About Metro D.C. Synod

Our synod consists of:

  • District of Columbia
  • Upper Montgomery County and south to the Quantico Marine Barracks
  • The western shore of the Chesapeake Bay out to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains
  • Bermuda

There are about 35,000 worshipping members within 75 congregations. We worship every week in English, Spanish, Amharic, Oromo and Tamil.

Synod Mission Statement & Priorities

The above mission statement was adopted by the Synod Council in November 2019. 

As we pursue this mission, we will: 

  1. Equip and develop healthy leaders
  2. Empower and nurture vibrant ministries
  3. Encourage and model faithful accompaniment

We also strive to:
Pray and Play.

Do less. Be More.

Meet the Synod Staff

Click below to learn more about our staff, send them an email or view their biographies.

2019-2020 Year in Review

As we look back on the past year as church together, Bishop Ortiz and the synod staff reflect on all that God has done through us and how the synod is thriving.

Frequently Ask Questions

The English word “synod” combines two Greek words that literally mean “a way together.” In and through synods, congregations and other ministries “walk together.” Synods are an expression of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), just as are congregations and the churchwide organization. They coordinate the work of congregations within their territories and plan for the ELCA’s mission in their area. There is great variety in size, geography, membership, staffing and ministries among the ELCA’s 65 synods. 

Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic church at that time. His hope was that the church would reform its practice and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God as contained in the Bible. “Lutheran” became the name of the group that agreed with Luther‚Äôs convictions.

Lutherans still hold to the basic principles of Luther’s theological teachings, such as Grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone. These comprise the very essence of Lutheranism:

  • We are saved by the grace of God alone — not by anything we do;
  • Our salvation is through faith alone — we only need to trust God made known in Christ who promises us forgiveness, life and salvation; and
  • The Bible is the norm for faith and life — the true standard by which teachings and doctrines are to be judged.

The churchwide office offers reflections on many other Lutheran teachings, such as the soul, Jesus, baptism and the Bible.

Lutherans are part of a reforming movement within the whole Christian church; as a part of practicing their faith, the ELCA and its predecessors have engaged in ecumenical dialogue with other church bodies for decades. In fact, the ELCA has entered into cooperative “full communion” agreements (sharing common convictions about theology, mission and worship) with several other Protestant denominations, including:

  • The Episcopal Church
  • The Moravian Church
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Reformed Church in America
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist Church

The ELCA needs men and women who are grounded in faith, educationally prepared and emotionally suited to service as pastors and rostered lay leaders. Leaders on the roster of the ELCA include pastors, associates in ministry, deaconesses and dioaconal ministers.

If you are a student looking toward your future or a person thinking about changing careers, have you stopped to consider God’s direction for your life? Perhaps God is calling you to serve as a pastor or rostered lay leader.

Talk with your pastor about church careers. Also, a short book called “What Shall I Say?” is designed to help people discern God’s call and to better understand the candidacy process, which is the procedure in the ELCA for persons interested in rostered leadership. Order a copy from Augsburg Fortress (English or Spanish), or request a complementary copy from the synod office.

The formal process interested parties enter toward becoming rostered leaders in the ELCA is called candidacy.

Where can I find a congregation? 

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