SYNOD NEWS AND EVENTS - March 12, 2019
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Upcoming Ordinations
Brenda Boogren
The ordination of Brenda Boogren is Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Arlington Hills Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN at 1:00 p.m. We extend our congratulations and pray God's blessings upon Brenda, who has been called to serve Chippewa Falls & Barsness Lutheran Churches and the Glenwood Retirement Village.
Eliza Johnson
We are thankful to send people to serve around the country and world. The ordination of Eliza Ruth Johnson will be on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. hosted by River of Hope Lutheran Church at the Hutchinson Event Center, Hutchinson, MN. The color of the day is red.
Eliza is a SW MN Synod Candidate. We send Eliza with blessings as she is called to serve Peace Lutheran Church, Barrett, MN in the Northwestern Minnesota Synod.
Routine Tests, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prognosis
+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
In early December my spouse, Robyn, had a routine 3-D mammogram which discovered a lump. That led to a journey of tests, biopsies and ultimately a diagnosis that Robyn had breast cancer. We were thankful that the tumor was found early and was small.
 
On Tuesday, Robyn begins radiation treatments. She has already had a lumpectomy and genetic testing to discover the best path forward for treatment. We have learned a lot about breast cancer from the people at Mayo in Rochester. We are continuing to work through our feelings and fears as we enter the next stage of treatment. After four weeks of radiation on week days, Robyn will begin to take hormones to continue to stop the cancer from spreading and hopefully prevent a recurrence. Her prognosis is very good.
 
We are thankful but also mindful of all our friends, family and others with cancer who have a tougher road ahead. I have waited to share this until we knew for sure what path our treatment would follow.
 
Staff and our key governance people have been aware of this development in our life. Robyn recently shared this news in her painting blog. It is time that you all know of this development in our lives.
Between this journey and the loss of my father, this has been a time of a lot of reflection and prayer. I am thankful we know in Christ Jesus that we have a God who longs to bring healing and God's resurrecting power and grace to bear on our lives. But the lament psalms and the words of hymns and scripture pop into your awareness in a different way when your normal sense of future is challenged by all of these hard events that are part of life.
 
An old friend of mine, Linda Fixsen taught me to read Psalm 27 with people who are living with cancer in mind. This text and many other words from messengers of many kinds have helped make the beginning of this journey better for Robyn and me. We are thankful.
 
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold[a] of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
 
2 When evildoers assail me,
uttering slanders against me, [b]
my adversaries and foes,
they shall stumble and fall.
 
3 Though a host encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
 
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
 
5 For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent,
he will set me high upon a rock.
 
6 And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies round about me;
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
 
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
8 Thou hast said, "Seek ye my face."
My heart says to thee,
"Thy face, Lord, do I seek."
9      Hide not thy face from me.
 
Turn not thy servant away in anger,
thou who hast been my help.
Cast me not off, forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me up.
 
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord;
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
 
13 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
yea, wait for the Lord!
2019 Legal 101 Webinar
Legal Checklist for Congregations
+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
It has been a few years since we held a legal seminar. ELCA Attorneys, Tom Cuniff and Aja Carr Favors, had a webinar in February that is one hour long. I would recommend it for
  • Pastors
  • Presidents of Congregations
  • Personnel Chairs
  • Executive Committee members
In one hour you will be taken through a checklist of information with many pointers to important work that is easy to miss.
-Password: 2019checklist!
When you see the prompt "This video is private," enter the password: 2019checklist!
Pastoral message from ELCA Conference of Bishops
Approved by the ELCA Church Council in 1990, Vision and Expectations has, through several revisions, outlined this church's standards for its rostered ministers since that time. As a Conference of Bishops, we recognize and acknowledge that its application has been uneven and inequitable. We express our profound grief and deep regret for the times when Vision and Expectations has been misused to single out, marginalize, and block people seeking to be leaders in this church when their peers were not always held to the same vision and expectations. This has caused considerable pain that has disproportionately been borne by those who have been historically marginalized or excluded from leadership in the church because of their gender, sexuality, race, or status. We apologize to those whose treatment under this document has made them feel targeted and less than the beloved children of God that they are.

The Conference of Bishops affirms the appropriateness of expectations and standards as means of protecting the people of God and providing accountability for the power that church leaders hold. Serving as a rostered minister in the ELCA is a privilege. Those aspiring to and serving in such a public office are expected to conform to the standards set by the church for such leaders.

We aspire and pledge in the future to apply the church's standards for ministry with equity and compassion, to listen and take seriously the concerns of all our leaders-particularly those who historically have been marginalized-and to treat with dignity all those seeking to lead in our church.
ELCA Conference of Bishops
issues statement on Venezuela

+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
We continue to pray for all the people and leaders in this crisis in Venezuela. This is how the statement begins.
The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) stands with and holds up in prayer the people of Venezuela during the current multifaceted crisis within their nation. We care about the consequences of this crisis as already felt in neighboring countries and about its wider impact on international peace and security. Click here to read more.
If you would like to give input.
Trustworthy Servants of the People of God
+Bishop Jon V. Anderson
The Conference of Bishops reviewed the document titled "Trustworthy Servants of the People of God" and said in a statement to the ELCA Church Council: "We affirm it as a timely replacement for Vision and Expectations and a faithful expression of the aspirations of the ELCA for its rostered ministers and candidates. We believe that 'Trustworthy Servants' can create a healthy environment for accountability in this church. We offer our prayers for the ELCA Church Council for their discernment and deliberation as they consider this policy in the days to come."

Recognizing the hurt and pain caused by uneven and inequitable application of the former document, "Vision and Expectations," to the LGBTQIA community and others, the Conference of Bishops issued a pastoral message and hopes that this newly rewritten document expresses the aspirations of this church for its rostered ministers in a substantially better way. This update includes language consistent with the ELCA's social statements and the changes to civil laws that allow same-sex marriage in every state.

Document links:
- Vision and Expectations
- The new Trustworthy Servants of the People of God

Comments on the content of "Trustworthy Servants" should be given to the Conference of Bishops through an individual's synod bishop by Monday, March 18. Bishops may advise the ELCA Church Council if they see cause for a major revision. The council will meet in Chicago April 4- 7.

The hope is that this document will help the whole church have confidence in its rostered ministers as trustworthy servants.
 
U.S. Tornadoes 
On March 3, powerful tornadoes hit Alabama, Georgia and Florida, causing widespread destruction. At least 23 people have died in Lee County, Ala., and others are still unaccounted for. More than 1,000 homes have been damaged. Lutheran Disaster Response is working with those in the impacted states, including partnering with congregations in the Southeastern Synod to respond with immediate relief.

Gifts to Lutheran Disaster Response designated for "U.S. tornadoes" will be used to help those affected by tornadoes until the response is complete. Together, we can support those who are on the long road to recovery. Please give today.

Your synod has sent gifts to the affected synods from a temporarily restricted account for disasters around our country.
Synod Events
Below is a list of all the upcoming synod events. Visit the synod events webpage for more information.
March 16, 2019
Gloria Dei Lutheran, Redwood Falls, MN
Still time to register!

April 5-6, 2019
Lake Geneva Christian Center
Alexandria, MN
SAVE THE DATE
June 7-8, 2019
Redwood Falls, MN

Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA 
PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283
Phone: 507-637-3904