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 Strategic Plan

Our 2019 strategic plan can be summarized in six words:





We will encourage, empower, and equip communities of faith to expand the understanding of our unique ELCA identity and witness.  

We will strengthen our ecumenical relationships and ministries. 

We will grow our public witness through advocacy, integrating our ELCA theology and engagement with current issues and contextual realities. 

We will deepen our global engagement by connecting local witness and global relationships.


We will equip disciples—inclusive of lay leaders, pastors, deacons, and youth—to build healthy and vibrant faith communities.

We will foster a spirit of collaboration and intentional connection across the Synod as we participate in Synod events. 

The Office of the Bishop will provide a ministry of presence and resources to support ministries in transition. 

We will grow our partnerships with our Southwest colleagues (Region 2). 

We will support new leadership and ministry initiatives including youth ministry, coaching, and ministry networks.


We will grow in gratitude and generosity to strengthen our financial capacity for ministry and witness.

We will seek and create new ways to connect and grow our rich diversity through multi-cultural ministries. 

We will align and structure GCS for effectiveness, efficiency and support to our ministries. 

We will accompany congregations and ministries to increase their capacity to be adaptive, right-sized, and vital. 

We will raise up and support new leaders for the church’s ministry through a revitalized candidacy process.


A letter from the Bishop and Synod Council

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.
— Ephesians 4:11-13

June, 2019

In these past few months the Grand Canyon Synod leadership has been following the directive established by the 2018 synod assembly to gather the people of the synod together and to establish a strategic direction for our synod.

This task began with the synod council, deans and staff as they gathered for a planning process that also included the people of the synod as you gathered for spring conferences. The result of this effort was a statement of our mission, vision, and values. 

Now together we take the next steps as a synod to establish a course for the future. This direction is outlined here as we seek to follow God’s preferred future and as together we Communicate Jesus, Connect People, and Create Possibilities.

These strategic directions will guide our work as synod, as regional partner, and as ELCA in Arizona, Nevada, and St. George, Utah. As we follow this path we will certainly be building up the body of Christ and we will be enabled and empowered to serve—better together.

Thank you for all the work that went into preparing these directions. We are grateful for your prayers and partnership as we go forward to communicate the love of Christ, connect diverse people, and create new ways of outreach. We are together better in Christ!



Bishop Deborah Hutterer


Council Vice-President Paul Gryniewicz


 Better Together 
for the Sake of the Gospel


Communities together in Christ serving the world. 


Communicate the love of Christ.

Connect diverse people.

Create new ways of outreach.

Core Values

Grounded in grace of Christ, we encourage, empower, and equip our communities to:
proclaim Jesus through Lutheran teachings;
nurture passionate inclusivity;
live out radical hospitality;
work for justice and mercy, and 
cultivate faith-filled relationships with all ages.