Join us on Saturday, August 18, 2018 beginning at 2:00 p.m. (CT) for the installation of The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld as Bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-ELCA. You can view the live stream of the entire worship service HERE. You may also follow along on Facebook HERE and on Instagram @scsw_elca.
Social Media Links to the Bishop Installation Festival Worship will be posted here soon so you can join in the celebration if you are not able to be with us in person.
Can Your Congregation Help?
It’s not too late to offer your assistance.
We invite congregations to participate by contributing food items for the reception: cheese and sausage platters, vegetable trays, and bars. Please contact Jeanie Pomplun, Office Administrator at First Lutheran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-752-7434 if your congregation can help by July 31. Thank you.
Marking a new historic season in the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Rev. Viviane E. Thomas-Breitfeld will be the first female of African descent to be installed in the ELCA and the second female bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (“ELCA”). The ELCA is the largest Lutheran denomination in the world. This historic event will take place on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at First Lutheran Church, 612 North Randall Avenue, Janesville at 2:00 pm. Doors open at 1:00 pm. A reception will follow.
Expected are over 1,000 in attendance including, pastors, deacons and members of 142 ELCA worshipping communities in the synod, former synod bishops, bishops from the other 64 ELCA synods, ministry partners, family members and friends.
In addition to members of synod congregations, Lutheran, ecumenical and interfaith partners will be present. Among the invited guests are ELCA Presiding Bishop, Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA, who will preside, the Rev. Mary Froiland, recent former bishop of the synod, a representative of the Lutheran World Federation, clergy from other denominations in full communion relationship with the ELCA, local dignitaries and community leaders.
Guests will celebrate under the theme of social justice based on scripture text found in Micah 6:8–To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Preaching the gospel message will be the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth A. Eaton. Special music by gifted musicians led by Music Director of First Lutheran Church, Ben Johnston-Urey will fill the gathering space with a joyful sound.
Bringing a rich history in community involvement while serving in congregations and on several synodical and churchwide teams, Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld envisions a synod that is a model for welcoming all to God’s table. “I hope I can help the synod become more open to change, so we can become more relevant to all, especially people of color, LGBTQI, and young adults, many of whom are choosing to not attend church.”
Bishop Thomas-Breitfeld is looking forward to the celebration of installation and especially spending time with pastors, deacons and lay members of the synod that she will lead in the years to come. “There is a love in the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin that is pretty special and a sense of support that is really pretty awesome. When I was introduced last year at the synod assembly, no less than 20 other clergy came up to me to welcome me. That’s pretty spectacular. That doesn’t happen in most places.”
The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Beloit, Wis., was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA. The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. She assumed office July 1 and succeeds the Rev. Mary Froiland who served as bishop from September 2013 through June 30, 2018.
Prior to becoming bishop, Thomas-Breitfeld most recently served as an intentional interim pastor for Atonement Lutheran Church in Beloit and has also served as pastor of several congregations in Wisconsin including Gethsemane Lutheran Church (Brookfield), Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Waukesha), and Cross Lutheran Church (Milwaukee)
She currently serves as the co-chair of the Task Force on Women and Justice, ELCA; the Executive board of the Women of the ELCA; and the South-Central Synod of WI Racial Equity Team. She served for six years on the board of Trustees (Governance Com) of the Mission Investment Fund as well as the ELCA Representative to the Illinois Synod Candidacy Team. She has served communities through her work on the Ethics Committee of the Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls, the Campus Ministry Board (Milwaukee), the City of Brookfield Police Department as a volunteer chaplain, Resident Chaplain at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee and served as a board member of both the YWCA and United Way in Waukesha county.
Bishop Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld is married to the Rev. Fred Thomas-Breitfeld, pastor of Jackson Park Lutheran Church, Milwaukee. They have two adult children, Leota and Sean, two son-in laws, and three grandchildren.
The service will be available via live stream. Watch What Matters and the synod facebook page for the link.
Everyone in the synod is invited! There will be ample seating and parking. Pastors and Deacons are invited to vest & process. The color of the day is red.
“If you have never attended a holy event of this nature, you will never forget it. We will gather as a large community of saints to offer up prayer and thanksgiving and to contemplate the work that God has set before us. Moments of music and singing will vary from celebratory rhythms that raise the roof to quieter, more contemplative meditation on the word. If you are longing for Jesus, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit. I am certain of it!”
~Deacon Vicki Hanrahan
An all-synod children’s choir is being assembled for our bishop’s installation, held on August 18th at First Lutheran Church in Janesville. Your child/children/young adult could be a special part of this historic occasion. Open to all children and youth ages 7-18, the group will present one piece during the service. Rehearsal materials and instruction will be sent out to all participants. A rehearsal is planned for the morning of the event and lunch will be provided.
Please contact Carrie Enstad at email@example.com by July 29th, for more information and to sign up. This event will be streamed, so invite those grandparents to view it live! More info on streaming in future issue.
The Rev. Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Beloit, Wis., was elected May 6 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 5-6 at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells where over 500 lay leaders and rostered ministers gathered to do the work of God’s church, participating in learning, fellowship and important voting matters.
Thomas-Breitfeld was elected on the fifth ballot with 224 votes to 150 votes for the Rev. Steven Kottke, assistant to the bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin.
While we recognize that this is an historic moment in the life of the ELCA in the election of the second African-descent synod bishop, (see full story in Living Lutheran – https://www.livinglutheran.org/2018/05/bishop-elects-reflect-on-historic-votes/), we also recognize that the bishop-elect brings many gifts to her new leadership role and ministry. She currently serves as interim pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Beloit. She served as pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wis., from 2010 to 2013 and Good Shepherd in Wausau, from 1992 to 2010. Rev. Thomas-Breitfeld earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1974 and she received her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1979. A full biography can be found on the synod website: https://scsw-elca.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Thomas-BreitfeldBio.pdf
Learn more about Bishop Elect Thomas-Breitfeld