Our Committees

The Synod of Lakes & Prairies has many committees that work to serve our presbyteries. Those committees include:

Committee on Strategic Service and Witness (SSW)

Purpose: SSW will lead the Synod in partnering with our presbyteries to be the hands and feet of Presbyterian Church (USA) mission strategy (Strategic Plan Priority A).

This includes:

  1. Building communities of faith that advocate for equity for all people and God’s creation,
  2. Building communities of hope that take risks to demonstrate God’s new creation through grants for dismantling poverty, advocacy for diversity, and access to mental health resources,
  3. Building communities of love that seek reconciliation and actively tear down walls that separate God’s children from each other by working to dismantle systemic racism, reparative giving, strengthening those who are marginalized, and participating in interfaith partnerships,
  4. Building communities of service and witness that point beyond self to the Good News of God’s grace by addressing systems, beliefs and practices that support oppression, strengthening Presbyterian camps and covenant partnerships in the Synod, and encouraging entities to be a part of the Matthew 25 initiative,
  5. And working in coordination with other Synod committees to support the Synod Strategic Plan and Priorities.

Sub-committees that report to the SSW:

  1. Self-Development of People Committee
  2. Committee on Racial Ethnic Ministry

2021 Chairperson:  Diane Wray-Williams, Presbytery of Northern Plains

Staff Resource: Elona Street-Stewart

SSW committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.

Communications Committee

Purpose: Provide communications services that champion this region and our ministries.

This includes:

  1. Branding and messaging to effectively communicate the mission and ministries of the Synod.
  2. Ensuring Synod communications (website, newsletters, social media, print media, etc.) offer consistency and relevance, while also assessing the effectiveness of Synod communications and messaging.
  3. Working in coordination with other Synod committees to support the Synod Strategic Plan and Priorities

2021 Chairperson: TBD

Staff Resource: Deb DeMeester, Director of Leadership Development

Communications committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.

Finance Committee

Purpose: The Finance Committee oversees the work of the director of finance, who provides staff support for the committee, the treasurer and the Synod attorney.

This includes:

  1. Review of the treasurer’s financial reports prior to presentation to the Synod.
  2. Review of the financial and audit reports for subsidiary organizations.
  3. Management of all Synod property, both real and personal, including the main Synod office building, located at 2115 Cliff Drive, Eagan, Minnesota.
  4. Management of the annual operating budget developed by the Program Coordination Committee in response to the Synod’s mission and approved by the Synod.
  5. Management of the Synod loan fund that is administered by the Finance Committee. The Committee reviews all loan policies and requests.

2021 Chairperson: Rev. Lance Loveall, Milwaukee Presbytery

Staff Resource: Jim Koon, Director of Financial Services

Finance committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.

Personnel Committee

Purpose: The Personnel Committee is accountable to the Synod for its work with Synod and presbytery staff.

This includes:

  1. Development of the annual staffing rationale and design report, showing all the persons working for the Synod and their duties.
  2. Development of the staff salaries and salary ranges report for all Synod and presbytery executive staff.
  3. Annual performance reviews of the Synod staff and presbytery executives.
  4. Assisting presbyteries in their search for executive leaders.

2021 Chairperson: Beth Ehlers, Commissioned Pastor, North Central Iowa

Staff Resource: Elona Street-Stewart, Synod Executive

Personnel committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.

Transforming Communities: Vital Leaders Committee (TCVL)

Purpose: To lead the Synod in partnering with presbyteries as they attract, support and retain high quality leadership for their communities of faith, hope, love, and service.

This includes:

  1. Providing continuing education opportunities
  2. Developing a Synod-based coaching program to serve pastoral leaders,
  3. Developing a Synod-wide mentoring program to address the sense of isolation many feel s.
  4. Developing cultural competence by offering training to create expertise.
  5. Promoting congregational vitality and transformation
  6. Encouraging educational debt assistance in each presbytery.
  7. Offering a shared Commissioned Pastor training program (the Academy)
  8. Helping seminaries become more acquainted with our Synod
  9. Encouraging presbyteries to develop, recruit and sustain more diverse leadership.
  10. Working in coordination with other Synod committees to support the Synod Strategic Plan and Priorities.

Sub-committees that report to the TCVL committee:

  1. Synod School Committee

Agency Relations: The TCVL maintains the Synod’s primary connections with:

  1. Ministry development centers. The Synod contracts with two ministry development centers: LeaderWise, New Brighton, Minnesota; and Midwest Ministry Development Service, with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
  2. Resource center. The Synod is a founding member of The Ministry Lab, formerly known as The Resource Center for Churches, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2021 Chairperson: Sue Rutford, Ruling Elder, Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area

TCVL committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.

The Steering Committee

Purpose: The Steering Committee serves as the Executive Committee of the Synod.

This includes:

  1. Establishing time and place of Synod Meetings,
  2. Serving as the Committee on Arrangements for Synod meetings,
  3. Developing and recommending an agenda for Synod meetings,
  4. Appointing a special committee to nominate commissioners for Moderator and Vice Moderator,
  5. Acting on behalf of the Synod when actions are necessary and proper between meetings and it is not appropriate or practical for the action to be delayed until the next meeting of the Synod,
  6. Being the committee to which employees may appeal a decision of the Personnel Committee,
  7. Collaborating with Personnel Committee to recognize those who retire,
  8. Reviewing policies on a regular basis (Social Media Guidelines are to be reviewed by Steering Committee every two years), and
  9. Developing a balanced proposed budget for the Synod annually that addresses the strategic priorities of the Synod.

Membership: The Steering Committee consists of the Synod Moderator, Synod Vice Moderator, Synod Executive, Director of Financial Services, Director of Leadership Development, Chairs of the Strategic Service and Witness, Transforming Congregations: Vital Leaders, Personnel, Finance and Communications Committees and the Stated Clerk. The Moderator of the Synod shall serve as the Moderator of the Steering Committee.

Meetings: The Steering Committee meets approximately six -eight weeks prior to each Synod meeting and daily during each meeting.

Steering committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.

Nominating Committee

Purpose: The Synod Nominating Committee makes the necessary annual nominations to Synod to at-large positions on the Committees, keeps necessary records and provides information for filling vacancies between meetings of Synod, makes and reports to the Synod the nominations to boards of subsidiary and affiliated corporations, makes and presents annual nominations to positions on the councils and agencies of the General Assembly as necessary and is empowered to make any necessary nominations between annual meetings of Synod to fill vacancies on the General Assembly level; and makes other nominations as directed by the Synod.

Membership: The Synod Nominating Committee consists of one representative from at least half of the constituent presbyteries. Each presbytery shall nominate its representative.

2021 Chair: TBD

Staff Resource: Deb DeMeester, director of leadership development

Nominating committee member? Login to the committee portal page for policies, agendas, meeting minutes, etc.