The work that God has called the 4 million members of the ELCA to in the world goes on 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the guidance, insights and decision-making of ministers of Word and Sacrament and ministers of Word and Service. representing a diverse church and world. Between meetings of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the Church Council provides this guidance and leadership for the churchwide organization and the ELCA.
The Church Council serves as the board of directors for the church. Its members include the churchwide officers, bishops representing a cross-section of synods and up to 45 other people elected by the Churchwide Assembly. They meet together at least twice a year and communicate by other means when necessary.
To enable and support the work of the ELCA in a way that is consistent with its vision, decision-making processes and constitution, the Church Council’s ongoing work includes:
- Reviewing procedures and programs of churchwide units and offices to assure that churchwide purposes, policies and objectives are being fulfilled.
- Acting on proposals, resolutions and policies, subject to review by the Churchwide Assembly.
- Shaping relationships between the churchwide organization and independent, cooperative and related Lutheran organizations.
- Submitting budget proposals to the Churchwide Assembly.
- Arranging the processes for all elections as specified in the ELCA’s constitution.
- Establishing committees and nominating or electing members as necessary to carry out functions assigned to the Church Council.
- Reporting its actions to the Churchwide Assembly.
The Church Council with its day-to-day responsibilities is a vital aspect of how we strive to do God’s work in the world with thoughtfulness, integrity, respect and partnerships that share a common vision.