South Dakota Synod Assembly

Synod Assembly App

Download the 2019 South Dakota Synod Assembly Guidebook in the “ELCA Organizations & Events app”. Synod Assembly materials can be accessed and downloaded online through the free ELCA Organizations & Events app on iPhone, Android, and tablet devices.

No Smartphone? No problem. The same information can be accessed through your desktop browser by clicking here.


2019 Preliminary Report (pdf)
2019 Resolutions Packet (pdf)
Prelim Agenda (pdf)
Rules of Parliamentary Procedure (pdf)
SD Synod Constitution & Bylaws September 2019 (pdf)
2019 Ballot (pdf)
2018 Audit (pdf)
2020 Mission Plan (pdf)
2019 Synod Assembly Sermon (pdf)

Proposed 2020 Compensation and Guidelines

A 2020 Compensation And Guidelines For Pastors In Parsonages (pdf)
B 2020 Compensation And Guidelines For Pastors Receiving A Housing Allowance (pdf)
C 2020 Compensation And Guidelines For Deacons (pdf)
D 2020 Compensation And Guidelines For Lay Leaders (pdf)

The 2019 Synod Assembly will convene on May 31st to June 1st at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls. Pre-Assembly events will happen on Thursday evening, May 30.

Check-In Times

We have a high number of registered voting members and visitors for this year’s assembly. We strongly encourage voting members and visitors to take advantage of early check-in on Thursday, May 30 from 4-6 PM at Our Savior’s. Check-in by proxy is not allowed.

Enter to win $100 by checking-in early on Thursday from 4-6 PM. $50 Cash will be given to you and a $50 donation will be given to ELCA World Hunger in your name.

Check-In will re-open at 8 AM-9:15 AM on Friday, May 31. In order to be able to vote on the first ballot for bishop, voting members MUST be checked-in by 9:15 AM. Check-in will not reopen until after the first ballot at 11:20 AM. We do this so we can have adequate time to prepare a credentials report and to ensure no illegal ballots cast for bishop.


Assembly Online Registration is closed. Late registrations will incur a $50 late fee per registration. Please call the assembly registrar, Lois Borchardt, for assistance at 605-274-4025.

Registration closed on Monday, May 20 at 5 PM CT.


Voting members and visitors are responsible for their own lodging during Synod Assembly. Head to for hotel information. Due to the Bishop Election, please plan for Assembly to run through Saturday afternoon.

Bishop Election

The election for the next South Dakota Synod Bishop will happening during this synod assembly. To help prepare the synod for this election, resources and FAQs will be posted here regularly. The Bishop Election committee has also extended an invitation to submit questions to nominees for bishop. Submit your question on the Bishop Election page by May 26.

Names pre-identified for Bishop by Conference Assemblies

Churchwide Representative

Mr. William “Bill” Horne II – Vice President of the ELCA

About Mr. William “Bill” Horne II

Mr. William “Bill” Horne II was elected to serve a six-year term as ELCA Vice President at the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans. Bill Horne grew up as a member of the National Baptist religious tradition and became a Lutheran while serving in the United States Air Force in 1982. Bill has served as congregational president in two ELCA congregations in Florida and is currently a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Clearwater, Florida. He served as a member of the Florida-Bahamas Synod Council and later as Synod Vice President.

Bill served on the ELCA Church Council, 2009-2015 and a member of the ELCA Theological Education Advisory Council, 2013-2015. He is currently serving as a member of the ELCA Inter-Religious Task Force and of the Lutheran Services Florida Board of Directors.

His post military retirement career has been in public management. He was appointed by the Clearwater City Council to serve as the Chief Administrative Officer (City Manager) of the city with responsibility for all departments except the City Attorney’s Office. He is directly responsible for 1,746 employees and accountable for the annual operating and capital budget of $441 million dollars. Bill was selected as Interim City Manager in 2000 and later appointed to the position of City Manager in 2001.

Bill served as a Colonel in the United States Air Force. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from the University of Tulsa, a Masters in Human Resource Management from Pepperdine University, and a Masters in Political Science from Auburn University in Montgomery.

Guest Musicians – Dakota Road

Dakota Road has become known nationally for their stirring original music and playful performance style. They craft powerful stories of life and faith woven in colorful musical styles ranging from acoustic ballads to rocking anthems. Their songs of faith and love, hurts and hopes are shaped by a passion for justice and a vision for the church, the neighborhood and the whole world to be peace-filled welcoming places. Their songs touch people of all ages and walks of life.  Individually and as a band Dakota Road has released over 20 recordings with many of their songs being sung all across the U.S. & beyond.  The band members are Hans Peterson, Larry Olson, Karol Baer, Christel Brosi, Scott Jibben and Al Berven.

Mission Prayer Breakfast – Companion Synod

Rev. Betare Denis of Cameroon will be presenting at the Mission Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, June 1 at 7 AM.

Other Things Happening:

Pre-Assembly Workshops

There will be two workshops on Thursday, May 30 from 6-7 PM at Our Savior’s plus an additional meeting for all churchwide assembly voting members headed to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly in August.

  • Productive Church Council Meetings, with VP Bill Horne – Celebrate Center
  • Safety At Your Religious Organization, with Church Mutual: Comprehensive overview of common risks in all areas of church. Audience: Leaders, Human Resources, Business Manager, Employees, Volunteers, Boards – Gathering Place
  • Churchwide Assembly Voting Members meet with Bishop Zellmer and Synod VP Carla Borchardt. – Friendship Room

Hops and Hymns with Dakota Road

Join us on Thursday night after the workshops from 7:30-9 PM for Hops and Hymns with Dakota Road at Remedy Brewing Company (401 E 8th St #120, Sioux Falls). Dakota Road will be leading us in a lively sing-a-long of classic hymns and Dakota Road favorites. Check out the song booklet in your Guidebook app. All are welcome.
Sponsored by Lutherans Outdoors in South Dakota.

Youth Lock-In

There will be a lock-in once again for youth voting members and youth visitors at this year’s Synod Assembly. According to the synod constitution, a youth voting member is aged 16-21 years old. Youth voting members will have access to the youth room at Our Savior’s throughout the assembly for games, activities, and free time when the assembly is not in session. On Friday night, the lock-in will begin with activities and games organized by Director of Youth Ministries at Our Savior’s, John Schomberg. The lock-in will conclude on Saturday morning with the mission prayer breakfast.

Blood Drive

The Community Blood Bank will be on-site during assembly on Friday morning from 8 AM to 12:30 PM. Sign-ups will be available on Friday. Donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. For ease of registration, please provide an ID.

Guitars for Nicaragua

Pastor Alan Blankenfeld (Our Savior’s, Flandreu) is coordinating donations for new guitars to be used by Lutheran churches in Nicaragua. If you, or your congregation, would like to donate a guitar, please contact Pastor Alan Blankenfeld at and he will coordinate a pick-up time during assembly, or you can bring guitars to the mission prayer breakfast on Saturday morning.

Rostered Ministers Photo Opportunity

The South Dakota Synod will have a photographer during synod assembly to take new photos for rostered ministers for a new online pictorial directory. Photographer will open on Friday starting at 8 AM. Stop by after checking in!


Thursday, May 30

2:00-4:00 PM – Displayers Setup
4:00-6:00 PM -Early Check-In
6:00-7:00 PM – Workshops

Churchwide Voting Members Meet
Productive Council Meetings – ELCA Vice President Bill Horne

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM – Hops & Hymns with Dakota Road, Remedy Brewing Co.

Friday, May 31

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM – Check In
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM – Displays and Bookstore Open
8:00 AM – Elections Committee Meets
8:30 AM – New Voting Member Orientation
8:45 AM-Worship Instructional Meeting

9:15 AM – 10:30 AM – Opening Worship, Sanctuary

10:50 AM – First Plenary Session
Noon – Lunch & Conference Caucuses
12:30 PM – Resolutions & Committee Nominations Deadline

1:15 PM – Second Plenary Session

3:00 PM – Break
3:30 PM – Lutherans Outdoors Annual Meeting
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM Breakout Sessions
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM – Evening Meal and Celebration of Retirements, Ministry Anniversaries, and the Ministry of Bishop Zellmer

Saturday, June 1

7:00 AM – 8:00 PM – Mission Prayer Breakfast, Gathering Place
8:15 AM – Morning Worship with Holy Communion
9:30 AM – Third Plenary Session
10:30 AM – Fourth Plenary Session
1:00PM – Lunch
2:00 PM – Fifth Plenary Session and Closing of the Assembly
Synod Council Meets