Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


A merger of three Lutheran bodies formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988. Those three bodies were The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America. Now 30 years later, the ELCA is a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world.

The ELCA is one of 65 Lutheran synods. It’s one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities throughout the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. 

We trace our roots back through the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Even before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.


Lower Susquehanna Synod 


In the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we feed the hungry as we have been fed by Christ. In 2016, our synod became a Reconciling in Christ Synod. We welcome with full participation and inclusion all who are seeking God’s love and grace. We welcome all because God welcomes all, regardless of race or culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, or relationship status. We welcome all without regard to addictions, physical or mental health, imprisonment, socio-economic circumstances, or anything that too often divides us. Our unity is in Jesus Christ.

 Although “synod” comes from the Greek word for “assembly” or “meeting,” the Lower Susquehanna Synod is a governing and administrative organization comprising more than 200 Lutheran congregations with more than 75,000 baptized members throughout Central Pennsylvania. Specifically, we serve Lutherans in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fulton, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties. A synod—led by a bishop and guided by pastors and elected lay officers and a council—is just one part of the larger Lutheran presence throughout the United States. 

If you would like a more in-depth overview of our key synod efforts and mission priorities, click the links below.