Rural/Small Town Ministry Conference November 18

A Conversation to Take Small Town & Rural Ministry Into God’s Future

November 18, 2018 from 2:00 – 6:00 pm (Registration at 1:30 pm)
Sugar Creek Lutheran Church
N5690 Cobblestone Road
Elkhorn, WI 53121

This event is to introduce a new rural/small town ministry leadership partnership between Wartburg Theological Seminary, the synod and Sugar Creek Lutheran Church – Elkhorn.  The purpose is to offer a training resource for rural and small town ministry that builds faith, relationships, and service.

Join the Director for the Center for Theology and Land, Dr. Mark Yackel-Juleen, Director of Small Town & Rural Ministry for the Center for Theology & Land, on November 18 as he leads us through conversations about:

  • Small town and rural ministry and culture
  • The development and administration of multi-point parishes
  • Care of creation and theology and practice
  • Rural mission development

This conversation is designed to gather 3-4 leaders from each congregation including pastors, deacons and lay leaders.

At this gathering, we will discuss:

  • Congregational joys and concerns.
  • Obstacles and distractions.
  • Future collaboration and mutual support
  • The process and commitment
  • And what rural/small town gathering would be complete without a potluck supper!  Everyone is asked to bring a dish to pass!

Registration 1:30 pm
Program:  2:00 pm
Pot Luck Dinner & Conversation:  5:00 pm

Sugar Creek will provide the hot dishes. Please brung a cold dish or dessert to share!

Event is FREE. We are grateful to Sugar Creek Lutheran Endowment for covering the costs.

Please register by November 9 by calling the synod office at (608) 270-0201

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

Take the Pledge to VOTE – October 28

LOPPW is sponsoring a voter pledge campaign on Sunday, October 28th. Studies show that people are more likely to vote after making a public commitment to do so! Having a public voice to exercise our citizenship is part of who we are! Thank you to our faith and vocation fellow via Lutheran Campus Ministry, Sarah Schultz, for creating the below poster and leading this project! Thank you also to Hunger Advocacy Fellow Kelsey Johnson for working with Sarah to create a video!

For planning purposes, please let Rev. Julie Krahn know if you are able to attend next week’s gathering.

Please advertise this event in your congregations:

Please post this poster with a sign-up sheet next to it!




Leadership Education and Development Day “LEAD” will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2019. This is a changed date from March 2, which was published earlier in What Matters. Please correct this in your calendar, as you don’t want to miss the synod’s most popular learning event! It will still be held at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Horeb from 8:30am to 3:30pm.

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:

SCSW DIAKONIA: CLASS SIGN UP AND CALL OUT FOR A FEW MORE INSTRUCTORS/ Featured Instructor This Week: Rev. Jeffrey Pedersen,   Early Church History

Our instructors are second to none!  We are so appreciative that our rostered ministers offer their time and knowledge to teach and develop leaders in our synod.  We are still looking for instructors and by design, students can enroll at any time for future classes.  Could serving and learning in this way be on your heart?

Featured Instructor This Week: Rev. Jeffrey Pedersen,   Early Church History
Pastor, Lutheran Church of Peace, Platteville

“I was asked to teach the Early Church History class. I was honored to be asked. I have a deep passion for learning and teaching. I really enjoy church history. My hope for the students is that they will gain a deep understanding of the world and events of the early church, and how it relates to the church today.”

Instructors Still Needed for the Following Courses –

Madison & Evansville (Saturday mornings)

* Faith in the North American Context –  (Madison covered, Evansville Instructor Needed)

* Christian Worship  (Madison covered, Evansville Instructor Needed

If you are interested in teaching, contact Diakonia Coordinator, Barb Zimmerman at 608-535-0264 or email her at:

If you are interested in taking classes, more information, along with registration form, can be obtained from the web site click on Ministries and Partners, Diakonia. You can also contact Linda Wulff at 920-210-2675 or by e-mail at We look forward to hearing from prospective students and instructors!


Youth and Family Network Ministry Team:

  • Brenda Goble, Member at Midvale Community Lutheran Church in Madison
  • Heather Greenley, Member at Central Lutheran Church in Edgerton
  • Elisabeth Himmelman, Member at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison
  • Jen Kooistra, Member at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oregon

Pastors and Congregations in our Synod:

  • Members of County Line Lutheran Church in Markesan
  • Nancy Raabe, Pastor, and members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Marshall
  • Rev. Sara Gillespie. Pastor, and members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mayville
  • Kathi Matthews-Risley, Seminarian, and members of St. John-St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mazomanie

Neighboring Synods:

  • Bishop Wayne Miller and the congregations of the Metro Chicago Synod, ELCA
  • Bishop Jeffrey Clements and the congregations of the Northern Illinois Synod, ELCA

Churchwide Partners: 

  • Mr. Neil Bullock, Coordinator, Stewardship, Domestic Mission at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. M. Wyvetta Bullock, Assistant to the Presiding Bishop / Executive for Administration at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Deacon Mark D Burkhardt, Director, Faith Formation, Domestic Mission at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Mr. William R. Busbey, Manager for Candidate Processes, Global Mission at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL

We give thanks at this time for the ministry of those who celebrate their anniversary of Ordination during this coming week:

last weeks anniversaries:

We give thanks at this time for the ministry of those who celebrate their anniversary of Commissioning:

  • None this week.

We give thanks at this time for the ministry of those who celebrate their anniversary of Consecration:

  • None this week.

May these leaders continue to be blessed for service.

Meet the Synod Vicars!

For the past 24 hours the interns, “Vicars” from our synod have gathered with the other interns and supervisors in the ELCA from Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

Our synod has five Wartburg seminary students serving as Vicars (pastoral interns) this year. We are grateful to the pastors who accompany them where they serve.

Rev. Michael Short & Jon Dolan – First English (Platteville)
Rev. Matt Poock & Maria Bonine – St. John’s (Evansville)
Rev. Mark Williamson & Kate Kieckhafer – Grace (Dodgeville)
Rev. Fred Rilling & Elisabeth Pynn Himmelman – St. John’s (Prairie Du Sac)
Rev. John Twiton & Jason Xiong – Evangelical Lutheran – (Mt. Horeb)

We invite you to include them in your intercessory prayers during worship and then hold them daily in your prayers as they journey in faith!

Mission Moment: ELCA Hunger Fellows

Each week we are highlighting ministries that are supported by your weekly offerings.  We are grateful for your generosity as it helps us do what matters to God in Jesus’ name!  Please reprint these stories in your newsletters or share them during worship as mission moments as they help to answer the question, “Where does my offering go?”

By Abbigail Hull, ELCA World Hunger Fellow

Advocacy requires collaboration and a gaze towards the future. It was this vision that created the ELCA Hunger Advocacy fellowship. A program made possible by ELCA World Hunger, this fellowship is a year-long transformative experience that combines leadership development, faith formation, and impactful advocacy that moves us toward an end to hunger and a just world where all are fed. This program is in its second year and has already received and developed thoughtful leaders with passion and fresh ideas.

Fellows are placed in various faith-driven public policy offices throughout the United States. The goal of the Hunger Advocacy Fellowship is to build ELCA World Hunger’s capacity to end hunger by deepening and expanding Lutheran advocacy efforts in synods, coalitions and networks.

There are six hunger fellows this year, and one of them works with Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin under the leadership of its director, Rev. Cindy Crane.  We have the pleasure of rubbing elbows with both as LOPPW offices

Hunger Fellow, Kelsey Johnson – The Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin (LOPPW) – Madison

Kelsey Johnson has an active history with the church. Most recently, she served as a ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission (“YAGM”) volunteer in Jerusalem and the West Bank. At the Lutheran School in Ramallah (West Bank), she assisted with English and art classes. She has explored topics related to refugees, baptism, and accompaniment.

Kelsey graduated with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa. She has interests in writing, using social media and working with young people.  She shares how grateful she is for this opportunity to learn and serve:

“My experience serving as a Young Adults in Global Mission volunteer in Palestine was formative in shaping how I see accompaniment as the model for social justice in the world. I didn’t realize there was such a huge overlap and call for advocacy in the ELCA, and I was so excited when I heard the Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin had received a grant for a Hunger Fellow. Though the fellowship is only in its second year, the Hunger Advocacy Fellowship is an opportunity and space I have felt called to for quite a long time. So far it has been an informative and formative continuation of my YAGM year of service. It builds on the passion I have for social justice, and connects it to tangible issues in the state, while keeping a broad view of social justice and advocacy in the world.” 

Our synod and LOPPW is so blessed to have Kelsey walking together with us!  Please keep Kelsey and all the Hunger Fellows in your prayers!

ELCA Launches New Podcast “Three Sides!” 

Two years ago, synod events were created around the theme of “Telling our Stories” and how important it is to be able to be share with others where we see God at work in our world…to be able to share the good news…especially in a world that so desperately needs to hear it.

Three Sides is a new podcast presented by the ELCA that shares that third side of seeing God at work in the world and offers a fresh way to tell the unique, compelling and sometimes surprising stories of this church.   Three sides presents diverse voices from across all expressions of the ELCA.

Three Sides is available at: and via iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.  Follow Three Sides at and on Twitter @threesidespod.

Not sure how to tell your story…listen to these and you will learn and will be inspired!

Conversely if you have a story that you are excited to tell, share it with Three Sides!  They are asking us to send them our stories to be lifted to others.  email:

Full the full story on this new way to tell the church’s story, see page 46 of the September issue of Living Lutheran. – {“issue_id”:517842,”page”:46}