Annual Meeting, Annual Checklist, and Other Resources
On this page you will find resources to help you plan for annual congregation meetings. Please see side menu for more specific materials.
The purpose of the annual meeting is for church members to make decisions that affect their common life together and to conduct the official business for the year. The agenda is therefore structured like a business meeting. It is also a time to celebrate the congregation’s life. One way to do this is to separate the meeting into three segments: “Stating our purpose together as a congregation”; “Celebrating the life we have had together in the past year”; and “Looking ahead to how God is leading us into the future."
The ELCA Constitution for Congregations states that the powers of the congregation are vested in the congregational meeting called and conducted as provided in this constitution and bylaws. (C5.02.) Congregations hold annual meetings at a time specified in their bylaws.
Congregations may request written reports from committees, president, treasurer, and financial secretary. These reports should reflect on the past year. The presiding bishop and the synod bishop will also provide annual reports to congregations/organizations. The presiding bishop’s report comes in the spring for synod assemblies.
2021 Annual Report Covers
The Annual Report Cover includes:
- The cover
- A Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
- Litany & Hymn
Rostered Leader Reports
Rostered leaders may write a report to share at their annual meeting. They also fill out an online form that gets submitted directly to the synod bishop. This is a report that reflects upon the past year and looks ahead to the next year. Click here to go to the Rostered Leaders’ Report to the Bishop web page for forms and more information.
All of these documents are links; please click the titles below to view.
- The Effective Congregation Council Video Presentation. (2022)
- Guide for Board Members, MN Attorney General, Keith Ellison
- Considerations for Electronic Meetings (PDF)
- MN Statutes for Remote Communications for Member Meetings
- Chart of Motions (PDF)
- Who Can Be a Voting Member? (PDF)
- 2022 Compensation and Benefits Guidelines (PDF)
- Creating a Narrative Spending Plan
- "Congregational Annual Meetings will be Different this year" Video (2020-2021)
To see last year’s guidelines, click here.
At the beginning of every year, the synod office asks each congregation to share the following information:
Mission Support Intents
As your congregation prepares a budget for 2022, please share with us your Mission Support Intent amount for the Southwestern Minnesota Synod. Click here to register your Intent.
Congregation Leadership Data
After your annual meeting, update your congregation leadership data. The synod office uses this information for the call process, giving statements, and getting helpful resources to the correct staff members or congregation officers. Click here to update now.
Forms A&C (Parochial Reports)
Forms A and C are annual forms that are to be filled out by each congregation. This information is submitted to the ELCA to help provide crucial data that assist in assessing the success of existing programs and in preparation of new resources. This data is also shared on your congregation’s full trend report on the ELCA’s website. (To view a congregation’s trend report on the ELCA website, click Find a Congregation and type in the zip code, click on the congregation name.)
To fill out these forms you must have your congregation ID number and password. Passwords change from year to year. Congregation passwords can be found on the mailed form A (top right) or please call the synod office at 507-637-3904.
You can file electronically or by mail.
– Click here to access Forms A & C
– Click here for general instructions (PDF)
– Click here for the Financial Stewardship Worksheet
If you do not already subscribe to the SW MN Synod weekly e-newsletter, please sign up by clicking here. Add all your new congregation council members to keep them up to date with synod news, events, resources, and special messages from the bishop.
We respect your privacy. Subscribers will not have their email addresses shared or redistributed in any way.
Other Helpful Resources
Understanding our ministry together is important. Together we achieve things on a scale and scope that we could never do otherwise. Share these resources with your council and congregation/organization.
All of these titles are links; please click the titles below to view.
- Where does your offering go video
- Stories of Faith in Action
- Stories of Faith in Action Devotional
- Four ways to use Stories of Faith in Action
The publication Stories of Faith in Action and the resources that go along with it are designed to share how important your weekly offering in your congregation is in sustaining and growing God’s mission. The portion of your offerings that support the ELCA’s synodical and churchwide ministries is called Mission Support. The publication and resources found here help explain and answer questions about Mission Support and tell the story of those gifts in action.
You can also check out more stories of faith in action at https://www.livinglutheran.org/sofia/.