What Is a Synod?
The English word "synod" comes from two Greek words, syn hodos, which literally mean "a way together." This word points to the fact that we are part of an interdependent church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has three expressions: over 10,000 congregations, 65 regional synods, and the churchwide organization. The Metropolitan New York Synod is a regional expression of the ELCA.
Our synod covers all five boroughs of New York City, all of Long Island, and seven upstate counties (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester). We are divided geographically into 18 conferences, each represented by a dean who serves as a liaison between the bishop’s office and the congregations in their area.
The 195 parishes on our territory are greatly diverse, from rural outposts to inner-city storefront churches, with a good dose of suburban mid-sized congregations as well. Our location blesses us with great ethnic diversity; you can worship in over a dozen languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Norwegian, German, and American Sign Language.