Bishop’s Convocation 2018

Remember to Register by September 18 to reserve a hotel room:   https://bit.ly/BishopsConvocation2018

Dates:  Sunday, October 7 – Tuesday, October 9

Registration:  4:00 pm Sunday, October 7
Banquet:  6:00 pm
Close:  Tuesday, October 9 at noon
Location:  Abbey Resort, Fontana, Wisconsin

Each year, the bishop invites all rostered leaders in our synod and their spouses to participate in a few days of learning, collegiality, respite and fun!  While we never use the word, “required,” rostered are strongly urged to attend and congregational councils are encouraged to send their pastor(s) and deacon(s).

This Year’s Topic:  Preaching & Proclamation in Such a Time As This

 We are delighted to have with us, Dr. Samuel Giere, Professor of Homiletics from Wartburg Seminary.

 About His keynote:  Incarnation, Subversive Faith, Public Word”

Relationships in our current North American political climate are frail.  Trust is in worn thin.  Trust in leadership.  Trust in institutions.  Trust in one another.  While this erosion of trust is not a new reality, it has worn thinner and thinner over the last decade and is now approaching a breaking point.  This extreme weathering of trust impacts how we are church and how we speak and hear the Word.  When trust is so fragile, how can I trust the preacher?  Is what she is saying true?  Is this sermon simply more noise?  Is Good News just well-intentioned fake news with candles?  How do the unfiltered/unedited news stories spread via social media platforms impact the truth of the Gospel?

In this series of presentations, we will explore the proclamation of Jesus Christ in such a time as this.  We will touch on the foundation of Christian proclamation in the incarnation of the Eternal Word, the trajectory of Christian proclamation as faith alone, and the bold and ticklish call to proclaim this radical Word, this radical faith in the public square… which includes each and every one of our congregations.  The textual fodder for our explorations will come from weekly texts from Advent and Christmas 2018.

Rostered Leaders are invited to learn more about this year’s Convocation & register on the event website at: http://bit.ly/BishopsConvocation2018

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

Mission Moment: Lutherans United Assisting After Disasters  “LUAD”

Drone photo courtesy of Robert J. Dorn Jr. show flood damage in Cross Plains following an historic rainfall.

LUAD is a synod ministry supported by your mission support.  Thank you!  And now, the work of this synod ministry has a time-sensitive need as they respond to recovery efforts for those in our synod impacted by the flooding from recent heavy rains.  Please read this letter from LUAD President, Todd Long.  Congregations have been asking where to send their special offerings for victims of the flood. At the end of the article, we provide information on where to send your special offerings in support of this important work. 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I would like to take a few moments to remind you and your congregation of our efforts.  We are LUAD (Lutherans Assisting after Disasters) and are affiliated with the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA.

With all the rain we have had and the resulting flooding, we would like to remind you of our mission to help disaster survivors bridge the gap between emergency response and long term recovery rendering necessary services, donated items, supplies assistance, and social, emotional and spiritual support.

We become engaged only by a call from a congregation within the Synod.  This could be the Pastor or Council President.  At the present time we have been called by St. Martins of Cross Plains.  As water levels rise and more rain is in the forecast, it is a true possibility that other comm unities will or are being affected.  We are ready to serve.

We rely on volunteers from all congregations within our Synod and only ask of them what they are willing to commit in both time and service. There is always work for anyone willing to serve. We like to say, “We are family helping family.” There is an orientation meeting before any work is begun dealing with workplace safety and guidelines for service.

We ask that you and your congregation extend your prayers for our work and explain our goals to any of your members so they might know of our needs for service.  If there is need within your congregation, please extend a call to LUAD so we might be able to assist and advise you in this time of need.

Sincerely in Christ,

LUAD Executive Committee
Todd Long, President
317-691-3070

Disaster Assistance number
888-237-0433


If you would like to make a donation or take a special offering in your congregation to help LUAD assist flood victims, please send it made payable to the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin and put “LUAD” in the memo.

Mail it to: South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA
6401 Odana Road, Suite 20
Madison, WI  53719

Thank you for your support of those who have been impacted by flooding in our synod!

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

Mission Moment: Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM)

It is your mission support that makes these ELCA ministries possible.  Together we are doing What Matters in God’s kingdom!  Thank you! 

Meet our synod’s new Young Adults in Global Mission!

Another cohort of Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteers have recently accepted the call into service, beginning in August.  The YAGM program has seen significant growth since its beginnings in 1999, and this is especially true since the start of the Campaign for the ELCA.  In the past five years, the average number of volunteers sent into service each year was 30 more than in the years prior to the Campaign.  This growth has only been made possible through generous individuals, congregations and synods who support this program and the faithful young adults who answer God’s call to service.  And with approximately 35% of YAGM alumni entering seminary, it’s also a strategic and timely investment.

Among the 80 newly called YAGM volunteers, two of them have named a congregation, campus ministry, ELCA camp or ELCA college/university as a faith home within the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.  They are:

Rachel Perkins – Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville.  She will be serving in Southern Africa, and  John Baynton – Intervarsity Christian Fellowship in Madison, Luther Memorial in Madison and Blackhawk Church in Madison.

The YAGM volunteers will be sent to serve in 14 countries in 11 country programs alongside our companions in Argentina/Uruguay, Australia, Cambodia, Central Europe (Hungary & Servia), Jerusalem/West Bank, Madagascar, Mesico, Rwanda, Senengal, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom.  Young adults serve in a variety of areas including congregational ministry, human rights work, development projects, healthcare, education and youth work.  A year of service through the YAGM program helps young adults to think more critically about their own identity, God’s work in the world, and their place within it all.

Watch What Matters for more updates on these two young adults and their journey.  We will be publishing links to their blogs and newsletters when they become available.  For now, please keep them in your prayers and thank you for the support that your mission support provides these young disciples.  Your offerings and prayers are greatly appreciated!

God’s blessings to you Rachel and John!  We will be walking wet with you!

Visit the ELCA website for more information on the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Ministry program.

Might your son or daughter be ready for this opportunity?

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

God’s Work. Our Hands. Sunday – September 9 – Are You Ready?

Ideas and a plethora of resources are available on the ELCA website:

http://www.elca.org/Resources/GWOH-Sunday

Go to the event page for more information

“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/

Mission Moment: SCSW Refugee Resettlement Ministry

It is your mission support that makes these synod ministries possible and it was voting members of our assembly who voted to support these ministries with human and financial resources. Together we are doing What Matters in God’s kingdom!  Thank you! 

Following is an update from Rev. Dan Odden, co-chair of the Synod’s Refugee Resettlement Ministry Team:

Refugee Resettlement Group Re-focuses on Needs

We have in the past welcomed about one hundred refugees to the Madison area each year, but the Federal government administration has significantly reduced the number of refugees being admitted to our country. Consequently, we have welcomed only a few families in the last nine months.  We continue to be prepared to welcome people with apartment furnishings and commodities. We also continue to look for ways we can show hospitality and be of help as refugees get settled in the Madison area .

With this lack of arrivals, we have shifted our activities in two ways:

First, we have been making individuals and congregations aware of Lutheran Social Services financial needs to maintain staffing during this time.  There are families that need our continued support and it is important to maintain a presence to build on in the future.

Second, we are looking for opportunities for advocacy for refugees.  We encourage individuals to write letters to US Congress Representatives and Senators to encourage a more welcoming and sustainable flow of refugees to our country.  We encourage use of materials consistent with the refugee work of LIRS (Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service) and L.S.S., and ELCA social statements.

Recently, Catholic Charities of Milwaukee has shut down their program that had been receiving over 500 individuals per year.  This may make the Lutheran Social Services program in Wisconsin    more important in the months ahead.

We give thanks for your prayers on behalf of people seeking refuge from wars and disasters that have caused the historic high of 65 million refugees worldwide.

God’s Blessings and Peace,

Dan Odden

For more information on the synod’s Refugee Resettlement Ministry, visit the synod website: www.scsw-elca.org and click on Ministries & Partners and then Refugee Resettlement.


If your congregation would like to get involved with this ministry, contact Rev. Dan Odden at (608) 643-5128 or danodden@gmail.com or Lisa Hansen at (608) 838-7929 or lisatimhansen@charter.net of the SCSW Refugee Resettlement Team.

Prayers

Refugee Resettlement Task Force:

  • Lisa Hansen, Member at Our savior’s Lutheran Church in sun Prairie
  • Nancy Anderson, Member at Lakeview Lutheran Church in Madison

Pastors and Congregations in our Synod:

  • Rev. David Froemming, Pastor, and members of Christ Lutheran Church in Lancaster
  • Rev. Michael Lee, Pastor, and members of First Lutheran Church in Lodi

Neighboring Synods:

  • Bishop Ann Svennungsen and the congregations of the Minneapolis Synod, ELCA

Churchwide Partners: 

  • Ms. Andrea Young, Director, Employee Engagement and Development, Office of the Presiding Bishop at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Mr. Joe Young, Director, Poverty and Justice Ministries, Domestic 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:

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:

  • Ruth Harper, August 14, 1955, Retired in Minneapolis, MN

May these leaders continue to be blessed for service.