SYNOD NEWS AND EVENTS - August 9, 2018
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+Jon V. Anderson 
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves
-Mark 6.                                                                                                                 

I want to express my gratitude for the gift of a sabbatical this summer. It was great to be able to be with Robyn, my children and my family during this time of rest. It was also a blessing to travel and experience different cultural contexts. I was able to support my parents as they move from their home of many years. I also love to learn, so it was great to visit with leaders in our synod and beyond about their lives and ministry. I was able to read and think about things that I trust will enhance my service in this call.

I want to express gratitude to the team I serve on for all the ways they have cared for the work of the synod office while I am gone. Pr. Linda Pedersen in particular served as the acting bishop.

I will share more in the days to come. Thank you for the gift of rest and a break from the normal rhythms of my calling.

Typically, it's said there are two sides to every story. But often a middle or third side of the story is revealed, providing another perspective to consider.
Three Sides is a monthly podcast featuring stories from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). As a church that believes God is calling us into the world - together, Three Sides will present diverse voices from across the ELCA. Listen as we share unique stories from the many expressions of this church. 
  • From our members whose lives are grounded in faith, love of God and neighbor.
  • From our congregations that work every day to share the love of Christ with all God's people.
  • From our global companions and partners that join us as we work to build up Christ's church throughout the world.

The first informal meeting of the EcoFaith Network will be @ LuLu Beans in Willmar on August 18th @ 9:00 a.m. This will be a brainstorming/ strategizing meeting. If you would like more information or have questions contact Ian Graue at 320-262-0444 or

EcoFaith Network Mission
The mission of the SW MN Synod/ELCA EcoFaith Network is to nurture a growing network that inspires congregations and their members to live out God's call to be stewards of the earth for the sake of the whole creation.

Through social media, seminars, resources on current environmental justice issues, project micro-grants and active inter-and intra- congregational conversations, the EcoFaith Network encourages grassroots creation care actions among the SW MN ELCA Synod's congregations and leadership within their communities.
Church Staff Worker Retreat
Tuesday, September 18
8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Keynote Speaker Dwight DuBois, Author of The Scattering: Imagining a Church that Connects Faith and Life

The Gathered-Scattered Church: Equipping God's People for Ministry in the World
  • Imagine all God's people seeing our family responsibilities, work, and community involvement as ministry.
  • Imagine congregations that equip and empower people for ministry-not just in the church, but in all of life.
  • Imagine leaders and members finding a renewed sense of joy, purpose, and vitality as we give ourselves away for the sake of the gospel.
Cost: $27/person until Sept. 10 ($32 after Sept. 10)

"God's work. Our hands." Sunday is one month away, and I thank you for considering participating in the ELCA's dedicated day of service. The appointed day is Sunday, Sept. 9. If it's not possible for your congregation to participate on Sept. 9, please consider another day for your dedicated day of service.

Whether your congregation prepares personal-care kits for people who are homeless, cleans parks and community gardens, visits the homebound and those who live in nursing homes or writes thank-you notes to emergency responders and members of the armed services, your activities are an opportunity for us to explore one of our most basic convictions as Lutherans: All of life in Jesus Christ - every act of service, in every daily calling, in every corner of life - flows freely from a living, daring confidence in God's grace.

To help you plan, you are invited to visit for helpful resources including:
  • the 2018 toolkit, which includes a section on advocacy-related activities
  • a worship resource
  • posters and postcards
  • doorhanger invites
  • bulletin inserts
  • T-shirts available through Old Lutheran
If you haven't done so already, please sign up your congregation for the day of service by answering a couple of quick questions in our survey by clicking here. Your registration helps us share and tell stories about the good work that we do together.

We want to hear from you! Shortly after Sept. 9, please share with us your congregation's activities. Send your stories and photos to so that together we can celebrate what God is doing through the congregations and ministries of the ELCA.

Every day, congregations share the love of Christ with God's people. On "God's work. Our hands." Sunday, we join together to use our various gifts in service to our communities. We look forward to working together again this year and to hearing your stories!
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
(date correction)
Luther Crest Bible Camp, 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