Free Webinar: Legal Checklist for Congregations

Congregations can be vulnerable to legal issues and liabilities related to corporate status, taxes, property, insurance and abuse prevention. Many of these problems can be avoided by using an ELCA-prepared checklist of key issues for congregations to address. In a free webinar at 12 p.m. (CST) on Thursday, Feb. 21, the ELCA legal staff will discuss this checklist and best legal practices for congregations. The webinar should be of particular interest to rostered ministers and lay congregational leaders and staff, including congregation council members and officers, church administrators, and pastors and deacons.
Register by Feb. 15

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 kim.viney@oakwoodvillage.net 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: https://resources.elca.org/Stewardship-2018_Annual_Report_Cover.html
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: https://scsw-elca.org/2019/01/annual-report-message-from-bishop-eaton/


#2 – VOTING MEMBERS FOR SYNOD ASSEMBLY

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:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER AS A VOTING MEMBER?
Congregations:
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

Annual Report Message from Bishop Eaton

Dear Siblings in Christ,

As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we are freed by grace to live faithfully, witness boldly and serve joyfully. As communities of Jesus that nurture life changing relationships with God, one another and the world, we are confident about who we are in Christ and what God is calling us to do. Whether worshiping wherever two or more are gathered, engaging in lively conversations about faith, or rolling up our sleeves and getting to work, we strive to share God’s grace and love in Christ for all people and creation. This reflects the vitality we find in Jesus Christ, our own spiritual life and our desire to participate in what God is doing today.

Within each community of Jesus there are leaders who strive to model an attitude of servanthood, trustworthiness, humility, patience and listening first while striving to work with others in healthy ways. These leaders teach all ages, motivate believers, build consensus, share a vision, discern direction and facilitate action. Their attention is focused on growing disciples who are sent into their daily life to love and serve others as friends, neighbors, parents, citizens and workers. Together we recognize the importance of growing disciples and multiplying leaders who serve inside your congregation and beyond your walls.
As our congregations plan their work for the coming year and how to use the resources God has entrusted to them, I invite you all to think about the relationships that bring you vitality and the leaders you nurture for God’s mission in the world. While you make many decisions, remember you are not alone. We are all partners in sharing the gospel. Together, by God’s grace, we can do what God is calling us to. May you go forth to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God.

Serving together in Christ’s name,

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Presiding Bishop Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

also available in spanish: https://www.livinglutheran.org/2017/01/feliz-ano-nuevo/

Free Children’s Choir Robes

Trinity Lutheran in Fort Atkinson has 22 choir robes for children that we would be happy to donate to any church interested in them. The robes are burgundy with stoles that are white on one side and pink on the other. The robes are sized child’s small through large enough for a teen or small adult. Please contact Stephanie Beran at sfberan@charter.net.

Worship Space Furniture For Sale – New Hope Lutheran (Hollandale/Blanchardville)

New Hope Lutheran Church has a number of very nice items for sale for worship spaces. Here is a link to photos:
http://newhopelutheran.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Trinity-sale-items.pdf
If you are interested, contact the New Hope Lutheran church office – 608-523-4239 or at office@newhopeluthern.info

All Things Annual! Your Annual Meetings Are Right Around the Corner

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: http://resources.elca.org/updateqty.cgi
And 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, contact the synod office.

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/