GetOffYourDonkeyLogo ver 2Synod Assembly

The 2017 New England Synod Assembly will be held at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA from Friday, June 9th through Saturday, June 10th.  Our theme for 2017, “Get Off Your Donkey….Be a Leader”, is based on the parable of the Good Samaritan.  We will explore the many dimensions of this powerful story from Luke’s gospel as we focus on the theme “Get Off Your Donkey…Be a Leader!”

Why this focus?  Because leadership matters.  Nothing happens without people who have the courage to lead. Nothing happens in the parable of the Good Samaritan if he doesn’t take the initiative to climb down off his donkey and help the man on the side of the road. The same can be said for our own lives.  Nothing happens if we don’t take the initiative and make something happen.  Whether that’s taking on a new task at work, leading in our congregations, serving in the community, or getting the children up in the morning to go to school. 

We will gather Friday morning to open assembly proceedings.  We will hear from Gabi Aelabouni, Director of the ELCA Fund for Leaders, who will bring us greetings from the ELCA and speak of the importance of the fund for the future of the church. Bishop Hazelwood and other leaders will share news of what’s happening around the synod. Our first set of workshops will take place late Friday afternoon.  We will share dinner at the MassMutual Center and end our day together with a Festive Eucharist.

Saturday morning, we’ll be joined by keynote speaker Peggy Hahn, Executive Director of LEAD, whose mission focuses their organization on developing leaders throughout the church at all levels.  She will be speaking on Saturday morning and will also be one of our workshop leaders later in the day.  Additional assembly business will be conducted and there will be workshops on Saturday afternoon.

The non-voting visitor registration fee of $20 includes access to all worship, keynotes, panel discussions and workshops; a great deal for visitors! We encourage congregations to send non-voting visitors as well as voting members. 

PRELIMINARY AGENDA (subject to change)

Friday, June 9:

8:30 a.m.         Registration opens

10:30 a.m.       Opening of the Assembly

            12:15 p.m.       Lunch on your own

            1:30 p.m.         Assembly business resumes

            6:00 p.m.         Dinner at the MMC

7:30 p.m.         Festive Eucharist

Saturday, June 10:

8:30 a.m.         Assembly business begins      

            11:45 a.m.       Lunch on your own

            1:00 p.m.         Assembly business resumes

            4:00 p.m.         Closing


Congregations are entitled to two lay voting members.   It is expected but not required, that one voting member be female and one male.  Congregations may send a third lay voting member, as long as one of the three is a youth/young adult (age 30 or younger at time of election, and confirmed) or a person of color/language other than English.  It is the responsibility of each congregation to cover the registration, travel, lodging and dining costs of its voting members (lay and clergy).

ASSEMBLY FEES         $145 per person if registered and paid by April 30th

FOR VOTING               $170 per person if registered after April 30th and paid by May 31th

MEMBERS                   $200 per person at the door (or late payments for above registrations)

Fee includes dinner on Friday; additional meal tickets may be purchased for guests.        

Limited scholarship assistance is available; please contact Martha Whyte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Non-voting Visitor Fee of $20 per person (does not include dinner).


All voting members, non-voting visitors, guests and volunteers must submit a registration form.

On-line registration will close on May 31st, 2017.   Please plan accordingly.

There is a separate field in the registration link for volunteers assisting with exhibit tables, workshops, or registration and for guests attending anniversary recognitions, School of Lay Ministry graduation, or worship. 

During the on-line registration process, you will also have the opportunity to purchase a t-shirt featuring our “Get Off Your Donkey” logo.  T-shirts will be available for pick-up at the on-site registration table.  If you would like a t-shirt, please be sure to add the order to your online registration.


All active rostered ministers must register as voting members. Retired rostered ministers may registered either as voting or non-voting members.  Rostered ministers on leave from call must register as non-voters.  Please complete all required fields on the registration form (marked with an *). If you do not know the name of your conference, please check with your pastor or congregational secretary.

IF PAYING BY CHECK: After completing your registration form, please print a copy and mail it to New England Synod, 20 Upland Street, Worcester, MA 01607-1624. Please include the number of the check accompanying your registration, or ask your congregational treasurer to include that number on each form if multiple forms are mailed together.

VOTING MEMBERS selected by your congregation or ROSTERED MINISTERS, register here:
click here to register as a voting member

*If you are a Keynote Presenter or ELCA Representative, Ecumenical Partner, Assembly Staff (office, musicians, AV), Volunteer for display table or workshop, Anniversary Honoree, Guest of Anniversary Honoree, School of Lay Ministry Graduate, or Guest of Graduate, please register on the NON-VOTING VISITOR page under the appropriate heading.

NON-VOTING VISITOR attending on your own or assisting with the event, register below:
click here to register as a non-voting visitor

Refunds: Cancellations requested by May 1st 2017, can receive a full refund.

Lodging reservation must be made separately using the link below. A block of rooms for the New England Synod has been reserved at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. The deadline for hotel reservations is May 5th, 2017. Be sure to pre-arrange your roommate and send in only one reservation form per room.  Check in time is 3 p.m. Luggage may be safely stored by the hotel, if necessary.

To register at the Sheraton, click here!

If you’d like a hint about what we’ll be featuring, check out this video from the Bishop.

Bishop's Convocation

The New England Synod Bishop’s Convocation is the annual gathering of the pastors and deacons of the New England Synod. Bishop's Convocation for 2017 will take place Monday, October 23 through Wednesday, October 25, 2017.  It will be held at Holy Family Retreat and Conference Center, West Hartford, Conn.