2019 Christmas Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

“On Christmas Eve there always comes a time when everything is finally still. After all the preparations and Christmas
pageants, after all of the rushing, it’s wonderful just to settle into that stillness and have a chance to think about the miracle of Advent and Christmas…”

ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) Applications

Applications for the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program are now open, and you can invite young adults on this yearlong journey abroad.

If you know young adults age 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the priority deadline of Jan. 15, 2020. Talk to them personally about what this opportunity will mean for their faith, identity, career, and understanding of God’s work in the world. You can also print out this poster to display in your congregation or ministry space.

Through YAGM, young adults will learn what it means to serve in a spirit of accompaniment as they walk alongside global church companions. They’ll become immersed in a new community and form deep relationships. And they’ll confront issues of wealth and poverty, racial privilege, gender privilege, economic disparity, and globalization, all through the lens of faith. Learn more at ELCA.org/YAGM.

Volunteers will be placed in one of ten country programs:

·      Argentina and Uruguay

·      Australia

·      Central Europe

·      Jerusalem and the West Bank

·      Madagascar

·      Mexico

·      Nepal

·      Rwanda

·      Senegal

·      United Kingdom

 

Young adults will find relevant opportunities for professional experience, including:

  • Health and human rights: health care, HIV and AIDS, homelessness, immigration and refugees
  • Education: fine arts, youth education, childhood education, working with people with disabilities or who are differently-abled
  • Environmental justice: agriculture and farming, development, environment
  • Professional support: office work, communication, technology, finance
  • Congregational ministry: children’s ministry, Christian education, youth ministry, congregational ministry, camp ministry

Around the world, host families, churches, workplaces and communities are ready to welcome YAGM volunteers.

Don’t wait — spread the word now! The priority deadline is Jan. 15, 2020.
Applications will be open until Feb. 15, 2020.

Support Your Synod Through AmazonSmile

‘Tis the Season of Giving! Might you consider choosing the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin as the charitable organization of your choice? Monies would be used toward Synod Ministries, where needed most.

Bishop Election Process Begins

In 2020 we will elect the next bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin. The process we will follow for election has arisen from consideration by the Bishop Election Task Force, the Synod Council and Executive Committee, and was originally drafted by Interim Bishop Peter Rogness. Over time, as it was reviewed and discussed, changes were made. It has been reviewed and affirmed by staff at the Office of the Presiding Bishop; it has been presented verbally to the Bishop’s Convocation October 6-8, verbally and in writing at the November 2, 2019, special Synod Assembly. It was formally adopted as presented here at the November 9, 2019 meeting of the Synod Council.

2020 Financial Resources

A mailing, including a letter from Interim Bishop Rogness and several financial related forms, was mailed to all congregations in late-November as congregations begin looking toward 2020 and beyond. A digital copy of this mailing can be found HERE. Also, additional congregational resources, including new Annual Report covers can be found on the Administrative Resources page of the website.

Equipping The Saints: Stewardship Resources

These Stewardship resources were recommended at our recent synod event, “Spirited Generosity:  Offering Vitality in the 21st Century,” produced by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center: A Network for Growing Stewards. We commend them to you as you explore what it means to be good stewards of all that God has given us.  Some of the questions they will answer are:  What is the meaning of offering in Christian worship and theology?  What is the meaning of money in relationship to Christian theologies and rituals of offering?  In our context, do outreach/missional work and discipleship practices have a larger influence on the offering/congregational giving?  What is your church trying to do differently in order to stay relevant?  How are cultural shifts impacting the offering of time and tithe?  How are the different generations experiencing these shifts?  These questions and more can be answered through these resources.

  • Bolsinger, Tod. Canoeing the Mountains:  Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory.  Intervarsity Press, 2018.
  • Brueggeman, Walter, Interpretation: Money and Possessions. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 2016
  • Gonzalez, Justo. Faith and Wealth:  A History of Early Christian Ideas on the Origin, Significance, and Use of Money.  Eugene, Oregon:  Wipf & Stock Pub; Reprint edition, 2002
  • Hudnut-Beumler, In Pursuit of the Almighty’s Dollar: a History of Money and American Protestantism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007
  • Amerson, Melvin and Amerson, James. Celebrating the Offering.  Nashville, Tennessee: Discipleship Resources, 2008.
  • Basinger, Rebekah, and Jeavons, Tom, Growing Givers’ Hearts: Fundraising as Ministry. Jossey-Bass 2000.

 For more information on the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and year-round stewardship resources:

https://stewardshipresources.org/

St. Olaf Choir to Perform – January 29 – 8 pm

St. Olaf Choir to Perform – January 29, 2020 – 8 pm
Luther Memorial
1021 University Avenue, Madison

Join the St. Olaf Choir, conducted by Anton Armstrong, for a performance at Luther Memorial Church on January 29 at 8 p.m. The St. Olaf Choir, with 75 mixed voices, is one of the premier a cappella choirs in the United States, and for more than a century has set the standard of choral excellence and remained at the forefront of choral artistry.

The 2020 St. Olaf Choir tour marks the 100th anniversary of the choir’s first East Coast tour in 1920 (which included their first performance at Carnegie Hall), along with Dr. Armstrong’s 30th anniversary of leading the ensemble. During this past century, touring has played an important role in the St. Olaf Choir sharing its artistry and beauty of sound with audiences around the world. This year, the St. Olaf Choir has adjusted its ticket pricing structure to promote greater accessibility, including $10 tickets for all students. $30 adults, $3 discount by entering promo code CLASSIC at checkout.

Tickets are available at stolaf.edu/tickets and
By calling: 1-800-363-5487.
Click here for a poster to print and post in your settings:
https://wp.stolaf.edu/choir/files/2019/12/2020-Choir-Tour-Poster-Madison.pdf

Mission Moment: Anti-Human Trafficking Work

South-Central Synodical Women’s Organization
Anti-Human Trafficking Work Is Making A Difference!
By Helen Sheahan, Past President, South-Central Synodical Women’s Organization

For our South-Central Synodical Women’s Organization, understanding and responding to human trafficking is a call to walk with Jesus.

At the 2014 and 2017 Women of the ELCA Triennial Conventions, women voted to continue to bring awareness of and to prevent human trafficking. Women of the ELCA has focused on ending human trafficking for over a decade.
This year there were bills introduced in both legislatures on 3 topics related to human trafficking. Along with the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin and 2 other Wisconsin women’s synod organizations, our women’s synod board participated in the legislative process and had an impact. Over 400 postcards supporting the bills were signed by women during our 2019 Spring Gatherings in April.

In March, Helen Sheahan and Margo Holzman, women’s board members, attended a hearing on Assembly Bill 41, Safe Harbor for Trafficked Youth at the state Capitol along with Rev. Cindy Crane, Director of Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, Deacon Vicki Hanrahan of the Synod staff, and other Women of the ELCA.

Our work continued September 24 when our South-Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization was a co-sponsor of a rally that included education and visiting representatives and senators at the state Capitol. Women from around the state participated. The culmination of our efforts was the signing of AB 22-SB 25 into law as Act 27 on Nov. 20. This bill requires truck driver education to include information on human trafficking. Helen Sheahan was present at the signing, shook the Governor’s hand, and even received a state pen, symbolic of having an active interest in the passing of the bill. The signing was very well attended by supportive legislators, Department of Human Services administrators, and anti-human trafficking advocates. What impressed Helen was the Governor’s knowledge about the reason and benefits of the bill and acknowledging the efforts done on a bipartisan level in support of the bill.
Over the past four years South-Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization has been offering education about human trafficking through workshops by Rev. Cindy Crane, Director of LOPPW, and Dawn Heath from Sugar Creek Lutheran Church and the Synod’s Speaker’s Bureau, and founder of Join the Movement Events, Inc., a nonprofit anti-human trafficking organization. These workshops and presentations have been at our Biennial Convention, synod wide women’s events, and Conference Gatherings.

The women’s board has made donations to Cherish All Children, a service of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, that offers services to combat human trafficking, and to Dawn Heath’s Join the Movement Events, Inc., and Lutheran Social Services.

Articles to educate about human trafficking and updates about anti-human trafficking legislation appear regularly in our quarterly newsletter, The Trumpeter, which is available free via email. We have published annual prayers for ant-human trafficking before the Super Bowl for the past 3 years.

Local women’s units are also active in anti-human trafficking efforts. One example this year is St. Peter’s in Loganville that sponsored five forums on human trafficking and used My Neighbor Is Not For Sale, a resource by Cherish All Children, a service of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota, available through WELCA.org

Nationally, Women of the ELCA also provide the following:

  • A staff person – Jennifer DeLeon, ELCA Director for Justice, who is responsible for providing resources, programs, and assistance on anti-human trafficking.

Resources on WELCA.org website

  • “My Neighbor is Not for Sale” is a four-part guide for adult education sessions, youth groups and more, produced by Cherish All Children, a service of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota.
  • “UNDERSTANDING & RESPONDING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING”, is a discussion study
  • Human Trafficking 101, a powerpoint of basic information

Exhibits at the 2015 & 2018 National ELCA Youth Gatherings on anti-sex-trafficking and collected kind gifts for anti-human trafficking organizations.

$2000 grant in 2015 to Lutheran Office for Public Policy (LOPPW) in Wisconsin for travel, supplies, printing, and speaker expenses for their project “Safe Harbor Campaign”, a statewide education program on Human Trafficking, held in 3 locations.

Thank you for your mission support that helps our church follow Jesus by putting our faith into
action to protect our most vulnerable. Sometimes your offerings that get sent on to the larger church
come back to our synod in forms of grants such as the once received by LOPPW. We are church together
for the sake of the world!

Governor Tony Evers signs AB 22-SB 25 into law as Act. 27 on November 20. (Helen Sheahan seen left in blue). Helen Sheahan representing WELCA and Rev. Cindy Crane and Intern Amelia Gonzales represented LOPPW. The bipartisan bill Governor Evers signed into law requires commercial driving education to include information on human trafficking and how to spot the signs of it. WELCA members from around the state were very active in advocating for this bill.

ELCA Church Council Update

The ELCA Church Council met at the Lutheran Center in Chicago, Nov. 7-10. Twenty-three new members, elected by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, were welcomed. The council serves as the ELCA’s board of directors and interim legislative authority between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly.

The council took the following key actions:

• Authorized use of ministry rites for pastors and deacons in response to constitutional changes by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly that identified ordination as the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service. The ministry rites for ordination to the ministry of Word and Service, ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament, installation of a deacon and installation of a pastor will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

• Created an advisory team to receive updates, track progress and provide periodic reports on the “Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA,” adopted by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

• Adopted a continuing resolution authorizing the creation of a resource development committee of the council to continue developing strategies related to funding initiatives and future churchwide appeals.

• Adopted the “Memorandum of Mutual Recognition of Relations of Full Communion” among The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the ELCA as a way to strengthen ties among the two U.S. and two Canadian churches.

• Authorized development of a social message on the vocation of citizenship, civic engagement, and church and state, as requested by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

• Received the final report of its Theological Education Advisory Committee, approved the committee’s recommended transition plan and thanked the committee members for their service.

• Approved a 2020 spending authorization of $67,666,652 for the churchwide organization and $21,596,595 for ELCA World Hunger.

• Received an update on the development of the resource “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” the replacement for “Vision and Expectations,” which articulates the church’s hopes and expectations for its rostered ministers.

• Adopted the Reference and Counsel Committee recommendations regarding unfinished business from the 2019 Churchwide Assembly.

• Referred to the Domestic Mission unit the Conference of Bishops recommendation that the unit give top priority to this church’s response to the global crisis of climate change.

• Thanked the Rev. Wyvetta Bullock for her faithful service as executive for administration and her many years of service to this church. Bullock will retire Jan. 30, 2020.

In a special order of the day, the council received a greeting from Ms. Rose Simmons, whose father, the Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr., was one of the nine congregants martyred in June 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

The council also received reports from the church’s presiding bishop, treasurer, secretary and vice president, from the ELCA Conference of Bishops, and from the ELCA’s separately incorporated ministries. They also received greetings from ecumenical partners.

#FarmNeighborsCare

#FarmNeighborsCare
Wednesday, December 11
12:00 noon –2 pm (Lunch included)

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
325 Mill Street, Loganville

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church along with the Farmer Angel Network will be hosting #Farm Neighbors Care.

Farmers, ag business people and anyone interested in supporting the farming community is invited to join us for a light-hearted program featuring Ben Bromley, area newspaper columnist, theater guild actor, and satirist. His often out of the box view on everyday happenings will give all of us a reason to laugh and smile.

Farmer resource contacts from UWEX, Sauk County Public Health, and Wisconsin Farm Center will be available to assist farm families. Soup and sandwich lunch will be served.