strategic planning overview

It's no secret that the church and world are changing. The Eastern North Dakota Synod strives to "serve, equip, and challenge God's people" in faithful, innovative, and strategic ways. The strategic planning process is designed to help the synod and its leaders better understand the ways God is stirring among the church in this time and place, and to offer clarity of vision and clear action steps to respond to God's call among us. 

This process involves gathering information from congregation members and leaders from around the synod through a mixture of surveys, listening sessions, and small group conversations. The strategic planning team will then integrate their learnings by clarifying the mission, vision, and values of this synod. They will create a strategic plan for the synod, seeking feedback from various stakeholders.


The process is being guided by GSB Fundraising, a consulting firm specializing in churches and other non-profits. GSB has partnered with several ELCA congregations, ministries, and synods to help clarify their mission, vision, and values in order to create a strategic plan for the future. Learn more about GSB here.

strategic planning team

  • Pam Gullefson - Member of Nordland Lutheran in Rutland
  • Ryu Kroshus - Synod Council, Member of St. Mark's Lutheran in Fargo
  • Pastor Tawanda Murinda - Associate Pastor at Sharon Lutheran in Grand Forks
  • Stella Papachek - Member of St. Olaf Lutheran in Devils Lake
  • Pastor Sharayah Robinson - Pastor of Kathryn - Nome - Fingal Parish
  • Pastor Randy Schlecht - Retired, Former Synod Staff
  • Bishop Tessa Moon Leiseth, Bishop of the Eastern ND Synod

strategic planning process & timeline

  • June 29, 2023:  First Meeting for the Strategic Planning Team
  • July 11, 2023: Strategic Planning Team Meeting
  • August 1-18, 2023: Strategic Planning Input Survey Open (Everyone's input is needed and valuable!)
  • August 2023: Listening Days
  • Late August 2023:  Strategic Planning Team Meeting
  • September 2023: Small Group Conversations
  • October 2023: Strategic Planning Team Meeting
  • November 2023: Strategic Planning Team Meeting
  • Identify Ministry Result Areas
  • Integrate Learnings into current or new Mission, Vision, and Core Values
  • Test draft materials with leaders
  • Finalize results and identify next steps
  • Develop Action plans to achieve Ministry Result Areas
  • Share and Utilize Strategic Plan