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:

https://www.elca.org/Resources/Risk-Management

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

https://disciples.org/resources/active-shooter-information-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.

Portico Launches Personalized Online Wellness Tool

Portico’s annual wellness program kicks off Jan. 1 for members and spouses covered by ELCA-Primary health benefits. Entering its 12th year, the program invites eligible participants to earn wellness
dollars as they complete specific activities design…more: https://porticobenefits.org/NewsEvents/News/2018_12_30_PorticoLaunchesPersonalizedOnlineWellnessTool

Portico Retirement Seminar Will Be Held Close to Our Area – LaCrosse – on February 21

Retirement takes planning. No matter where you’re starting from, taking small steps today can have a big impact on your life later. Join Portico on Feb. 21, 2019 in La Crosse, Wisconsin for a Pre-Retirement Seminar. In the morning, learn how to invest for your future in the midst of current financial goals. In the afternoon, discover ways to create a sustainable income in retirement. Join for the morning, afternoon, or both, and start the year with new tools for navigating the path ahead. Learn more and register by Jan. 21 at PRS-WI.eventbrite.com Questions? Call us at 800.352.2876.

Important Announcement About Synod Assembly 2019 – Location Change!

Our synod was contracted with the Madison Marriott for our May 4 & 5 Synod Assembly. Unfortunately, the Marriott informed us recently that they will be renovating their facility and will not be able to accommodate our event.

The new location for Assembly will be the Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall and the Clarion Suites at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison. The Clarion is conveniently connected by enclosed walkway to the Alliant Exhibition Hall.

The dates remain the same as we have been publishing for the past two years: May 4 & 5, 2019

 

 

 

Prayers

Women of the ELCA Ministry Team:

  • Helen Sheahan, Member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church-Madison & Verona
  • Linda Freitag, Member of St. James Lutheran Church of Verona
  • Janna Smith, Member of First English Lutheran Church in Whitewater
  • Bonnie Gilbertson, Member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oregon

Synod Seminary Student:

  • Ian Coen-Frei, Member Good Shepherd Lutheran Church-Madison & Verona, Attending Lutheran
    School of Theology Chicago
  • Charlotte Eversoll, Member of Lutheran Church of Peace-Platteville, Attending Wartburg Seminary

Pastors and Congregations in our Synod:

  • Rev. Nancy Raabe, Pastor, and members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Marshall
  • Rev. David Nelsestuen, Pastor, and members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Edgerton
  • Rev. Beth Schultz-Byrnes and members of Hope in McFarland
  • Rev. Mark Dressel, Pastor, and members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lake Mills

Neighboring Synods:

  • Bishop Kristen E. M. Kuempel and the congregations of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, ELCA
  • Bishop David Brauer-Rieke and the congregations of the Oregon Synod, ELCA

Churchwide Partners: 

  • The Rev. Benyam A. Kassahun.-Area Desk Director-East and Southern Africa Global Mission at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Philip J Knutson Regional Representative, Africa Area Desk Global Mission at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Philip Baker Regional Representative for Theological Education, Asia/Pacific Area Desk Global Mission at the ELCA Lutheran Center, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Y. Franklin Ishida Asia/Pacific Area Desk Director Global 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:

  • Rev. Michael Lee, January 12, 1997, Pastor, First Lutheran in Lodi, mlee@firstlutheranlodi.org
  • Rev. Nancy Raabe, January 13, 2017, Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran in Marshall, nancyraabe@gmail.com
  • Rev. Michelle Elfers, January 15, 2006, Pastor, St. John Lutheran in Richland Center, pneuma0801@yahoo.com
  • Rev. Craig Simenson, January 17, 2015, Grace Lutheran in Darlington, cfsimenson@uwalumni.comnelsonkosky@gmail.com

last weeks anniversaries:

We give thanks at this time for the ministry of those who celebrate their anniversary of Consecration:

  • None this week.

May these leaders continue to be blessed for service.

Report to the Bishop Are Due February 4.

Ministers of Word and Sacrament Currently Serving in a Call:
In an effort to receive information that is more valuable to the Bishop in understanding your needs and how best to support your ministry, you will be receiving a communication from the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant, Robyn Zimmerman with a totally new form for your annual reports to the bishop. Please use the new form instead of the ELCA form. Thank you!

Ministers of Word and Service Currently Serving in a Call:
You will receive a communication from Robyn Zimmerman with a link to the form that you should use for your report to the bishop. Please do take the time to fill this out and submit it to the synod office. Thank you!

All Things Annual! 4 Things Needing Attention

#1 Your Annual Meetings Are Here!

We suggest that you wrap your annual reports in a beautiful ELCA-provided cover that includes an inspiring message from Presiding Bishop Eaton and litany. The covers are FREE, you pay only shipping.
Order these from the ELCA through their website: https://resources.elca.org/Stewardship-2018_Annual_Report_Cover.html
There will not be an annual report letter from Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld. She desires and encourages congregations to use the letter from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton provided here: https://scsw-elca.org/2019/01/annual-report-message-from-bishop-eaton/


#2 – VOTING MEMBERS FOR SYNOD ASSEMBLY

Remember to include in your annual meeting agenda the election of your voting members for Synod Assembly, May 4 & 5, 2019. Don’t forget to include extra for youth & Young adults. If you have any questions about who you can send, this chart of formulas for determining the number of voting members in which to send to Synod Assembly may be helpful:
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO REGISTER AS A VOTING MEMBER?
Congregations:
All congregations use the following formula to determine the number of lay (non-rostered) voting members they are allowed to register for the assembly. The formula has been created to meet the constitutional expectation that 60% of the voting membership of the assembly be composed of lay persons, and to achieve the goal of an equal balance of men and women.
Up to 1000 baptized members = 2 voting members (one male/one female)
1001 – 2000 baptized members = 3 voting members (one male/one female/one either)
2001 – 3000 baptized members = 4 voting members (two male/two female)
3001 – 4000 baptized members = 5 voting members (two male/two female/one either)
4001 – 5000 baptized members = 6 voting members (three male/three female)
5001 – 6000 baptized members = 7 voting members (three male/three female/one either)
6001 – 7000 baptized members = 8 voting members (four male/four female)

Youth and Young Adult Voting Members:
In addition to the aforementioned allotment of voting members, in June of 2010 the Synod Council passed a continuing resolution allowing congregations to register additional Youth and Young Adult Lay Voting Members. To be eligible for a youth or young adult voting member registration, the individual shall not have obtained the age of 30 years old at the time of registration.
Up to 175 baptized members = 1 youth or young adult voting member of either gender
176 or more baptized members = 2 youth or young adult voting members (one male/one female)
Synodically Authorized Worshiping Communities:
A Synodically Authorized Worshiping Community may register one lay voting member of either gender.
Rostered Ministers:
Clergy – All clergy under call in this synod are voting members of the synod assembly. This includes those under call to specialized ministry and under synod call. All clergy under call in the synod are expected to register for and attend the assembly. Each registered clergy has one vote at the assembly, even if they are serving more than one congregation or ministry site.
Associates in Ministry and Diaconal Ministers – All lay rostered leaders under call in this synod are voting members of the synod assembly and are expected to register for and attend the assembly. Each rostered lay leader has one vote at the assembly even if they are serving more than one congregation or ministry site.
Retired Rostered Ministers:
Retired Rostered Ministers may elect up to 10% of their number to be registered as voting members of the assembly.


#3 Report to the Bishop from Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service Are Due February 4.

Ministers of Word and Sacrament Currently Serving in a Call:
In an effort to receive information that is more valuable to the Bishop in understanding your needs and how best to support your ministry, you will be receiving a communication from the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant, Robyn Zimmerman with a totally new form for your annual reports to the bishop. Please use the new form instead of the ELCA form. Thank you!

Ministers of Word and Service Currently Serving in a Call:
You will receive a communication from Robyn Zimmerman with a link to the form that you should use for your report to the bishop. Please do take the time to fill this out and submit it to the synod office. Thank you!


#4 – Nominations and Resolutions for 2019

Congregational Presidents and Rostered Ministers  received a letter from the synod Vice President, Jane Cahill Wolfgram, with information about bringing resolutions and nominations to the assembly. Please pay attention to the timelines for these. Nominations and Resolutions forms can be downloaded here. They are due to the synod office by February 28th at 4:30.

Assembly Nomination Form 2019 FINALFillable

2019 Assembly Resolution Form

Christmas Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shares her 2018 Christmas message. We are free to greet this holy season knowing that Christ’s cradle defeats the grave. Life and healing and hope come to us in the child in the manger.

Listen to her message on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6prOmaJ9J1Y
Print Version – Christmas message in Spanish: http://download.elca.org/ELCA Resource Repository/2018_Christmas_Message_Spanish.pdf?_ga=2.191946732.71198288.1545073618-1612800659.1533764142
Print Version – Christmas message in English: http://download.elca.org/ELCA Resource Repository/2018_Christmas_Message_English.pdf?_ga=2.126623691.71198288.1545073618-1612800659.1533764142

All Things Annual! Your Annual Meetings Are Right Around the Corner

We suggest that you wrap your annual reports in a beautiful ELCA-provided cover that includes an inspiring message from Presiding Bishop Eaton and litany. The covers are FREE, you pay only shipping.
Order these from the ELCA through their website: http://resources.elca.org/updateqty.cgi
And remember to include in your annual meeting agenda the election of your voting members for Synod Assembly, May 4 & 5, 2019. Don’t forget to include extra for youth & Young adults. If you have any questions about who you can send, contact the synod office.

Are You Interested in Volunteering at YOUR Synod Office?

It’s easy and fun and you can sign-up below. If you have questions please call Robyn Zimmerman at the synod office, 608.270-0201.

http://signup.com/go/urPBwwv – General Office Volunteer Work

Your synod is looking for people who are available and able to donate the precious gift of their time to help with general office work. This could be 2 days a week for a couple of hours in the morning/afternoon or an ongoing volunteer spot of every Monday afternoon, just as an example. Your synod staff would love the chance to get to know you and this a fun way to do just that.

http://signup.com/go/NQMwNNG – Pastors Or Deacons or Vicars to Lead Worship

Pastors or Deacons or Vicars, are you interested in leading one of the synods Thursday worship services? It’s a short 30 minute worship with communion. It is open to all. Please bring a lunch to enjoy after worship. Thank you for considering this opportunity.

Below is a template of our Thursday Service. Plan ahead, we have availability in February.

• Gathering-Song is commonly done but feel free to do what ever you want.
• Word & Message-Gospel either the narrative or lectionary from this week or really whatever you would like to use.
• Prayers of the people- we will have some names to add to your prayer after you invite prayers.
• Meal-Communion- that will be all set up for you and one of us will help you serve.
• Sending – Sometimes people will do another song at the end but that is totally up to you. The service is normally 30 minutes long. You can really do it however you like as long as the 5 highlighted pieces are included. We do have plenty of hymnals here in the office.

Congregations feel free to share on your church Facebook or web page through Thursday!