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Synod Leadership

The 2022 ELCA Churchwide Assembly met August 8 - 12 in Columbus, Ohio under the theme Embody the Word.

About the Theme

Embody, meaning both the incarnation of Jesus Christ and the life of the church emerging from a pandemic.
Word – both meaning Jesus Christ and scripture

Luke 24:45: Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. We embody the Word, both Jesus and the scripture, by speaking it and proclaiming it. In 1522, Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament made the Word accessible to the people and revolutionized the Christian movement worldwide. 500 years later, the call to make Jesus accessible to the people still exists today and as we look to the future of this church.

About Churchwide Assembly

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, is a process of communal spiritual discernment. When the ELCA Churchwide Assembly convenes, its voting members meet with confidence in God’s grace around word and water, wine and bread, to carry on their work on behalf of the entire church. Over the course of the assembly, voting members:

-Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;
-Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
-Elect officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
-Establish ELCA churchwide policy;
-Worship together;
-Adopt a budget; and
-Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.

Our voting members were elected at the 2021 SWCA Synod Assembly, with substitutes appointed by Synod Council. Churchwide Assembly Voting Members representing the Southwest California Synod at the 2022 assembly were: Randy Foster, Maria Paiva, Bryan Honda, Shawntelle Augustine, Robert Siemer, and Tyra Dennis. Learn more about our voting representatives below.

Bishop Brenda Bos and Synod Vice-President Sarah Stegemoeller also attended as voting members.

Mr. Bryan William Hiroaki Honda

Shepherd of the Valley
Simi Valley (Channel Islands Conference)
Bryan Honda has attended SVLC most of his life, recently serving on the Call Committee and Council and volunteering with Relay for Life and ACTION Day of Service. He has frequently attended SWCA Synod Assembly and served as a Servant Companion Lead for the National Youth Gathering.


The Rev. Maria Paiva

St. John, Gardena
(Los Angeles Metropolitan Conference)

Pastor Maria has served at St. John, Gardena since 2016 and was past Coordinator of Latino Ministries at the SWCA Synod. She is part of the West Side Support Circle of the Ecumenical Collaboration for Asylum Seekers and serves on the Global Partnership Team, Immigration Task Force, and El Salvador Mission Trip team.


Ms. Tyra Dennis

Another Level Ministries
(Los Angeles Metropolitan Conference)

Musician, composer, actress, and entrepreneur Tyra Dennis is a worship leader at Another Level Ministries and has performed and led Worship for many events, including Western States Youth Gathering, Theoasis, Synod Assembly, ELCA Gathering, and Extravaganza.

Ms. Shawntelle Augustine

St. Mark’s, Los Angeles
(Los Angeles Metropolitan Conference)

Shawntelle is active in church choir, in planning and implementing the God’s Work. Our Hands annual day of service, and in feeding programs and children’s enrichment in her community. She was a volunteer at the 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering in 2018 and part of the SWCA Synod Youth Team from 2014-2017.

Mr. Robert Siemer

Gloria Dei, Long Beach
(Greater Long Beach Conference)

At Gloria Dei, Robert has served on the Church Council, Choir, Audit Committee, and Constitution/Bylaws committee, and has served as a voting member of Synod and Conference Assemblies.

Mr. Randall Foster

Community, Los Angeles
(Los Angeles Metropolitan Conference)
Randall Foster served as SWCA Synod Vice President from 2014-2021, implementing the Future Church Initiative (FCI) among other accomplishments. He has served as a member of the Board of Regents for California Lutheran University since 2003.


Serving on Synod Council

Synod Vice President

The five synod vice presidents of Region 2 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America talk about their role, their relationship with bishops and councils and congregations. Description of position. 

Southwest California Synod Treasurer Michael Metzger talks about the role of the Synod Council and his participation.

Southwest California Synod council member at large Cortni McNair talks about her work on synod council, and encourages others to participate. Description of position.

Conference Representative

Council member Pastor Jennifer Chrien talks about her work as the Channel Islands Conference Representative and encourages others to join. Description of position.

Conference Representative

Central Coast Conference Representative Laura Salazar Krueger talks about joining synod council and her role. Description of position.

Youth Representative

Youth Representative Kir’Ra Hemphill talks about her participation in synod council and encourages young people to run for leadership.  Description of position.

Pastor Ryan Chaddick talks about the role of the synod council and his participation. Description of position.

Southwest California Synod council member Valerie Shaw talks about the future of the church during COVID-19. Description of position.

Conference Representative

Southwest California Synod council member Nolan Green talks about his role on synod council and the work he does within the Long Beach conference. Description of position.

Southwest California Synod Council Member-at-Large Karen Moyer talks about the work and influence of synod council. Description of position.

Twin Valleys Conference Representative Todd Kolberg talks about the gifts he brings to synod council work.

Southwest California Synod council member David Berkedal talks about how synod council influences the direction of the church and how members participate.