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 12th 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
Bruce Nolan, Saint Joseph, At-Large, Exec. Comm
Rev Ann Zastrow, Secretary
Marny Behrends, Clara City
Rev. Maggie Berndt-Dreyer, Sartell
Rev. Stephen Cook, Synod Staff
Janelle Eisenbacher, Atwater
Rev. Maggie Falenschek, St. Peter
Kristy Henriksen, Pipestone
Rev. Andrew Hermodson-Olsen, St. James
Cherrish Holland, New London
Joan Iverson, Lamberton
Carla Johnson, Montevideo
Rev. Erik Karlson, Hector
Christopher Kiewel, Sartell
Janel Kuester, Cottonwood
Sofia Lynum, Willmar
Rev. Jeanette McCormick, Worthington
Rev. David Nissen, New Ulm
Thomas Philaya, Montevideo
Rev. Christopher Richards, Cyrus
Rev. Adam Roberts, Windom
Joel Solie, Morgan
John Sterner, Marshall
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 Joyce Capp
Rev Janel Kuester
Rev Becca Krogstad
Rev John Gabrielson
Rev Kristine Isder
Rev Steve Meier, Co-Dean
Rev Seyward Ask, Co-Dean
Rev Mindy Czycalla
Rev Scott Richards
Rev Andrew Hermodson-Olsen
Rev Dan Belgum-Blad
Lac Qui Parle