Areas of Responsibility

The committee on Outreach is responsible for leadership and support of the Church as it reaches out to witness in this synod through evangelism, support of urban, small and rural ministries, Mission Partners program, resource "healing teams" (parish peacemakers), development of new ministries and new congregations, and mission strategy development.

Report to the 2016 Synod Assembly

The mission of the Outreach Committee is to nurture renewal in existing congregations and to encourage new mission starts. We serve as the “mission table” for our synod and offer various tools for our congregations and their pastors as they seek to strengthen or revitalize their mission:

Congregation Mission Discernment and Planning: We are using a variety of resources, including but not limited to the revised “Manual for Congregational Mission Planning, Discerning God’s Mission For Our Congregation.” Teams are available to assist congregations with a time of spiritual discernment, Bible study, prayer and intentional conversation. This is a time to develop or re-visit their plan for mission. The goal often is renewal of the congregation and re-connecting with the community in which the congregation is located. Congregations can use the resource independently or invite the committee to facilitate the planning process.

Opening Doors Grants: The Outreach Committee continues to have limited funds available to congregations to provide “seed money” for new ministries that reach out to the community. Please visit our page on the synod website for more information and a grant application.

Encouraging New Mission: As the tools for renewing congregations have been put into place, the Committee on Outreach has established a subcommittee serving as a New Ministry Team to encourage and support new mission opportunities within our synod.

The committee also continues to work with and support established congregations that are receiving mission partner support from the ELCA.

Outreach Committee members are available to work with congregational leaders in your setting. Each of the congregations of our synod has aspects that make them unique. Therefore, the committee recommends that each congregation have a discussion with our Director for Evangelical Mission, Pastor Blair Morgan, regarding the mission challenges you face and the ways this committee may be of assistance to you. We continue to discern how to best reach congregations with the resources we offer.

I am grateful for the many gifts and shared commitment to evangelical mission of the members of our committee. Many thanks also go to Pastor Blair Morgan, our Director for Evangelical Mission, for his assistance, guidance and support.


Committee members

Chairperson: Pastor Robert F. Zimmerman
Secretary: Pastor Melba T. Dibble
Synod Council Representative: Susan Devine
Clergy:  Pastor Joseph Murdy; Pastor Karen Thompson
Laypersons: Keith Otto
Staff: The Rev. Blair W. Morgan, Director of Evangelical Mission