The Annual ELCA Larger Church Conference
The ELCA Senior Pastors of Large Lutheran Churches Conference was established to nourish, educate, sustain, and encourage the pastors of large congregations, thereby helping them to keep abreast of changes required to meet the needs of today’s rapidly changing society.
Invitations are sent to the Lead Pastors of the largest ELCA congregations based on Baptized and/or weekly attendance. Eligible churches have 500 in weekly worship (or churches over 400 showing ongoing growth). These churches represent some 25% of the total ELCA membership.
SUMMARY OF GUIDELINES
- The conference is for Senior/Lead Pastors and spouses (small additional charge for children).
- Invitations will be mailed to the Senior/Lead Pastors of the largest ELCA congregations based on weekly attendance. The minimum number is 500+ weekly attendance.
- Churches with more than 400 weekly worship attendance and are showing growth and can attend as long as growth continues. This provides opportunity for larger churches to mentor growing congregations.
- If the number of baptized members drops below the minimum, the Senior Pastor may attend the conference for 3 years if he/she had previously attended a past conference and remains at the same Church. If he/she leaves, and the number is below 400 weekly worship attendance, the new Lead Pastor is not eligible to attend until the number reaches the minimum stated above.
- The conference will be self-supporting and appreciates the financial support from long term partners in ministry/sponsors. (Click here for how to become a sponsor.)
- There will be no commercial exhibits or ELCA program displays. Pastors may not bring platform issues.
- Date each year will be the first week of May following the first Sunday of May; i.e. the week before Mother’s Day.
- Subjects for the program will be determined by the Executive Committee and will focus on the specific needs of Senior Pastors of larger congregations.
- The Bishop of the ELCA will be invited to regularly attend. Synodical bishops and seminary presidents may be invited too.
- The conference sessions will be held in resort centers rather than Churches for a change of scenery, more relaxation, informal fellowship, and rest.
- A volunteer Executive Committee will arrange the conference. Treasurer and communications coordinator are ongoing posts and continue at the pleasure of the executive committee and conference participants. Click here for job descriptions for the executive team.
- A Lead Pastor who has been attending the conference will be privileged to attend the conference three years following retirement, and will be expected to pay the program fee.
- A Senior Pastor who has been attending the conference and moves to a non-qualifying congregation or seeks other Church-related employment and no longer serves a parish will be privileged to attend the conference three years and will be expected to pay the program fee.
- $100 of the registration fee is non-refundable ($75 if pastor only and no spouse). 7 days prior to the event starting, their will be no refunds on registration.
- Exceptions can be granted by executive committee.