The Southwestern Minnesota Synod is governed by an annual synod assembly, voting members from each congregation in the SW MN Synod elect a Synod Council and Bishop to provide oversight and leadership between synodical assemblies.
Our bishop is The Rev. Dr. Dee Pederson, elected June 12, 2021 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
The bishop’s staff includes synod ministers, conference ministers and support staff.
Click here to view the synod staff.
The synod constitution is a governing document of our church’s expressions in the ELCA, it reflects the theology and polity of this church.
Click here to read and download the SW MN Synod Constitution. (PDF)
Click here to read and download the ELCA Churchwide Constitution.
Each congregation has its own constitution. Click here to read about congregation constitutions, amendments and ELCA model constitutions.
The Synod Council consists of four officers and 10-24 other members (shall include one person from each conference), and at least one youth. The council is elected by the synod assembly and serves a three-year term.
The vice president of the synod and chair of the Synod Council is Mr. Ferman Woodberry, serving his first, four-year term.
Other council members are:
Rev. Dee Pederson, Bishop
Mr Ferman Woodberry, Vice-President
Mr Chuck Engebretson, Treasurer
Dale Brandsoy, Hutchinson, At-Large, Exec. Comm
Rev Ann Zastrow, Secretary
Ms Marny Behrends, Clara City
Rev Michael Carlson, Sauk Centre
Rev. Heather Culuris, Synod Staff
Ms Janelle Eisenbacher, Atwater
Ms Beryl Haugen, Luverne
Ms Kristy Henriksen, Pipestone
Mr Donn Hoffman, Litchfield
Ms Cherrish Holland, New London
Ms Carla Johnson, Montevideo
Rev Erik Karlson, Hector
Rev Janel Kuester, Cottonwood
Rev Krista Lee, Glenwood
Rev Jeanette McCormick, Worthington
Rev David Nissen, New Ulm
Ms Yvonne Noorlun, Truman
Ms Ilene Penk, Brownton
Rev Troy Pflibsen, Synod Staff
Mr Thomas Philaya, Montevideo
Rev Christopher Richards, Cyrus
Rev Adam Roberts, Windom
Ms Anita Stoker, Morris
Rev Shannon Wachter, Redwood Falls
A Synod Dean is a rostered minister elected from within their conference. The Dean is the administrative officer of the conference and is an extension of the Office of the Bishop. The dean facilitates communication between the congregations in the conference and between the conference and the bishop.
Rev Ann Hokenstad
Rev Janel Kuester
Rev Becca Krogstad
Rev John Gabrielson
Rev Kristine Isder
Rev Steve Meier, Co-Dean
Rev Mark Little
Rev Scott Richards
Rev Andrew Hermodson-Olsen
Rev Steven Carmany
Lac Qui Parle