SYNOD NEWS AND EVENTS - October 25, 2018
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Welcome Andrés Albertsen
The SW MN Synod received two new candidates for call during the churchwide assignment process. We are grateful for Andrés Albertsen and Jane Crawford who will come to serve in your synod. Meet Andrés and next week we will share a little something about Jane.

Meet Andrés
I am an Argentinean of Danish descent. My four grandparents were immigrants from Denmark and I grew up in one of the four Lutheran Danish congregations in my country. I went to seminary in Argentina at the Ecumenical Theological University ISEDET, and since the Lutheran Danish congregations in Argentina still are part of the Church of Denmark through the Danish Church Abroad/Danish Seamen's Church, I went to Denmark to be ordained. After serving a small rural congregation in the island of Funen for half a year, I returned to Argentina and served the Danish Lutheran Church in the large and multicultural city of Buenos Aires as its solo pastor for 20 years. In 2011, I came to Minnesota to pursue a PhD in Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary. Soon the ELCA St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul became my congregation. I had already fallen in love with the ELCA in 2009, when I attended the historic churchwide assembly of that year as a visitor, while I was spending a sabbatical semester at LSTC in Chicago. Over my years here, I have enjoyed the so-called "ministry of the pew," and I have preached and led worship in many different congregations and participated in other ministries of the church, all while I went through the candidacy process with the St. Paul Area Synod. My PhD journey has been long and it is not totally completed, but I am ready for a call now, excited of my assignment to the Southwestern Minnesota Synod for my first call in the ELCA. I cannot wait to begin unwrapping with the people of a congregation what God has in store for us.

In a democracy one of the callings of discipleship is to take time to prepare, pray and vote. We don't just vote for our self interest but as a way of loving our neighbors. 
- Bp. Jon Anderson

Election Day is two weeks away. Educate and equip yourself to be an effective advocate of voting rights through #ELCAvotes. Click here to learn more about the ELCAvotes initiative.

News and inspiration from the ELCA Stewardship Program
Whenever we talk about stewardship, it doesn't take long before the topic of gratitude enters the conversation. The two are commonly linked, possibly because giving thanks and being generous are naturally understood as appropriate responses to God's abundant blessings.

The ELCA StewardNet Fall E-Newsletter offers stewardship resources and articles focused around gratitude. Click here to read!
Notes of gratitude
As we anticipate Pastor Linda Pedersen's retirement and her departure from our staff on November 21, we invite you to share a note of gratitude, a memory, a fun story, which we will assemble into a booklet for her. Please send your emails to or handwritten notes to Attn: Maggie Berggren, SW MN Synod, PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283.  
Boundaries Training 
Sexual misconduct by rostered and other religious leaders is one of the most serious challenges faced by the church today. Violation of the sacred trust between church members and their leaders brings deep pain to all who are affected: victims, offenders, family members, friends, and the congregation itself. 

In response to this challenge, the Southwestern Minnesota Synod bylaws include the following provisions (S14.25.01. and S14.47.01.):

"Within twelve months of assuming office all ministers of Word and Sacrament under call shall demonstrate completion of at least six contact hours of continuing education in the prevention of sexual boundary violations." and

"Within twelve months of assuming office all ministers of Word and Service under call shall demonstrate completion of at least six contact hours of continuing education in the prevention of sexual boundary violations."

Our synod council has a continuing resolution encouraging all of our rostered leaders to have continued work on appropriate boundaries of all kinds, but especially sexual boundaries, every three years.

Our synod's Boundaries Training: 
Date: Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
Times: 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Faith Lutheran, Spicer
You can attend the following events and receive credit by emailing Carla Klawitter at 
Maggie Cumings memorial gifts welcome
Pastor Maggie Cumings is remembered fondly, and her family, colleagues, and friends are still mourning her loss a year ago. We are accepting monetary memorial gifts to be shared with her family - Michael, Zoe, and Leo - through November 11, 2018. Checks may be made payable to the SW MN Synod with Maggie's memorial on the memo line. There is also an online payment option at under Online giving, special givings.
Synod Events
Below is a list of all the upcoming synod events. Visit the synod events webpage for more information.
NW/SW MN Clergy Spouse Retreat
November 2-4, 2018
Luther Crest Bible Camp, Alexandria

Boundaries Workshop
November 5, 2018
Faith Lutheran Church, Spicer, MN

Jr High Youth Gathering
November 16-17 & 17-18, 2018
Willmar Conference Center, Willmar
Registration Closes Nov. 5!

Equipping Congregations Day
February 23, 2019
Willmar, MN

Sr. High Youth Gathering
April 5-6, 2019
Lake Geneva Christian Center
Alexandria, MN

SW MN Synod Assembly
June 7-8, 2019
Redwood Falls, MN

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