Each of this church's expressions - congregations, synods, and the churchwide organization—has a constitution.
The churchwide assembly meets every three years. Amendments to any synod constitution are approved by the synod assembly. Amendments to any congregation constitution are approved by the congregation at its regular meeting. These meetings are governed by parliamentary procedure. Basic information on parliamentary procedure can be found here.
It is recommended that ELCA congregations and synods review the adopted amendments for their constitutions as soon as possible after each churchwide assembly to incorporate the required changes and to consider the recommended changes.
Congregation Constitutions and Resources
- Northern Illinois Synod Congregation Constitution Guide -- a document created from the CRE event in 2022
- Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – the elca.org website has the constitution in several different formats.
- Guidelines for Language for Congregation Officers
- Guideline for Endowments
- Example Endowment Fund Language
- Guide for Use of the Model Constitution for Congregations is a helpful reference for congregations reviewing their constitutions. Congregations are encouraged to work with their synod's Constitution Committee from the outset of their work; this may ensure a greater likelihood that the synod will approve the proposed changes (*C17.03., new *C16.03.).
The 2021 constitution was adopted by substitution as amended at the 2021 Northern Illinois Synod Assembly.
Please feel free to contact Assistant to the Bishop, the Rev. Julie Monnard at 309-794-4004 with any questions you may have regarding the constitution.
Constitution Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) – Click the “Governance and Policy” tab.