Committees of the ELCL
Much of the church's work is accomplished through committees. The heads of committees are membes of the Consistory and are ultimately responsible to the Synod of the church. The primary committees of the ELCL are the following:
Congregation Development Committee
The Congregation Development Committee assists the church in the development of programs to support and enhance the pastoral ministry at the local level. It also assists congregations to foster the spiritual life in their own midst. The committee seeks to optimize the ministry of the church's pastors by developing manageable parishes for the work of each pastor.
The Education Committee is responsible for developing overall educational strategies that meet the needs of the church and its congregations with appropriate educational programs. The Committee coordinates and promotes the education of church workers through a system of theological education and in-service training for pastors, teachers, church musicians, diaconal workers and other local church workers. The Luther Academy in Rīga, St. Gregor's Christian ministry school in Saldus, and continuing education courses in the districts lie the scope of the responsibilities of the Education Committee.
The Mission Committee promotes, supports and coordinates the various mission initiatives of the ELCL. In cooperation with the pastors and teachers of the church, it works to instill in the people of the church a mind and a heart for those who do not yet know Christ and the joy of faith.
The Music and Liturgy Committee works to develop, enhance, and coordinate the liturgical life of the church. It supports and gives advice to ELCL congregation on questions of liturgy and music. Through this committee training is offered to church musicians and cantors. The committee assists in the preparation of Orders of Service and liturgical reference materials for pastors and oversees work on the ELCL hymnbook.
The Diacony Committee support, promotes, and coordinates the diaconal work and charities of ELCL congregations and parishes. It offers training for diaconal workers in the congregations of the ELCL and cooperates with local municipalities in addressing social problems. This committees promotes the recognition of the church's social service and cooperates with partner churches and international diaconical organizations. The work of the church's institutional chaplains is coordinated through this committee.
Through this committee the church seeks to achieve consensus among its pastors and theologians on matters of theology and ethics and to formulate and advocate this consensus to the church and society. It fosters dialogue among the clergy of the ELCL on issues important to the teaching and pastoral ministry of the church. In addition, this committee serves to articulate the unique identity of the ELCL in international and ecumenical contexts and to give advice to the church in its own ecumenical relations.
The religious education of families and children is an important part of the church's mission. To enhance and promote this education is the purpose of the Sunday School Committee. This committee provides teaching materials to Sunday School teachers and pastors and coordinates and supports initiatives for the education of children and families in the congregations, deaneries, and at the general level. The committee assists both teachers and parents to recognize the importance of nurturing the spiritual life of church and enabling them to recognize the love of God in their lives.
Christian faith provides a sense of purpose and meaning to human life, and this is true also of young people. Growing up and acquiring understanding of life is often difficult for young people who are often confronted by issues of self-esteem, self-confidence, life vocation and relationship with their peers. The church provides a stable environment for young people who can mature in a communion of faith and love.
Christian faith speaks to the life of man, and therefore Christian faith necessarily possesses public and social aspects. The church must listen to the society in which it works, but it must also speak to the society in which it works.
The Public Relations Committee is responsible for organizing and overseeing the various media instruments through which the church speaks both to its own members and to the broader public. Through this committee the church maintains relations with the mass media (TV, radio, newspapers), encourages dialogue between church and society, and issues press releases concerning ELCL events. In addition, the committee maintains the ELCL website and publishes the church newspaper, "Sunday Morning" (Svētdienas Rīts).
The ELCL has ecumenical relations and foreign contacts at various levels. The Foreign Affairs Committee manages and assists in the coordination of these relations. It helps develop strategic plans for the foreign relations of the ELCL and establishes and develops cooperation between the ELCL and congregations of partner churches in foreign countries.
In addition, the Foreign Affairs Committee assists in the organization of international seminars, lectures and other events that would involve foreign partners. It also organizes visits to foreign countries and partner churches for officials and pastors of the ELCL.
Through the Finance Committee the ELCL seeks to maintain a healthy and responsible stewardship of its money. The Finance Committee supervises and coordinates the raising and the expenditure of funds for the work of the church and its congregations and schools.
Latvian independence permits the reconstruction of churches that previously were either destroyed or allowed to go into ruin. Moreover, independence allowed the return of properties formerly confiscated. The Church Property Committee is responsible for the management of church property and provides advice to the local parishes and the deaneries on their use of their properties.