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Resources for Congregations

Churchwide Resources

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has extensive resources and documents available for congregations on its website, including:

Congregational Communications Tools 
ELCA Youth Gathering
Faith Practices
Financial Resources 
"God's Work. Our Hands" Sunday 
Office of the Secretary (congregational management, including constitutional documents)
Spanish Language Resources 

Congregational Tools

SWCA Synod Directory

Legacy and Planned Giving

Guide for Christian Funerals during COVID-19

Parochial Reports: Parochial reports from congregations to the Churchwide Organization are due mid-February of the subsequent year. In mid-December, the ELCA mails the Congregational Report forms to all congregations. This mailing includes Form A, Form C, instructions, and a financial worksheet as well as the congregational ID number and password for online reporting. Congregations can use these items to log in and file reports online by following this link.

Congregations missing forms or login information should email Robin Lujan in the Synod Office at The data from parochial reports is an important ministry tool for your congregation, the Southwest California Synod, and the Churchwide body.

Annual Report Cover: free download: single page and wrap around covers can be found here  (2020 now available)

ELCA Resources: Model Constitution for Congregations of the ELCA (2019) & Amendments to the Model Constitution for Congregations as Approved by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly. The linked page also includes the 2016 Model Constitutions and Amendments. 

ELCA Resources: Model Constitution for Synods (2019) and Amendments to the Model Constitution for Synods as Approved by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly

Pulpit Supply 

2024 Compensation Workbook (includes Salary Guides for Rostered Leaders and Supply Pastor Reimbursement)

Treasurer's Remittance 

Mission Support Letter of Intent:Part of our mutual work and accountability is our financial support of the ministries we share. This includes the work you do locally in your community, the work done together as a synod, and the faithfulness you show in funding the ministries and the work of the ELCA throughout the country and in partnership with other Christians all around the world. The Mission Support letter allows the Synod Office to plan its budget, including financial support for congregations, for the fiscal year.
2020 English
2020 Spanish

Synod Grants

The Endowment Committee awards grant for Mission Outreach from The Mission and Ministry Fund to be used for mission outreach as defined in the synod’s mission goals. Typically, grants range from $500 to $5,000.

The Charles and Mable Warner Trust Fund, administered by the Executive Committee of the Synod Council, awards grants designated for the construction of Sunday School facilities and to further youth Christian education. Typically, grants range from $1,000 to $5,000, pending availability of funds.

Please click here for more information about applying for the Mission and Ministry Fund Grant

Synod Documents

Synod Constitution  – August 2023

Human Resources

At-Will Statement
Paid Time Off Request Form
Employee Warning Form
ELCA Churchwide Personnel Policies 
Separation Agreement
ELCA Benefit Coverage in Times of Transition 
Understanding ELCA Disability Benefits 
Employer Tax Reporting Information 

California Bill SB 1343 requires that all employers of 5 or more employees provide 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to non-managerial employees and 2 hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to managerial employees once every two years. Existing law requires the training to include harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation and to include practical examples of such harassment and to be provided by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas. The bill also requires the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to produce and post both training courses to its website, which employers may utilize instead of hiring a trainer. More information about SB 1343 and free online training is available here. 

2020: Changes in California Labor Law include the classification of employees and independent contractors; state and local jurisdiction minimum wages; and minimum salaries for exempt workers. Read more here.

2018: California employers are prohibited from making any pre-employment salary inquiries, are required to post new workplace posters, and may be required (depending on total number of employees) to provide eligible employees with additional unpaid job-protected leave to bond with a new child, among other things. Read more here.