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. Jon V. Anderson, serving his third, six-year term as Bishop. 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 Ms. Gwen Arneson, serving her fifth, four-year term.
Other council members are:
Rev. Jon Anderson, Bishop
Ms Gwen Arneson, Vice-President
Mr Chuck Engebretson, Treasurer
Mr. Dale Holmes, At-Large, Exec. Comm
Rev. Julius Miller , At-Large, Exec. Comm
Rev Ann Zastrow, Secretary
Rev Justin Ask, Willmar
Ms Patricia Branstad, St James
Rev Michael Carlson, Sauk Centre
Rev Steven Carmany, Granite Falls
Rev Stephen Cook, Synod Minister
Mr David DeLong, Sacred Heart
Ms Mia Eisenbacher, Lake Lillian
Mr Jewel Ekern, Lake Lillian
Rev Joyce Graue, Raymond
Rev Susan Grinde, Jasper
Ms Carla Hamre, Sacred Heart
Rev Andrew Hermodson-Olsen, St James
Mr Dale Holmes, Fulda
Rev Kristine Isder, Milan
Ms Joan Iverson, Lamberton
Ms Maria Lokensgard, St Peter
Rev Donald McKee, Montevideo
Rev Eric Natwick, Tracy
Ms Christina Nelson, Willmar
Rev Michael Nelson, Donnelly
Ms Joely Palmer, Willmar
Rev Kathryn Skoglund, Synod Minister
Rev Larry Strenge, Director for Evangelical Mission
Mr Mark Swanson, Becker
Rev David Tonn, Ortonville
Mr Ferman Woodberry, Jackson
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 Gary Andersen
Rev Levi Bollerud
Rev Shannon Wachter
Rev Mark Astrup
Rev Donald McKee
Rev Todd Nelsen
Rev Troy Pflibsen
Rev Scott Richards
Rev Krista Strum
Rev Dan Belgum-Blad
Lac Qui Parle