So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. (Romans 12:5)

The Minneapolis Area Synod gathers annually to conduct business in the Synod Assembly, which is the synod’s highest legislative authority. More than 600 participants attend the Synod Assembly each year, including representatives from each congregation and all active rostered leaders. The gathering is filled with worship, inspiration, presentations, and necessary business.

Real Presence: In our neighborhoods, with our neighbors

May 5-6, 2017, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey

In Holy Communion, bread and wine become body and blood – the common becomes the uncommon.

In Holy Communion, a simple gathering becomes the body of Christ – sent to be Christ’s living presence with their neighbors.

In the neighborhood, God is already ahead of us. When we go into our surrounding communities, we find Jesus already present there – in, with, and under the lives of those we encounter.

We find Real Presence, we live Real Presence in our neighborhoods and with our neighbors.

Early-bird registration extended to March 31!

Registration fees

$120 per registrant prior to March 31, 2017
$135 per registrant after March 31, 2017
$50 one-day visitor
$90 two-day visitor
$60 youth and retired rostered ministers

Fees include Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, and refreshments throughout the assembly.

Register now


Rev. Dr. David Lose,
Keynote Speaker

Rev. Ruben Duran,
ELCA Churchwide Representative

Rev. Barbara Lundblad,
Bible Study Leader

Presenter biographies

David J. Lose became the president of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia on Sept. 1, 2014. Before that, he held the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, where he also served as the Director of the Center for Biblical Preaching and Academic Dean. He earned his MDiv (1993) and STM (1997) at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He received a four-year presidential scholarship to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was awarded a PhD in homiletics (2000).

David is the author of Preaching at the Crossroads: How the World — and Our Preaching — Is Changing (2013), Making Sense of the Cross (2011), Making Sense of the Christian Faith (2010), Making Sense of Scripture (2009), and Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World (2003). In addition, he offers reflections on his blog “…in the Meantime” and on the radio program “Day1.”

Prior to his faculty appointment at Luther Seminary, Lose held pastorates at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Summit, New Jersey (1993-96); Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Audubon, New Jersey (1997-98); and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Princeton Junction, New Jersey (1998-2000). He speaks widely in the United States and abroad on preaching, Christian faith in a postmodern world, and biblical interpretation.

David will be installed as senior pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, on June 4, 2017.

The Rev. Ruben Duran serves as Director for New Congregational Development in the Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is responsible for promoting the development of area strategies, local initiatives, and emerging models for the multiplication of new communities of faith in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Ruben is a native of Lima, Peru, South America. He was introduced to the Lutheran Church through the work of missionaries. He received a BA in Business Administration from the Escuela Nacional de Turismo, and worked as a Travel Agent prior to coming to the Lutheran Bible Institute of Seattle. Ruben is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California.

He served parishes in the Seattle and Los Angeles areas prior to becoming Associate to the Bishop and Mission Director for the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA. He has also served as Associate Director for Latino Outreach in the former Division for Congregational Ministries and Executive for Congregational Outreach Services in the former Division for Outreach.

Barbara Lundblad received a B.A. in English from Augustana College (1966), the M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (1979), and the D.D. from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. An ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she served 16 years as a parish pastor in New York City, as well as campus pastor at Lehman College and New York University. She has taught preaching at Yale Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, and in the D.Min. program of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools.

In 2007, she served as president of the Academy of Homiletics. Her teaching interests include preaching in partnership with the congregation, preaching and social transformation, new forms of preaching, and preaching as an integral part of worship.

Barbara is the author of two books Transforming the Stone: Preaching through Resistance to Change and Marking Time: Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense. This latter book is based on the Beecher Lectures which she gave at Yale Divinity School. In addition she has published articles in journals such as Currents in Theology and Mission, Word and World, Journal of Preaching, and The Living Pulpit.

For more than 20 years, she has been one of the preachers on the radio program “Day 1” (formerly “The Protestant Hour”). She has preached in hundreds of congregations across the United States and has given lectures at many seminaries in this country and Canada, as well as a Lutheran World Federation conference in Buenos Aires. She is currently a member at Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.


Bruce A. Henry,

Bruce and his band, The Bruce Henry Band, will provide music for worship, and will perform a musical selection titled, “My American Blues.”

Bruce A. Henry

Bruce A. Henry is a vocalist, performer and educator extraordinaire. Henry’s eclectic vocal style has been influenced by legends such as John Coltrane, Leon Thomas, Gil Scott Heron, Al Jarreau, Nina Simone and Marvin Gaye.

Bruce possesses a three-octave range, a pure voice with versatility few can match. Bruce’s music has taken him to five continents and he has recorded for Disney, HBO and numerous national ad campaigns. In addition he has performed with and opened for the likes of Doc Severinson, Roberta Flack, Chris Botti, Ramsey Lewis, Stephane Grapelli, Jimmy Jam and The Sounds of Blackness.

Bruce is the Music Leader at Messiah Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Pre-assembly Workshop

Friday, May 5, 2017  9:00 am – 11:30 am

“Blessed by Jesus in our Neighbors”

Guest speaker, Rev. Ruben Duran, Director for New Starts, ELCA

Often, when congregations begin to imagine engaging their neighborhood, they start by focusing on problems and meeting needs. But what might happen if we focus energy instead on uncovering gifts and assets? You become blessed by Jesus through your neighbors! Rev. Ruben Duran will give inspiration for meeting our neighbors and discovering the “nerve centers” of your community.

We’ll hear stories from folks nearby and afterward, we’ll roll up our sleeves and design some experiments to bring back home.

The pre-assembly workshop will be held at Advent Lutheran Church in Anoka. The workshop will end by 11:30 am so you will have time to buy/eat lunch before you need to arrive at the Synod Assembly.

Registration available when you register for the Synod Assembly.

Helpful documents for 2017 Synod Assembly

Information about submitting resolutions for the Synod Assembly

(need to be submitted by February 27, 2017)

Frequently Asked Questions

Aligning with our goal to be a paperless assembly, we will not provide paper packets for each individual this year. Instead, all documents will be uploaded to the website and to Guidebook for use during the gathering. Guidebook is an app that you can download and use during the Synod Assembly. Instructions to download the app will be coming soon. If you would like a paper copy of something, please ask your congregation if they can print it off before you attend. We will also provide recycling and composting in multiple locations around Lord of Life.

Here are some other tips for “being green” at the assembly.

This year, the synod office is implementing a new registration system that is quite different from the old system. The step-by-step instructions will help make sure registration is completed correctly and hopefully answer any questions you may have. You will still be able to register multiple people (more easily with this new system) and pay online or mail a check. If you run into problems or questions while registering, contact Jeni Huff, 612-230-3300 or
Each congregation is invited to bring one youth voting member in addition to their allotted number of voting members (as described in the voting member formula).  The fee for a youth voting member is $60.

If a congregation would like to bring more than one youth, they have two options:
1. They can bring him/her/them as a replacement for one of their allotted voting member and pay $120.
2. They can bring him/her/them as a visitor and pay $50 for one day or $90 for both days. When choosing this option, the youth would not be able to vote, but would be included in all other areas of the assembly.

Contact Jeni Huff if you have more questions.

A dinner buffet is served on Friday evening; snacks are provided during breaks.  A lunch buffet is provided for Saturday lunch. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know when you register so we can accommodate them.

Check back often!
More details will be added regularly and registration will open in January 2017.

2016 Synod Assembly Archives