Although the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod is the smallest geographically among the 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), it is not the smallest numerically. We are a vibrant part of the ELCA, which is the fifth largest Protestant denomination in the United States with 4,633,887 baptized members.*
Congregations/Worshiping Communities: 80
Baptized Membership: 34,291; 9.8% persons of color or whose primary language is other than English
Average Sunday Attendance: 138
Territory: The synod is a geographic region comprised of the nation’s capitol and of the counties and municipalities surrounding Washington, D.C. Included are the District of Columbia; the Virginia counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William, including the cities of Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church; and the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert and Saint Marys. In addition, an ELCA congregation in Bermuda is included in the synod.
Conferences: Congregations convene six conferences which support and connect one another in local ministry. Congregation clusters are the District of Columbia Conference, Fairfax Conference, Maryland Conference, Montgomery Conference, Potomac Conference and Virginia Conference.
Oldest congregation: Lutherans have been in the area for a long time. Our oldest congregations are approaching 250 years of faithful service: New Jerusalem Lutheran Church in Lovettsville, Virginia (founded in 1765) and Georgetown Lutheran Church (founded in 1769).
Youngest congregation: Because Metro D.C. continues to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country, we note that 25 of our congregations are less than 25 years old. In addition to several new worshipping communities, Good Samaritan Lutheran Church in Lexington Park, Maryland, was founded 1998, and Oromo Evangelical Church of Washington DC is even newer. When received in 2010, the Oromo Evangelical Church of Washington DC became the youngest ELCA congregation to be established in the synod.
Languages: On any given Sunday, worshippers in Metro D.C. Synod congregations are communicating the love of God in many languages in addition to English. According to 2006 congregational reports, languages used will be: Amharic (Ethiopian), Finnish, French, Korean, Norwegian, Neur (Sudanese), Oromo (Ethiopian), Sign, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Thai.
*based on 2008 Congregation Report Forms and ELCA Research and Evaluation