The Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn Beth Sayler, William A. & John E. Wagner Professor of Biblical Theology and Distinguished Professor of Bible at Wartburg Theological Seminary passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday, November 11, 2019. She was 71. Gwen served WTS faithfully as professor for twenty-nine years where generations of church leaders learned Hebrew Bible, ministry, and advocacy in her classes. She also has served on the Candidacy Committee for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin for more than twenty years.
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Dr. Stephen J. Cornils, Chair of the Wartburg Theological Seminary Board of Directors, shared the news this week that the Rev. Louise Johnson notified him of her resignation as President of Wartburg Theological Seminary, effective December 31, 2019.
Following Jesus, who commanded his followers, ‘Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another,’ and believing that all persons are created in the image of God, the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA, strives to be fully inclusive for all. This synod welcomes people of every race, background, age, political affiliation, economic and social status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and mental and physical ability, while striving to enable all people to participate fully in the life and work of the church and its expressions.
We are bound. Bound by our sin, by the expectations of others, by poverty, by ”-isms” that try to divide us, and by so much more. In a life that often feels like it has young people in a suffocating grip, we want them to imagine the boundlessness of God: boundless love, boundless mercy, boundless freedom, boundless creation, boundless strength. All offered from a gracious and loving God who knows and adores them. All so abundant and endless it cannot be measured.
As you may recall, Rev. Kirsten Fryer served as one of our deployed pastors doing God’s work through ELCA Global Mission. We thank you for supporting her ministry with St. Andrews Refugee Service and St. Andrews United Church of Cairo. She is now back in the states in her new call and sends us this update and letter of gratitude.
On Nov. 9, 2019, the world will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As we look back to remember this important moment in human history, we are reminded that there is much work to be done to tear down the walls that divide us today.
The 4th Annual Faith in Numbers, hosted by Wegner CPAs, is two weeks away and we want to make sure you are there! This day is filled with relevant breakout sessions filled with tips that you can take straight back to your organization and implement. The impact of this day is made not only with the presentations but through all of the connections created between the attendees of this conference. Collaborate with other churches, listen to other organization’s pain points, share your success stories, and make this conference our best one yet!
Faith-based organizations often serve as a trusted source of help and connection for many Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families (SMVF). An increasing number of faith-based organizations and leaders not only assist with the spiritual needs of SMVF but also provide support with many areas related to readjustment and strengthening resiliency, wellness, and recovery. They are often referred to as “force multipliers” due to their help and support to so many SMVF on the path to positive behavioral health and well-being.
We are pleased to present new monthly Equipping The Saints webinars that offer a presentation on a single topic by a host and speaker using the Zoom format. Content is thoughtfully developed and led by area experts to help you be faithful and comfortable in your role as a leader in your congregation. All webinars are free of charge and are 60 minutes max. They are interactive and offer you the opportunity to ask questions and share best practices.
The Women of the ELCA and Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin joined together to hold a rally on youth are impacted by sex trafficking on September 24. The day began at Messiah Lutheran Church in Madison. We then went to the capitol, equipped with information and faith-based responses to advocate for the Safe Harbor bill. AB 41/AB 49 would move Wisconsin ahead in directing trafficked youth to receiving human services rather than criminalizing them.