Connected Community

Resources for Staying Connected

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NRSV)

For Lutherans, worship stands at the center of our life of faith. Through God’s word, water, bread and prayer we are nurtured in faith and sent out into the world. However right now things in the church have changed drastically and so we are seeking ways to stay connected with one another in new ways.

This page contains many resources on our life together in this brand new landscape including resources for digital (online) worship, staying connected as a church, and video messages from Bishop Mortensen-Wiebe. Continually check back as we are adding new information and resources as often as we can to equip congregations to care for and connect their community during this time of unprecedented distancing.

Bishop Joy’s 2020 Advent Message

Bishop Joy offers this message to the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin as we enter the season of Advent in a year unlike any other. This video message may be used by leaders and congregations in any way they wish based on their context. This video can be viewed here or on YouTube and may be downloaded via Dropbox using the button found below the video.

Worship Moments in A Time of Disruption

From April 19-September 27, 2020 Interim Bishop Peter Rogness taped weekly sermon recordings for congregational use during this time of pandemic that followed the weekly lectionary. Congregations utilized them in worship or offered them up through various communication channels in their communities as a way to stop in the day for scripture, message and prayers.

To view any of those weekly messages, please visit the archive on the Synod’s YouTube channel by clicking below:

*New* Stories of Faith in Action for 2020-2021

2020 Stories of Faith in Action Cover

Stories are the foundation of our faith. They teach us how to serve God with humility. They remind us of our identity as God’s beloved children. They bring us together and give us hope for the future. Given the challenges of 2020, we need stories of hope and unity more than ever before. That’s where your 2020-2021 edition of “Stories of Faith in Action”comes in. This annual publication illustrates how God is at work across the ELCA through your generosity.

“A Thriving Church” Message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

A thriving church is one so convinced of the resurrection that we’re free to give our lives in service to others. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton shares how the ELCA continues to thrive in country churches, cityscapes, and places with no walls in this message for 2020 Synod Assemblies.

New: Faithful Innovation During COVID-19

Wondering what God is up to in your community right now? Struggling to adapt in these unprecedented circumstances? Not sure where to go from here?

Don’t worry—you aren’t alone! God wants to tell a story through your congregation, but social distancing can make it hard to know what that story is. We believe that all congregations can learn simple techniques to reconnect with each other and their neighborhood while maintaining safe social distancing.

It starts with learning how to LISTEN, ACT, and SHARE…

Resources for Staying Connected Community

There are so many health resources being shared that we also wanted to share resources for how we can stay socially connected while being physically distanced. Resources are organized in color-coded categories:

Worship Resource

Worship in Times of Public Health Concerns

Holy Communion

Guidance from Bishop Rogness on Holy Communion

“Worship in the Home”

Weekly Resource from the ELCA for Engaging in Worship at Home

ELCA Technology Resources

Information on Tech Resources Including Discounts

Live Streaming Worship

How to Stream Your Worship — A Starter Guide

Facebook Worship

Leveraging Facebook for Online Connections

Communication Resource

ELCA Tools for Congregation Communication

Planning Checklist

Congregational Planning Checklist for Health Crisis

Facebook for Business

Facebook COVD-19 Resources for Business Pages

Faith at Home

Tons of Resources for Engaging Faith at Home for All Ages

Talking With Families

Navigating COVID-19 Anxiety in Families

Pandemic Hope

Family Daily Devotional for During the Pandemic

Weather Fun

Weather Activities from the National Weather Service

Science @ Home

Fun Science Experiments Kids Can do at Home

Anxiety & Youth

Helping Youth Cope During This Crisis

Talking to Children

Resource for Talking to Youth About COVID-19

Online Community

Tools & Tips for Bringing Worship (and More) Online

Stewardship Resources

Ways Churches Stay Connected During Crisis

Online AA Meetings

Listing of Virtual Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Online NA Meetings

Listing of Online Narcotics Anonymous Meetings

If you see or know of a resource that you think should be included here please share it with us! Contact Deacon Vicki Hanrahan via email at vickih@scsw-elca.org.

What Are Churches Doing?

Congregations across the synod are doing some creative things during this time of physical distancing. In addition to digital streaming worship see below for stories (click on the story to read more). If your congregation has something to share be sure to reach out to Deacon Vicki at the Synod Office.

Daily Online Devotionals

Curated list of online daily devotions from our synod and across the church.

  • ELC (Mt. Horeb) – Daily @ 8am via Facebook Live
  • Bethel (Madison) – Daily via YouTube & Facebook Live
  • St. Paul’s (Waterloo) – Daily via Facebook
  • Morning Watch – Daily via YouTube & Facebook
    Morning Watch is a daily devotional by two young adult Lutheran pastors in NC Synod, ELCA. The daily devotionals include a video for adults and a separate one for kids.

Comic Relief for Turbulent Times

Some congregations are embracing that humor is never a bad thing…

*Note that links to resources above do not necessarily represent endorsement by the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-ELCA; they are simply provided as a public service. Be sure to carefully vet any information, offer or service.