Bright Spot 

Today's Bright Spot comes from Rev. Chad Johnson of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Austin

On Sunday, August 13, Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Austin was blessed to host the Joint Synodical African Worship Service. Pastor Wal Reat was in attendance and gave a moving sermon on unity amongst the body. Musical leadership was provided from the Anyuak, Nuer, and Dinka worshipping communities. People traveled from throughout the synod in order to participate. A wonderful meal was provided by the Anyuak Faith Community. A joint offering was given to support the work of the Lutheran Center in South Sudan. The whole experience was a tremendous blessing as this was only the second time that our African ministries of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod came together for a joint worship experience. There is talk about doing this with some
regularity.Be praying for it!

Do you have a congregational Bright Spot to share? Please email your 150-word summary to along with a few photos. 
Website Survey

This fall our synod will be updating the website. In addition to making it mobile-friendly, we will also be updating the layout and functionality. We request your feedback in this process!  Click here to take our website survey. It will only take a few minutes of your time, and your input will be incredible helpful. Thanks!
Lutheran Disaster Response

Lutheran Disaster Response brings God's hope, healing and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by disasters in the United States and around the world. Lutheran Disaster Response is actively involved in responding to the recent hurricanes. To make a gift in support of their work, click here
Reformation Events in our Synod

Our synod is hosting three events to honor the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Please mark these dates on your calendar and spread the word to people in your context. More details at 
  • October 29 at 3PM: Reformation Celebration at Christ Lutheran Church, Preston
  • October 30 at 7PM: Ecumenical Commemoration Service at Bethel Lutheran Church, Rochester
  • November 12 at 4PM: Hymn Festival at Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester (promotional video)
Synod Council Review

The Southeastern Minnesota Synod Council meet on September 8-9. Here is a brief video which provides an overview of the meeting's highlights. 

Tanzania Summit: October 8 (RSVP by Sept 27)

Whether your partnership is active or in need of a new start, it's time for all of us to reconnect with our friends in the Central Diocese of Tanzania! We invite you to join us for the Tanzania Summit on Sunday, October 8, 3-6 pm, at Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester.

We will have a variety of workshops at the summit including sessions on Health Ministries, congregational partnerships and Tanzanian culture. These interactive workshops are designed to help your congregation's leaders ask questions, engage with current issues in the Tanzanian church, and have some fun! A Tanzanian meal will also be provided!

Special guests Rev. Emmanuel Kaghondi and Deborah Lyanga will update us on the most recent Central Diocese news. RSVP to Gwen Larson at no later than September 27. We look forward to seeing you on October 8th!
Ordinations & Installations

October 1 : Deacon Travis Beck will be installed as Director of Music at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Rochester

October 8: Rev. Randal Fett will be installed at St. Ansgar's Lutheran Church, Cannon Falls

October 15: Rev. Jacie Richmond will be installed at St. John Lutheran Church, Owatonna 

October 22: Rev. Erica Cunningham will be installed at Salem Lutheran Church, Albert Lea

October 29: Rev. Julie Rogness will be installed at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenyon
Synod Youth Retreat

The Synod Youth Retreat will be held on November 17-19 at the Holiday Inn in Owatonna. 

For the packing list, online registration, paper registration, frequently asked questions, and schedule, click here
Faith Formation Calendar

The 2017-2018 Faith Formation Network calendar is now available! 
Click here or the image on the right for the link!

The Faith Formation Table and Network have written a letter of invitation that describes what the network is and who it is for (it's for you!) Click  here for the letter. 

Looking for more information on the network, visit our synod website.  
Faith Formation Resource

A weekly resource provided by Julie Klock of the synod's Faith Formation Network!

Dear Parents,

What do your children think YOU think is important? You probably hope they think it's God, or faith, or family. It's worth checking out from time to time, just to make sure you are sending the message you intend.

One interesting way to do this is to play family pictionary. Pick the name of a family member and ask everyone to draw what they think that person values most. Do their pictures match yours? If they do, say a prayer of thanksgiving. If they don't, start trying to see your life through the kids' eyes and identify what made them see something else. Then adjust course and carry on.

Please note: You are free to reproduce any of the Faith Formation tips provided here in your own newsletters, bulletins or other communications.

The synod's church year prayer calendar is available for use in all congregations. 

Please remember the following communities of faith in your prayers this week:
  • Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Hartland
  • St. Peter Lutheran Church, New Richland
  • Trinity Lutheran Church, Hayfield
  • Ilongero Lutheran Church, Tanzania
  • Ishenga Lutheran Church, Tanzania
  • Torpuot Lutheran Parish, South Sudan 
Rostered leaders, families, and congregations in our prayers (rostered leader prayers will remain on this list for one month unless otherwise requested): 
  • David Lowery (spouse of Rev. Kathleen Lowery)
  • Rev. Clark Cary
  • Rev. John Lohre
  • Tricia Savage-Janes (daughter of Rev. Sarah Walker Brown)
Planning for Your Retirement

Dear Leaders,

On October 16, the Southeastern Minnesota Synod will host a "Planning for Retirement" conversation. All rostered leaders who are 60 or older are encouraged to attend. This conversation will be held on Monday, October 16 from 9AM to 1PM at Assisi Heights. Lunch will be provided, so please be sure to RSVP by Monday, October 9 to

Topics to be covered will include:
  • emotional and spiritual planning for retirement
  • exploring the question "how do you know when it is time to make that transition?"
  • what it means to be on the retired roster (the privileges and obligations)
  • the possibilities for post-retirement involvement in ministry
Deacon Terri Endres from Portico Benefits Services will also be present to share with us some general information about planning for retirement. Please note that this does not replace Portico Benefits Pre-Retirement Seminar, but is meant to focus on some of the intrapersonal aspects of planning for retirement.

As much as we are hosting this conversation, we will also participate in it since we each anticipate our retirements in two years.

Please join us!
Bishop Steven Delzer & Rev. Susan Miller

September Call Process & Roster Updates

The September call process & roster updates are now available. Click here for this month's document, and click here for the archive. 

Register for Fall Theological Conference

Register today for Fall Theological Conference. It will be held Nov 5-7 in Onalaska at Stoney Creek Inn. Click here for additional details and the online registration. Early registration deadline is Oct 20. Late deadline is Oct 25. Please remember to reserve your hotel room by October 22 by calling Stoney Creek directly at 608-781-3060; let them know you are with the Southeastern Minnesota Synod.  
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Resources

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Throughout the month ahead we will include links to the following resources in every edition of RCWeekly: 

Crisis Response: 1-844-274-7472. Offers phone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A trained counselor will assess your current situation, offer phone support and counseling, connect you with local resources and dispatch mobile teams if needed.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. 

TXT4Life: Text LIFE to 61222. TXT4Life is a suicide prevention resources for Minnesota residents to help with relationship issues, general mental health and suicide. 
Useful Links
  • Online report submissions for completion by synod tables, teams, staff, and committees (link
  • Weekly feature "Commemorations" by Rev. R. Rudolf (link
  • Notices & Monthly Reminder Guides (link)
  • The Bridge (link
  • Good Earth Village (link
  • Annual prayer calendar (link
  • NAMI Minnesota (link
  • Pulpit supply application (link
  • Continuing education opportunities (link
Office of the Bishop Visits

September 24: 
  • Rev. Susan Miller will be at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin for their town hall meeting. 
  • Rev. Emily Carson will be at Christ Lutheran Church in Preston.
  • Simon Choat will be serving as a synod representative and sharing the story of Leading Together: Accompanying Global Partners with the people of Saint Peter Lutheran Church in Northfield.
Full Synod Calendar

The full synod calendar including local congregational events is available by clicking the image to the right or here. To submit an event for this calendar, click here and complete the form. Thanks!  
Synod Events Calendar 

The Launch Project 2017
September 28 & October 26
Good Earth Village, Spring Valley

Elderberry Retreat
October 5-6, 2017
Additional details

Tanzania Summit
October 8, 2017
Zumbro Lutheran Church

New to Synod Gathering
October 10, 2017 from 5:30-8PM
Assisi Heights, Rochester

Campus Ministry Sunday
October 15, 2017

Pre-Retirement Conversation
October 16, 2017 at 9:30AM-1PM
Assisi Heights, Rochester

First Call Theological Education
October 17, 2017
Assisi Heights, Rochester

Community Clergy Training Program
October 19, 2017
Rochester, MN 

Root River Conference Reformation Event
October 29, 2017
Christ Lutheran Church, Preston

Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation
October 30, 2017 at 7PM
Bethel Lutheran Church, Rochester
Additional details

Discernment Retreat
November 3-4, 2017
Koinonia Retreat Center, Annandale
Additional details

Fall Theological Conference
November 5-7, 2017
Stoney Creek Inn, Onalaska
Additional details

The Church's Journey in Art and Song: A Hymn Festival celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 4PM
Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester

Synod Youth Retreat
November 17-19
Holiday Inn, Owatonna

Conference Assemblies 
February 11, 2018
*unless your conference opts to hold it on February 24 in conjunction with RENEW

RENEW! 2018
February 24, 2018
Trinity Lutheran Church, Owatonna

Rostered Leader Retreat
March 4-6, 2018
Mount Olivet Retreat Center

Retired Clergy Luncheon
March 12, 2018
Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Rochester

Synod Boundaries Workshop
March 19, 2018
Assisi Heights, Rochester

2018 Synod Assembly
May 4-5, 2018 (Friday & Saturday)
Verizon Center, Mankato

Spring Communications Workshop
May 21, 2018
St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Austin