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Ministries Overview

The Synod office exists to serve the rostered leaders, lay leaders, congregations and members of the Grand Canyon Synod.

Below, you will find the various areas of ministry and opportunities in our Synod. Browse through these pages and learn more about what the Holy Spirit is doing in this place!

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The Book of Faith

The purpose of the Book of Faith Initiative is to increase biblical literacy and fluency for the sake of the world.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has made a commitment to encourage all members of our congregations, from children to adults, to dig deeper into our book of faith, the Bible. The Book of Faith Initiative recommends a new model for our church—a grass-roots approach embracing a common vision in which all are invited to open scripture and join the conversation. Each community is encouraged to decide how the Book of Faith Initiative will become a vital part of its own ministry.

Right Now

First, print out and read the information sheet that outlines the purposes, goals, and resources of Book of Faith. Next, read your copy of “Opening the Book of Faith.” This is a core resource. If you don’t have one, order from Augsburg Fortress for $12.99 ($10.99 with church discount).

Register Your Congregation

Book of Faith makes good use of the web and social networking. Start with the Book of Faith site. Click on “become part of the initiative.” Fill out the form. Check off the ideas you would like to pursue and add some of your own. (Already you are moving toward an important goal – to have 75% of the congregations register a commitment.)

Then for something new – and exciting – add your profile to the social networking site. Join the conversation about the Book of Faith that goes on 24/7.

Begin the Conversation at Home

Spread the word to leaders and members. Get them involved. They too can register at the Book of Faith site and join the conversation on the social networking site. Download logos to help with the promotion. Share the vision with the Church Council. Invite their commitment.

Take Some Actions

Unlike other programs, Book of Faith does not rest on a specific course or resource. Rather, it aims simply to make folks feel more at home with and comfortable using the Bible and it language that expresses our faith. There are many ways to do this. New ideas emerge all the time – and the social networking site is the place to share them! What’s your idea?

Consider these starter ideas:

  • Study “Opening the Book of Faith.” A study guide and DVD are available to facilitate a seven-session study of this key book. Plan to start at least one study group.

  • Get a Picture of Your Congregation. How do the people feel about the Bible? What role does it play in their life? What are their questions? You can find individual and group assessment tools in the back of “Opening the Book of Faith” or download them here.

  • Use Bible Bites. Individuals share a favorite Bible verse(s). Then they talk for a minute or two about why that verse has meaning for their life and experience. This could be a way to start all committee meetings. Try it during worship services.

  • Add Tabs. Many folks have trouble navigating through 66 books. Encourage them to use Bible index tabs.

  • Pre-mark Bibles. When giving Bibles to children and youth, first have some key people underline their favorite Bible verse(s). This shares the faith across generations. It also encourages them to mark up the Bible on their own.

  • Pull out Pew Bibles. Encourage worshippers to follow the readings in their pew Bible. Announce the page number, and give time for them to locate the passage.

  • Promote Starter Studies. Devote the first five or ten minutes of each meeting to a brief study of a Bible passage. “Opening the Book of Faith” has four easy-to-use ways to go about these starter studies.

Expect More to Come

Like an organism, the Book of Faith Initiative grows and evolves. The whole ELCA community feeds in the ideas that shape it from day to day. You can expect:

  • More information through Conference meetings.

  • An emphasis at the Synod Assembly.

  • Leader training to equip people to guide the four types of Bible study in “Opening the Book of Faith” in various settings.

  • Further resources to help people grow in understanding and appreciation of Scripture.

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Stewardship Table

The Stewardship Table seeks to glorify God by assisting individuals and congregations to identify, develop, and use their resources to further the kingdom of God on earth.

Narrative Spending Plan

Here are two companion files that will help you explain how the money sent to the Grand Canyon Synod is utilized for ministry.  GCS Narrative Spending Plan PowerPoint has speaker's notes and the GCS Narrative Spending Plan is a PDF handout to accompany the slide show.

Here also is a link to the ELCA's Narrative Spending plan. Note the WDMOG Infographic.

Your congregation, council, and new members are curious to know 'Where Does My Offering Go?' and will celebrate what God is doing through their congregation's giving to the Grand Canyon Synod and the ELCA!    

For more information about developing Stewardship in your congregation:

  • Cavanaugh, William T., Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2008. A thought-provoking book that names the addiction our society has toward consumerism. We desire what we do not have, but God has given us more than we need.

  • Christopher, J Clif, Not Your Parents Offering Plate. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008. A good read for any stewardship team who wants to name and understand the changing trends in congregation life and giving.

  • Lane, Charles R., Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, 2006. Probably the most read practical book by Lutheran pastors and stewardship leaders

  • Powell, Mark Allen, Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006. Read Powell’s book for a renewed theology in grasping what it means to be a steward. The book is packed with biblical quotes and insight which can assist in preaching and teaching.

  • Satterlee, Craig, Preaching and Stewardship: Proclaiming God’s Invitation to Grow. Herndon: The Alban Institute, 2011. This book belongs on any pastor’s list of books to read in order to preach a stewardship sermon that invites a congregation to increase their generosity as a response to the good news of God.

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Ministry Partners

ELCA Partner Synod

International Companion Synods

 

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Education

There are many wonderful ways that you can support Christian education in the Grand Canyon Synod and throughout the ELCA.

Please navigate through the info and links below to find out what opportunities await you...

Campus Ministries

The Lutheran Campus Ministers serving on your behalf:

Colleges and Universities

The Grand Canyon Synod supports California Lutheran University with funds from our general budget as well as with funds directed from our congregations. For more info about other ELCA colleges and universities, go to ELCA web site.

Schools and Early Childhood Centers

To view a list of ELCA Schools and Early Childhood Centers click here to be redirected to the ELCA website.

The Grand Canyon Synod has ten schools in Arizona that are eligible to receive tuition scholarships through ACSTO. The schools are:

  • Christ the Servant (K), Henderson

  • New Covenant Child Dev. Center (K), Scottsdale

  • Tanque Verde Lutheran School (K), Tucson

  • Beautiful Savior Academy (K), Tucson

  • Christian Preparatory Academy (K-6), Rock Point

  • Noah's Ark (K), Mesa

  • Resurrection Child Dev. Center (K), Oro Valley

Please visit ACSTO for information and directions on how to give your completely free contribution.

Seminaries

Through the generosity of members of the Grand Canyon Synod, we are able to financially support Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and we are able to support the seminary education of specific individuals at various seminaries.

We often receive thanks from the seminaries and their candidates for our financial support. Please know that we accept their gratitude on behalf of all members of this Synod. We encourage you to continue to support our seminaries through your own individual gifts or through the budget of your congregation.

To learn more about other ELCA seminaries, click here.

Warner Trust Grants

For questions about the Warner Trust, please contact the Grand Canyon Synod Office at 602.957.3223.

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Youth Ministry

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Grand Canyon Synod Women of the ELCA

If you would like to learn more about the Grand Canyon Synod WELCA, please contact president Myrna Wells-Ulland or visit their website. For news and information on the Women of the ELCA (national chapter) please visit their website.

The Churchwide organization of WELCA has awarded two grants to organizations in our Synod.

The first grant is to the Valley Youth Organization, Inc., in Prescott Valley, Arizona, for the Stepping Stones Empowerment and Self-Sufficiency Program (amount awarded $3,000). These funds will be used to work with women one-on-one to help them set and achieve empowerment and self-sufficiency goals.

The second grant is to the World Hunger Ecumenical Arizona Task-Force, Inc. (WHEAT) in Phoenix, Arizona, for the Mentoring & Training Program (amount awarded $2,000). These funds will be used to empower women in need through job training, skill building, social support, and positive guidance.

The granting of funds to organizations and programs that support the needs and the development of women is one way the purposes of Women of the ELCA is fulfilled. Since 1990 grants given by WELCA in support of women and children have totaled over three and a half million dollars.