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Who We Are

The Office of the Bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA is located on the traditional territory of the Chumash, Tongva, and Kizh people. The SWCA Synod rests on the traditional territory of over 11 different indigenous people. Here is one resource you can use to find out more information about the traditional keepers of the land on which you live, work or travel.

What is a Synod?

Synods unite the work of congregations within their areas, serve as regional support, and guide pastoral and other staff candidates. In order to strengthen the relationship between synod leaders and the churchwide office, many churchwide teams relate to and support the work of the synods.

The Southwest California Synod is a Reconciling In Christ Synod, making a public commitment to welcome, include and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) people. For information about becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation or organization, please contact the Region 2 RIC Coordinator or the RIC office.

We are also a Lutheran Restoring Creation Synod. Lutherans Restoring Creation is a grassroots movement promoting care for creation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, cultivating a community of dedicated stewards of earth and neighbor who proclaim God’s promise of hope and healing for all.

We are also a Jubilee USA Network Synod. There are over 650 national and local faith groups that work with Jubilee USA to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. Congregations and faith communities are a critical moral champions on economic policies that impact our lives. Jubilee faith communities play a pivotal role in winning debt, tax, trade and transparency policies that protect vulnerable people and economies.

Quick Facts

The Synod is divided into nine different conferences

More than 100 congregations and worshipping communities in nine conferences comprise the Southwest California Synod. The nine conferences are:

•Channel Islands        •Central Coast
•Foothill                       •Greater Long Beach
•LA Metropolitan       •San Gabriel Valley
•South Bay                   •Techachapi
•Twin Valleys

Five bishops have served the Southwest California Synod:

•The Rev. Roger Anderson
•The Rev. Paul Egertson
•The Rev. Dean W. Nelson
•The Rev. Guy Erwin, Ph.D
•The Rev. Murray Finck (Interim) 
The Rev. Brenda Bos

The Southwest California Synod serves the counties or portions of the counties of:

•Los Angeles
•San Luis Obispo
•Santa Barbara