Property Manager (Middleton)

St. Luke’s in Middleton is looking for a new Property Manager who has experience with cleaning and maintaining the mechanical features of the church building; this includes the grounds surrounding the building and the cemetery. This involves working with other staff and volunteers, purchasing supplies, problem solving, and supervision of part-time custodial staff. They will also be responsible for room set ups and take downs for both the worshiping community and groups external to the church. Please contact Pastor Martha Butzier at mbutzier@stlukes-elca.org by submitting your resume.

Keyboardist (McFarland)

McFarland Lutheran Church is seeking an organist/pianist to provide music for 3 weekend worship services. This person would also accompany choir rehearsals one evening a week, and accompany choir performances on Sunday morning. The position is approximately 10-12 hours/week. Please contact Pastor Tim Dean at 608-838-3184 or tdean@mcfarlandlutheran.org for more information and to apply. 

Bell Choir Director (Beloit)

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Beloit, WI is looking for a part-time bell choir director. This individual would conduct weekly bell choir rehearsals from late August to early May and direct the bell choir in worship services once-a-month from September to May. Included is responsibility for working with staff in planning and organizing this ministry in line with the congregation’s mission. To apply or learn more about this position, compensation, and hours, please contact Pastor Tony Dusso at pastortony@oursaviorsbeloitwi.org or 608-362-0716.

Director of Youth Ministries (Madison)

Bethel Lutheran Youth Ministry (Middle and High School) exists to help young people live lives centered in Jesus Christ that is nurtured by engaging worship, service for peace and justice, development of friends and community, recreation and fun, varied spiritual practices, and exploration of relevant Biblical themes, characters and events. The goal of Bethel Youth Ministry is to enable young people to discover their own spiritual and religious voices, express their views and commitments, act in the world for peace and justice, and discover a sense of purpose in the good news of Jesus Christ. Interested people should submit a resume and references to Pastor Mike Brown at pastormike@bethel-madison.org.

Mission Moment: Young Adults in Global Mission

Each week we share a mission moment. Why do we call them mission moments? In short, because every time you put money in the offering plate at your congregation, you are supporting these missions of the wider church through the money that your congregation sends on to the synod in the form of MISSION SUPPORT. Some call this benevolence. The ELCA encourages us to refer to this in a more meaningful way by calling it Mission Support. YOU are supporting the missions of the ELCA at all three expressions…your congregation, your synod and churchwide and we THANK YOU for your offerings. This mission moment shows how you are helping to raise up leaders through Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) through ELCA HUNGER FELLOWSHIPS. A short video has been created about their experiences, and here also in writing is a reflection from one of those in our midst who ends her fellowship with LOPPW on August 12, Kelsey Johnson.

Many of us have had the pleasure of walking with (or sometimes running with!) Kelsey Johnson, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin Hunger Fellow and member of Midvale Lutheran Church. You may have seen her leading workshops at LEAD & Synod Assembly, addressing the Senate Committee hearing for the Human Trafficking bill, at the Immigration, Asylum & Our Response Forum, at the movie conversation, “Emanuel” and in the synod office to name a few. Kelsey has worked in the LOPPW office under the direction and guidance of LOPPW Director, Rev. Cindy Crane.

She writes, “I’m excited to share this short video about the ELCA hunger advocacy fellowship I’ve had the privilege of experiencing in the context of Wisconsin for the last year. The fellowship has been challenging, life-giving, invaluable, and has shaped my growth trajectory in profound ways. Thank you to the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, the ELCA Advocacy state public policy network, and ELCA world hunger for empowering my voice and gifting me the experience to develop as a leader and advocate. Thank you to the 6 synods I’ve worked alongside in Wisconsin. I look forward to continuing these relationships as I continue candidacy for the next four years through the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

Also, a special thank you to the young adults/not so young adults I’ve served alongside this year. These have been and continue being transformative relationships and experiences I’m so deeply grateful to carry.”

Note: Kelsey Johnson is at the very end of the video:

ELCA Hunger Advocacy Fellows 2018-19

The summer #heat can be felt nation-wide, and so can contributions of Hunger Advocacy Fellows at 6 sites around the U.S. thanks to ELCA World Hunger in 2018-19. Peek into their roles & share the encouragement of their advocacy that moves us toward a just world & end to hunger.

Posted by ELCA Advocacy on Monday, July 22, 2019

https://www.facebook.com/elcaadvocacy/videos/561152794289517/

To learn more, also visit: www.elca.org/careers

Equipping the Saints: Sabbath

One of the tenets of the mission of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin is to equip our leaders to carry out the work of the church.   As a part of that effort, we want to share resource material either recommended by synod council, synod staff or team leaders of our synod.  Each month we will highlight books, videos, articles from knowledgeable leaders and more that we know to be particularly life-giving for our shared kingdom work.  These will also soon be posted to the synod website.

This first selection, Sabbath, is one of our Vice President’s favorite reads.   “This book gave me a wonderful reminder of what a gift the Sabbath is particularly in light of a world littered with stress and busyness.”    ~  Jane Cahill Wolfgram, Synod Vice President

Publisher’s Synopsis:  In today’s world, with its relentless emphasis on success and productivity, we have lost the necessary rhythm of life, the balance between work and rest. Constantly striving, we feel exhausted and deprived in the midst of great abundance. We long for time with friends and family, we long for a moment to ourselves.

Millennia ago, the tradition of Sabbath created an oasis of sacred time within a life of unceasing labor. Now, in a book that can heal our harried lives, Wayne Muller, author of the spiritual classic How, Then, Shall We Live?, shows us how to create a special time of rest, delight, and renewal–a refuge for our souls.

We need not even schedule an entire day each week. Sabbath time can be a Sabbath afternoon, a Sabbath hour, a Sabbath walk. With wonderful stories, poems, and suggestions for practice, Muller teaches us how we can use this time of sacred rest to refresh our bodies and minds, restore our creativity, and regain our birthright of inner happiness.

Note to Rostered Leaders and Spouses:  We are excited to announce that the Author of Sabbath, the Rev. Dr. Wayne Muller will be one of our speakers for this year’s Bishop’s Convocation October 6-8 in Dubuque, IA for rostered leaders and spouses!  You may wish to read this before the event.  In addition to “Sabbath,” copies of his other titles will be available for purchase at the event.

Note to congregational leaders:  Make sure to send your pastors and deacons to Bishop’s Convocation as they are sure to come back inspired to share all that they have learned with you!

2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly

Walk Together With Us!

Nineteen leaders in our synod were elected at last year’s synod assembly to be voting members at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly to be held August 5 – 10 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The Churchwide Assembly is the primary decision-making body of the ELCA and gathers every three years. Voting members are chosen locally from across the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, representing the diverse communities, congregations, synods, perspectives and geographic contexts of the ELCA.

But just because you aren’t among the elected, doesn’t mean you can’t be “in the know!” We invite you to walk together with us as there are many ways to do this. First, get to know our voting members and please hold them in prayer during this time as they fulfill their important role in speaking to the matters before the assembly and communicating back to the synod all that they have learned.

Our voting members are:

• Rev. Sue Beadle – Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church (DeForest)
• Miriam Bohlman Kunz – Lake Edge Lutheran Church (Madison)
• Jane Cahill Wolfgram – Vice President, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
• Deacon Vicki Hanrahan – Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Life, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
• Jessie Hodgson – First English Lutheran Church (Platteville)
• Jen Kooistra – Director of Youth, Family & Education Ministries, St. John’s Lutheran (Oregon)
• Theo Kooistra – St. John’s (Oregon)
• Rev. Steve Kottke – Assistant to the Bishop for Mobility, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
• Rev. Felix Malpica – Pastor, Faith Lutheran Church (Janesville)
• Rev. Gabriel Marcano, Pastor, Parroquia Luterana Santa Maria (Beloit)
• Deacon Lisa Miller – Dir. of Discipleship & Communications, Peace Lutheran Church, Fort Myers, FL
• Heidi Muenchow – First Lutheran Church (Beaver Dam)
• Nathan Nelson Houstin – Trinity Lutheran Church (Madison)
• Rev. Matthew Poock – Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran Church (Evansville)
• Kathryn Small – Lake Edge Lutheran Church (Madison)
• Trevor Thom – Member of Synod Council and Immanuel (Watertown)
• Ben Johnston-Urey – Director of Music, First Lutheran Church (Janesville)
• Jason Xiong – Seminarian, Lake Edge Lutheran Church (Madison)
• Rev. Mae Jean Zelle – Pastor, Lake Edge Lutheran Church (Madison)

 

Assembly Voting Matters & Hearings

When the ELCA Churchwide Assembly convenes, its voting members meet with confidence in God’s grace around word and water, wine and bread, to carry on their work on behalf of the entire church. Over the course of the assembly, voting members:

  • Hear reports and review the work of churchwide officers, leaders and units;
  • Receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
  • Elect officers, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
  • Election of the Presiding Bishop & Secretary
  • Establish ELCA churchwide policy;
  • Worship together;
  • Adopt a budget; and
  • Conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.

You may be interested to know the other items we will be discussing and voting on:

Word & Service Entrance Rite 
We will discuss the work of the Entrance Rite Discernment Working Group and the constitutional amendments proposed for the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service and their status in the “representational principles” of this church.

“Faith, Sexism, and Justice” Recommended Proposed Social Statement 
This is the recommended proposed social statement on “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action.”

Declaration to People of African Descent
The ELCA “Declaration to People of African Descent” names the role of the Lutheran church’s historical complicity in slavery and its enduring legacy of racism in the United States and globally. Where does the ELCA go from here?

Inter-Religious Policy Statement    
The hearings for “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,” will be discussed.  For more detailed background information, see: http://bit.ly/elcainterreligious

Budget 
The Office of the Presiding Bishop prepares a triennial budget for the churchwide organization in consultation with the Office of the Treasurer and the Budget and Finance Committee of the Church Council.

Network of Colleges & Universities 
Five years ago, the Domestic Mission unit collaborated with ELCA colleges and universities to create the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities as an unincorporated, missional association to oversee churchwide ministry in higher education. We’ll learn about NECU’s collective work to further the mission of Lutheran higher education to develop leaders for this church and the world.

ELCA World Hunger  
Conversation about this church’s creative and courageous work and service toward a just world where all are fed.

AMMPARO Initiative  
The 2016 Churchwide Assembly overwhelmingly adopted AMMPARO, the ELCA strategy to accompany migrant minors with protection, advocacy, representation, and opportunities. We will hear a 3-year update from Krish Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Theological Education
Seminary leaders will address theological education in the ELCA.

Authentic Strategic Diversity & Inclusion
We will discuss the “Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity within the ELCA.”

Updating Vision & Expectations Listening Session  
In April 2019, the ELCA Church Council declined to consider “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God”, a document drafted to replace Vision & Expectations. The original intent of Vision & Expectations was to serve as a teaching opportunity about the shared expectations which this church has of its rostered ministers. However, over time the document was often used as a prescriptive or juridical document. The Church Council requested that further consideration of a new Vision & Expectations document be part of a process that intentionally includes diverse voices. A listening group met in June to begin such a process. This listening session is another opportunity for diverse voices to be heard concerning Vision & Expectations, and in particular, to answer the question: “What does the church need?”

 

Stay Connected via Livestream

ELCA Churchwide Assembly — Livestream
The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the church’s primary decision-making event, is a process of communal spiritual discernment — a time for us to be the living body of Christ, guided by the Spirit and conformed to God’s will. Watch our Livestream of the 15th Churchwide Assembly, Aug. 5 through 10.

Link: https://www.elca.org/churchwideassembly

 

Supporting the Assembly

During the assembly, you are invited to pray for all voting members and for the work of the assembly. Daily prayer responses are offered to walk through the week:

Monday, August 5

Holy God, hope of the poor and balm of the brokenhearted, stir up in us the gift of your Spirit that we may hear your good news and proclaim it in word and deed; through Jesus your anointed, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Tuesday, August 6

O God, the giver of every good gift, you set before us the feast of gladness. Gather your fractured human family, welcome us in our weakness, feed us with your mercy, and clothe us with life itself: Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, August 7

Glorious God, through the waters of the sea you led your people from slavery to freedom. Through the waters of baptism you bring us with Christ from death into life. Roll away the stone of our fear and doubt that we may sing your praise and dance to your glory; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Song. Amen.

Thursday, August 8

Almighty and all-merciful God, for freedom you have set us free from every power that would enslave us. Create in us the heart of a servant and bind us to our neighbors with the love of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. Friday, August 9 O Light Unseen, O Love unknown, O Life unending, your Word came as one among us to draw us to your loving heart and give us your abundant life. Pour out upon your wounded world grace upon grace through your Beloved, Jesus Christ, our Light and our Salvation. Amen.

Saturday, August 10

O God, source of all life, you raised Jesus from the dead and gave us the Spirit of his resurrection. Unbind your church from sin and the fear of death. Set us free to praise you with grateful hearts and to serve the world in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Administrative Assistant (Baraboo)

St. Paul’s is looking for an experienced office professional to cover administrative and secretarial duties.  This is a part time (30 hrs/ week) position with regular office hours: Monday – Thursday (9am-12; 1-4pm) and Fridays (9am-12).  Please contact Pastor Karen Hofstad @ pastor@stpaulslutheranchurch.us or 608-434-3397 with any inquiries or questions.  A detailed job description can be provided upon request.  Application deadline: Friday, August 16th.

Mission Moment: God’s Love Lets Us Retire!

God’s Love Lets Us Retire! But What Does That Look Like for Retired Pastors and Deacons in Our Synod?

Don’t let the word, “retirement,” fool you. In our beloved community of our synod, our retired clergy hardly stop moving when they retire. Retirement seems more like a state of mind than a slowing down. In fact, retired rostered ministers in our synod continue to serve in many different capacities and we are very grateful for that. But to them, it is about serving in a gentler way…taking sabbath as they need it…and choosing to serve in ways that feed their souls the most.

Perhaps who has said it best is recently retired pastor, Rev. Ken Schaub. Last Sunday, the members of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Reedsburg participated in a sending service for their interim contract pastor, Rev. Ken Schaub. Ken had finished his one-year commitment to the congregation for interim ministry concurrently with announcing his retirement. In his words, “Now I know that I am not done. I know I will be riding a circuit for supply preaching around the synod…but maybe not during the winter in the hinterlands.” And that is true. Retired clergy can choose to say “no,” if they don’t want to drive to rural congregations during wintertime; they can choose the weekends in which preaching works for them; they can serve in short 5-week stints such as in teaching Diakonia courses. The beauty for our retired is that they design their retirement calls. Often time is spent in conversations with the synod staff person, Rev. Steve Kotte, who helps our rostered navigate the waters of retirement.

This is a joyous time for our retired as they get to combine all their passions…continuing to preach on occasion, (as exhorting the good news to their flocks is one of the things they often miss the most), but they can lean into other passions be it spending time with grandchildren, spouses, children, hobbies, travel, or just being!

I seem to be specializing in “sending services” these days and have in the past two months sent off two pastors to their retirement. Pastor Mark Peterson recently retired after serving as contract interim at Faith Lutheran Church in Columbus. During his final children’s sermon, Pastor Mark shared that he was looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, but that there will be a little spot in his heart that will need a band aid for his missing the children of Faith Lutheran church who endeared themselves to Pastor Mark. Transitions can be bittersweet and we recognize that it’s not easy for congregations and members to say good bye to each other. But say good bye we must as we send them on to other parts of God’s kingdom.

Ways that retired pastors serve are numerous! They serve as:
* Interim contract pastors
* Synod Committees
* Pulpit Supply
* diakonia Instructors
* Synod’s Speaker’s Bureau
* Volunteer in the synod office
* Guest Preachers for Thursday Worship in the Synod Chapel

To keep our rostered retired and those with spouses connected, quarterly gatherings are held that include a meal, fellowship and updates. Former Bishop, Rev. George Carlson is the chair of the retired clergy group and organizes these gatherings. Another way our retired serve!

Pastor Rich Johnson (formerly pastor of All Saints, Fitchburg and now retired) serves as a Diakonia instructor and recently taught an excellent class on Christian Worship.
God’s love makes us new each day. For all of our retired, we continue to be grateful that they consider serving us in new ways. They are on our roster of ministers, are invited to synod events and are considered to be actively serving, until they tell us otherwise!

Meal Program Coordinator (Madison)

Lutheran Campus Ministry seeks a Meal Program Coordinator for its Taste of Grace Community Lunch. Serving about 100 students per weekday during the academic term, our community meal supports students experiencing food insecurity and nurtures community and friendships in an environment of genuine hospitality. An ideal candidate for this half-time position will have experience in large scale cooking in an institutional setting and interest in working with students and volunteers to create a welcoming community.