Mission Moment: Anti-Human Trafficking Work

South-Central Synodical Women’s Organization
Anti-Human Trafficking Work Is Making A Difference!
By Helen Sheahan, Past President, South-Central Synodical Women’s Organization

For our South-Central Synodical Women’s Organization, understanding and responding to human trafficking is a call to walk with Jesus.

At the 2014 and 2017 Women of the ELCA Triennial Conventions, women voted to continue to bring awareness of and to prevent human trafficking. Women of the ELCA has focused on ending human trafficking for over a decade.
This year there were bills introduced in both legislatures on 3 topics related to human trafficking. Along with the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin and 2 other Wisconsin women’s synod organizations, our women’s synod board participated in the legislative process and had an impact. Over 400 postcards supporting the bills were signed by women during our 2019 Spring Gatherings in April.

In March, Helen Sheahan and Margo Holzman, women’s board members, attended a hearing on Assembly Bill 41, Safe Harbor for Trafficked Youth at the state Capitol along with Rev. Cindy Crane, Director of Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, Deacon Vicki Hanrahan of the Synod staff, and other Women of the ELCA.

Our work continued September 24 when our South-Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization was a co-sponsor of a rally that included education and visiting representatives and senators at the state Capitol. Women from around the state participated. The culmination of our efforts was the signing of AB 22-SB 25 into law as Act 27 on Nov. 20. This bill requires truck driver education to include information on human trafficking. Helen Sheahan was present at the signing, shook the Governor’s hand, and even received a state pen, symbolic of having an active interest in the passing of the bill. The signing was very well attended by supportive legislators, Department of Human Services administrators, and anti-human trafficking advocates. What impressed Helen was the Governor’s knowledge about the reason and benefits of the bill and acknowledging the efforts done on a bipartisan level in support of the bill.
Over the past four years South-Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization has been offering education about human trafficking through workshops by Rev. Cindy Crane, Director of LOPPW, and Dawn Heath from Sugar Creek Lutheran Church and the Synod’s Speaker’s Bureau, and founder of Join the Movement Events, Inc., a nonprofit anti-human trafficking organization. These workshops and presentations have been at our Biennial Convention, synod wide women’s events, and Conference Gatherings.

The women’s board has made donations to Cherish All Children, a service of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, that offers services to combat human trafficking, and to Dawn Heath’s Join the Movement Events, Inc., and Lutheran Social Services.

Articles to educate about human trafficking and updates about anti-human trafficking legislation appear regularly in our quarterly newsletter, The Trumpeter, which is available free via email. We have published annual prayers for ant-human trafficking before the Super Bowl for the past 3 years.

Local women’s units are also active in anti-human trafficking efforts. One example this year is St. Peter’s in Loganville that sponsored five forums on human trafficking and used My Neighbor Is Not For Sale, a resource by Cherish All Children, a service of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, available through WELCA.org

Nationally, Women of the ELCA also provide the following:

  • A staff person – Jennifer DeLeon, ELCA Director for Justice, who is responsible for providing resources, programs, and assistance on anti-human trafficking.

Resources on WELCA.org website

  • “My Neighbor is Not for Sale” is a four-part guide for adult education sessions, youth groups and more, produced by Cherish All Children, a service of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota.
  • “UNDERSTANDING & RESPONDING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING”, is a discussion study
  • Human Trafficking 101, a powerpoint of basic information

Exhibits at the 2015 & 2018 National ELCA Youth Gatherings on anti-sex-trafficking and collected kind gifts for anti-human trafficking organizations.

$2000 grant in 2015 to Lutheran Office for Public Policy (LOPPW) in Wisconsin for travel, supplies, printing, and speaker expenses for their project “Safe Harbor Campaign”, a statewide education program on Human Trafficking, held in 3 locations.

Thank you for your mission support that helps our church follow Jesus by putting our faith into
action to protect our most vulnerable. Sometimes your offerings that get sent on to the larger church
come back to our synod in forms of grants such as the once received by LOPPW. We are church together
for the sake of the world!

Governor Tony Evers signs AB 22-SB 25 into law as Act. 27 on November 20. (Helen Sheahan seen left in blue). Helen Sheahan representing WELCA and Rev. Cindy Crane and Intern Amelia Gonzales represented LOPPW. The bipartisan bill Governor Evers signed into law requires commercial driving education to include information on human trafficking and how to spot the signs of it. WELCA members from around the state were very active in advocating for this bill.

ELCA Church Council Update

The ELCA Church Council met at the Lutheran Center in Chicago, Nov. 7-10. Twenty-three new members, elected by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, were welcomed. The council serves as the ELCA’s board of directors and interim legislative authority between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly.

The council took the following key actions:

• Authorized use of ministry rites for pastors and deacons in response to constitutional changes by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly that identified ordination as the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service. The ministry rites for ordination to the ministry of Word and Service, ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, installation of a deacon and installation of a pastor will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

• Created an advisory team to receive updates, track progress and provide periodic reports on the “Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA,” adopted by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

• Adopted a continuing resolution authorizing the creation of a resource development committee of the council to continue developing strategies related to funding initiatives and future churchwide appeals.

• Adopted the “Memorandum of Mutual Recognition of Relations of Full Communion” among The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the ELCA as a way to strengthen ties among the two U.S. and two Canadian churches.

• Authorized development of a social message on the vocation of citizenship, civic engagement, and church and state, as requested by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

• Received the final report of its Theological Education Advisory Committee, approved the committee’s recommended transition plan and thanked the committee members for their service.

• Approved a 2020 spending authorization of $67,666,652 for the churchwide organization and $21,596,595 for ELCA World Hunger.

• Received an update on the development of the resource “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” the replacement for “Vision and Expectations,” which articulates the church’s hopes and expectations for its rostered ministers.

• Adopted the Reference and Counsel Committee recommendations regarding unfinished business from the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

• Referred to the Domestic Mission unit the Conference of Bishops recommendation that the unit give top priority to this church’s response to the global crisis of climate change.

• Thanked the Rev. Wyvetta Bullock for her faithful service as executive for administration and her many years of service to this church. Bullock will retire Jan. 30, 2020.

In a special order of the day, the council received a greeting from Ms. Rose Simmons, whose father, the Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr., was one of the nine congregants martyred in June 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

The council also received reports from the church’s presiding bishop, treasurer, secretary and vice president, from the ELCA Conference of Bishops, and from the ELCA’s separately incorporated ministries. They also received greetings from ecumenical partners.

#FarmNeighborsCare

#FarmNeighborsCare
Wednesday, December 11
12:00 noon –2 pm (Lunch included)

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
325 Mill Street, Loganville

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church along with the Farmer Angel Network will be hosting #Farm Neighbors Care.

Farmers, ag business people and anyone interested in supporting the farming community is invited to join us for a light-hearted program featuring Ben Bromley, area newspaper columnist, theater guild actor, and satirist. His often out of the box view on everyday happenings will give all of us a reason to laugh and smile.

Farmer resource contacts from UWEX, Sauk County Public Health, and Wisconsin Farm Center will be available to assist farm families. Soup and sandwich lunch will be served.

Attention Portico Benefits Participants

Dates for ELCA Benefits Plan Annual Enrollment Portico Update from your Regional Representative, Jennifer Prinz:

ELCA Primary Health Plan Wellness Dollars:
Plan members have until Nov. 30 to earn up to $400 wellness dollars that can be used for medical expenses. If your spouse is also on the health plan, they can, too. If you have already started earning, don’t forget to complete your activities. If you haven’t yet started, now is the time to begin. Click here to learn more.

Innovation Brings Low 2020 Health Rate Increase and More Support: If you haven’t read about changes coming in 2020 to the ELCA Benefits Plan, click the link below to find out more.

https://myportico.porticobenefits.org/?redirectUrl=%2Fcampaign%2Fannual-enrollment

L.I.R.S. Hope for the Holidays

Bring Joy & Hope to Families in Immigration Detention Through LIRS Hope for the Holidays   

The holidays should be a magical, wondrous time, but this year in America, hundreds of children and families will be spending the holiday behind bars — because they crossed the United States border seeking protection.

You can bring joy and hope to families in immigration detention, and to children who crossed our borders alone, by joining LIRS’s Hope for the Holidays annual campaign to send cards and gifts to families impacted by immigration detention. With your help, LIRS will ensure that every family in immigration detention receives a Christmas gift and thousands of other immigrants awaiting safety and protection in the United States receives Christmas cards. Together we can remind our brothers and sisters that they are not alone this holiday season.

Visit LIRS.org/Hope to:

  • Watch the 2019 Webinar and learn more about the campaign
  • Access the toolkit with details and sample messages for card-writing
  • Donate to purchase gifts for families in detention

Link to website: https://www.lirs.org/take-action/hope-for-the-holidays/

(LIRS.org/Hope redirects to the above link)

Link to toolkit: https://www.lirs.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-Hope-for-the-Holidays-Card-Campaign.pdf

To ensure delivery to children and families in time for the holidays, cards and donations must be sent in by December 6, 2019.

Custodial Position (Middleton)

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Middleton has a position available for a part-time custodian (15 hrs./week). Holidays required. Most hours worked during the week, with filling in on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesday evenings as needed. Duties include vacuuming, dusting, room setup, coffee hour help, and more.

Licensed Psychotherapist (Madison)

The Samaritan Counseling Center of Southern Wisconsin is expanding our services and seeking a full time licensed psychotherapist.

Mission Moment: Synod Prayer Team

South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Synod Prayer Team

 Did you know that the synod has a prayer team that actively prays for our synod?

 In a spirit of love and care for one another as rostered ministers of this synod, a Synod Prayer Team has been created to offer prayer for those times when a rostered minister would like either themselves or their loved ones to be lifted up in prayer. The synod prayer team also prays for our congregations, communities and our world.  We are the body of Christ together, and enfolding one another in prayer is a comforting and sustaining expression of this body.

Recently our team lifted in prayer Chaplain Mark Teslik and the community of Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage.   CCI was recently put on lock-down due to an incident of violence by an inmate against a staff member. 

 

Rev. Mark Teslik is a rostered leader in our synod, called to serve as a Chaplain to CCI providing spiritual care to this community that desperately needs to hear the good news and feel the presence of God.  Our team swiftly shared the prayer request for this beloved community.

 

Our team prays for our community leaders during legislative sessions that holy conversations would capture the hearts and imaginations of those participating for just and loving outcomes.

The members of the Synod Prayer Team are: Rev. Nancy Raabe, Rev. Lisa Nelson, Deacon Meg Nielsen, Diane Padrutt (co-chair), Deacon Judy Nolde (co-chair), Deacon Vicki Hanrahan, and Rev. Ken Smith.  If you would like the prayer team to pray for you, either contact the synod office or Deacon Judy Nolde who is coordinating the prayer team, at judynolde@sbcglobal.net (cell 608.219.4556). Deacon Judy then will send a prayer request by email to the prayer team asking for prayers.

Today, our team is holding in prayer the community of Wartburg Seminary on the loss of one of our beloved professors, colleague and friend in Rev. Dr. Gwen Sayler. 

 

To submit a prayer request, contact Deacon Judy Nolde at judynolde@sbcglobal.net or call her cell:  608.219.4556.

Ignite the Church Conference 2020

Ignite the Church Conference, Feb. 11-13, 2020

Get inspired, encouraged, challenged and warmed up at the Ignite the Church Conference in Orlando, Florida, February 11-13. In addition to large group gatherings on Congregational Vitality, there will be electives on Reaching Younger Generations, Expanding Kingdom Impact, Church Renewal and Discipleship, Renewing Music, Vitality through Mission, Engaging Your Neighborhood, Evangelism, Social Justice, and Raising Up Leaders along with a visit to Orlando’s Castle Church Brewing Community.

A $99 discounted rate, including 2 meals and snacks, is available until November 30th.

All proceeds benefit the ELCA Fund for Leaders. For more information go to www.IgniteTheChurch.net.   #ignitethechurch

Oakwood Village University Woods Seeks Sunday Worship Service Volunteer Group

Oakwood Village University Woods Seeks Sunday Worship Service Volunteer Group – Can You Help?

Oakwood is looking for (3 people) to help on the 3rd Sunday of January, March, May, July, September, and November, starting in 2020.  10:30 am – 12:00 pm.  Families can be an option, with children at least 10 years old.  Help residents in wheelchairs get to and from the service in Oakwood’s chapel; stay with the residents during the service; help collect the offering and/or give communion.  For more information, contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Kim Viney at (608)230-4238 or kim.viney@oakwoodvillage.net.