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2014 Annual Meeting Resources


Constitution and Bylaws of the South Dakota Synod

The Constitution and Bylaws of the South Dakota Synod issued October 2013 is available for download.


Constitution Resources for Congregations

The basic commitments of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) as well as its organizational outline, structural patterns, and rubrics or governance are reflected by this church’s constitutions, bylaws, and continuing resolutions. These documents govern our life together as congregations, synods, and churchwide organization.

We find ourselves consulting these documents again and again to guide, direct, and assist us. They express for us, as a church body, our understanding of the nature of the Church. They contain our statement of purpose and our principles of organization. They define our membership, our relationship, and our operating patterns.

Download the Model Constitution for Congregations here as a Word document.  If you have questions as you are revisiting your congregations’s constitution, please contact Crystal in the synod office at 605-274-4024.

Additional Resources (Word documents):

  1. A Brief Overview of Congregation Constitution Review Process
  2. Constitution Revision Flow Chart
  3. Congregation Constitution Amendment Flowchart
  4. Rostered Ministry Declaration for Congregations

Compensation and Guidelines for Rostered Leaders,
Rostered Lay Leaders, and Lay Staff

2014 Compensation and Guidelines
Effective January 1, 2014

Portico Employer Link

This fall, your congregation needs to decide between Sept. 16 – Oct. 14 which ELCA-Primary health benefit option to offer in 2014. Portico EmployerLink will provide you with information to help your decision-makers understand the options. For information on how to log in, create reports, and make your selection, download this informational PDF from Portico.

If you have any questions or issues, please contact Portico directly at 800.352.2876.


South Dakota Synod Council Minutes

The minutes for the South Dakota Synod Council are made available to the public after the council and bishop’s approval.

2013 Minutes:

2012 Minutes:


Ordained Interim and Supply Pastors

The 2014 April Ordained Interim & Supply Pastors list is available for congregations seeking a supply or interim pastor. Compensation guidelines can be found on the bottom of each page.  Please contact these pastors directly.


Rostered Lay & Others Available for Pulpit Supply

The 2014 April Lay Pulpit Supply list is available for congregations seeking an individual to preach and lead worship on a Sunday morning. Compensation guidelines can be found on the bottom of each page.  Please contact these individuals directly.


Resources for Annual Reviews


“When a Pastor Leaves” Handbook
From the La Crosse Area Synod

Pastoral transitions due to resignations or retirements are a common event in the life of the church. The emotions and stress levels surrounding pastoral transitions are anything but common. This packet is intended to be a helpful introductory piece for pastors and congregations as they begin to navigate the transitional waters.

Click here to download the booklet.


Mutual Ministry Handbook: Guidance for Healthy Congregations
Written by Bishop Robert Driessen of the Upper Susquehanna Synod

The term “mutual ministry” recognizes that the Church’s ministry is the mutual concern of both the laity and the pastor. It encourages us to move away from a primary focus on the ministry of ordained clergy alone and includes all the people of God in the mutual work of ministry.

Download the Mutual Ministry Handbook to learn how to create a Mutual Ministry Committee and see how it can work in your congregation or parish.


Summary Plan Description

ELCA Heath Benefits
ELCA-Primary Coverage

Effective January 1, 2011

For more information on ELCA Health Benefits for ELCA-primary members, a booklet is available for your information of the ELCA Board of Pensions website.


Health Care Tax Credit

Church employers may be eligible for a small business payroll tax credit of up to 25%. The 2010 IRS filing deadline was May 15, 2011. This credit is available through 2013, and for any two years after that and prior to 2016.

For information, forms, and other resources please visit the ELCA Board of Pensions webpage.


Vision and Expectations

Vision and Expectations—Ordained Ministers in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a document that informs candidates for ordained ministry, seminaries, congregations, and candidacy committees regarding the ELCA’s vision for ordained ministry and the high expectations it places on those who serve in this way. Vision and Expectations can be found on the ELCA website.

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