The Rev. Robin Brown

The Rev. Robin Brown is Associate Director of ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal, Congregational Support. Before joining the ELCA World Hunger Team, Robin served as a parish pastor in suburban Illinois. 

2020 NIS Assembly

January 6, 2020

Dear congregations and rostered ministers:

Grace and peace to you in this New Year! This letter will provide you with some initial important information about the Thirty-Third Annual Northern Illinois Synod Assembly, being held on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, 2020 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

Please refer to the lists provided on pages 2 and 3 of this letter to confirm the number of lay voting members your congregation is allowed. These voting members are asked to be equally divided between male and female [1] and from different households.[2] In addition, each congregation may register one additional voting member as a youth[3] or one young adult.[4] Your congregation is also encouraged to elect one or two alternates to attend as visitors this year with the possibility of their attending as voting members at next year’s assembly. Although this procedure would be costlier to your congregation, your congregation will benefit by future voting members observing the assembly operation one year and, thus, being better prepared to represent your congregation the following year at assembly.

Pastors (ministers of Word and Sacrament) and deacons (ministers of Word and Service) under call are expected to attend all synod assemblies.[5] All pastors and deacons under call as well as interim pastors serving congregations will be voting members of the assembly (costs are the congregation’s responsibility). Retired pastors and deacons, as well as those on leave from call and those with disability status[6] have voice and vote provided they register prior to the assembly date, otherwise they have voice, but not vote (registration fees are waived; they are responsible for all other costs).

Basic, dorm-style housing will be available in the Augustana dorms or, if you prefer, we have arranged for a small block of hotel rooms. Please refer to that information on page 3.

Walking with you,

The Reverend Jeffrey Clements, Bishop


2020 Assembly of the Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA

The listed “baptized membership figures” of the 144 Northern Illinois Synod congregations, as reported to the ELCA through each congregation’s year-end statistical report (parochial report) as of 12/31/2018, is the basis for determining the “number of lay voting members” selected to attend the assembly.

The “baptized membership” formula consists of the top 10% of our congregations receiving four lay voting members, the next top 10% of our congregations receiving three lay voting members, and the remainder of our congregations receiving two lay voting members.

Congregations allowed FOUR voting members, plus one additional youth or young adult:

  Baptized Membership Congregation City Conference
1 3038 Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church McHenry Northeast
2 2043 Alleluia! Lutheran Church Naperville East
3 1640 St. John Lutheran Church Joliet East
4 1639 Grace Lutheran Church Woodstock Northeast
5 1496 Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church Huntley Northeast
6 1333 Peace Lutheran Church New Lenox Northeast
7 1270 Trinity Lutheran Church Moline West
8 1249 Light of Christ Lutheran Church Algonquin Northeast
9 1151 Salem Lutheran Church Sycamore Northeast
10 1132 Bethany Lutheran Church Crystal Lake Northeast
11 1123 St. Paul Lutheran Church Orion West
12 1109 Grace Lutheran Church Loves Park North
13 1033 Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Rockford North
14 998 First Lutheran Church Geneseo West

Congregations allowed THREE voting members, plus one additional youth or young adult:

  Baptized Membership Congregation City Conference
1 934 Zion Lutheran Church Rockford North
2 901 Cross and Crown Lutheran Church Roscoe North
3 866 Our Saviour Lutheran Church Sandwich East
4 855 Trinity Lutheran Church Rockford North
5 838 First Lutheran Church DeKalb Northeast
6 750 St. John’s Lutheran Church Mendota South
7 744 St. Mark Lutheran Church Rockford North
8 677 Grace Lutheran Church Knoxville Southwest
9 675 Immanuel Lutheran Church Dixon Central
10 662 Trinity Lutheran Church Harvard Northeast
11 598 Salem Lutheran Church Sandwich East
12 592 St. John Lutheran Church Sterling Central
13 588 St. Barnabas Lutheran Church Cary Northeast
14 583 Grace Lutheran Church Richmond Northeast

All other congregations are allowed TWO voting members, plus one additional youth or young adult.

Housing Information

Basic, dorm-style housing is offered in the dorms at Augustana, however, for those that prefer hotel accommodations, we have arranged for a small block of rooms at hotels closest to Augustana campus. Mention “Northern Illinois Synod Assembly 2020 Block” to book.

  • , 316 12th Street, Moline, 309-517-1659.
  • , 1415 River Drive, Moline, 309-764-1000
  • , 101 18th St., Moline, 309-743-0101

If your congregation wishes to make reservations at one of these hotels, we encourage you to do so now because of the limited number of rooms available. Element Moline rates begin at $106 (cut-off date 06/04/20). Radisson room rates begin at $110 (cut-off date 05/26/20). Stoney Creek rates begin at $104 (cut-off date 05/18/20). (Note: These rates will change when the block of rooms is released.)

[1] Constitutional Provision +S7.21.c. “…typically one of whom shall be a man and one of whom shall be a woman…”

[2] S7.21.A87. “It is the intention of this Synod that normally there shall be no more than one voting member of the Synod Assembly from a single household.”

[3] Synod Constitutional Bylaw S7.21.A11. “… a voting member who has not reached the age of 18 at the time of election or appointment for service”

[4] Synod Constitutional Bylaw S7.21.A11. “…a voting member between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of election or appointment for service”

[5] S14.25. “All Ministers of Word and Sacrament under a call shall attend meetings of the synod assembly…” and Constitutional Provision S14.47. “All Ministers of Word and Service under a call shall attend meetings of the synod assembly…”

[6] ACTION SC-17-09-25The Council voted to approve permitting ministers not under active call to have both voice and vote at Synod Assemblies and establish a process through which this can take place – much in the same way that retired ministers are allowed both voice and vote at Synod Assemblies.