What is the Synod of Mid-America?

The word "synod" comes from the Greek "σύνοδος" (synodos) meaning "assembly" or "meeting", and it is synonymous with the Latin word "concilium" meaning "council".

The Synod of Mid-America (SoMA) is a regional community of six PCUSA presbyteries, their 427 congregations, and their 56,738 members. The SoMA works to support and resource its presbyteries so they can better serve their congregations, and while also engaging in mission and ministry that is more expansive than one presbytery can do on its own.

Throughout the history of the Church, the word "synod" has had different meanings.

Originally, they were gatherings of the bishops of the Church. These gatherings were not regularly scheduled business meetings, but only occurred when there were important matters of faith and life to be discussed and decided. Unsurprisingly, they happened a lot as the Church grew and changed! The First Council (Synod) of Nicaea is the gathering that produced the Nicene Creed, one of the most widely used Christian creeds in the world. In our own Presbyterian history, the Synod of Dort gave us "The Five Points of Calvinism."

But for the Presbyterian Church (USA), big issues of faith and life are discussed and decided at our General Assembly, so modern "synods" have a different meaning and function.

The Book of Order says:

[The] Synod is responsible for the life and mission of the church throughout its region and for supporting the ministry and mission of its presbyteries as they seek to support the witness of congregations, to the end that the church throughout its region becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness. (G-3.0401)

At the SoMA, we work to live up to this responsibility by focusing on several "Missional Priorities":

  • Offering continuing education opportunities to new pastors and Commissioned Ruling Elders.
  • Producing series of educational videos.
  • Providing support and assistance to presbytery moderators, presbytery committee moderators, and presbytery Executive leaders and Stated Clerks.
  • Provide women and men of color opportunities for executive leadership education and experience.
  • Provide financial resources for cross-presbytery events, congregations, and individuals.
  • Look for ways to strengthen the Church by working with our sister synods, ecumenical partners, and covenant partners.

The only way any of this can happen is because you and your Sessions have faithfully provided funding through your per capita and mission pledges. We are so grateful, and ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers.