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

Contact:
Jay Kiel
Director of Youth Ministry
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
Middleton, WI   Edgerton, WI
jkiel@stlukes-elca.org

or

Heather Greenley
Youth Coordinator
Central Lutheran Church
youth_clc@yahoo.com

Share Your Gifts With Your Synod by Leading Worship! 

Pastors, Deacons, Interns and Diakonia Graduates and Collaborative Learning Students!  We Are Needing Worship Leaders for the month of May

Sign up here:  http://signup.com/go/NQMwNNG

First, thank you to all our siblings in Christ who have led worship on Thursdays at the synod office.  You have been a gift to so many in our synod!  For those who have not yet volunteered, we would love it if you would be willing to lead worship on a Thursday at noon in the synod office.  Our service is very informal and you could make the 30 minute service look however you would like. Also feel free to invite members of you congregations or friends to join us. Everyone is invited to bring a lunch and join us for fellowship at 12:30.   It is so fun to be together!

It is very easy to sign up at the link: http://signup.com/go/NQMwNNG. If you would prefer you can simply contact Robyn Zimmerman at robynz@scsw-elca.org and she can do the sign up for you.

We are always looking for volunteers for General Office Volunteer Work – http://signup.com/go/urPBwwv

If you have questions please call Robyn Zimmerman at the synod office, 608-270-0201. 

MISSION MOMENT: Our Work With Human Trafficking Is Making a Difference!

Thank you for your weekly offerings that get sent on to your synod and a portion to our larger church through your mission support, for without it, we would not be able to be a healing presence in a world that desperately needs Jesus.  Here’s our story:

By Deacon Vicki Hanrahan, Assistant to the Bishop for Synodical Life

On March 27, 12 Wisconsin state representatives and approximately 50 concerned citizens gathered at the State capitol for the Assembly Committee on Children and Families public hearing on Assembly Bill 41. Under this bill, a person who is under the age of 18 may not be prosecuted for committing an act of prostitution. Many compelling arguments were made in favor of this bill and the fact that 25 states have already passed it, strengthened the arguments.

As one of 50+ concerned citizens, I wanted to share some powerful moments where I saw God’s presence at this public hearing where law and gospel informed our common goal of protecting the rights of victims and safe harboring them through the social services process instead of the criminal justice system.

I got off the elevator on the 4th floor with several of the people speaking in favor of the bill and they were excited to see that a line was forming to get into the room.  I was happy for them because sometimes just showing up as a member of the beloved community is all it takes to affirm to each other that what we are about to do is important and matters.

As we entered the hearing room, we filled out a voting registration form where we could indicate our position on the bill and whether we were there to speak to it.  Several from our synod spoke eloquently in favor of the bill: Shown here at the microphone are the Rev. Cindy Crane, Director of Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin and LOPPW Hunger Fellow, Kelsey Johnson, and LOPPW volunteer, Margaret Staniforth.  Later, at the microphone were Women of the ELCA including Helen Sheahan, President of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin WELCA group & Margo Holman from Dekorra Lutheran’s women’s group, Shirley Paulson, East Central Synod of Wisconsin WELCA and Lori Wells, President of the NW Synod of Wisconsin’s WELCA group.  The chairperson commended their testimonies.  Also present were representatives from League of Women Voters, State Public Defenders Office, the Department of Children and Family Services, Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee, and the National Council of Juvenile Justice to name a few.

After nearly 4 hours of testimonies, the session adjourned.  Before closing, Chairman Snyder read out loud the names of people voting and speaking for Assembly Bill 41 and one could hear the echo of “ELCA” behind each of our names.  One of the authors of the bill, Representative Jill Billings who is an ELCA member of the    La Crosse Area Synod, could be seen smiling at ELCA members present.  Billings, other legislators, LOPPW, and friends have shared passion and years of walking together to try to care for God’s children.  This was one of many spirit-filled moments.

This is a mission moment that filled me with awe and gratitude for the opportunity to be a voice for the survivors of human trafficking.  For all of us in that hearing that day, I can speak with bold and daring confidence that our presence and voices spoke very loudly that we are Lutheran, we are Church, we are Church Together and we are Church for the Sake of the World.   What a beautiful witness to our faith!

Why is this so important?  Here are some sobering statistics:

  • There are an estimated 36 million people in modern-day slavery in the world today.
  • Human trafficking (both sex and labor trafficking) is the fastest growing organized crime and is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world.
  • Human trafficking generates $32 billion per year in profits.
  • 98% of sexually trafficked victims are women and girls.
  • In the United States there are an estimated 100,000 – 300,000 children prostituted each year.
  • 33% of children that run away are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home.
  • Mortality rate for prostitutes can be 100 times greater than the general public.
  • The average age for being sex-trafficked is 13.
  • Sex trafficking has been found in every county of our state.
  • 46% of prostitutes attempt suicide.

Wisconsin Sex Trafficking of Minors

It is difficult to determine how many youths are being sex trafficked in Wisconsin because even though it is pervasive, it is very covert. To date (2017) cases have been reported across the state in every county, and as awareness of sex trafficking increases professionals are recognizing more youth who are victims of trafficking. Jan Miyazaki, the director of Madison’s Project Respect, said that in her work with local women in the sex trade, she encounters between 50-75 cases a year involving force, fraud or coercion. A community educator who works with Milwaukee minors in the sex trade said she has come into contact with more than 100 young people in the past year that she believes fit the definition of human trafficking victims. Milwaukee was referred to as “The Harvard of Pimp School,” in the November 2, 2015 article in The Guardian. However, many of the traffickers have moved into suburban and rural areas. The Internet as well as public places are used for recruiting. It is common for traffickers to spend significant time tracking potential girls and boys for prey and they often work in team.

As Human Trafficking is one of the priorities of Lutheran Office for Public Policy in Wisconsin, Rev. Cindy Crane, Director of LOPPW, shares “The passage of this bill would place Wisconsin law in alignment with federal law, and would enable trafficked youth to receive human services rather than be re-victimized by being treated as criminals.  We have supported this bill for three legislative sessions, each time it has come closer to passing.”

Would you like your congregation to be more informed? Invite LOPPW to speak by calling Rev. Cindy Crane at 608-270-0201 and by checking out other speakers such as Dawn Heath on the synod’s Speaker’s Bureau to invite people who have made Human Trafficking their life’s work.  https://scsw-elca.org/resources/speakers-bureau/

More on the Assembly Bill 41 – https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2019/related/proposals/ab41

More on the Talking Points –https://www.loppw.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/45/files/2019/03/Talking-Points-and-Info.pdf

Do You Have A Prayer Shawl Ministry in Your Congregation?

Do You Have One That You Would Be Willing to Share for Caring Visits Made by Synod Staff?

An important part of our calls as synod staff is to care for our congregations.  There are certain occasions where we would like to bring a prayer blanket or shawl to someone in our synod to comfort them.  Do you have one or two that you would be willing to share?  If any of you are willing to help, please feel free to bring any donations to the synod office the next time you visit or bring it to Synod Assembly Attn:  Robyn Zimmerman.

Thank you for your consideration!  You can also sign up to donate on https://signup.com/go/NQMwNNG

The 2019 South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Synod Assembly Has Gone Mobile!

For your convenience and to care for God’s creation, we have introduced the Synod Assembly Guidebook app.

This app will house the entire assembly “book” and will allow for convenience of referencing materials during the event and will allow for live updates and increased communication capabilities.  The app is available on all mobile devices including cell phones and tablets and can be downloaded by following this link from your mobile device*:

https://guidebook.com/g/scsw2019/

1)  Download the “ELCA Organizations & Events” app on to your mobile device.

2)  Open the app and tap “Find Guides” from the menu and search for

“2019 South-Central Synod of Wisconsin”

3)  The guidebook will automatically download once you select it.  You are ready to explore!

*NOTE:  If you do not own a tablet or a smartphone, you can rent one for $25 for the entire assembly.  Choose this on your assembly registration.  It is an OPTIONAL ITEM.  You will receive your Ipad when you check in at the event registration area at the Alliant.

We Have A DEM!  (Director for Evangelical Mission)

The Rev. Walter Baires will join the synod staff as Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission on May 1, 2019.  He will be installed at our Synod Assembly Sunday worship.  A full biography will be in the next issue of What Matters.  We are excited for you to meet him!

Please hold him in your prayers during this transition.

Upcoming Spring Conference Gatherings

Women of the ELCA South Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization
2019 Saturday Spring Conference Gatherings
Everyone is welcome! Bring a friend!

Baraboo Conference – 4/27 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.
Lunch
More information and RSVP to tnmdegi@gmail.com or 608-643-4514

Barneveld Conference – 4/27 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

Beaver Dam Conference – 4/6 at Marquardt Village Towne Centre, Watertown, hostessed by Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Watertown. Speaker is Kay Ward, Don’t Just Live – Thrive at 9 am. Registration starts at 8:30 am.
Lunch
More information and RSVP by March 31 to jshackley.immanuel@gmail.com or 920-261-1663

Beloit Conference – 4/27 at First Lutheran Church in Janesville, Speaker is Dr. John Haeberlin, Mission of Miracles, Registration starts at 8:30 am.
Lunch
More information and RSVP by April 12 to 608-754-2071 or mail to First Lutheran, 612 N Randall Ave, Janesville, WI 53545

East/West Conference – 4/6 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, Speaker is Jane Harrison on UPAVIM at 9 am. Registration starts at 8:30 am.
Lunch
More information and RSVP to pfcart48@gmail.com or 608-271-7912

Elkhorn Conference – 4/27 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Atkinson, Speaker is Dawn Heath on Anti-Human Trafficking at 9 am. Registration starts at 8:00 am.
Lunch
More information and RSVP by April 20 to 01sphillipson@gmail.com or 262-337-1368

Monroe Conference – 4/13 at Primrose Lutheran Church in Belleville, Speaker is Nikki Matley, FCI Financial Professional from Thrivent Financial. Registration starts at 9:30 am.
Lunch
More information and RSVP to 608-325-9565

Southlake Conference – Invited to attend any nearby Gathering

Southwest Conference – 4/6 at Lutheran Church of Peace in Platteville, Speakers about Women of the ELCA supported missions for Native Americans in AZ & Montana and UPAVIM at 10 am. Registration and continental breakfast starts at 9:30 am.
Breakfast
More information and RSVP to tomsuzbart@tds.net or 608-533-2801. Inkind gifts for women’s shelter Family Advocates.

Call for Pictures for Synod Assembly Slide Loop

This went so well last year with photos of walking wet in baptism, we’d like to do it again! Do you have pictures that show your congregation Building Beloved Community? Where are you reaching out into your community? Into the world? What does beloved community within your congregation look like? Please send pictures (.jpgs) that tell the story of this year’s Synod Assembly theme “Building Beloved Community” to Robyn Zimmerman at robynz@scsw-elca.org by April 17. We would love to show pictures from different congregations throughout the synod as we strengthen our beloved community together.

Invitation to Young Singers to participate in Children’s Choir Forming for ELCA Churchwide Assembly –

Young singers with unchanged treble voices, having completed 3rd through 8th grade, are invited to participate in a mass children’s choir for the festive opening worship of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly held at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, on Monday, August 5. Under the direction of Karol Kinard Kimmell, the choir will participate in the service of Holy Communion with Presiding Bishop Eaton, singing selections throughout the service and helping to lead an assembly of over 1,500 people in song. Interested congregations, choirs, or individual singers may contact worship@elca.org or call 773-380-2554 for more information and to learn how to register.

Registration by May 1 is appreciated.

Children’s Book Just Released! “There’s No Wrong Way to Pray”

Authored by Our Very Own Rev. Rebecca Ninke and her daughter, Kate.

If you were at LEAD this weekend, you may have been one of several that had the opportunity to purchase this book hot off the presses and meet these special authors. This delightful book, written by Rev. Rebecca Ninke and her daughter, Kate, was available at the Author, Author table at LEAD. (They sold out!) They have a great message about holding conversations with God. Published by Augsburg Fortress/Beaming Books, it’s also available on Amazon, B&N, Target, etc. Kate, age ten, is a member of Luther Memorial.

There’s a free parent download discussion guide on the Augsburg/Beaming Books site under “sample.” A great gift for kids and grandkids and for your church libraries! Congratulations Rebecca & Kate…well done! https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/24209/There-No-Wrong-Way-to-Pray