LEAD Presentation by Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman and Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld’s Message

If you would like to hear Dr. Bouman’s keynote from LEAD or Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld’s message, they are posted to the synod’s website.  For Dr. Bouman’s presentation, advance the video to the 13 minute mark where Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld introduces him.  https://scsw-elca.org/event/lead2019/

New Speaker on the Synod Speaker’s Bureau – Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman! 

Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman!  Yes…you heard correctly!  Dr. Bouman was our keynote speaker for LEAD this year and as ever, received an overwhelmingly positive response by our attendees.  So we are extremely excited to introduce him as one of our newest speakers to the synod’s Speaker’s Bureau.

As he is now retired from his call to the ELCA churchwide office as Executive Director of the Domestic Mission of the ELCA, he has started his own consulting business, 3 Roads Consulting.

He is available to work with your congregation in the areas of congregational renewal, community ministries and leadership training.  As ever, you work directly with our speakers to make arrangements and negotiate details.  See the synod’s website for his contact information.


 Link to Speaker’s Bureau page:  https://scsw-elca.org/resources/speakers-bureau/

Invitation to PREVIEW from Luther Seminary – April 30, 2019

Luther Seminary will be hosting on campus this spring: Preview! 

Preview encourages emerging young leaders to explore their gifts in the context of theological education. It is a day-long seminary campus visit like no other! Our staff and faculty have merged to shape presentations, workshops, mini-classes, tours, worship and a meal specifically for high school students and their pastors and other ministerial mentors.

Preview registration is now open, and we would love for you to share this opportunity with your congregation’s members! The main event information can be found here, and the Facebook event invite, hereIf you need or want to stay overnight, Luther Seminary is happy to arrange for rooms on campus.

Link: https://www.luthersem.edu/lifelong_learning/events/community/preview.aspxFacebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1226829620818267/

Hands on Ministries to Take Place at Synod Assembly

Two Ways You Can Make a Difference:


We know many of you are already rolling up your sleeves with this ministry as part of your Lenten offerings.  Thanks to the volunteer efforts of Ted Sehmer, member of Christ, Stoughton, we will be holding an in gathering for Global Health Ministries at Synod Assembly this year to transport you kits to the GHM warehouse in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Thank you Ted!


Location:  Drop off your kits at the ALLIANT ENERGY CENTER, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison

Drop off times:
Friday, May 4 – 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 5 – 7:30 am – 6:00 pm

Please pay attention to boxing instructions by taping shut and labelling all boxes with quantities of items in each box.  This is very important as we are required to provide this information to GHM before we arrive so they can schedule the appropriate volunteers for unloading at the warehouse.

Financial Donations Needed Too!  Even if your congregation can’t participate in creating kits, you can still help.  Financial donations are needed for transportation costs to get the donations to the warehouse in St. Paul as the synod does not have a budget for this.  We are needing $500 to cover transit expenses.  You can send donations made payable to SCSW and mail to South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA, 6401 Odana Road, Suite 20, Madison, WI  53719.  Thank you!!!


Some of our congregations are participating in this hunger ministry in their communities and making a big difference in feeding children.  The assembly planning team is very excited to bring this hands-on activity to our assembly with an associated workshop that will teach you how to start this hunger ministry in your community.  At assembly, our attendees will be invited to help pack the backpacks with food that we purchase from the Blessing in A Backpack organization.  This assures high quality products that provide consistency in content and freshness.  Our goal is to pack 1,000 backpacks for children in our synod.

How you can help?  Instead of in-kind donations, we need to raise $2,900 to fill 1,000 backpacks.  These backpacks will be distributed to congregations that are engaged in this ministry and ready to distribute to the schools in their community.

Donations should be made payable to SCSW, with Blessings in A Backpack in the memo.  Mail to South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, 6401 Odana Road, Suite 20, Madison, WI  53719 by April 30.

Living the Godly Life As The Beloved Community

This past weekend I attended the ELCA Church Council meeting.  There were many items of business, all in some way pointing us to living the Godly life as the people of God.  Documents presented had been reviewed and recommended by the Conference of Bishops.  As co-chair of the task force that developed the proposed social statement “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Lutheran Call to Action” which speaks clearly about how sexism is inconsistent with living the Godly life. I was overjoyed when the Council approved it unanimously.  It now goes to the 2019 Churchwide Assembly for approval.

Another document, “Trustworthy Servants of the People of God,” focused on living the Godly life by addressing best practices for pastors, deacons and those preparing for those roles in this church.  The Church Council decided not to consider this document for adoption and referred the document to the ELCA Domestic Mission unit for further review and redrafting. This document is intended to replace “Vision and Expectations,” which outlines expectations the church has for rostered ministers. In their recommendation the council stated that further consideration of the document should involve a process that includes diverse voices from across the church, especially those who perceive they were most harmed in the past by the misuse of the current document, Vision and Expectations.  They have asked that work be completed by the fall of 2020.

I’m sure some of you are asking the Lutheran question, “What does this mean?”  A little background is in order.  The ELCA, like all church bodies, including our predecessor bodies, has always had clearly stated expectations for pastors and deacons. You can find these in the ELCA constitution, the services of ordination and consecration, in a document entitled Vision and Expectations and in a companion document, Guidelines and Definitions for Discipline. I’d encourage lay leaders to read what is currently expected in the preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and service of those you have called to serve and for their personal integrity.  I believe we need guidance to live the Godly life and be beloved community together.

As Bishop of this synod, I truly want us to be beloved community.  For me this means all congregations will be places where the gospel is proclaimed boldly.  It means that congregations are safe and respectful places for all within it, including rostered leaders, and those who surround these mission outposts.  It means that there are clear and high expectations of those called to lead, and those who are preparing to lead.  Boundaries are important but we must understand that boundaries are related to so much more than sexual ethics.  It means our congregations are places that welcome persons of every background, race, sexual orientation and gender identity to engage fully in a life of discipleship. We affirm that Jesus is gracious and radical enough to extend a call to us all to be beloved community together.

Being beloved community means we live into Easter joy as a reconciling and racial equity synod – blessed to be a blessing in this world we inhabit.

Blessings and peace,

The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld

Bishop, South-Central Synod of Wisconsin

Vision and Expectations for Ministers of Word and Sacrament:  http://bit.ly/VEPastors

Vision and Expectations for Ministers of Word and Service: http://bit.ly/VEDeacons

Guidelines and Definitions for Discipline: http://bit.ly/ELCADisciplineGuidelines


Sign Up Now!

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

If you are interested in taking classes, more information, along with registration form, can be obtained from the web site www.scsw-elca.org click on Ministries and Partners, Diakonia.  Financial Assistance may be available from your congregation and/or synod scholarships are available for those who would appreciate tuition assistance.

You can also contact Linda Wulff at 920-210-2675 or by e-mail at scswdiakonia@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from prospective students and instructors!

St. John’s (Madison) Has Office Space to Lease

St. John’s Lutheran Church is located 2 blocks off the capitol square in Madison.  They have 1,900 square feet on the 2nd floor of their ADA elevator equipped building.  Well planned and recently refurbished offices with conference room/s.  Ideas space for firms or non-profits needing easy access to state, count/municipal offices and court house. All amenities of our vibrant downtown at your doorstep.  Contact Rev. Peter Beeson at peterb@stjohnsmadison.org or 608/256-2337.

Synod Conference Events


Baraboo Conference – April 27 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Prairie du Sac, Speaker is Kathy Roberg, RN on Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin, ministry in Thiotte, Haiti.  Registration starts at 8:30 am.  More information and RSVP to tnmdegi@gmail.com or 608-643-4514

Barneveld Conference – April 27 at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mount Horeb, Speaker is Bev Burns of “Passages”, a women’s shelter, and Darlene Masters of Family Advocates at 9:30 am. Registration starts at 8:30 am.  Lunch.   More information and RSVP to elc@mhtc.net or 608-437-5012

Beloit Conference – April 27 at First Lutheran Church in Janesville, Speaker is Dr. John Haeberlin, Mission of Miracles, Registration starts at 8:30 am.  More information and RSVP by April 12 to 608-754-2071 or mail to First Lutheran, 612 N Randall Ave, Janesville, WI 53545.  Luncheon will feature uniquely decorated tables.

Elkhorn Conference – April 27 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson, Speaker is Dawn Heath on Anti-Human Trafficking at 9 am.  Registration starts at 8:00 am.  More information and RSVP by April 20 to 01sphillipson@gmail.com or 262-337-1368.  Lunch.

Monroe Conference – April 13 at Primrose Lutheran in Belleville, Speaker is Nikki Matley, FCI Financial Professional, Thrivent Financial.  Registration starts at 9:30 am.  More information and RSVP to 608-325-9565.  Lunch.

Southlake Conference – May attend any nearby Gathering.


Kids Receive Peer Support at Time for Us Camp

Time for Us is an annual camp for youth, ages 10 – 18, who have a family member living with cognitive, neurological or trauma-related challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, PTSD, or Parkinson’s.

The nature-based Keepers of Memories activities help campers find paths toward understanding changes, developing coping skills, learning good nutrition, and creating connections between cognitive health and the health of our environment.

June 16 – 21, 2019

Bethel Horizons Camp, Dodgeville

Summer 2019 registrations are being accepted now.

Time for Us is sponsored by ADAW, Bethel Horizons, and forMemory, a network of persons affected by early-stage memory loss. Questions?

Contact Christine at (920) 734-9638 or Mary Kay Baum at   (608) 935-5834.  www.formemory.org

SCSW Children, Youth & Family Ministry Network Meetings

Please join us for the next Children, Youth and Family Network Meeting,
Thursday April 25th  10:30am-12pm. We meet to support, dream and vision together.

Location:  Upperhouse  365 E Campus Mall #200, Madison, WI 53715

(There is a parking garage directly under the building)

Typically our meetings are the 4th Thursday of each month at Upperhouse in Madison. We also use Zoom for those that cannot join us in person. We would love to see you there!  Contact us if you want to Zoom into the meeting!

Future Meeting Date:
May 23 – at Upperhouse 10:30am -12 noon

Jay Kiel
Director of Youth Ministry
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Middleton, WI   Edgerton, WI


Heather Greenley
Youth Coordinator
Central Lutheran Church