Our Synod

About Us

What is a Synod?  Our English word synod comes from two Greek words syn + hodos that literally mean “a way together.” In and through synods, congregations and other ministries “walk together.” Synods are an expression of this church, just as are congregations and the churchwide organization. They coordinate the work of congregations within their […]


The Upper Susquehanna Synod is one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are clustered into Region 8 along with seven other synods in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Delaware.  The ELCA came into being on January 1, 1988, as three Lutheran churches merged to formed the new church body.  Those […]

Synod History

The Upper Susquehanna Synod began on January 1, 1988, with the birth of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).   The ELCA was formed from its predecessor church bodies, the Lutheran Church in America, American Lutheran Church, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. In 2013, the synod celebrated its 25th anniversary during the […]

Synod Staff

Rev. Barbara J. Collins, Bishop BpCollins@uss-elca.org Bishop Barbara J. Collins is the third bishop of the Upper Susquehanna Synod, having been elected to a six-year term starting September 1, 2016.  Bishop Collins was born in Johnstown, PA, and grew up in Hollidaysburg, PA, the youngest child of The Rev. and Mrs. George E. Nein, Jr.  […]

Synod Office

Mailing Address: Upper Susquehanna Synod, ELCA PO Box 36 Lewisburg, PA 17837 Phone:  570-524-9778 Email:  info@uss-elca.org The synod office is located at 500 Reitz Boulevard (SE corner of Reitz Blvd. and PA Hwy 192, also known as Buffalo Road). The building includes offices for the synod staff, a large board room, a smaller conference room, […]

Synod Council

The Synod Council consists of the four officers of the synod, three representatives from each of the six conferences, one youth member, and one young adult member elected by the Synod Assembly.  The Synod Council serves as the board of directors of the synod, and its interim legislative authority between meetings of the Synod Assembly.  […]


The six conferences of the Upper Susquehanna Synod are each represented by a Conference Dean, Conference Secretary, and three elected representatives to the Synod Council.  The Dean is an ordained minister of word and sacrament, elected by the Conference Assembly, who facilitates communication among the conference’s rostered leaders, congregations, and the synod at large.  The […]

Ecumenical Relations

Lutherans are part of a reforming movement within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, therefore, has seen ecumenical dialogue as an essential part of its mission to the church. In recent years, the ELCA has entered into cooperative “full communion” agreements with several other Christian communions, including the: […]

Synod Assembly

Scroll down this page for the Bulletin of Reports The Synod Assembly is the highest legislative authority of this synod.  “The priorities of the assembly are worship, edification, and the legislative business of the synod, conducted with the greatest possible involvement of those entitled to participate.” (USS Constitution S7.11.02) The 30th Annual Assembly of the […]