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ELCA presiding bishop, faith leaders issue statement
on family separation
+ ELCA News, 6/7/2018
I was reminded of the many gifts God has given to our synod. None tops the Gospel that God is for us and with us always, as we learn in Christ Jesus life, death and resurrection.The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has convened ELCA ecumenical and inter-religious partners in a statement addressing concerns over a recent U.S. government policy calling for more stringent enforcement of federal immigration laws. The policy will most likely result in an increase in family separations.

The statement follows:
Recently, the Administration announced that it will begin separating families and criminally prosecuting all people who enter the U.S. without previous authorization. As religious leaders representing diverse faith perspectives, united in our concern for the wellbeing of vulnerable migrants who cross our borders fleeing from danger and threats to their lives, we are deeply disappointed and pained to hear this news.

We affirm the family as a foundational societal structure to support human community and understand the household as an estate blessed by God. The security of the family provides critical mental, physical and emotional support to the development and wellbeing of children. Our congregations and agencies serve many migrant families that have recently arrived in the United States. Leaving their communities is often the only option they have to provide safety for their children and protect them from harm. Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children.

As we continue to serve and love our neighbor, we pray for the children and families that will suffer due to this policy and urge the Administration to stop their policy of separating families.


Synod Minister Search: Equipping Congregations
+Bishop Jon Anderson
We invite you to pray and think about who might have the gifts to serve on your synod's staff in the future. Pr. Linda Pedersen has shared she will retire as our Synod Minister: Equipping Congregations towards the end of 2018.
I invite you to join me in praying that God will guide us in our search for a new synod minister to serve on the Southwestern Minnesota Synod staff. This candidate could be a pastor, deacon or a lay person who has been deeply engaged in your synod's or another synod's life.
There is a job description posted on the synod's web site. Look it over closely and lift up names with our team at Put in the Subject Line - Synod Minister Search.
In previous searches, the shared-mind of many synod leaders helped us find strong team mates. It also helped us see people who we might have missed because of a closer experience with that leader's gifts. Our goal is to have all Cover Letters, Rostered Minister Profiles or Resumes in the office no later than July 10 , 2018. Resumes will be accepted via email (, hand delivery or the U.S. Postal service.
Prs. Kathryn Skoglund, Linda Pedersen and Synod Vice President, Gwen Arneson, will be available for discernment conversations about this position. I will be on sabbatical and available in only limited ways. Tammy Sather, who supports the work of the bishop, is also available to help with questions if you have them.
This Changes Everything
Every three years, the ELCA holds a Youth Gathering where 30,000+ youth gather in a city and explore what it means to be church together. The 2018 ELCA Youth Gathering will take place in Houston, Texas on June 27-July 1.
What's the Youth Gathering about? It's about faith formation in teenagers. Each day we will explore their faith in new and different ways. One morning we will serve in the Houston community. The next morning we will be in the Interactive Center connecting with ELCA ministry partners and learning about the larger church. On our third day our synod will gather together and we will grow in relationship with God and one another. Every evening we will participate in Mass Gatherings where we will hear bands, and speakers share their faith using their gifts and experiences. The Gathering wraps up on Sunday morning with a closing worship service.

993 youth and leaders from SW MN will be in attendance and we are READY! We are ready to see what God's up to in Houston. We are ready to see what God's up to in the ELCA. We are ready to learn and grow and meet people from all over who believe in the same amazing God. Youth and leaders will be challenged to explore how God's story and their story intersect and how this changes everything!
Join us on the journey. See what your local congregation will be doing to share their story while they are in Houston, or when they return. Bible studies, mass gatherings, and closing worship will all be available via live- stream  through .

As your Gathering Synod Coordinator, I want to say thank you. Thank you for supporting faith formation in young people. The Holy Spirit has been and continues working in amazing ways as groups prepare and participate in the Gathering.

Ashley Gilbertson

Help Grow Leaders in Rural Ministry
Fund for Leaders Endowment
During 2017-18, the synod's Lutheran Men in Mission (LMM) provided $13,435.73 for seminary tuition scholarships; $9,200.00 is available for 2018-19. Recipients will have an openness and commitment to future service in rural settings.

The profit from the LMM golf tournament goes into the LMM's Fund for Leaders Endowment to help grow leaders. Fund for Leaders Endowment which generates investment income for the scholarships. Since its inception, this endowment has awarded scholarships of $125,842.70 for seminary tuition.

Donations to the LMM Scholarship Endowment Fund are appreciated even if you are not able to participate in the Golf Tournament.

Golf Tournament
Friday, July 27, 2018 - Registration: 2:30pm, Shotgun Start: 3:00pm
Registration fee $65 per golfer includes:green gees, Golf Cart, meal, 
prizes and a donation to LMM.
Teams will be 4 or 5 members. If you do not have a full team, 
ad hoc teams will be formed at the golf tournament.
Please make checks payable to: SW MN Synod LMM and mail to:
SW MN Synod, PO Box 499, Redwood Falls, MN 56283.

Questions? Contact John Woodford at 507-641-5312 or
Synod Events
Below is a list of all the upcoming synod events. Visit the synod events webpage for more information.
June 8-9, 2018
Redwood Falls, MN 

June 29-30, 2018
Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Cloud

Lutheran Men in Mission Golf Tournament
July 27, 2018
Redwood Falls Golf Course, Redwood Falls 

2018 Fall Theological Conference 
October 7-9, 2018
Alexandria, MN

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