Who We Are

Greater Milwaukee Synod

The Greater Milwaukee Synod is a regional body of Lutheran congregations and ministries with over 59,000 baptized members across southeast Wisconsin. We are one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We are led by Bishop Paul D. Erickson, a 17-member synod council, and a small staff of rostered ministers and lay people.

We are committed to living into God’s vision for a world that embodies the fullness of life: justice, peace, equity, hope and love for everyone, including all races, genders, identities, abilities, and social status.

Diverse Ministries

Our synod extends from Sheboygan down to the Illinois border and from Lake Michigan to the western edge of Waukesha County.

Within this territory, faithful ministry takes place in 114 congregations and 4 Synod Authorized Worshiping Communities. These diverse congregational settings are urban, suburban and rural and worship in three different languages on Sunday, including Spanish and Hmong.

In addition to ministry in congregational settings, we support the work of the Gospel through…

Reconciling in Christ

At the 1991 Synod Assembly, voting members declared the synod to be Reconciled in Christ, affirming that “gay and lesbian people share with all others the worth that comes from being loved and forgiven children of God.” 

Anti-Racist Identity

At the 1998 Synod Assembly, voting members created the Anti-Racism Team, charged with working on racial and diversity training because of growing polarization between white persons and people of color, and the rise of hate-based crime and speech in the synod territory. In 2003 the voting members voted to call the Anti-Racism Team to serve as a resource to help congregations begin to lift up cross-cultural and diversity concerns as well as to promote anti-racism training for synod rostered leaders, staff and congregational members. 

Greater Milwaukee Synod Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that the congregations of the Greater Milwaukee Synod meet and worship on the ancestral lands of the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Odawa (Ottawa), Fox, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sauk, and Oneida people. We also acknowledge that the legacies of violence, displacement, dispossession, migration, and trauma still impact these communities, and we invite all our congregations and leaders to learn more about this painful history and to explore ways to bring about justice, even as we strive to be respectful stewards of this land.