ECLA Churchwide Assembly

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, is a process of communal spiritual discernment. Finding ourselves in Christ, the fourteenth Churchwide Assembly will be a time for us to be the living body of Christ guided by the Spirit and conformed to God’s will.

We will meet at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 8-13, 2016 to discuss and make decisions about how to go about God’s work as a church.

This year the assembly will observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation under the theme “Freed and Renewed in Christ” and the accompanying tagline “500 years of God’s Grace in Action.” The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is an opportunity to rejoice in the life-giving, liberating power of the gospel. As part of the observance, we are inviting non-voting members to attend the Grace Gathering, August 10-13, 2016. More information about this event is available at

When the ELCA Churchwide Assembly convenes, its voting members meet with confidence in God’s grace around word and water, wine and bread, to carry on their work on behalf the entire church. Over the course of the assembly, voting members:

  • Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;
  • Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
  • Elect officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
  • Establish ELCA churchwide policy;
  • Worship together;
  • Adopt a budget; and
  • Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.

Let me also highlight one of the important responsibilities of the assembly – the election of the Vice President as well as persons to the Church Council and to churchwide boards and committees. Voting members received information regarding nomination and election processes earlier this year. Please think about gifted people willing to serve this church.

As we prepare ourselves for the 2016 Churchwide Assembly, let’s remember that it is a process of communal spiritual discernment to bring about God’s will for God’s people. Together, we will worship, pray, engage in Bible study, deliberate and conduct business in plenary sessions.

When members of the assembly participate in and make decisions about the mission and ministry of the ELCA: We are church. We are Lutheran. We are church together. We are church for the sake of the world.

God’s blessings,

Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop

Follow Churchwide Assembly Online

Fifty percent of the delegation of clergy, lay people, young adults and youth representing our Synod at the Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans next month will be persons of color. The Assembly meets August 8-13 under the theme "Freed and Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God's Grace in Action." You can follow the Assembly with live video streams at

Learn more at