Welcome to our annual Leadership, Education and Development Day, “LEAD,”! This year, our theme and keynote relates to John 15.11. We’ll talk about the complexity of joy in troubled times and how the currencies and gifts God has given us can nurture this joy. Pastor Julie Boleyn and James Fielder from Kaleidoscope Institute will be joining us as our keynote speakers. We will also have 24 workshops on a variety of topics that are relevant to all. So invite your staff, lay leaders and people that help your congregation thrive!
What Happens at LEAD?
Registration for LEAD is now closed. If you have questions about your registration or need to make any changes please contact the synod office at (608) 270-0201.
Registration for LEAD is $30.00 per person* and includes a box lunch. In addition to paying onsite at registration by check, payment for registrations can also be made in two ways:
*Note that you may submit one payment per organization/congregation.
We sometimes think that our aging is a cause for decline of the church. But our aging actually places us in the center of the largest and fastest growing demographic in most of our communities, the state of Wisconsin, the United States and the world. Contemporary elders experience life changes, transitions, needs for new understandings, religious curiosity, and places to be with others at unprecedented levels. Many older congregations have an amazing opportunity for evangelism and growth. Eldre Felleskapp (Norwegian for Elder Fellowship) is an exploration of the challenges, possibilities, and potential strategies for those interested in reframing or rethinking their approach to aging in the life of the church.
As the benefits administrator for your organization, your pastors, deacons, and lay employees rely on you to help them navigate their ELCA benefits. In this session, discover the resources available to help you effectively sponsor and understand the fullness of your benefits and retirement through Portico Benefit Services.
Engage conversation around current issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Bring your questions about church, politics, or current events. What don’t you understand? Or what do you wish your congregation knew better?
Meet with members of the Synod’s Racial Equity Team as they share several options for bringing anti-racism education, conversation, and action to your congregation.
The past two years have been extraordinary times for pastors and congregations with over 25% of clergy considering leaving parish ministry. Look at what congregational leadership and pastors can do to survive and thrive.
It can be hard to know how to talk about youth mental health issues and where to start. Whether you are able to see it or not, our youth face mental health issues every day. The pandemic has canceled many social events and turned school, faith formation and more virtual, accordingly our youth are experiencing higher levels of isolation, stress, anxiety, and depression. As people who work with youth in faith settings, we should help reduce stigma associated with talking about mental health. For young people, taking part in conversations and activities when emotions and feelings are included, talked about and emphasized can make a big difference. We are not experts in any sense, but in this workshop we hope to share ideas that we have used with our youth that have helped, as well as give an opportunity to brainstorm together.
Workshop with our keynote presenters.
One of the key principles in Benedictine Spirituality is to see Christ in everyone you meet. As a Benedictine Oblate, I try to follow this principle, most especially in my ministry with people with disabilities. After working with people with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities for seven years, I can offer some insights, learning and tips from my ministry that might be beneficial to you in your ministry. Multisensory activities are an important part of my ministry and I’ll guide us in learning some of these creative activities. Deacon Judy Nolde serves as chaplain of Central Wisconsin Center in Madison, WI. She is also a spiritual director and retreat leader.
Explore what it means to be or become a Reconciling in Christ congregation, striving to be fully inclusive, including people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and working for racial equity and anti-racism, with resources and support on the RIC process and its impact for congregations. Open to anyone who wants to learn more, from new to the concept to taking further steps as RIC.
Are you interested in joining the ongoing efforts of the church in providing relief and resettlement for our Afghan neighbors? Come to this workshop to learn how you and your congregation may serve as volunteers, support refugee families, and assist the resettlement work of our partner agencies in Southern Wisconsin.
Today’s church looks nothing like the church of our grandparents and parents, however our church leaders often operate just as the churches of our past. Our church leaders are challenged with needing to maintain a healthy congregation while leading change for the future. It is vital that congregation leaders understand their roles and responsibilities in order to effectively lead their congregations successfully into the future. If you are a Council President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary or Committee Chair you might want to attend this workshop.
What does it look like to close a congregation? Where do your assets go? Who makes the final decisions? If you’ve noticed the people, resources, and energy for mission in your congregation declining and want to have an honest conversation about what comes next, come to this workshop as we bust the myths, and explore the truths of what it takes for a congregation to die well.
In the world of a pandemic with all of its individual and system impacts, trauma has become a common household word. What does this word mean? Is it about surviving a hurricane? A forest fire? A tour of duty in Afghanistan? Homelessness? Yes and so much more. In this session, you will learn more about trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and how all of this impacts our church. What can we as people of faith do to support individuals impacted by ACES and trauma in our worship, our education, our service, and our outreach? Join this session to gain a deeper understanding of this critical topic for our church today.
How can we do hybrid ministry without expanding our to-do lists? It won’t be easy, but there is a way forward for both low-tech and high-tech ministries. Learn more about sustaining digital in this interactive workshop with author Ryan Panzer.
Whether you’ve heard of it, or this is new to you, come learn more about the SCSW Small Town & Rural Youth Ministry Initiative, the purpose, and the dream for it. There will also be an open floor discussion! Led by Rachel Mueller, who began her work in December 2019 as Director of Youth and Family Ministry and Coordinator of the STAR Youth Ministry Initiative.
Workshop with our keynote presenters.
If you’re interested in a path that helps you be in service to those around you and are ready to break out of the rut we often refer to as ‘meetings’, then I invite you to join me for an introduction to Facilitative Leadership. We will explore a holistic approach to meetings that will allow you to tend to the needs of the individuals while accomplishing remarkable things as a council, committee or congregation. You will leave with both practical tools to try back home, as well as some ‘homework’ for building your capacity to facilitate engaging, soul-filled meetings that everyone will want to be part of!
Learn about our roots for doing justice work as people of faith, and explore the following questions: What are the ELCA’s current advocacy priorities? What are some of the pressing issues in Wisconsin? What are your concerns? Gain tips on how to exercise your public voice and how to talk about justice with your congregations.
Is your congregation planning an expansion or change in use for excess space? Do you control vacant property or other land separate from the church site? How do you describe your plans for buildings and property to City Hall? The terms of municipal planning and zoning regulations can be a foreign language to church leadership. This workshop will walk through common issues and procedures for local government land use decisions and how they can affect your congregation’s goals and purpose.
We know it’s more effective when someone comes to their own conclusions rather than being told what is do. But how do we help them do this? Life coaching is about asking questions that create space for the other person(s) to discover their own next steps. Join me to learn how you can do this. Lisa Nelson has been a pastor for 28 years and is serving St Mark’s Lutheran Church in Madison. She has recently started her own life coaching business and invites you to go to her website at thecoachingpath.org.
A new 2021 publication by John D. Herman (retired Lutheran pastor and writer) has put together a wonderful Bonhoeffer biography and study guide that is presented in a simple, user-friendly way. This resource and workshop will help church leaders prepare and provide an enlightening study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. More importantly it serves to highlight a martyr whose example of Christian faith and hope in the face of fear and uncertainty are as relevant to our 21st century challenges as they were in 1930’s pre-war Germany.
Since the Middle Ages Christians have walked this ancient pilgrimage across northern Spain. Also called “The Way of Saint James” this long walk traverses incredibly beautiful scenery over old Roman roads (from 1st century BC) and through the Pyrenees mountains and tiny villages dotted with buildings, churches and bridges that date back as far as the 11th century. Come and hear why 278,000 people complete this pilgrimage each year. David and Anne Andert walked the Camino Frances in fall 2016 and the Camino del Norte in fall 2018. The Frances was a 40 day journey, and we know that whenever the number “40” appears in the bible, something significant is about to happen. If you’ve watched the movie, “The Way” with Martin Sheen, you’ve seen the path they walked in 2016.
Warning: the Camino gets under your skin. You may find yourself making plans, too. (Anderts also started the only chapter of “American Pilgrims on the Camino” here in Wisconsin.)
The politics of our time have pulled Christians of all stripes into toxic, adversarial relationships. Instead of living as siblings in Christ, united in baptism, we have believed the lie that the only way to discuss politics and act for justice is to win the argument and demonize the other side. The alternative is to avoid it altogether, and sadly, many do. But both approaches are unfaithful, destroy communities and families, and do nothing to create a more just world. Come to this workshop to help reframe and reorient our discourse and actions in a way that reflects both the gentle compassion and the courageous boldness of Jesus.
Workshop with our keynote presenters.