subcommittee plans and conducts worship for all Synod events, such as Synod Assembly, ordination services, and the Professional Leaders Conference. The subcommittee is also seeking ways to resource local congregations, perhaps through conference and synodical events.
  • The Safe Church subcommittee offers free training for all who work with children in the congregations of the Northern Illinois Synod.