Tour of Alpine Europe Hosted by Faith Lutheran (Janesville) July 13-23, 2020

Faith Lutheran Church (Janesville) Is Hosting This Trip and Invites Anyone Who Would Like to Join Them on This Unusual Tour

11 days: July 13-23, 2020

Visiting:  Heidelberg, Rhine Valley, Lucerne, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Munich & Rothenburg

Including the Passion Play of Oberammergau

Hosted by: Pastor Felix Malpica

Cost: $4659 peCustomizer person from Chicago

For a full brochure and registration form, visit their website:


Food Donations Needed for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Food Pantry

This is A Kind of Congregational Partnering We Are Praying for in Our Synod!

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Food Pantry on the south side of Madison has seen an increase of about 50% in families served in the last few months. Keeping the shelves stocked with food can be challenging, especially with a drop in donations since the beginning of the year. Some of the items currently needed are Hamburger Helper (or similar), canned peas and canned pineapple. Can you and your congregation or organization help? All contributions of food and funds are gratefully accepted! The pantry is open Tuesdays from 10:00 am to noon, and Thursdays from 5:45 to 7:30 pm. Donations of food can be dropped off during those times, or you can arrange another time by emailing We also invite you to email if you would like more information about the pantry and how you can help. St. Mark’s is located at 605 Spruce St., Madison WI, 53716.

Fight Food Insecurity! Partner with St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Together, We Can Make A Difference

Food insecurity is on the rise. On the south side of Madison, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Food Ministries are seeing an increase in people served at both our Food Pantry and our Free Friday Community Meal. This congregation, worshiping only 15-20 on a Sunday, is serving 25-30 families in the food pantry each week, and 50-60 individuals at the Friday meal each week. Partnerships are vital to our Food Ministry. Congregations, organizations, groups and individuals can partner with St. Mark’s by becoming hands-on volunteers on a regular or occasional basis; organizing group service projects; offering financial and volunteer support to help maintain our facility; and making donations of food and funds to our food ministries. For more information on how to partner with St. Mark’s, please contact us at St. Mark’s is located at 605 Spruce St., Madison WI, 53716







Kids Receive Peer Support at Time for Us Camp

Time for Us is an annual camp for youth, ages 10 – 18, who have a family member living with cognitive, neurological or trauma-related challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, PTSD, or Parkinson’s.

The nature-based Keepers of Memories activities help campers find paths toward understanding changes, developing coping skills, learning good nutrition, and creating connections between cognitive health and the health of our environment.

June 16 – 21, 2019

Bethel Horizons Camp, Dodgeville

Summer 2019 registrations are being accepted now.

Time for Us is sponsored by ADAW, Bethel Horizons, and forMemory, a network of persons affected by early-stage memory loss. Questions?

Contact Christine at (920) 734-9638 or Mary Kay Baum at   (608) 935-5834.

Do You Have A Prayer Shawl Ministry in Your Congregation?

Do You Have One That You Would Be Willing to Share for Caring Visits Made by Synod Staff?

An important part of our calls as synod staff is to care for our congregations.  There are certain occasions where we would like to bring a prayer blanket or shawl to someone in our synod to comfort them.  Do you have one or two that you would be willing to share?  If any of you are willing to help, please feel free to bring any donations to the synod office the next time you visit or bring it to Synod Assembly Attn:  Robyn Zimmerman.

Thank you for your consideration!  You can also sign up to donate on

Great Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals & Groups! St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

Great Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals & Groups! St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 605 Spruce St., Madison
You can help eliminate hunger in our community by volunteering for St. Mark’s Food Ministry! As we are a small congregation, we really need your help!

Volunteer yourself, or assemble a group of friends, co-workers, classmates, etc. Food pantry workers help clients shop, keep shelves neat, help with inventory. Friday Meal workers set-up the serving line, help serve, and cleanup after the meal. Whether you choose to serve on a regular basis or occasionally, you will make a difference at St. Mark’s Food Ministry!

Food Pantry:
Tuesdays, 9:30am-Noon
Thursdays, 5:30-7:30 pm

Free Community Meal (groups of 5-6 volunteers):
Every Friday, 11:00am-2:00pm
Contact Chris at

Annunciation House – An Immigration Ministry Supported By Rev. Mary Pharmer & Congregations

The Rev. Mary Pharmer is planning a road trip in May, carrying supplies for immigrants coming thru Annunciation House. Now there are close to 3,000 people a week. They have opened many more shelters. At their request, Mary is bringing
• Small adult underwear
• Socks
• Toothpaste/brushes
• Disposable shavers
• Tote bags, the kind that fold flat

People come with nothing. If they have items they are in a small plastic bag. If you or your congregation would like to contribute some items as indicated to Annunciation House, please contact Mary Pharmer directly by email: or phone: 608-698-7737. For more information on Annunciation House:

Midvale Lutheran Church Welcomes ALL to Equipping Events in March

No registration required…Just come!
Time: All Forums Start at 9:15 am
Midvale is located at: 4329 Tokay Boulevard, Madison

March 17: Kelsey Johnson – Young Adults in Global Mission – Palestine
Meet Kelsey Johnson, a member of Midvale, as she shares her journey. Kelsey recently worked at the Lutheran School of Hope in Ramallah, Palestine. Currently, she is with the Lutheran Office for Public Policy, focusing on hunger and poverty issues. Kelsey is in the candidacy process for entry into an ELCA seminary. She will share stories about her time abroad, her current work, and journey of discerning seminary.

March 24: Trans Awareness with Jaime Collins and Randi Hagen
The “T” in LGBTQ+ stands for transgender. Unlike the L (lesbian), G (gay), and B (bi-sexual), which deal with sexual orientation (whom one is attracted to), transgender involves gender identity (the internal sense of who one is). Transgender people have a gender identity or gender expression that differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. Jaime and Randi will share their stories and journeys of self-discovery in order to live as their authentic selves in a world that is not always accepting of them.

March 31: The story of Churchy with Beth Culp and Kristina Stadler
Midvale members, Beth and Kristina will discuss the musical and spiritual collaboration that led to Churchy, an original bluegrass musical that debuted at the Overture’s playhouse. Come and hear about their mission to unbind
the Gospel using a winning combination of scripture, comedy, music and friendship… there may even be a sing-along!

Oakwood Village University Woods needs additional Sunday Worship Volunteers

Volunteers are needed from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to help Assisted Living residents attend the service (at least once a month – scheduling negotiable) and up to four volunteers for the service in the Oakwood chapel
every other month on the third Sunday of the month. Interested persons should plan to volunteer on an ongoing basis. Contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Kim Viney at (608) 230-4238 or for more information.

All Things Annual! 4 Things Needing Attention

#1 Your Annual Meetings Are Here!

We suggest that you wrap your annual reports in a beautiful ELCA-provided cover that includes an inspiring message from Presiding Bishop Eaton and litany. The covers are FREE, you pay only shipping.
Order these from the ELCA through their website:
There will not be an annual report letter from Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld. She desires and encourages congregations to use the letter from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton provided here:


Remember to include in your annual meeting agenda the election of your voting members for Synod Assembly, May 4 & 5, 2019. Don’t forget to include extra for youth & Young adults. If you have any questions about who you can send, this chart of formulas for determining the number of voting members in which to send to Synod Assembly may be helpful:
All congregations use the following formula to determine the number of lay (non-rostered) voting members they are allowed to register for the assembly. The formula has been created to meet the constitutional expectation that 60% of the voting membership of the assembly be composed of lay persons, and to achieve the goal of an equal balance of men and women.
Up to 1000 baptized members = 2 voting members (one male/one female)
1001 – 2000 baptized members = 3 voting members (one male/one female/one either)
2001 – 3000 baptized members = 4 voting members (two male/two female)
3001 – 4000 baptized members = 5 voting members (two male/two female/one either)
4001 – 5000 baptized members = 6 voting members (three male/three female)
5001 – 6000 baptized members = 7 voting members (three male/three female/one either)
6001 – 7000 baptized members = 8 voting members (four male/four female)

Youth and Young Adult Voting Members:
In addition to the aforementioned allotment of voting members, in June of 2010 the Synod Council passed a continuing resolution allowing congregations to register additional Youth and Young Adult Lay Voting Members. To be eligible for a youth or young adult voting member registration, the individual shall not have obtained the age of 30 years old at the time of registration.
Up to 175 baptized members = 1 youth or young adult voting member of either gender
176 or more baptized members = 2 youth or young adult voting members (one male/one female)
Synodically Authorized Worshiping Communities:
A Synodically Authorized Worshiping Community may register one lay voting member of either gender.
Rostered Ministers:
Clergy – All clergy under call in this synod are voting members of the synod assembly. This includes those under call to specialized ministry and under synod call. All clergy under call in the synod are expected to register for and attend the assembly. Each registered clergy has one vote at the assembly, even if they are serving more than one congregation or ministry site.
Associates in Ministry and Diaconal Ministers – All lay rostered leaders under call in this synod are voting members of the synod assembly and are expected to register for and attend the assembly. Each rostered lay leader has one vote at the assembly even if they are serving more than one congregation or ministry site.
Retired Rostered Ministers:
Retired Rostered Ministers may elect up to 10% of their number to be registered as voting members of the assembly.

#3 Report to the Bishop from Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service Are Due February 4.

Ministers of Word and Sacrament Currently Serving in a Call:
In an effort to receive information that is more valuable to the Bishop in understanding your needs and how best to support your ministry, you will be receiving a communication from the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant, Robyn Zimmerman with a totally new form for your annual reports to the bishop. Please use the new form instead of the ELCA form. Thank you!

Ministers of Word and Service Currently Serving in a Call:
You will receive a communication from Robyn Zimmerman with a link to the form that you should use for your report to the bishop. Please do take the time to fill this out and submit it to the synod office. Thank you!

#4 – Nominations and Resolutions for 2019

Congregational Presidents and Rostered Ministers  received a letter from the synod Vice President, Jane Cahill Wolfgram, with information about bringing resolutions and nominations to the assembly. Please pay attention to the timelines for these. Nominations and Resolutions forms can be downloaded here. They are due to the synod office by February 28th at 4:30.

Assembly Nomination Form 2019 FINALFillable

2019 Assembly Resolution Form

Message from Bishop Eaton

ELCA presiding bishop pastoral letter on UMC decision

2/27/2019 6:00:00 PM

Dear Church,

This morning at worship in the Churchwide Office we sang;

God, when human bonds are broken, and we lack the love or skill
To restore the hope of healing, give us grace and make us still…
Give us faith to be more faithful, give us hope to be more true,
Give us love to go on learning: God, encourage and renew. (ELW 603)

These words speak to many aspects of our current world.  Today they resonate especially with our continuing prayers for our full communion partner, The United Methodist Church (UMC), and, as they call themselves, for all “the people called Methodists.”

Yesterday the 2019 General Conference, the UMC’s highest legislative body, voted to affirm the church’s current prohibitions of “ordaining LGBTQ clergy and officiating at or hosting same-sex marriage.” (You can read about this decision at This special General Conference had been called for this issue only; in the end, delegates turned away from a plan recommended by their Council of Bishops, which allowed for diversity in local practice, to embrace instead this “Traditional Plan.”

Many of you today are asking the good Lutheran question, “What does this mean?” The implications of the decisions of the General Conference are not yet fully apparent: the Judicial Council must review controversial provisions later this year, and in any case the rippling consequences for ecclesial life will take much longer to work themselves out. Yet it seems clear that the conclusion of this process has not brought the greater unity for which so many longed.

What we can say with certainty is that as the UMC takes its next steps, we in the ELCA will continue to walk with our full communion partner. We treasure the joyful memories of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly, where, in a near unanimous vote, we entered into this relationship. We are grateful also for the common witness, deepened friendships and shared ministries that have been the fruits of this decision. This relationship, and our commitment, have become woven into who we are as this church. Our life together as churches is a shared life together in Christ.

We remember also that the same 2009 Assembly decided to open the way for those in same-gender relationships to serve as pastors. This week, as we watched the impassioned debates on the plenary floor in St. Louis, we recognized that these costly struggles are familiar from our own recent history, and acknowledge that some amongst us have experienced re-traumatization. In our present experience also, we have not fully grown into the commitments we have made. Yet, though a controversial decision at the time, our 2009 action has brought strength and blessings for our life and mission beyond what we could have imagined a decade ago. This church treasures the faithful ministries of those rostered leaders who help us witness to God’s love and invitation for all people. Their ministries are integral to who we are as this church.

I ask this church, then, to continue by the side of the UMC, exchanging gifts and sharing burdens. In particular, we pray for them in their continued efforts faithfully to be church in the contexts we share.  As we pray for them, we pray also for this church: may we be faithful to the calling to which we have been called, willing to confess our shortcomings and to trust in the healing, challenge and surprise of the Spirit of God, who calls us always forward.

In Christ,

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop