Congregation Resources

Resources for Congregations

Welcome to our resource page for congregations. Our synod consists of 133 congregations across south-central Wisconsin. This page includes various resources for congregation leaders, councils, and staff. Our resources for congregations include supply pastor lists, human resource resources, links for treasurers and more.

2023 Annual Meeting Resources & Recommendations

  • 2023 Annual Meeting Letter from Bishop Joy
    PNG (May be inserted into Word/Publisher)
  • Considerations for Remote Council & Congregational Meetings
    October 22, 2020 Updated Memo with Information from the ELCA Office of the Secretary
  • Emergency Congregational Bylaw for Remote Meetings (Updated 12/23/2020)
    Bylaw template for congregations that don’t have language in their constitutions for remote meetings.
    (Word DOC)
  • State Statutes Regarding Virtual Meetings
    Included here is the Wisconsin State Statute which the document from the ELCA indicates you should check as this does vary by the state of incorporation. We have one congregation in Illinois so that is provided below as well and we have SAWCs (Synodically Authorized Worshipping Communities) that are incorporated in the state of Minnesota.
  • Wisconsin: Councils can meet remotely, but you must make a provision for on-line voting outside of emailing responses. You need to take care that people can participate and have an ability to interact in real time. The chat area can be used to vote for example if using the Zoom platform. Congregational meetings would be permitted under the same stipulations of real time interaction and voting. Care should be given both to qualification of voting members and meeting quorum requirements.
  • Illinois:
  • Synodically Authorized Worshipping Communities are Incorporated in the State of Minnesota. Please check MN state laws here:

Resource Documents & Links

Pastoral Supply List

Pastoral Supply List provides an updated listing of the names of pastors & rostered lay leaders available for supply preaching and worship leadership when a called rostered minister is absent.

Pastoral Supply List PDF (November 7, 2022)

Stories of Faith in Action – 2021-2022

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 continued challenges of 2021, we need stories of hope and unity more than ever before. That’s where your 2021-2022 edition of “Stories of Faith in Action”comes in. This annual publication illustrates how God is at work across the ELCA through your generosity.

New “Stories of Faith in Action” PDF

Congregational Financial Reporting Resources

Remittance Form & Mission Support Letter of Intent for congregational treasurers – Each congregation has a congregational ID number to include on this form. It is important to include the remittance form with each remittance to the synod office.

Remittance Form:  (PDF)  (Word)
2022 Mission Support Statement of Intent: (Fillable PDF)

Certification of Audit and Blanket Insurance Forms – Each year in late January, each congregation’s treasurer is asked to complete these forms to ensure we have accurate documentation on financial and insurance plans.

Audit Certificate:  (PDF)

Compensation Guidelines

The SCSW Compensation Guidelines and Recommendations are downloadable and available for your use as you do your budget planning for the coming year. These are suggested minimum guidelines.

2023 Guidelines: (PDF)

Portico Benefits & Resources

For further information on Board of Pensions/Portico rates, calculators and details visit the Portico Benefits website.

ELCA Model Constitution for Congregations

Each of this church’s expressions—congregations, synods and the churchwide organization—has a constitution. This model is the minimum standard for congregations. Any congregation that wishes to update their constitution should consult the synod secretary for guidance and approval.

Model Constitution (2022) Word DOC
Amendments to the Constitutions for Congregations (2022) Word DOC
Additional Resources: ELCA Constitution Resources

Synod & Parish Protection Handbook 

This handbook contains guidelines for screening staff and volunteers and recommendations of appropriate behaviors for adults who work with children and youth.

PPP Handbook (2017) PDF

Model Sexual Harassment & Misconduct Policy

This policy document may be used as a guide for congregations in drafting their own congregation specific Sexual Harassment & Misconduct Policy in consultation with the synod and other local resources. This model should be seen as the minimum standard for congregations.

Model Sexual Harassment & Misconduct Policy PDF

Rebuilding Hope: A Worship Resource for Lent

Rebuilding in Hope

Greetings Siblings in Christ!

Lent is fast approaching as you are no doubt well aware. Knowing that this is a busy time for leaders and congregations, we have created a simple resource that can be used for mid-week Lenten worship services or for personal or group devotions.

Below is a brief description of the series, titled, “Rebuilding in Hope.” Links to access the resource are below.

“The past few years have been turbulent to say the least. From the trauma of the lingering pandemic, to increased and seemingly insurmountable political divisions, to the stress and concern that comes with just being a human alive in the world today – it has been a challenge.

Many of our congregations are wondering where everyone is, where to go next, how to move forward when so much uncertainty remains.

This Lenten series invites congregations and ministries to acknowledge the confusion of this time, while at the same time remembering the ways that God has been and continues to be faithful. Under the theme of “Rebuilding in Hope” each week we will turn our attention to one of the means through which God’s faithfulness has been revealed.”

  • Click here for a Word version for easy customization.
  • Click here for a PDF version.

If you have any difficulty opening either document, please let me know!

God bless you as you prepare for this busy and holy season.

In Christ,

Rev. Jen Christenson (she/her/hers)
Associate to the Bishop for Communication and Relationship