Holy Land Trip – Deadline Extended to December 17

There is room to join this tour to Israel, Palestine and Jordan, June 15-26, 2019. This is an exceptional opportunity to experience the land of the Bible and give you a lifetime of insights and inspiration. You receive great value for the cost by traveling in a small group with an experienced guide, staying multiple nights in each location, and having airfare from Chicago, all breakfasts and dinners, gratuities and entry fees included.

The tour is hosted by Pastor Blake Rohrer of Midvale Community Lutheran, and member of the Holy Land Advocacy Synod Team. All are welcome to join the group.

For more information:
brochure: https://gtd.org/post/pdfbrochure/190603.pdf
contact Pastor Blake Rohrer at blaker@midvalelutheran.org

“MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU” – New Children’s Book

Great Christmas Gift!
“The assurance that a loving God is at your side is the message of this child-friendly picture book.” http://bit.ly/2KsbSYE

1517 Media is the publishing house of the ELCA…any books that they publish for children are recommended for your little readers!

Build Community Around the love of reading this Christmas

Get FREE books + fundraise

An opportunity from Augsburg Fortress, the ELCA Publishing Ministry:

Wellness Book Fairs – From the makers of Reformation 500 Bookstores, Wellness Book Fairs provide adults with books on coping with grief and loss, managing stress, overcoming adversity, and more. Host a Book Fair that helps adults heal, grow, and thrive!

Children’s Book Fairs  – Alongside the Wellness Book Fair, you can now host a Christmas Children’s Book Fair that will help kids thrive socially, emotionally, and spiritually. It has never been easier to connect with the entire family in your congregation!

Free books: Each Book Fair offers a free display kit of ten to twelve free books—and they are yours to keep!

Fundraiser opportunity: Get 20% back on orders that exceed $200.

To get started:  https://www.communitybookfairs.com/christmas/

Farm Art DTour Going Through Loganville

October 5-14 Are the Dates of the 50 mile Farm Art DTour Going Through Loganville. 

Enjoy a drive through the country roads and stop at St. Peter’s in Loganville for a bowl of homemade soup, ham or turkey wraps or sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches at the Shepherd’s Café.  While there you will be able to shop for unique hand crafted items.  Included in the Shepherd’s Market will be quilts, sorghum, honey, maple syrup, Fair Trade items from Guatemala, alpaca items, crocheted items, quilted items, paintings,  spices and more.   Open Friday-Sunday 11-5 PM, Monday-Thursday 11-3 PM.

On October 17, our annual Chili Supper will take place from 4:00-7:00 p.m.  Enjoy a bowl of chili, French Bread, cheese, pickles, beverage and bars.  Free Will donations accepted.

“Good Reads” from the Bishop for Your Church Library

 Please note that Honoring our Neighbor’s Faith and Together By Grace are only available through Augsburg Fortress  http://www.augsburgfortress.org/ and cannot be found through Amazon.

Honoring Our Neighbor’s Faith – Revised Edition, which describes many Christian denomination and non-Christian traditions to help us understand the diversity of our fellow journeyers in faith.  (I used it with Confirmands and their parents when I was in the parish.)

Future Faith – Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, which seems so on point in helping us understand the challenges to our faith in this new century.

Faith in the Face of Empire – Mitri Raheb, which view the Bible through Palestinian eyes and has, in my opinion, more to say to us in this day and age than one might think.

Together By Grace – edited by Kathryn Kleinhans, which is a nice exposition that introduces the diversity of we who call ourselves Lutherans.

I’ve just started John Shelby Spong’s new book Unbelievable.  At age 88, he challenges us where we live if we want the church to reach people today.  We can’t do things the same way and he tells us why.  I was introduced to it by members of the Bible study group at Vermont LC.  I’ll let you know what I think about this sometime down the road.

Be well and blessed,

~ Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld

PORTICO BENEFIT SERVICES – A ministry of the ELCA

Portico offers a new online video series for Congregational Treasurers.  The video links are below.   They will eventually be on EmployerLink,

  1. Welcome video: https://vimeo.com/286898425/17550a772a
  2. Understanding Your Bill: https://vimeo.com/283784085/b9c699d390
  3. EmployerLink Tour: https://vimeo.com/283787408/1b2bcecb97

Also, please share the following:

Resourceful Stewards Initiative

Financial wellness is a vital part of a healthy life. Ministers who are in a financially sound position experience greater satisfaction in their work and their relationships, and are more able to freely serve the church and its mission without being encumbered by financial anxiety.

Savings Matching Programs

The church is an active partner in addressing specific needs raised by rostered ministers, helping rostered ministers develop their personal financial and stewardship health. Two Savings Matching programs share financial resources with rostered ministers.

These programs match rostered ministers’ contributions to a dedicated emergency savings account and/or increased contributions to their ELCA retirement plan accounts.  Click below to learn about the programs, services and resources available to you as a  minister or lay person!  Deadline to apply is October 14th   Go to resourcefulservants.org for more info!

Yes, It’s time to Start Thinking About Advent!

It’s just around the corner…Here are some excellent resources from ELCA World Hunger

These resources are Free with Free Shipping while supplies last.  Some are also downloadable such as the new Advent Study below!

New! Advent Study from the ELCA
Find devotions, questions for reflection, prayers and inspiration for the journey to end hunger and seek justice. Download study 


Advent tree

Decorate a tree with ornaments that represent ELCA Good Gifts – honeybees, farming tools or school supplies, for example – and raise funds to help fight hunger. Members can keep the ornaments and give them as gifts to symbolize their donations. Order here

Bethel Series Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – February 22 – March 3, 2019

Join Reverend Jeff Quinto, Bethel Series Executive Director, and his wife Toni on ten life-changing days in the Holy Land, February 22 – March 3, 2019, on the 2nd Annual Bethel Series Pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

You will visit: Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Jericho, Nazareth and Sea of Galilee

You will:  Walk where Jesus walked.  You will swim in the Dead Sea. You will dance on a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee.You will pray at the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed for God to “let this cup pass from me, . . . .”

Twenty-five faith-filled believers like you will see the Scriptures and their Bethel Series lessons come alive.  Download brochure: http://www.bethelseries.org/media/wysiwyg/Bethel/pilgrimage/Pilgrimage2019.pdf

The cost of the trip, inclusive of airfare from either New York or Chicago, is $3,590 based on double occupancy.  Breakfast and dinner each day in the Holy Land are included.

As this is a limited opportunity at an excellent price, we expect to fill the twenty-five spots quickly.

If you are interested in joining us, call the Bethel Series office at Bethel Lutheran Church 608-579-5700.

Holy Land Trip – June 15-26, 2019 with Pastor Blake Rohrer

The Holy Land is a place that conjures many images in our minds – from inspiring to confounding. I have travelled there three times previously, and each trip was a life-changing experience.  This journey will be a pilgrimage in which we will follow in the footsteps of Jesus, seeing the lands of the Bible. Throughout the trip we will share group reflection, prayer and worship. As meaningful as the holy sites will be, I believe our unique encounters with the people who live there today may be even more moving. We will learn what it is like to be a Christian in this sacred and challenged land of many faiths, and we will see first hand the remarkable ministry of the Lutheran church and others who are creating opportunities for hope, healing and peace. We will have good accommodations, delicious meals and expert guides. I hope you’ll join me in this trip of a lifetime! For a brochure and sign-up information click here https://gtd.org/post/pdfbrochure/190603.pdf or contact Midvale Community Lutheran with additional questions: 608-238-7119 or info@midvalelutheran.org