Synod Assembly

Synod Assembly2019-02-07T16:03:38+00:00

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.

2019 Synod Assembly

Lord of Life Lutheran, Ramsey
May 3 (2:00 pm – 8:30 pm) & May 4 (8:30 am – 3:00 pm)

Kids come to school hungry. People are yearning for grace; longing for beloved community; and seeking lives of purpose. Our planet’s health depends on today’s courageous actions.

What the world needs takes more than one congregation—and more than one denomination. Together, we reshape the narrative of isolation and polarization; we become the body of Christ serving in every corner of the synod.

We gather this May to celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit—creating all kinds of partnerships that make a difference. We’ll share in remarkable stories (UMC Bishop Bruce Ough and AME Presiding Elder Stacy Smith will join us to celebrate the Ecumenical Water Initiative). We’ll hear about the challenges that require us to work together in bold action and witness.

What the world needs will take all of us.


Mikka McCracken lives in Chicago and serves with ELCA World Hunger as Director for Planning and Engagement. A South Korean adoptee, she grew up in northern Minnesota and is a life-long Lutheran. Mikka graduated in political science and peace studies from Gustavus Adolphus College and completed her certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Continuing Studies. She believes it is possible to end poverty and hunger and that the church has an important role to play so that all are fed.

In her ten years at the ELCA churchwide offices, Mikka has also worked with the ELCA Justice for Women program and ELCA Washington Office on gender justice advocacy and ELCA Global Mission on “glocal” learning events. From 2010-2017, she served on the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) international council as one of five members from the North American region and currently serves on the Vorstand (board) of the ELCA Wittenberg Center in Germany.

Mikka enjoys the great outdoors and good vegetarian food.

Bishop Bruce Ough is the resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church, where he has served since September 1, 2012. Prior to his assignment to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, he served for 12 years as the resident bishop of the West Ohio Area.

Bruce was ordained deacon in 1975 and elder in 1979 in the former North Dakota Conference and served as Council Director and Camp Program Director in the Dakotas, as Director of Oakwood Spiritual Life Center in Indiana, and as senior pastor, district superintendent and Director of the Council of Ministries in the Iowa conference. A 1973 graduate of North Dakota State University, Bishop Ough earned a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1978. In addition, he has done graduate work at Northwestern University and completed the Upper Room’s two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation program, for which he also served on the Leadership Team.

Bishop Ough served as President of the Council of Bishops from 2016 to 2018 after chairing the United Methodist Connectional Table for the 2012 to 2016 quadrennium. He was elected as a delegate to numerous General and North Central Jurisdiction Conferences and has served as a member of several jurisdictional and general church agencies. He was appointed bishop of the Southeast Asia Mission (Vietnam, Laos and Thailand) from 2010 – 2015, served as the president of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops and chaired the Council of Bishops’ Plan Team on Missional Focus. He is a past president of the Ohio Council of Churches and immediate past president of the Council of Bishops.

Bruce is married to Charlene Ough; they are the parents of three sons and seven grandchildren.

Larry L. Rasmussen is Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York City. He served as a member of the Science, Ethics, and Religion Advisory Committee of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) and was a recipient of a Henry Luce Fellowship in Theology, 1998-99, the Burnice Fjellman Award for Distinguished Christian Ministries in Higher Education, the Joseph Sittler Award for Outstanding Leadership in Theological Education, and the UNITAS (Distinguished Alumnus) Award from Union Theological Seminary, New York.  From 1990-2000 he served as co-moderator of the World Council of Churches unit, Justice, Peace, Creation. He was the organizer of the decade project on Earth-Honoring Faith at Ghost Ranch, 2008 – 2017. In the Spring Semester 2018 he was guest professor at Union Theological Seminary and Yale University Divinity School. In the summer session of 2019 he will teach at Cambridge University, England.

He and Nyla live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Registration details

  • Cost is $145 for voting members, but…
  • Register by March 15 and only pay $130 per person!
  • Youth voting members and retired rostered ministers pay $75 each