2019 Churchwide Assembly Update

Thank you to my colleagues who were in attendance and who compiled this summary of this year’s churchwide assembly.

Our denomination, the ELCA, holds a churchwide assembly triennially – to worship, vote on matters of governance and policy, and be church together for the sake of the world.  You can view the Guidebook from the assembly here, where you can find the pre-assembly reports, legislative updates from each day, and more.


  • Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
  • Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.


Additional Resolutions & Memorials

  • Approved support for the World Council of Church’s Thursdays in Black, awareness movement for a world without rape and violence. 
  • Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
  • Approved the recommendations from a strategic taskforce which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
  • Approved memorials: affirming but not “endorsing” the Poor People’s Campaign, care for immigrants and refugees, and other statements.

Constitutional Changes

  • Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.


  • Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women’s ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy.