Staff

Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld

Bishop

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Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld was elected Bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin on May 6, 2018.  Prior to her election she served congregations in the Greater Milwaukee Synod and in Beloit, Wisconsin.  She currently serves as the co-chair of the Task Force on Women and Justice, ELCA; the Executive Board of the Women of the ELCA; and serves on the South-Central Synod of WI Racial Equity Team.  She served for six years on the Board of Trustees (Governance Com vice-chair) of the Mission Investment Fund as well as the ELCA Representative to the Illinois Synod Candidacy Team.  Bringing a rich history in community involvement while serving in congregations and on several synodical and churchwide teams, Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld envisions a synod that is a model for welcoming all people to God’s table.  Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld is married to the Rev. Fred Thomas-Breitfeld, pastor of Jackson Park Lutheran Church, Milwaukee.  They have two adult children, Leota and Sean, two son-in-laws and three grandchildren.

Rev. Joy Mortenson-Wiebe

Assistant to the Bishop, Director for Evangelical Mission

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Rev. Joy Mortenson-Wiebe joined the Synod Staff in January 2018 as part-time Interim Director of Evangelical Mission. Joy has been serving as an interim pastor in our synod for the last couple of years, and brings to the position years of experience as DEM in the East Central Synod of Wisconsin. We anticipate that she will fill this position through our transition time as a new Bishop is elected and takes office. We are grateful to the Domestic Mission Unit of the ELCA for their support of this position.

Rev. Joy Mortensen-Wiebe graduated from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1992. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from Lakeland College. Joy has served congregations in the South-Central synod as an interim. She also previously served as a Director of Evangelical Mission and Associate with the Bishop in the East Central Synod.  She is married to Rev. Darin Wiebe who serves Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI.  Darin and Joy have two adult daughters, Elida who works for the Milwaukee Symphony orchestra, and Julia who is a student at Capital University in Columbus, OH.

Rev. Steve Kottke

Assistant to the Bishop, Mobility, Care of Congregations and Youth & Young Adult Ministries

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Rev. Steve Kottke joined the Synod Staff as Assistant to the Bishop on June 1, 2014, with primary responsibilities in the areas of mobility, care of congregations, and youth and young adult ministries.

Pastor Steve is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He has served Grace Lutheran Church in Dodgeville for the past twelve years. Along with his call to Grace, he has also volunteered with several teams benefiting Dodgeville and Iowa County.

Believing the call to ministry is also a call to the greater Church, Steve has been active in various capacities for our Synod, including Synod Council, Synod Executive Committee and Cluster Convener. He completed Mediation Skills Training through the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, and has served on the Synod conflict management team.

Steve and his wife, Jennifer, live in Dodgeville, and are the parents of 3 adult children. We welcome him to this new call and look forward to our partnership in ministry.

Deacon Vicki Hanrahan

Synod Communicator & Event Manager

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Vicki Hanrahan Serves as your Synod Communicator and Event Manager.  She received a BA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin and is a 2009 graduate of the synod’s Lay School of Ministry.  Vicki spent the first 20 years of her career in the teleconferencing industry where her life’s work was about keeping people virtually connected.  Similarly, she finds keeping people in our synod connected to each other and to the greater church the most exciting aspect of her work. “Together, we can accomplish so much more than what we can do alone and I’ve seen us do some amazing things that really do matter as we strive to serve our brothers and sisters.”

As Synod Communicator, Vicki is passionate about communicating where God is at work in the world in, among, and through Lutherans of our congregations, campus ministries and worshipping communities in south-central Wisconsin. She produces the weekly e-newsletter, What Matters and the quarterly e-magazine, Walking Together. Vicki also serves as event manager for the annual Synod Assembly, LEAD, and Bishop’s Convocation and supports synod ministry teams with events throughout the year. She loves the day of the event when we all gather for capacity-building and conversation and then leave equipped and excited for God’s work!

Robyn Zimmerman

Executive Administrative Assistant

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Robyn is our Executive Administrative Assistant who will work with Bishop Viviane’s calendaring, candidacy, mobility, mission support and a myriad of other duties as required in a busy synod office. Robyn comes to us with over 20 years of Administrative and Hospitality experience. For the past eleven years she served at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Madison & Verona as Director of First Impressions, Worship Assistant, and Office Manager. Robyn is an active volunteer at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and finds great joy in being able to help others. Robyn and her husband, Kris, live in Madison and have two sons – Bryan and Aaron. She is very excited to be sharing her gifts and is looking forward to growing with the Synod and ELCA in the years to come.

We are church
We are Lutheran
We are church together
We are church for the sake of the world