The Southern Ohio Synod, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is one of the most diverse synods in the country. It extends God's mission to several major metropolitan areas and many small town and rural settings from north of Columbus, south to the Ohio River. Post-modern urban lifestyles contrast with a significant, nearby Appalachian culture.
The Southern Ohio Synod is committed to starting at least one new mission every year in growing suburban areas. Existing urban, small town and rural congregations receive assistance for redevelopment and transformational ministries. Amazing Grace Traveling Day Camps carry the Gospel to unchurched children living in Appalachia, while Faith Trek identifies and equips youth in synod congregations to be tomorrow's church leaders. These and many other synod ministries help over 70,000 members be and make disciples for Jesus Christ through its partnership with 205 congregations and over 380 rostered leaders.
In addition to Bishop Suzanne Dillahunt, the synod staff is comprised of one Assistant to the Bishop, one Director of Evangelical Outreach (whose responsibilities also encompass that of an Assistant to the Bishop), Director of Communications, two Executive Secretaries, a Youth & Family Ministry Director, a part-time Congregational Remittance Coordinator, a part-time Candidacy Coordinator and a part-time Pulpit Supply Coordinator. The Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission are deployed to their respective territories for service and support.
The Southern Ohio Synod consists of six conferences that incorporate congregations throughout half the state of Ohio.
We are located in at 300 South Second Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Our office telephone number is 614.464.3532 and our fax number is 614.464.3422. Our office is typically open Monday through Friday from 9 am until 4 pm.
The Southern Ohio Synod logo consists of a cross, triangle and shepherd's staff. These three symbols represent the ways in which the synod carries out its mission: To be and make disciples of Jesus Christ in and through its congregations.
The cross: Witnessing and evangelizing by spreading the Gospel--The synod provides opportunities for witness and evangelism through events such as the Global Mission Events, Schools for Mission, Discovering Hope, Spiritual Gift development, Faith Trek for youth, and task forces focusing on multi-cultural outreach and mission efforts in Tanzania and Mecklenburg.
The triangle: Strengthening the worship life of congregations through programs, services and guidance; developing and training leaders for ministry -- The synod provides consultation and resources for congregations, including consultation on bibliographical resources, assistance with printing and copyright permissions and assistance with music and worship implementation. Training and development take form in the synod STEP program, retreats for senior pastors, urban and rural pastors and rostered leaders; ministeriums, and mission development programs.
The shepherd's staff: Promoting organizational health and growth in congregations; promoting healthy spiritual welfare in the community --The synod continually works with congregations on a number of levels, including: managing the call process, leading visioning exercises, providing annual training for congregation officers and support staff, conducting congregational constitution reviews and legal reviews and consulting congregations on endowment, planned giving, and capital campaign development. In the community, the synod participates in the Ohio Council of Churches, Columbus Coalition Against Domestic Violence and various ecumenical community affairs.
When put together, the cross, the triangle and the shepherd's staff form a support upon which congregations and the community can lean.