Bishop Gafkjen's December I-K Lutheran Newsletter
"Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favors!"
(Angels to shepherds at the birth of Jesus as told in Luke 2:14)
In early November, my wife Janet, Assistant to the Bishop Pastor Heather Apel, and I heard the angels' proclamation of peace for all people when we met in Guatemala with Bishop Izani Bruch and Marcelo Molla of the Iglesia Evangelica Luterana en Chile (aka IELCH, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile). We were gathered there for a triennial consultation with nearly 100 other ELCA synod leaders and the leaders of their companion churches from Latin America and the Caribbean. Please click here to read Bishop Gafkjen's full article.
December 1 - IELCH Day of Prayer
The Indiana-Kentucky Synod has been in companion relationship with the Iglesia Evangelica Luterana en Chile (aka IELCH, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chile) since 2001. Bishop Bill Gafkjen, Janet Gafkjen and Pr. Heather Apel just returned from an ELCA consultation event with the churches in Latin America and Caribbean which gave us the opportunity to deepen our connection and relationship with our siblings in Christ in Chile. Part of that renewed commitment was to establish a IK-IELCH Day of Prayer for the First Sunday in Advent. We are working with the leaders in the IELCH on common materials to share with our congregations and will have that available by the week of Nov. 18. We hope you and your congregation will join us on this day of prayer.
Roots of Life
Celebrate with us as Bishop Bill Gafkjen welcomes Roots of Life Community as an organized congregation.
Roots of Life Lutheran Community, ELCA
Reverend Teri Ditslear
Sunday, November 17, 2019
10:30 a.m. (ish) service
222 Lakeview Drive
Noblesville, IN 46062
A Thanksgiving Dinner will follow the service.
All are welcome.
ELCA National Youth Leadership Summit
Pastor Dan Fugate and four youth from the Indiana-Kentucky Synod attended the ELCA National Youth Leadership Summit at Lutheridge in Arden, North Carolina, October 31 - November 3, 2019. Pictured above (left to right) are Rachel Schade (St. Thomas, Richmond, KY), Jonathan Baber (Trinity, Terre Haute, IN), Hannah Limbong (Christ, Jeffersontown, KY), and Abigail Offhaus (St. John, Fort Wayne, IN). Students learned peer ministry skills that they can use in our synod, in their congregations, at school, and anywhere they encounter those who are in need.
The article and document referenced below is being shared due to the fact that several congregations recently discovered that they were administratively dissolved.
Has Your Congregation Submitted Required Filings?
Guidance for Indiana-Kentucky Synod congregations on maintaining corporate status, updating records, and reinstating administratively dissolved corporate entities.
from Synod Attorney Josh S. Tatum
Congregations should be incorporated in the state (or commonwealth) in which they are located. Maintaining corporate existence requires regular filings. The secretaries of state for both Indiana and Kentucky have helpful websites that contain directions for submitting entity reports and other filings (here:
), but this information is collected and summarized below. If you have questions about any of these, contact your secretary of state's office or Synod Attorney Josh Tatum at
. Josh's office can also help with these filings for a small fee. Please click
to view and print the entire document.
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
The 2019 Synod Assembly adopted Resolution R-01-19 which calls upon the Indiana-Kentucky Synod to provide resources and/or a sample prayer recognizing the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). IDOP is observed on a Sunday in November, with November 17 being a date that is used by a variety of Christian groups. This year's theme is "One Faith - One Family: Let Us Join Together in Prayer." IDOP focuses on praying for individuals, families, churches, or countries where Christians are facing hard situations, especially for those Christians who are persecuted for their faith.
God of faithfulness, you bless those who are persecuted. Strengthen those who suffer because of their faith in Jesus Christ. When they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair. Grant that we may all peacefully proclaim your good news in our words and our deeds, rejoicing always in your powerful presence. Comfort those who are persecuted, grant them courage, and hope to face the future, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Consider praying for:
- God to comfort Christians in their isolation.
- Families to stay Christ-centered and stand firm in persecution.
- Christians who face pressure to renounce their faith in Jesus.
- God to give peace and wisdom to church leaders.
- Strength and protection for Christian leaders as they withstand persecution.
- Christians to remain strong and steadfast in Christ.
You may consider:
- Breaking into groups and praying for different regions in which persecution is especially active.
- Having people pay in different languages.
- Having a day of fasting and prayer.
- Having a moment of silence for people to remember and pray for persecuted Christians.
- Setting up prayer stations in your church where you pray for a specific country at each one.
- Using a candle for the children's message to show how persecuted Christians continue to shine the light of Christ (as did Paul and Silas in prison).
Under Caesar's Sword, a program of the University of Notre Dame (
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (
Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop's Day and Youth Gathering
Friday, November 22 - Sunday, November 24, 2019
Cambria Suites Hotel, Noblesville, Indiana
Students in grades 7 through 12 and adult mentors are invited to join us for our Indiana-Kentucky Synod Bishop's Day and Youth Gathering. Rachel Kurtz will be our musician and speaker. Bishop Bill Gafkjen will lead on Saturday. Plans call for experiential learning, a hands-on service project, games, recreation, music, fun, and a focus on building connections for youth from across the synod. This is going to be a great event. You definitely don't want to miss it!
The cost is $95 per person which includes lodging, food, and programming. The cost is $15 per person for those attending only on Saturday. There is also an option to stay in homes using air mattresses and sleeping bags which you provide for $30 per person.
This event is open to both congregational groups as well as individuals.
For more information or to register, contact Pastor Dan Fugate at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 253-3522.
Stewardship Event November 20
Constitutional Changes for Congregations
On Wednesday, November 20 from 8:00am--4:30pm, the Ecumenical Stewardship Center is hosting a conference titled "Spirited Generosity: Offering Vitality in the 21st Century" in Atlanta. Resurrection Lutheran Church in Indianapolis (445 E Stop 11 Rd) is serving as a satellite site for the event. Come hear outstanding speakers and engage in thoughtful discussion around topics such as the history and theology of the offering in Judeo/Christian culture; cultural influences on the offering; engaging the offering as an act of worship, discipleship, and mission; and making the offering a meaningful moment when communities gather. Cost is only $5 per person to help defray lunch costs. Please click here for a flyer to share with your congregation. If you have any questions, please contact Pastor Jerry O'Neal, IK Stewardship Director at (260) 307-1345. We hope to see you at Resurrection November 20th! Please register for the event by clicking here.
For congregations who have not recently updated their constitution, this would be an ideal time to engage that process. You can find a resource to guide that process on our synod's website:
This document has been updated to reflect new language and is available for your use.
Constitutions may be submitted for an advisory review before the final approval by the congregation, by emailing the draft version to
. This email should also be used when submitting your updated constitution that has been approved by the congregation (see C16.01 and C16.02).
College Student Information
Please help us connect your college students with the campus ministry where they are attending college. This information is more helpful than you may know. Contact Carol Ann Webb at
with student name, college they are attending, and contact information. Thank you for your time and attention in sending us this information so that it can be shared with campus ministers.
The synod has embraced visual storytelling. Please find and follow us @IKSynodELCA. Please be sure and tag us in your photos!
Give with Tithe.ly
The Indiana-Kentucky Synod signed up with Tithe.ly to make giving easier than ever. Download the app and set Indiana-Kentucky Synod as a regular mission to support. You can also simply text the word GIVE to 765-347-9974, then follow the link. You may also visit our website (
), click the
Button, and follow the prompts.
Save a stamp and send Mission Support with Tithe.ly! ACH and debit/credit cards accepted.
Please include your congregation name in the "Note/Memo" line.
Thank you for all you do to support the ministries and mission of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod!
Many have expressed interest in knowing where Bishop Bill will be preaching and presiding so that they may attend if they are nearby. Below you will find a schedule of upcoming services and events where our Bishop will be presiding, preaching, participating or leading.
Bishop Gafkjen's Calendar of Events - all times listed are local
November 15-16: Synod Council | Indiana-Kentucky Lutheran Center | Indianapolis, IN
November 17: Roots of Life | Noblesville, IN | 10:30 a.m. | Preach and Preside
November 23: Bishop's Day | Roots of Life | Noblesville, IN
November 24: St. Paul | Richmond, IN | 3:00 p.m. | Installation of Rev. Charles Miller, II
November 26: St. John | North Liberty, IN | 6:30 p.m. | Transition Visit
Bishop Gafkjen looks forward to being with you and your faith community. Please contact his administrative assistant, April Lynch,
to schedule a time.
The Indiana-Kentucky Synod welcomes stories and photographs of ministry moments to share with its mission territory. Stories and accompanying photos are accepted for the Weekly News (which is sent out each Thursday), the monthly I-K Lutheran, and the web site (www.iksynod.org). Send announcement submission to Thomas Dearchs, Director of Communications, Administration, and Worship Life email@example.com by Tuesday at noon (Eastern time) to be included in the Thursday Weekly News. Please see the Publications Submission Guidelines document for complete details on submissions.
During the weekly I-K Lutheran Center staff devotions, we included these individuals and mission centers in our prayers:
Resurrection, Indianapolis, IN
and Rev. Mitch Phillips, Pastor of Community, and Rev. Ryan Bailey, Pastor of Faith Formation
Resurrection, Madison, IN
and Rev. Vicki Garber, Interim
Resurrection, Marion, IN
and Rev. James Hilleson, Pastor of Record
Risen Lord, Bargersville, IN
and Rev. Lecia Beck
Risen Savior, Fort Wayne, IN
and Rev. Alexa Kvande
Rostered Ministers Not Under Congregational Call:
Rev. Jim Stuck, Retired
Rev. Robert Suder, Retired
Rev. James T. Swanson, Retired
Rev. Nancy Nyland, Director for Evangelical Mission
Rev. Brian Peterson, Teach of Religion, Trinity School at Greenlawn, South Bend, IN
Central States Synod and Bishop Susan Candea
Bishop Eaton's November Column for
Season of doubt.
In her November column for
Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton compares doubt to winter - it can seem long, cold, barren, isolating and lonely. But she reminds us that doubt is part of faith - and God will carry us through the winter. Read her column here.
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Innovation Brings Low 2020 Health Rate Increase and More Support: If you haven't read about changes coming in 2020 to the ELCA Benefits Plan, click here to learn more.
Dates for ELCA Benefits Plan Annual Enrollment for Congregations and Plan Members:
Congregations have until October 25 to make health plan option selection for 2019. Plan members have from Oct. 29- Nov. 13 to make your selections. Note: If you're part of a sponsored couple, a call to the Customer Care Center can help you navigate some of the trickier details.
Sign into MyPortico to learn more
ELCA Primary Health Plan Wellness Dollars:
Plan members have until Nov. 30 to earn up to $400 wellness dollars that can be used for medical expenses. If your spouse is also on the health plan, they can, too. If you have already started earning, don't forget to complete your activities. If you haven't yet started, now is the time to begin. Click
to learn more.
2019 Churchwide Assembly Again Calls Portico to Action:
Portico, as the ELCA's benefits expert, largest institutional investor, and benefits policy advocate, attends this triennial event to lend its perspective as the church conducts its business. As in years past, Portico was called to action - this year, in memorials focusing on ELCA social purpose funds and health benefits.
Read more on myPortico
Ignite the Church Conference
How Do ELCA Social Purpose Funds Make a Difference?:
Impax Asset Management is a U.K.-based global stock investment manager making a worldwide difference by investing in companies that employ measurable positive environmental strategies, including wind farms, solar technology, and wastewater-reduction and -treatment techniques.
4th Annual Ignite the Church Conference, Orlando, Florida, February 11-13.
Are you looking for a continuing ed event to inspire, encourage & challenge your ministry? Would Florida in February be a blessing?
Consider attending the Ignite the Church Conference in Orlando, Florida, February 11-13. In addition to 4 large group gatherings with talks and panel discussions on topics related to Congregational Vitality, there will be 12 intensive electives on a wide range of important topics like Reaching Younger Generations, Expanding Kingdom Impact, Church Renewal and Discipleship, Renewing Music, Vitality through Mission, Engaging Your Neighborhood, Evangelism, Social Justice, and Raising Up and Equipping Leaders. There will also be a field trip to Orlando's Castle Church Brewing Community, one of the ELCA's newest and most unique mission starts. The $99 Super Early Bird registration rate includes 2 meals and snacks when you register by November 30th. Rates increase to $109 in December and $129 in January. 75 Leaders from 20 states attended last year's gathering. All conference proceeds are donated to the ELCA Fund for Leaders. Last year's gift totaled $2500. For more information go to
We hope to see you there!
Lutheran Child and Family Services
Lutheran Child and Family Services will be operating this year's Christmas Store from December 9-12 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, located at 6810 East 10th Street, Indianapolis. We are looking for donations and volunteers. We are also looking for individuals and churches to purchase gifts for Lutherwood residents to open on Christmas morning. Please click
for a Christmas Store Flyer to share with your congregation and click
for a wish list.
Access the latest resources, stories and events from around this church through ELCA e-newsletters and subscribe to several all in one place. Keep up-to-date with the ministries that mean the most to you or share with a friend and encourage them to subscribe. Sign up for news about the global church, Lutheran Disaster Response, stewardship and ELCA World Hunger at