SCSW Endowment Grant Applications Accepted until June 15

The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin  Endowment Committee is accepting applications for grants to support outreach ministries.

Particular emphasis is given to:
•  Establishing of mission congregations
•  Redevelopment of existing congregations
•  Development and support of new evangelism programs
•  Supporting congregational involvement in global mission/international outreach

Please return application by June 15, 2018.

Crossways is Hiring Summer Staff!

At this point, Crossways is still in need of several key staff members, particularly male cabin leaders.

“Palestine: Unlimited” Photo Exhibit

May 20 – June 15
Prize-winning photos from Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts & Culture
The photos, reflecting Palestinians view of their culture and way of life, will be on display at five Madison-area churches. The display is open to the public daily during regular hours of the each church.

Palestine is contested land. People everywhere watch Palestine, expectantly. Many share stories, images, interpretations and explanations, hoping to build a clearer picture of Palestine. But do Palestinians themselves get to say what Palestine is about? The exhibition is derived from a signature initiative of the Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, a Lutheran institution of higher learning in Bethlehem. The exhibit, featuring the ten finalists from the Karimeh Abboud Award Competition – named for a pioneering 20th century Palestinian female photographer – helps us break through icons and stereotypes, in order to experience Palestine as it really is. Listen to the words of photographer Ala’a Abu Salem: “These portraits aim at representing the Palestinian away from any ties, connections or expectations with themes and specific subjects. In short, it is an attempt to break the stereotype and overused image of the Palestinian person.”

Visit each church to see the entire 24 piece exhibit (call for hours):

Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd., Madison (608) 238-7119
Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church, 1502 Parkside Dr., Madison (608) 241-9796
First Congregational Church, 1609 University Ave., Madison (608) 233-9751
Memorial United Church of Christ, 5705 Lacy Rd., Fitchburg (608) 273-1008
Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, 110 N. Gammon Rd., Madison (608) 829-2136

The exhibit is sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem, a 501c3 organization supporting the work of Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb and the Dar al Kalima University College in Bethlehem.

2018 Synod Assembly Bulletin Insert Summary

A bulletin insert summarizing the results of voting matters and highlights of the Assembly was emailed May 9 to all pastors and deacons, and is provided here as well.

 

Synod Assembly Offering $20,023.45

Synod Assembly Offering Will Provide Help And Hope for Those Recovering from Hurricane Disaster in Caribbean

A special thank you for the worship offering gathered totaling $20,023.45 to provide help and hope to our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico of our companion synod.  As a church, we are standing by our neighbors who have been affected as they begin the long road to recovery.  Lutheran Disaster Response’s affiliates are collaborating with community leaders like Bishop Felipe Lozada-Montanez and the ELCA Caribbean synod and government officials to respond.  Thank you for giving so generously to our worship offering to support this response.

ELCA Presiding Bishop Issues Pastoral Message on Gaza Situation

Like so many here in our country and around the world, I am appalled and saddened by yesterday’s escalation of Israeli military action against protestors in Gaza. Many reports indicate that at least 60 Palestinians, including six children, have died and more than 2,000 have been injured as a result of Israel’s disproportionate use of force. Our church will support a planned medical mission from The Lutheran World Federation’s Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem to Gaza to assist the wounded.

I join Bishop Sami-Ibrahim Azar of our partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), who today said:

We mourn with the families of the dead and dying and pray for the recovery of the injured. We believe that violent actions against the Palestinian civilians will hinder the potential for peace and reconciliation efforts between Israel and Palestine and will only lead to more violence and bloodshed.

I endorse his call “upon the Israeli government to show restraint and to pursue negotiations with Palestinian leaders rather than choosing violent action against unarmed protestors.”

Yesterday’s events should also be seen in the context of the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. When that decision was announced late last year, I said:

This unilateral action would not support the cause of peace and a two-state solution but rather would unnecessarily create further tensions and possible violence that would make efforts to bring them back together for talks much more difficult.

 I also support the ELCJHL’s long-standing position, affirmed by Bishop Azar today, that “any final status agreement will include Jerusalem as a shared city for Jews, Christians and Muslims with free access to holy sites for all and that it must serve as capital of both Palestine and Israel.”

Always, but especially in this time of deep distress, I urge us all to join his call to “continue to pray, advocate and faithfully work towards a peaceful and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

 God’s peace,
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop

 

(from ELCA post: https://www.elca.org/News-and-Events/7931)

Read more statements from Bishop Eaton

Campaign for the ELCA and the Million Dollar Mission Jar Challenge Total Announced at Synod Assembly!

As you know, a year ago at our synod assembly, we announced the challenge for members of our congregations to raise $1/day for the ELCA.  $ 10,083.03 has been generously donated in support of the Campaign for the ELCA.  Thank you for your generosity for the ELCA mission and ministry!

 

Rev. Mary Stumme Froiland has served as bishop since 2013 and will complete her call on June 30.

A reception and banquet in her honor were held at the synod assembly where guests were regaled with stories of her ministry and life as told by colleagues and family.   We are grateful for her faithful service serving as both a congregational pastor and bishop of our synod!

Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld elected bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin! 

The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Beloit, Wis., was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells where over 500 lay leaders and rostered ministers gathered to do the work of God’s church, participating in learning, fellowship and important voting matters.

Thomas-Breitfeld was elected on the fifth ballot with 224 votes to 150 votes for the Rev. Steven Kottke, assistant to the bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

While we recognize that this is an historic moment in the life of the ELCA in the election of the second African-descent synod bishop, (see full story in Living Lutheran – https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/05/bishop-elects-reflect-on-historic-votes/), we also recognize that the bishop-elect brings many gifts to her new leadership role and ministry.  She currently serves as interim pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Beloit. She served as pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wis., from 2010 to 2013 and Good Shepherd in Wausau, from 1992 to 2010.  Rev. Thomas-Breitfeld earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1974 and she received her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1979.  A full biography can be found on the synod website:  http://scsw-elca.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Thomas-BreitfeldBio.pdf

Learn more about Bishop Elect Thomas-Breitfeld

Biographical information from Bishop Election

ELCA “Bishop-elect Reflect on Historic votes”

ELCA News 5/9/2018

Wisconsin State Journal News Article

 

Bishop Lozada Keynote Presentation available for download

Bishop Felipe Lozada-Montañez of our partner synod, the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA, gave an update of the challenges still facing the people and congregations of Puerto Rico and what we can do to continue to walk with them through their recovery efforts.  Bishop Felipe, and his wife, Ana, accepted the offering from our congregations and extended their deep appreciation for our synod’s generosity and partnership.

Download & share this presentation: “Caribbean Synod Update on the Reality & Hurricanes.”

Our assembly offering of $19,258.45 was designated for hurricane relief efforts for our brothers and sisters of the Caribbean Synod of the ELCA.