As you know, each week we hold Communion Worship in the synod office chapel and each week, we invite a different preacher.  This is an opportunity that is open to all of our Pastors and Deacons, whether in an active call, or retired or on leave.  Worship is held in an intimate setting in our little fireside chapel from 12:00 to 12:30 with brown bag lunch immediately following if you are able.  We worship anywhere from 3 to 30.  You will choose one ad-hoc day or can choose more if you desire, but if you are interested in helping in this way, contact Volunteer Coordinator, Carolyn Butts at 608-270-0201.  Call Carolyn and make her day!

Join Us for Worship In the Synod Office Chapel Every Thursday at Noon

All Are Welcome!

 We gather for worship and holy communion on Thursdays.  Please join us!  Each week a different preacher from our synod leads worship.  Come and be fed in body and spirit. Brown bag lunch and fellowship immediately following if you are able at 12:30.  Our address is:  6401 Odana Road, Suite 20, Madison, WI  53719


Portico offers a new online video series for Congregational Treasurers.  The video links are below.   They will eventually be on EmployerLink,

  1. Welcome video:
  2. Understanding Your Bill:
  3. EmployerLink Tour:

Also, please share the following:

Resourceful Stewards Initiative

Financial wellness is a vital part of a healthy life. Ministers who are in a financially sound position experience greater satisfaction in their work and their relationships, and are more able to freely serve the church and its mission without being encumbered by financial anxiety.

Savings Matching Programs

The church is an active partner in addressing specific needs raised by rostered ministers, helping rostered ministers develop their personal financial and stewardship health. Two Savings Matching programs share financial resources with rostered ministers.

These programs match rostered ministers’ contributions to a dedicated emergency savings account and/or increased contributions to their ELCA retirement plan accounts.  Click below to learn about the programs, services and resources available to you as a  minister or lay person!  Deadline to apply is October 14th   Go to for more info!

A Statement from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton Addressing our Call to Care for Creation

Last week we provided an update on what this synod team is doing to help us care for God’s creation. This ministry is funded through your mission support and a portion of that is sent on to the ELCA for our shared work caring for God’s creation. Thank you for your weekly offering to your congregation! This work is so important and in fact, Bishop Eaton shared this message recently addressing our call to care for creation:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) members pray and care for God’s marvelous creation every day. We also join the global Christian community each Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 to mark the Season of Creation. This season starts with a World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation, an invitation to focus our worship, our stewardship and action on honoring God by honoring and caring for God’s handiwork.

As members of the ELCA, we share a love and a responsibility for all that God has made. In our social statement “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,” we affirm that “made in the image of God, we are called to care for the earth as God cares for the earth. God’s command to have dominion and subdue the earth is not a license to dominate and exploit. Human dominion, a special responsibility, should reflect God’s way of ruling as a shepherd king who takes the form of a servant, wearing a crown of thorns.” We confess the ways in which we have been negligent in our responsibility to God and to all of creation and commit ourselves to exercising our stewardship by upholding the integrity of creation and safeguarding those most vulnerable to environmental degradation.

On this year’s World Day of Prayer, I am mindful that our warming climate is creating unprecedented crises for millions. These include increased food insecurity, forced migration, natural disasters, civil conflict and water scarcity. From across all communities most affected by climate change, women and girls are disproportionately affected. According to ACT Alliance, these communities suffer huge losses that extend beyond monetary losses to noneconomic impacts such as loss of lives, land, territory, language and culture.  Our response to these losses has focused on the neglect and carelessness, both in private industry and in government regulation, that have contributed to these changes. An honest accounting also recognizes that we all participate, both as consumers and investors, in economies that make intensive and insistent demands for energy. We are part of the solution.

In September, the ELCA will mark the Season of Creation by taking a leadership role during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Together with The Lutheran World Federation and other partners, we will host a Talanoa Dialogue to accompany those most affected by climate change. The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change states: “Talanoais a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good … sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling.”

The focus of these dialogues will be “Loss and Damage” and “Just Transition” related to climate change. The former will explore the suffering that climate change is causing right now and seek new ways to learn from and accompany those most affected. The latter recognizes that we must also accompany those whose livelihoods are dependent on extractive industries, making sure they are not left behind during the transition to renewable energy sources. These dialogues will equip us in the planetary movement toward climate solutions with initiatives that reflect God’s concern for the sufficiency and sustainability of all people.

Our ELCA ministries are making an impact as we as a church take hold of our common responsibility to creation and to God. We know that transitioning to lifestyles that eliminate the causes of global warming is critical and must be done now. In response to the 2016 Churchwide Assembly resolution “Toward a Responsible Energy Future,” ELCA members answer the call to care for all of God’s creation in our churches and homes through stewardship, education and advocacy. These efforts include establishing environmental stewardship committees, building awareness around energy efficiency, evaluating investments in fossil fuels, and learning more about sustainable farming and development.

All who care for the earth and work for the restoration of its vitality can be confident in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we serve in concert with God’s creative and renewing power and the indwelling Spirit of Christ to give us hope, courage and direction.

Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us coworkers in your creation. Give us wisdom and reverence to use the resources of nature so that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (prayer for stewardship of natural resources, ELW p. 80).

In Christ,

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

Read the ELCA Social Statement: “Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope and Justice,”

Upcoming synod event: October 6, 2018 “What’s Working in Wisconsin:  Public and Private Uses of Renewable Energy”

SCSW csw Diakonia Class Sign Up – Instructors Still Needed!

Instructors Still Needed for the Following Courses – If you are a rostered minister and would like to teach a Diakonia course, we are looking for instructors for the following classes in the following locations:

Madison & Evansville (Saturday mornings)*  Communicating the Gospel
*  Faith in the North American Context

*  Christian Worship Practical Ministry – Visitation


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, you can find more information, along with registration forms on the Diakonia page.  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!

You are cordially invited to the Rite of Ordination for Augusta Barnes

Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Bay Shore Lutheran Church
1200 E. Hampton Road
Whitefish Bay, WI  53217

Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld Presiding

Clergy are invited to vest and process.  The color of the day is red.

Augusta is new to our synod and will be serving at Luther Memorial in Delavan, WI

Thoughts from Rev. Cindy Crane, Director, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin

“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people.  In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.” Aldo Leopold

Thoughts from Rev. Cindy Crane, Director, Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin

Many prayers for all who are experiencing displacement and loss because of the flooding throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The immediate needs of many have been vast, and the long-term effects of how water has overcome certain areas are unknown.  So much is out of our control, but considering that which humans can affect, we pause and wonder.  Which public policies make it more difficult for the earth to absorb water.  What are scientists saying about patterns that bring to light the impact climate change is having in the present?  Some respond by pointing out that the earth has always been altering and that flooding is a part of life.  Yet, based on what science teaches us, we can make needed changes even if we never achieve complete harmony with the land.

James instructs us to show no partiality based on economic status.  We say that’s what we’d like to do as a democracy as well, and yet money in politics has led to significant deregulation of environmental protections as a result of many government officials showing gross favoritism of corporations owned by wealthy donors.  The good news is that we find an increasing number of groups claiming the value of tapping into renewable energy, that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide emissions.  Many individuals, businesses, secular and religious nonprofits, cities and counties are making grassroots efforts to change.  Our advocacy on all levels from local to federal for our leaders to give less preferential treatment to those who steer us toward harming the earth is vital.

Show no partiality – how beautiful that is to experience and unlikely to 100% achieve.  With all our imperfections, we need to try for impartiality, realizing that it can win out and that sins can be forgiven.  Strive, knowing that God loves each of us and all of creation.

Learn more and sign up for advocacy alerts at:

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”

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

2018 ELCA Youth Leadership Summit

The ELCA Youth Leadership Summit is an annual gathering for high school youth identified as leaders and adult representatives from each synod from across The ELCA. Two youth in grades 9-12 and one adult per synod are invited to attend. This year Rev. Steve Kottke, Assistant to the Bishop for the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin will accompany our youth to the summit. All costs (including round-trip air travel from Madison Dane County Regional Airport) are covered for this event by our synod and the ELCA.

This summit focuses on leadership development through engaging speakers and thought leaders in key areas at the intersection of leadership and faith in daily life AND faith formation and building connections for high school youth in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Youth will be challenged to take home what they have learned to inspire action in their own synods and youth groups. The Youth Leadership Summit is a shared ministry between ELCA Youth Ministry and The SYMBOL Network (Synodical Youth Ministry Leaders).

The theme for the 2018 Summit is “Through Christ We Can” and will take place November 1-4 at Camp Carol Joy Holling in Nebraska using Philippians 2:1-5 as it’s scriptural base. The event will focus on young people’s call to ministry for the sake of others and advocacy because of their faith. For our learning and networking times we will be joined by various ELCA ministries and staff including Advocacy, Young Adult Ministries, Justice for Women and Global Mission.

If you are a youth in grades 9-12 who feel called to attend this summit, DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION HERE and return it to Rev. Steve Kottke in the synod office by September 25, 2018 to be considered. Rev. Kottke and Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld will be reviewing each application and will choose two youth to represent the synod at this year’s Summit.

Mission Moment: Care for God’s Creation Ministry

This ministry is funded through your mission support.  Thank you for your weekly offering to your congregation. A portion of that is sent on to the synod for synod-wide ministries such as Care for God’s Creation!

In December of 2015 this team met for the first time.  Care of Creation is part of the World Hunger effort of our church. At this time, members of our team include Pastor Mae Jean Zelle (First, Janesville) Jane Harrison (First English-Platteville), Pastor Cindy Crane (LOPPW), Pastor Nick Utphall (Advent, Madison), Bob Lindmeier (St. John’s, Oregon), Eleanor Siebert (Five Points – Blue River) and new member, Debbie Nelson (Bethel-Madison).

Our emphasis is education and advocacy in the area of the environment. We continue to educate about the Carbon Fee and Dividend issue.  This year we are prioritizing the formation of Green Committees in churches.  Bob Lindmeier continues to be available for speaking engagements and others of the team are also willing as time permits.  The SCSW/LOPPW Care for God’s Creation team is excited about our October 6th event “What’s Working in Wisconsin,” which will highlight renewable energy progress in the state and tools for how we can all make a difference. The event is free! Who should attend?  Anyone interested in renewable energy for their church, business or home, or who would like to know more about advocacy and various local and statewide groups that help us to care for  God’s creation!  Check out the synod website for resources:

Update from Eleanor Siebert, Coordinator, Care for God’s Creation Team

Upcoming event: October 6, 2018 “What’s Working in Wisconsin:  Public and Private Uses of Renewable Energy”


Yes, It’s time to Start Thinking About Advent!

It’s just around the corner…Here are some excellent resources from ELCA World Hunger

These resources are Free with Free Shipping while supplies last.  Some are also downloadable such as the new Advent Study below!

New! Advent Study from the ELCA
Find devotions, questions for reflection, prayers and inspiration for the journey to end hunger and seek justice. Download study 

Advent tree

Decorate a tree with ornaments that represent ELCA Good Gifts – honeybees, farming tools or school supplies, for example – and raise funds to help fight hunger. Members can keep the ornaments and give them as gifts to symbolize their donations. Order here