Camp Noah at Camp Lutherwood Oregon, held from August 8-12, was a great success! We welcomed 17 middle school campers who all enjoyed their week at camp. Using an adapted version of the Camp Noah curriculum, campers and staff had deep conversations about the impact that last September’s fires had on each camper and their family. This group of campers were impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire and the Riverside Fire in Estacada, Oregon. In addition to favorite camp activities like archery and swimming in the pool, Camp Noah campers gathered twice each day to reflect on the daily themes which included story-telling, recognizing strength in being a survivor, gratefulness for their community and dreaming about the future. The combination of Camp Lutherwood’s philosophy of play, community, time in nature and caring, well-trained young adult counselors and the proven effectiveness of Camp Noah’s curriculum make for a powerful experience for middle school students. Camp Lutherwood Oregon and Camp Noah continue to work together to expand this program and make it available to middle school students in fire-impacted communities in the future. For more information on the national Camp Noah program, visit their website.


Synod Day of LearningSeptember 25 on Zoom, 9:15 am to 3:45 pm. Conversations and workshops will follow the theme of the year here in the Oregon Synod: Faithful in the Fray. This fall we will be looking at faithfulness as it applies to faith and racism, and we are delighted to share that local leader and author Pr. Lenny Duncan has agreed to be our keynoter. Workshops will be both morning and afternoon, and will include themes such as anti-racist reading of the Bible, facing the climate crisis with honesty and hope, hidden stories from the margins and our own lives, crafting new liturgies as sacred collective action, how to have tough conversations in congregations, and honoring our grief around the history of racism in our state and world. Register here.


News from the Oregon Synod Reparations Team. Take action and get involved in this important, ever-evolving work stems from the action at the 2020 Assembly. They are currently moving into groups where ‘energy’ has emerged for exploring what reparations might mean. There are at least two ways you and members of your congregation/community can join in our synod’s important and ongoing reparation work:

  • Join one of the Synod Reparation sub-teams. Learn more here.
  • Put together a team of 4 or more from your congregation/community and join the next Reckoning with Racism Cohort through Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO). Learn more on EMO’s website.


NEW SALM and Lay Education Program.  A flexible, on-line curriculum offers people across the Oregon Synod an opportunity to learn from one another and grow together in small group settings. Faith leaders are supported in the development of spiritual practices that feed their souls, tools for meaningful engagement with their own and other’s faith traditions, the capacity to live out their faith with integrity and authenticity, and skills for adaptive leadership in a complex time. Synod authorized lay ministers (SALMs) are cultivated and supported to serve remote or otherwise unique contexts. And a “wild web of relationship” across the Oregon Synod continues to grow.

The lay education portion of the program is an experiment within the Oregon Synod, designed to facilitate lifelong learning for lay leaders serving in a variety of roles and congregations. We gather over Zoom; explore and learn together; and prioritize participation and relationship-building. Guest instructors from across the synod join us most weeks.

This fall, we’ll be gathering on Zoom to explore the Hebrew Scriptures in a new way.  In January, we’re anticipating an eight-week course on spirituality, practices, and symbols of the Christian faith. Look here for more information about the evolving SALM and Lay Education Program. Your participation and donations help make this possible. Thank you!


Check out From Ashes to New Life, profiling the devastation of last year’s Holiday Farm Fire, and the work of Lutheran Disaster Response and the Oregon Synod Wildfire Relief fund. The article features the story of Pr. Christine Core and her husband John, who lost their home in the fire.  This article was included in the ELCA’s Summer 2021 Boundless newsletter which profiles stories of Christ’s abounding love and grace.

Please consider adding Wildfire Recognition Sunday to your liturgical calendar this year. September 7 marks the one year anniversary of the beginning of the worst of last year’s fire season. If you do so, please let us know and share what you’ve created! 

Resource book for the Wildfire Recognition Service, which includes prayers, poems, scripture and songs to be used by churches and other groups to remember, lament and pray for Earth and its inhabitants shattered by the wildfires of 2020; as well as all those already impacted this year.

Special thanks to Pr. Christine Core for the creation of the wildfire remembrance worship resource booklet.  It’s been lifted up by the governor and shared ecumenically across the entire state. 


Oregon Synod Hunger Awareness Sunday, October 17 or 24. The Oregon Synod Huger Team will be providing resources for churches to conduct a worship service, including a recorded sermon from Bishop Laurie and information for a special ELCA World Hunger/Lutheran Disaster Response offering. Pastors, please note for planning purposes, that Bishop’s Convocation occurs between these Sundays.


The Oregon Synod Congregation Disaster Preparedness Network is expanding across Region 1
(Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, parts of Wyoming and Montana). Does your congregation have a plan to help your members, neighbors & church be ready for disaster? Are you familiar with Lutheran Disaster Relief’s Congregation Disaster Guidebook? Want to get ideas, learn more about how specific disasters might impact you, find out what other congregations are doing, and how this ministry can connect you to your community and other congregations? Bring a team or just yourself to find out more at an orientation on September 16, 6-7:30 pm. Register here. Here is a flyer with more information to share with your congregations. You can also email or call Rev. Dave Brauer-Rieke at 971-255-9331.


Schedule for 2021-2022 quarterly Zoom meetings

What are these quarterly meetings for? These gatherings are an opportunity to share information on timely topics, build relationship, explore questions and share collective wisdom. Please share with your admins, treasurers, musicians, and presidents/vice presidents!

Administrators and Secretaries – Hosted by Jemae McCanna, synod administrator
Thursday, November 4, 2021 1-2pm
Friday, January 28, 2021 2-3pm

Presidents –  Hosted by Greg Shea, synod vice president
Saturday, November 6, 2021 10 am-12 pm
Saturday, February 19, 2022 10 am-12 pm(*corrected*)
Saturday,  June 4, 2022 10 am-12 pm

Musicians – Hosted by Garry Estep, organist at Zion, The Dalles
Tuesday, September 14, 2021 5 pm
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 5 pm
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 5 pm
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 5 pm

Treasurers– Hosted by Mark Dickman, synod treasurer
Saturday, November 6th, 2021 11 am-12pm
Saturday, February 5th. 2022   11 am-12pm

Email Christie Bernklau Halvor to be added to the lists and receive Zoom links.




God’s work. Our hands. On Sunday, Sept. 12, ELCA congregations will come together for “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, a dedicated day of service. As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors—even if these acts of service take place from our homes, outdoors or from a safe distance because of ongoing pandemic concerns. As you explore opportunities to participate, visit for planning resources including a tool kit, videos, posters, social media graphics and a special hymn for the day. Plan your day of service.


In response to this truth and the desire to raise up courageous, resilient, and faithful leaders, the Rocky Mountain Synod has created a leadership initiative called Excellence in Leadership. It is a two-year investment, with classes meeting 1-2 times per month, that will provide tools and resources to last a lifetime.

Two cohorts are starting this month: one on Thursday evenings and one on Friday mornings. Find out more and register here.


Updated Guidance for Safe Worship Practices: “Care-filled Worship and Sacramental Life in a Lingering Pandemic” is a comprehensive update from the consultation on Ecumenical Protocols for Worship, Fellowship, and Sacramental Practices. Incorporating the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, this update informs decision making and basic practices of Christian worship and congregational life. The ELCA has been a partner in this consultation throughout the pandemic


Your God Is Too Small, CASIRAS/LSTC webinar with Guy J. Consolmagno SJ, director of Vatican Observatory. 

When: Friday, October 1 • 5 pm (CDT)
Who should attend? This event is open to all
Event cost: Free
RSVP required? Yes. Register here.
Location: Zoom link provided with RSVP. This event will also be livestreamed on LSTC’s Facebook page.
Click here to learn more.
Questions? Email David Glover, administrative assistant, CASIRAS

Three innovators in mission topic of 2021 Scherer Lecture 
When: Tuesday, September 28 • 4 pm (CDT)
Who should attend? This event is open to all
Event cost: Free
RSVP required? Yes. Register here.
Location: Zoom link provided with RSVP

Questions? Email Dr. Peter Vethanayagamony, professor modern church history.


Save The Date for the Bold Gathering: You Give What None of Us Can! Saturday, October 16. Rev. Dr. Sean L. Forde will share about the give and take in servant leadership. Leaders give and serve, but they also receive great gifts from those they lead and serve. LMM’s Young Men’s Ministry Team was a special time with servant leaders who served and blessed the Lord in ways we did not imagine. Click here for more information.





The Oregon Synod staff are committed to practicing physical distancing protocols per CDC and Governor Brown’s guidelines. Although we do not currently have in-person office hours, we are here to support you and can be reached at the contacts below. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate through this together.


Oregon Synod
2800 N. Vancouver Ave., Suite #101
Portland, OR 97227

(503) 413-4191

Bishop Laurie Larson Caesar-
Bishop’s Associate Juan Carlos La Puente-
Bishop’s Associate Pr. Melissa Reed-
Synod Office (Jemae McCanna)- 
Disaster Preparedness Team (Jan Wierima)-