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

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*:

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.
More information and RSVP to 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.
More information and RSVP to 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.
More information and RSVP by March 31 to 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.
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.
More information and RSVP to 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.
More information and RSVP by April 20 to 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.
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.
More information and RSVP to 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 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 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!

LEAD 2019 – Thank you for Your Offerings for Lutheran Campus Ministry

All totaled between online giving and giving at the event, we received $3,018.00 that will be equally divided between our synod’s campus ministries at UW Whitewater, UW-Platteville and UW-Madison. Thank you for your generosity in support of this important synod ministry!

Message from the Presiding bishop on Christchurch mosque shootings

ELCA presiding bishop pastoral message on Christchurch mosque shootings

3/15/2019 12:55:00 PM

Dear Church,

 Today we awoke to the devastating news of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We join in mourning for the people who were killed and wounded, for their families, for the first responders and grief counselors, and for all whose lives have been shattered today. We know that God is present in the midst of their suffering.

 We know that our own Muslim neighbors here in the U.S. are also experiencing grief and fear. Many will wonder whether it is safe to attend Friday prayers today. These are not the kinds of questions that any of us should have to ask ourselves as we seek to live out our religious commitments. Yet, devastatingly, this is also a reality that binds us together as people of faith. As I wrote last November in the wake of the Tree of Life shooting: “Hate-filled violence knows no bounds – whether a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, a Christian church in Charleston, a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh” – and now these mosques in New Zealand.

 Together with our ecumenical and inter-religious partners, we stand shoulder to shoulder in condemning hatred, bigotry, racism and violence whenever and wherever it occurs. We do so because all people are made in the image of God. Therefore, as an act of neighborly love, I urge you to reach out to your Muslim neighbors today and in the days to come to ask how you might offer solidarity and support – joining whenever possible with other ecumenical and inter-religious neighbors.

 I leave you with the words of Psalm 16:1: “Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” This is my prayer – for our Muslim neighbors, for the people of Christchurch, and for all who mourn and are afraid. May we see in this devastation the possibility to be Christ’s presence with our neighbors in this world – to be present in their suffering and to be partners in God’s justice and peace.

 In peace,


The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton

Presiding Bishop, ELCA


The ELCA provides resources that address safety in congregations:

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has compiled this list of active shooter resources for congregations:

Synod Assembly: Nominations and Resolutions for 2019

Nomination and Resolution forms are available by emailing Robyn Zimmerman, Director of Operations and Executive Administrative Assistant. Forms must be submitted by March 14, 2019.