SYNOD NEWS AND EVENTS - August 22, 2018
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"Ask the Archivist" 
+Paul A. Daniels
Some Basics of Document Retention and Records Sampling
I am often asked very practical questions about how long certain materials should be retained in a congregational archives. It's a frequently asked question especially for "repetitive records" like newsletters and bulletins. This type of material can pose significant storage challenges in church offices and eventually in the congregational archives space. As with most things, there are a couple of different ways of looking at this issue and each person will need to tailor my comments to fit their own congregational setting.

First, as an archivist working with congregations, I'm most concerned that our churches document their community life as fully as possible. Some of the best sources for this type of historical documentation are newsletters and bulletins. They tell the reader important information about the congregation's mission and ministry priorities. Typically, they provide more of this rich material than do council meeting minutes and annual reports, even though the latter must be keep for legal and financial reasons. This is why bulletins and newsletters are so heavily used for writing a congregational history for an anniversary celebration.

Given the rich story-telling role that newsletters and bulletins provide, I wish every congregation could keep one copy of each, but this would be an ideal situation. This is only possible if newsletters and bulletins are scanned to CD's (or if they originate as digital files) and organized in folders by type (newsletter or bulletin) and then by year. This assumes that there are people to do this, of course. It would be a great project for volunteers from the archives or heritage committee to tackle.

If scanning large amounts of material is unrealistic, then there is the technique of sampling. This approach assumes that bulletins and newsletters contain much the same information from issue to issue, month to month, even year to year, so that if you saved 1 of 10, for instance you would not be loosing valuable information. You'd still be able to study what makes this particular congregation "tick". In the process, you've reduced the bulk of material considerably.

Even so, there can be some downsides to sampling, so if you are thinking this might be the approach for you, please contact me and we can discuss it in greater detail. In other words, please don't permanently dispose of material until we've talked. I'll be happy to help.

Paul A. Daniels
ELCA Region 3 Archivist and Luther Seminary Archivist/Curator

Emergency Savings Program
Emergency expenses often present very real challenges. Only 38 percent of Americans have enough in savings to address an unexpected expense (from an emergency room visit to a car repair). Having even $1,000 in emergency savings can set you up to overcome unforeseen financial hurdles.

The Emergency Savings Program provides qualifying rostered ministers the opportunity to build up their emergency savings reserves through a dollar for dollar match. Contributions to a dedicated emergency savings account with the ELCA Federal Credit Union will be matched up to $50 per month. Over the course of two years, recipients' contributions will be matched up to $1,200 ($600 per year), through the generous donations of the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA and the Lilly Endowment.

The Savings Matching programs are each comprised of the following phases: Qualification and Application, Selection, Notification, Participation, and Distribution. Click here to Review these phases for an overview of the program and to find out how to participate.

The due date to complete the Financial Wellness Assessment and the program applications is Oct. 14, 2018. All applications will be reviewed at that time.
Upcoming Ordinations 
Ordination of Angela LaMoore
The ordination of Angela LaMoore is Saturday, August 25 at South Santiago Lutheran Church, Clear Lake, MN at 7:00 p.m.  We extend our congratulations and pray God's blessings upon Angela, who has been called to serve South Santiago in Clear Lake, MN.
Ordination of Marco Curriel
The ordination of Marco Curriel is Sunday, August 26 at Paz y Esperanza, Willmar, MN at 3:00 p.m. Reception to follow. We extend our congratulations and pray God's blessings upon Marco, who has been serving and will continue to serve at Paz y Esperanza.
Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM )
We have four young adults accepting this call from Southwestern Minnesota Synod, these young adults will depart for their year of service iAugust. Each week we will be highlighting one of our YAGMs:
Eli Yackel-Juleen (Jerusalem and the West Bank)
Leah Moat (Mexico)
Tabby Sanderson and husband, Tony Yang (Central Europe)
Tina Geistfeld (Central Europe)
Meet Tina Geistfeld
My home congregation is Amo Lutheran Church near Storden, MN though I have bounced around from congregation to congregation after graduating last spring (Urland Lutheran in Cannon Falls, MN and One in Faith Parish in Northeastern Iowa). I graduated from Augustana University with majors in English and secondary education and a minor in theatre. I am extremely passionate about education, which is why I am so excited to serve at a school this year. I am also very passionate about serving the less fortunate, environmental preservation, and youth ministry. I have no expectations for this year, though I hope to be a positive influence on the Palestinian Christians in the West Bank. I also hope to learn much more about the history of Palestine and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Click here to support Tina and learn more. 
My name is Tina Geistfeld and I am from a small farming community in south central Minnesota, very near the Iowa boarder. I was raised in a Christian community, and having attended private schools all my life, I have a solid faith community in my area that supports my YAGM mission.

My home congregation is an old country church with an aging congregation, so youth programs were hard to come by as I was growing up, but this has definitely influenced my current passions for the Lutheran church to be involved with youth ministries.

I attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology this past May 2018. While I attended Augustana I pursued being active in the campus ministry, especially in the Outreach youth ministry program. This opened up many opportunities for me to meet fellow students who also share a love of ministry, and this also created a platform for me to work with youth groups and Sunday school students of all ages from churches in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa.

This is one of the hopes I have for being a part of the YAGM community-I hope to meet more young adults like myself who carry a joy for ministry and for sharing the love of Jesus. YAGM is a platform to help build the next generation of church leaders by showing us what the global church community looks like, and we are then able to bring those people and experiences home to share with everyone else. It has been amazing and humbling to get so much support from the church, and I hope to continue to support the church in thanks for all it has given me.
Click here to support Tina and learn more. 
Action Guide for Congregations
We just received the ELCA World Hunger Action Guide for Congregations in the mail and there are a ton of great resources and all available online!
Guide Highlights:
  • World Food Day - October 16
  • World AIDS Day - December 1
  • ELCA World Hunger reproducible stories, videos, bulletin inserts and a poster!
  • Advent Litany, study and calendar
  • ELCA Good Gifts catalog
  • DIY Global Farm Challenge
  • Community Garden planning
  • Backpack Program planning
  • Hunger Catechisms
  • Vacation Bible School Program
Church events are a perfect time to raise awareness for issues surrounding hunger and poverty. Use these resources to plan educational and fundraising events at your congregation.
Shalom Hill Farm Fall Festival
Sunday, September 9
Noon - 5:00 p.m.

The community of Shalom Hill Farm welcomes you for an afternoon of good company and colorful celebration!

Enjoy live music from Six Mile Grove at 1pm & 3pm, and a meal served from 12-2pm.
unique local vendors!

Bring your friends to relax together in this picturesque setting.

You can explore the site and imagine your next visit to our unique retreat center. There will be lawn games, hiking trails, and photo opportunities with the animals - including our llama and two new fainting goats!

No tickets required, but you are encouraged to bring cash or a checkbook to support local vendors and Shalom Hill Farm. THERE WILL BE FREE DOOR PRIZES!

Your contributions help us further our mission: providing opportunities to retreat, engage with rural culture, learn from the land, and renew.
Synod Events
Below is a list of all the upcoming synod events. Visit the synod events webpage for more information.
September 18, 2018
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Redwood Falls 

September 24-25, 2018
Green Lake Lutheran Ministries

October 7-9, 2018
Alexandria, MN

NW/SW MN Clergy Spouse Retreat
November 2-4, 2018
Luther Crest Bible Camp, Alexandria

Jr High Youth Gathering
November 16-17 & 17-18, 2018
Willmar Conference Center, Willmar

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