April 15, 2021
Siblings in Christ,

Thank you for reading this issue of What Matters. I am glad that you have found your way to continue your subscription and hope that you are finding this format easy to use and navigate. A special thank you to Rev. Jason Poole-Xiong and Robyn Zimmerman who have been working on this and helping us to continue to get timely communication to you.

I am just over 6 months into my tenure with you as bishop. So much has happened in these early months of our time together. The pandemic has certainly shaped these early months in ways I could never have guessed or imagined. I am however getting to know rostered leaders, congregations, and ministries in the synod. Although, admittedly not in the way I would prefer. Most of you remain faces on Zoom to me. I, with all of you long for the day when we can gather more fully and safely. The truest things though are that I am deeply grateful for this journey. This synod is my home literally (we moved to Madison in December) and in my heart. I feel connected to and protective of the work and ministry that God has given for us to do. We are stronger together and each of us has a calling in this synod.

I am confident that you will find helpful links and material in this issue of What Matters. If you have ideas for how we might continue to grow stronger together in mission and ministry, please be in touch.

God’s Blessings,

Bishop Joy
Creatureliness—Jesus and ours!
In her April column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton writes about Easter and Earth Day, reminding us that we are redeemed, reconciled and reunited in the beauty of the Creator’s loving handiwork. Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/3uR9fFu and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/3wXV9UA.
New Class Starts April 22: "The Daily Life of a Christian"
The Big Question!
How do I follow Jesus in the here and now?
What does “being Christian” look like in in my life? my family life, my work life, my service life?

Class will be conducted by Zoom with
Rev. Dr. Kipp W. Zimmermann on
Mondays: April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Items Available for Congregations!
In October Atonement Lutheran Church in Beloit held their final worship service. Since then we have been working on finalizing disposition of the items left in the church building. Synod staff will be present at the former church location at 901 Harrison Ave., Beloit, WI 53511. If you are interested in any of the items on the Inventory List please come at one of the times listed below noting that: 
  • Items can not be held
  • Bring whoever you need to help with the pick-up including appropriately sized vehicles.
  • Donations in any amount can be made to the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
Saturday, April 24
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Friday, April 30
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Our next Equipping the Saints Webinar is next
Tuesday, April 20 at 2:00 p.m.

It’s Earth Week! We celebrate the 51st edition of Earth Day—founded by Wisconsin’s own Sen. Gaylord Nelson—on April 22. Even more than that, it’s Easter and a season of new life and God’s promise for all creation. Let’s chat creation care and what you and your congregation do to care for the earth, with Pastor Nick Utphall of Advent in Madison and the synod’s Caring for God’s Creation team.

Rostered Leaders will receive the Zoom link by email on Tuesday morning. Anyone who also wished to automatically receive the link as well can sign-up online here.
We Need Your Info!
Thanks to everyone who sent Marie Leafblad their Youth and Family Ministry contacts for their congregations. If you haven't done that already, please send an email with your current Youth and Family Ministry contact.

ELCA Grants
ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grants accompany congregations and their partners throughout the United States and Caribbean as they draw on the strengths of communities to address local issues such as food security, clean water, housing, job readiness, human rights, policy change, leadership development and more. Together, these ministries are part of a comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger — for good.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you have served your communities with compassion and creativity, even as physical distancing changed the way we worship and meet.

Congregations are invited to apply for a new Open Doors Grant to support your ministries as we resume in-person worship and gatherings. 

Have an idea? Grant applications will open on April 21 at ELCA.org/OpenDoors.
The South-Central Wisconsin
Synodical Women’s Organization (SWO) invites you to a virtual
Spring Gathering Thankoffering Service
TODAY @ 7:00 p.m on Zoom
Short synodical update followed by a worship service and social time.
Please contact Janna Smith to register for the Zoom invitation:
or call (262) 215-6892

Free Webinar
“The Truth About Addiction”
April 29, 2021 - 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. (CT)
Presented by Dr. Kate Gaudet

  • Janna Smith, President, First English (Platteville)
  • Sandra Seffrood, Vice-President, Wiota (Wiota)
  • Pastor Rich McLeer, Pastor & Members of St. John (Boscobel)
  • Pastor Bruce Gray, Pastor & Members of St. John (Janesville)
  • Bishop Michael L. Rhyne, the Staff, and Congregations of the Allegheny Synod
Churchwide Partners:
  • Ms. Sylvia Perez, Executive Assistant to Executive Director - Global Mission
  • Ms. Amy R. Honore, Coordinator - East and Southeran Africa - Global Mission
We give thanks at this time for the ministry of those who celebrate their anniversary of ordination during this coming week:

May these leaders continue to be blessed for service!
Synod Quick Links
View Upcoming Events
View Job Postings
Congregations In Transition
Contact Synod Staff
Ministries & Partners
View Resources
As always we would love for you to continue to share your news. If you have something you would like considered for publication in What Matters, send it to us via email at scswoffice@scsw-elca.org. The deadline for consideration of inclusion in the current weeks e-newsletter is 12:00 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday.
Care - Connect - Equip