Branden Dupree Report


Branden Dupree, assistant to the bishop/director for evangelical mission


It is with great privilege that I serve as your Director for Evangelical Mission. I am responsible for our mission developments, collaborations and strategic partnerships across our Synod. Being the avenue among Churchwide, our Metropolitan New York Synod, and congregations, I have the joy of being your creative partner in imagining abundance.


1. Christ-centered, Community-connected

The church lives into change through relationships and visibility. This year alone, we’ve seen the realization of a relationship between two century-old congregations on Staten Island become one in Christ, and the official welcome of Unidad y Fé, a Latinx strategic ministry born of a multi-church investment in Queens. The age-old question, “Who is my neighbor?” has an ever-changing answer as the world gets smaller. Just open your eyes—God is doing many a new thing in, through and among us.

The best leaders look for the best opportunities to invest in others. The office of the Bishop continues our partnership with FaithX to discover the demographics of the communities we serve and to discern the future that God may be calling our congregations to lean into. This initiative involved months of data cleaning, training and implementation, which so many of you continue to find of great use. To date, we’ve been able to serve a third of all congregations and heighten the missional focus in each conference. Thank you to all who have invited us to your council meetings, strategic brainstorming, and moments of wonder, while we wander, together.



2. Generosity & Evangelism

Our faithful investment of resources is in direct response to God’s grace, love and abundant generosity. When you give through your congregations, about 5.5% is shared within our Synod, which we then share almost 54% of with our Churchwide organization. Mission Support helps start and sustain new ministries, funding continuing education, providing training opportunities, and delivering greater end- reparative justice and anti-racist initiatives. Mission Support is the fuel to be Christ’s public advocates locally, nationally and internationally.

Martin Luther teaches that genuine faith manifests itself in its openhanded use. Each Mission Support dollar is valuable but is not the only blessing we have within our Synod. We have time, presence, intellectual expertise, talent, wisdom, compassion, mercy, joy, encouragement and faith. Thank you for your faithful support in this Gospel work that we do together. Generosity begets generosity. Everyone benefits.



3. Toward Missional Vitality

Our congregations are on an emergent path toward a future church of authentic diversity. A church that is welcoming, connected (on and offline) and strives to be a visible Lutheran presence reflecting our communities in the world. As thought leaders, we have the opportunity to be more relational and bring cultural and context-specific integrity to every space we enter. At our Bishop’s Retreat, Keynoter, Rozella Haydeé White reminded us “…the invitation is always to pause.” In this pause, we are invited to love—deeply and well, as God loves us. As we continue to heighten the focus on mission, I encourage you to be fully present. Listen generously. Ask deeper questions. Suspend judgments and be as other-centered as possible—holding the future beneficiaries—people you may never meet, in your mind’s eye. Celebrate small steps, triumphant accomplishments, mistakes along the way, and the privilege of lending our lives in Christ to something larger than ourselves.