SYNOD NEWS AND EVENTS - APRIL 10, 2018
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Save the date: Sept. 9. 2018
"God's work. Our hands." Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate and proclaim who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church  in America - one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor.

Since 2013, ELCA members nationwide have gathered together for "God's work. Our hands." Sunday, sharing their gifts and faith through serving their neighbors and communities.

They have helped build and repair homes, assembled health-care kits and backpacks, distributed cookies to first responders, spent time in conversation with people in homeless shelters, prepared meals for those who are food insecure, and written letters to veterans and those currently in the military.

The Rev. Jim Culver, interim pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church, Evansville, Ind., reflected on his experience: "I went with a group to the house of the lady with the most lawn problems. She told us, 'The Lord sent you. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't come to help. I grew up in another denomination and had been a member of that church all my life, but I haven't seen them lined up at my door to help me."

Emanuel was one of six congregations partnering with Fresh Air Community of Faith, a nondenominational church in Evansville, to work on two service projects in the community.

One group assembled more than 300 bags with toiletries, socks and snacks, which were distributed to participating congregations to hand out to homeless people. The second group worked through a neighborhood association that identified residents needing help with lawn care and home repair.

"It was a wonderful experience for us. Some of our members now have a better understanding of our neighborhood and a vision for ministry possibilities nearby. It was also a good fellowship opportunity for our congregations to work together in a service project. I think all of us who participated are glad that we had the opportunity to work together to show the love of Jesus to people in our community," Culver said.

"God's work. Our hands." Sunday - no matter when, where or how it happens - is a rich experience of mutual care, service, learning and witness for everyone.
Keep an eye on ELCA.org/dayofservice for details and resources.
Lutheran Social Service of MN
"God's work. Our hands." Service Projects
This year, LSS of MN is promoting with a synodical/regional focus. This way, congregations can identify which programs and projects are in their area. LSS of MN, a service ministry partner can help congregations plan for this day of service with a "God's work. Our's hand." (GWOH) LSS website that will list projects in SW MN Synod. The website will go live of April 27!
Stewardship 'Toolkit' for May 2018
+Created by Rev. Rob Blezard, Assistant to the Bishop in the
Lower Susquehanna Synod
Good, thoughtful, consistent communication, education and action will help develop a healthy culture of stewardship and generosity in your congregation. This kit is designed to help get you there, click here

In this Toolkit you will find:
  • Stewardship Snippets: Put a "Stewardship Snippet" every week in your Sunday bulletin! It's a quote from the week's Revised Common Lectionary lessons, followed by a brief reflection. Just cut and paste!
  • Newsletter Articles: Publish something in your newsletter every month on stewardship and faith, or post it on your website. Keep your people thinking about stewardship. Just cut and paste!
  • Links to Resources: You'll find links to resources on the Web:
    • The "think it" resource - Something thoughtful and insightful to get your mind turning and your soul fired up. Share it with your leadership, or use it for a temple talk.
    • The "teach it" resource - Your folks ought to prayerfully and faithfully wrestle with some of stewardship's biblical, theological and discipleship issues.
    • The "do it" resource - Talk, as they say, is cheap, so put your stewardship efforts into action.
    • The "preach it" resource - Check out the weekly Lectionary Reflection written by Lower Susquehanna Synod pastor and synod staff person Sharron Blezard.
  • General Resource Websites: These are places you can go for great ideas!
Youth Give Generously
At the March 2018 Senior High Youth Gathering, offerings totaling $413.48 were received and directed toward ELCA Good Gifts for Education. We are grateful for our young people's generosity and their support of God's work in God's world.

The Communicator 
The Spring 2018 edition of The Communicator is now available, click hereThe Communicator is the SW MN Synod's Women of the ELCA quarterly newsletter. You will find news and information around the Synod and the national Women of the ELCA. You will also read articles from members of our board, weekly prayer devotions and more! Click here to subscribe.
Synod Assembly Reports
Each week we will be posting a report from PRE-Assembly information. These annual reports are from our synod boards/committees/teams, shared ministries, and mission partners. Click here to view all the reports we have posted, the list will continue to grow as reports come in. Reading these reports help us stay connected in the mission we share.
Luther Seminary 2017 Annual Report
+Robin Steinke, President
There are two significant pieces of data that shine a light on the changing church in which we all find ourselves.
  • Within the next couple of years, between the rate of retirements in the ELCA and the trends in seminary enrollment, there will be 1,000 congregations who could otherwise afford a full-time pastor who will not have one.
  • The ELCA seminary system does not have the number of students needed to respond to those vacancies. 

At the same time, we see a world that needs more than ever the honesty, integrity and unconditional welcome embodied in the gospel message. We see ministry erupting in the most surprising places and forms. Our students are so clearly called to serve in the name of the gospel, inspiring us all to do our very best. From within our circle of influence, Luther Seminary has been addressing these realities and leveraging these assets. Our mission is to educate leaders for Christian communities, called and sent by the Holy Spirit, to witness to salvation in Jesus Christ, and to serve in God's world. We need to be innovating in a rapidly changing world Over the last year, we have embraced the hallmarks of adaptive change: adjusting to and understanding the rapid change occurring in the church and authentically undertaking the gradual but meaningful process of change.

 

Our staff and faculty spent the latter half of the year imagining a new future for Luther Seminary, a future that will be more suited to the context in which we and our students minister. Click here to read more.
Job Openings 
Administrative Assistant
Lutheran Advocacy - Minnesota (based in St. Paul) seeks a part-time administrative assistant for broad communications and office assistance responsibilities. Position includes benefits. Applicant must have strong computer, internet, and social media familiarity; excellent interpersonal and communications skills (written, oral, and electronic); excellent organizational skills; and the ability to juggle many types of activities. Database & constituent engagement experience helpful. See Full Position Description (No need to join Dropbox to access; Choose "No Thanks, Continue" at bottom of options) Contact Tammy with questions:  tammy@lcppm.org or 651-238-6506. Apply now .

Youth Ministry  Coordinator 
Evangelical Lutheran Church Cokato is seeking a Youth Ministry Coordinator. 
Click here for a full job description.
Synod Events
Below is a list of all the upcoming synod events. Visit the synod events webpage for more information.
APRIL
ACEs: What Ministers Need to Know
April 24, 2018
SW MN Synod Office, Redwood Falls, MN

MAY
Exploring Natural Systems: Dancing Together  (formerly the PSST Retreat)
May 3-4, 2018
St. Andrew Village, New London 

JUNE
June 8-9, 2018
Redwood Falls, MN 

SW MN Synod
Women of the ELCA Convention
June 29-30, 2018
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud

SAVE THE DATE
2018 Fall Theological Conference 
October 7-9, 2018
Alexandria, MN
Other Upcoming Events and Resources 
  • I am: Empowering Women in Ministry Event
    Friday, April 27, 8:30-5:00 p.m.
    Chapel of the Incarnation, Olson Campus Center
    1490 Fulham St., Saint Paul, MN 5510
    $25 per person (includes lunch)
    Women in ministry face unique challenges--both theologically and culturally. Join us for I am: Empowering Women in Ministry, a one-day event featuring a diverse line-up of pastors, scholars, and activists who will reflect on issues that impact women serving in ministry.
    Open to the public. Click here for more information. 

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