Hymn of Hope for Disaster Situations:  Message from the Bishop

Good Afternoon Church,

As you know, I like to sing.  As we are still dealing with the aftermath of the flooding in our synod, I found a hymn by one of the most prolific contemporary hymn writers around, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.  I share it with you as a resource as we continue in recovery.

“Oh God We’ve Prayed in Wind and Rain”

http://www.carolynshymns.com/o_god_weve_prayed_in_wind_and_rain.html

As we seem to be on the brink of another pending disaster for our siblings in the Carolinas and Virginia, we are reminded that we are not alone in our struggles due to weather calamities.  Blessings as you continue to do recovery.  Be careful to observe safe practices.

~ Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld

Clergy Leadership Group – Eight Sessions Once A Month Through Samaritan Center

The Samaritan Center of Southern Wisconsin, announces a Pastor Leadership Seminar for all area clergy. The Seminar’s goal is to improve leadership skills for today’s ministry. Clergy present case studies of challenging situations in their churches, which require their leadership. Participants then receive peer feedback for fresh perspectives. Some readings, specifically focused on pastoral leadership will be discussed.

A Family Systems Theory Model will also be utilized. The agenda for the group includes case leadership presentation and book discussion along with other topics determined by the participants.

The leadership seminar will be led by Dan Feaster, executive director and pastoral counselor of the Samaritan Counseling Center. Sessions will be held on Wednesdays once a month, from 11 AM -2 PM (working lunch) for a total of eight sessions.

For more information or to register contact:

Dan Feaster
Phone: 608-663-0763 ext. 200
E-mail: dfeaster@samaritancounselingcenterwi.org

Samaritan Counseling Center

Bishop Installation – Join the Celebration Online!

Social Media Links to the Bishop Installation Festival Worship will be posted here soon so you can join in the celebration if you are not able to be with us in person.

 

Message from the Secretary of Our Companion Synod, the Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church In India

Dear friends in Christ,

With sadness, we would like to inform you that our former Moderator, (presiding bishop) Most. Rev. Shiblal Soren has taken heavenly rest on August 12, 2018 at 04:00 p.m. at his resident. Today his funeral service will be held at Bandorjuri Congregation at 01:00 p.m. and be buried at his village. He was sick and under treatment. He left his beloved wife and one son.  Please remember the bereaved family in your prayers.

Ismail Murmu

Secretary, NELC

Message from Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld 

Some of you may have read an article in the new issue of Living Lutheran about one of the congregations of the Sierra Pacific Synod, Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco.  The pastor of Grace Lutheran, Pr. Megan Rohrer, has been offering on-line worship and Bible Study opportunities for a while, but recently instituted the distribution of communion by means of mailed/delivered pre-packaged packets for those who request them.  Though the article was removed from the online version of Living Lutheran, it appears in the print version.  The publication of this article may raise questions for our members and our clergy which is why I’m writing this column.

Know that this article was published without anyone checking with Bishop Eaton, Secretary Pr. Chris Boerger,  the Director for Worship – Pr. Kevin Strickland, or anyone in the Conference of Bishops.  Though we, the bishops of this church, appreciate the creative energies of pastors like Megan Rohrer who are trying to figure out new ways to reach the unchurched and de-churched, this is not the way to proceed.  To do such is not in keeping with our “Use of the Means of Grace” documents nor our agreements with the Episcopal Church for our full communion relationship.

As you might imagine, there has been discussion in the Conference of Bishops and at Churchwide regarding distribution of communion by mail by Pr. Megan Rohrer or anyone else.  I received word on Sunday, August 12th, that the practice of distributing Holy Communion by mail has been halted by the bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod and will not continue.  I’d appreciate your sharing this new information with anyone what may ask.

Thank you for your partnership in the ministry of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.

Blessings and Peace,

Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld

The Bishop is Coming to Meet You This Month – Save Your Date! 

What are your hopes for your congregation?  What is important to your faith journey?  What do you want the bishop to know about your congregation and community?  What are 142 of our worshipping communities and leaders saying about our shared work?  Learn what Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld’s priorities are and where she sees us doing our best work as God’s beloved community.

We enourage you to give special attention to synod events such as this year’s Gather, Greet & Meet–to spend time with your bishop!

There are 5 remaining dates to choose from.  Choose the one closest to your home congregation or the one that is most convenient for your schedule.  We will gather as a synod to meet and greet Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld.  She’ll spend her time getting to know you and we’ll discuss the results of the questionnaire answered by 150 lay and rostered leaders about what we need in a bishop and our dreams for the future shared work of congregations and partners in our synod.  Anyone can attend this event.    

 No RSVP Necessary!  Just come!

Five remaining dates and locations to choose from:
August 20, 2018     Peace (Belmont)  6:30 – 8:00 pm
August 26, 2018     Immanuel (Watertown)  2:30-4:00 pm
August 28, 2018     St. John’s (Janesville) 6:30-8:00 pm
August 29, 2018     Covenant (Stoughton) 6:30-8:00 pm
August 30, 2018     St. Peter’s (Loganville) 6:30-8:00 pm

 Addresses for Your GPS/Mapquest/Google Maps:

  •  Peace Lutheran – 346 S. Mound Avenue, Belmont, WI
  • Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran – 204 N. 10th Street, Watertown, WI
  • John Lutheran – 302 N. Parker Drive, Janesville
  • Covenant Lutheran – 1525 N. Van Buren Street, Stoughton, WI
  • Peter’s Lutheran – 325 Mill Street, Loganville, WI

Installation of New Bishop

View the Main Bishop Installation page for more information

Read the August 18, 2018 Special Edition of What Matters for a summary of the event.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

All congregational members are invited and encouraged to attend. 

We will be participating in a historical and special moment in the life of the ELCA.  And we would also point out that if you want your youth to have a bigger sense of being church together in the world, bring them to this event!  The music, singing and fanfare will be incredible, the message meaningful and the refreshments abundant!

Rostered ministers are invited to vest and process.  If you want to be in the clergy photo, please arrive at the church by 1:00 pm at the latest to vest and get organized for the photo that will be taken in the gymnasium at 1:15.  All clergy in the photo will be seated in reserved seating in the sanctuary .  Those not in time for the photo will be seated in overflow areas outside the sanctuary for worship, so if you wish to be seated in the sanctuary for the installation, please arrive by 1:00. 

Ample parking is available adjacent to the church and across the street in the fairground parking lot.  Attendants will direct you.

We hope you will join in this event where we dwell in the words of Micah 6:8:

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

 

 

 

“Red Light, Green Light” by Rev. Kurt Lammi

Looking for an inspirational read?  Read the ELCA online publication, “Living Lutheran.”  Check out this quick read on vocation:

It begins:  The rules of driving are easy. A red light means stop, and a green light means go. Even young children who can’t drive yet know what these lights mean.

However, sometimes when we follow Jesus, we get both red and green lights at the same time. So what should we do—stop or go?

For the red light, consider Martin Luther’s understanding of vocation. Even though he was a monk, Luther critiqued aspects of the monastic life by saying that we do not need to escape everyday life to serve God; rather, God calls us to serve others in the midst of our daily lives. We can share God’s love as spouses, parents, children, siblings, friends, employees, students, citizens, etc. Vocation is about our current relationships, situations and contexts. This is where we can serve.

Read more:  https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/08/red-light-green-light/

Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld Will Be the First Female of African Descent to be Installed As Bishop

Marking a new historic season in the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Rev. Viviane E. Thomas-Breitfeld will be the first female of African descent to be installed in the ELCA and the second female bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (“ELCA”). The ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination in the world.  This historic event will take place on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at First Lutheran Church, 612 North Randall Avenue, Janesville at 2:00 pm.  Doors open at 1:00 pm.  A reception will follow.

Expected are over 1,000 in attendance including, pastors, deacons and members of 142 ELCA worshipping communities in the synod, former synod bishops, bishops from the other 64 ELCA synods, ministry partners, family members and friends.

In addition to members of synod congregations, Lutheran, ecumenical and interfaith partners will be present. Among the invited guests are ELCA Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA, who will preside, the Rev. Mary Froiland, recent former bishop of the synod, a representative of the Lutheran World Federation, clergy from other denominations in full communion relationship with the ELCA, local dignitaries and community leaders.

Guests will celebrate under the theme of social justice based on scripture text found in Micah 6:8–To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Preaching the gospel message will be the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth A. Eaton.  Special music by gifted musicians led by Music Director of First Lutheran Church, Ben Johnston-Urey will fill the gathering space with a joyful sound.

Bringing a rich history in community involvement while serving in congregations and on several synodical and churchwide teams, Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld envisions a synod that is a model for welcoming all to God’s table.  “I hope I can help the synod become more open to change, so we can become more relevant to all, especially people of color, LGBTQI, and young adults, many of whom are choosing to not attend church.”

Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld is looking forward to the celebration of installation and especially spending time with pastors, deacons and lay members of the synod that she will lead in the years to come.  “There is a love in the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin that is pretty special and a sense of support that is really pretty awesome.  When I was introduced last year at the synod assembly, no less than 20 other clergy came up to me to welcome me. That’s pretty spectacular. That doesn’t happen in most places.”

The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Beloit, Wis., was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA.  The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.  She assumed office July 1 and succeeds the Rev. Mary Froiland who served as bishop from September 2013 through June 30, 2018.

Prior to becoming bishop, Thomas-Breitfeld most recently served as an intentional interim pastor for Atonement Lutheran Church in Beloit and has also served as pastor of several congregations in Wisconsin including Gethsemane Lutheran Church (Brookfield), Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Waukesha), and Cross Lutheran Church (Milwaukee)

She currently serves as the co-chair of the Task Force on Women and Justice, ELCA; the Executive board of the Women of the ELCA; and the South-Central Synod of WI Racial Equity Team.  She served for six years on the board of Trustees (Governance Com) of the Mission Investment Fund as well as the ELCA Representative to the Illinois Synod Candidacy Team.   She has served communities through her work on the Ethics Committee of the Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls, the Campus Ministry Board (Milwaukee), the City of Brookfield Police Department as a volunteer chaplain, Resident Chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee and served as a board member of both the YWCA and United Way in Waukesha county.

Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld is married to the Rev. Fred Thomas-Breitfeld, pastor of Jackson Park Lutheran Church, Milwaukee.  They have two adult children, Leota and Sean, two son-in laws, and three grandchildren.

The service will be available via live stream.   Watch What Matters and the synod facebook page for the link.

Everyone in the synod is invited!  There will be ample seating and parking.  Pastors and Deacons are invited to vest & process.  The color of the day is red.

“If you have never attended a holy event of this nature, you will never forget it.  We will gather as a large community of saints to offer up prayer and thanksgiving and to contemplate the work that God has set before us.   Moments of music and singing will vary from celebratory rhythms that raise the roof to quieter, more contemplative meditation on the word.  If you are longing for Jesus, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  I am certain of it!”

~Deacon Vicki Hanrahan

Sing with the Synod Children’s Choir at Bishop’s Installation! Sign up extended to July 29!

An all-synod children’s choir is being assembled for our bishop’s installation, held on August 18th at First Lutheran Church in Janesville. Your child/children/young adult could be a special part of this historic occasion.  Open to all children and youth ages 7-18, the group will present one piece during the service. Rehearsal materials and instruction will be sent out to all participants. A rehearsal is planned for the morning of the event and lunch will be provided.

Please contact Carrie Enstad at  enstad.carrie@gmail.com by July 29th, for more information and to sign up.   This event will be streamed, so invite those grandparents to view it live! More info on streaming in future issue.

Bishop Installation Page with Additional Information