About the Alaska Synod
The Alaska Synod is 30 congregations and 3 new worshiping communities.
The Alaska Synod is the 64th out of the 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) in membership, but the largest in geographic size. We stretch from Shishmaref to our congregation in Ketchikan 1400 air miles away. These 30 congregations range in size from an average worship attendance of 15 (Wales, on the Bering Sea) to 275 (urban Anchorage area). We have the largest and only Inupiat (Alaskan Inuit) population of the ELCA who make up almost 20% of our baptized membership. Those members are concentrated in our northern Seward Peninsula area where historically Norwegian reindeer herders and teachers brought their faith with them in the early 1900s. Sitka Lutheran Church was the first Protestant church founded in Alaska in 1840. The diversity and large distances between congregations enrich our mission and ministry.
The Alaska Synod is served by Bishop Shelley Wickstrom and Director for Evangelical Mission, Lisa Smith Fiegel. The Synod office is located in Anchorage (Southcentral Alaska).
The Synod has been divided into five different clusters, geographically defined with the exception of the Alaska Native congregation in Anchorage that align with their sister congregations in the Seward Peninsula Cluster. The Synod Council is elected from each of these clusters (one clergy and one lay representative), three executive positions, two at-large representatives, a multi-cultural representative, a youth representative and the president of the statewide Women of the ELCA. The council is responsible for business of the synod between yearly synod assemblies.
The synod assists congregations and rostered leaders with the call process, rostered mobility, transitional periods, mission and vision, congregation council training, communication between congregations and more.
Shelley Wickstrom, Bishop
Lisa Smith Fiegel, Director for Evangelical Mission
Chris Aquino, Office Manager