April 29, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on almost every type of ministry in the church and outdoor ministry was no exception. Lutheran Outdoor Ministry sites reach God’s children of all ages though summer camping programs, retreat opportunities, hospitality, team building activities, and partnership with congregations. Unfortunately, the last year has meant a change in these vital ministries including the cancellation of most, if not all, summer programming in 2020. We are blessed to have several outdoor ministries both in our synod territory and beyond in which our congregations support and engage with on an ongoing basis.

This week, in addition to our regular synod news (which can be found below), we wanted to highlight some of those ministries and what programming is currently happening and, especially, what summer camp will look like in 2021. We commend these ministries to you and your congregations and hope you will consider how you may support them during this ongoing challenging time. For more information on these ministries you can click on the links below or to find out more about the over 115 ELCA outdoor ministries visit the Lutheran Outdoor Ministries website HERE.

“Our Lutheran Outdoor Ministries provide places to engage people of all ages with the beauty of God’s creation and programs that enrich faith formation. These camping and retreat opportunities allow space and time for deeper reflection on relationships and promote unique leadership skills in young adults. Our church camps and retreat centers are a gift to the ministry of the ELCA and vitally important in the development of faith and care for creation.”

-ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton
Sugar Creek Bible Camp
Ferryville, WI
Kids and families need real connections. That’s why Sugar Creek offers 17 different adventures for youth in grades 1-12, and families too! Enjoy a vast, beautiful, FUN place to find real hope in Christ and joy that lasts.
Youth grow in confidence, practice leadership, and discover how God empowers us through faith. With 660 acres of great activities, full ACA accreditation, small group focus, meals in open-air shelters, and 50+ years of unique tradition in small villages, Sugar Creek is by nature among the safest of any in-person programs during a pandemic. Come see – and experience – the Good News! 
Horses, houseboats, hiking, canoes, bikes, or just good conversations by the lake, campers explore life and faith in the great outdoors.
“Camperships” are available for families in need of financial assistance.
Learn More About Sugar Creek HERE
Bethel Horizons
Dodgeville, WI
Summer Camps are the cornerstone of Horizons' Ministry. Our camps run Sunday-Friday for 8 different weeks over the summer from mid-June through mid-August. Camp is open to all youth in 2nd-11th grades.

Our camp house, camp ground, and Barn Retreat Center are all available for family and friends to rent through AirBNB (during non camp weeks) or for your confirmation and family retreats through our website. You can also schedule private adventure and guided educational nature hikes for your group.

Come enjoy all 550 acres Bethel Horizons has to offer.
Bethel Horizons Mission: To foster a better understanding of God, self, others and nature.
Learn More About Bethel Horizons HERE
Crossways Camping Ministries
Pine Lake (Waupaca, WI) - Imago Dei Village (Clintonville, WI) - Waypost (Hatley, WI)
You want to give your kids the hope, connection, and renewal they need after over a year of isolation and anxiety. At Crossways, campers discover and deepen their faith in an intentional Christian community while also practicing social skills like respect, courage, and responsibility. For Summer 2021, we are meeting and exceeding not only state safety requirements, but all best practices as indicated by the American Camp Association. We have half-week, full-week, and family camp sessions available all summer. Kids need camp – register or donate today to keep this ministry thriving! 
We’ve been practicing smiling behind our masks, and we’re ready to build community while keeping one another healthy. 
Swimming, boating, and all your favorite camp activities will be on the schedule this summer. Register with a friend today!
Learn More About Crossways HERE
Elkhorn, WI
At Lutherdale, we believe that every child deserves to be welcomed, accepted, known, and celebrated in a Christ-centered environment. We have over 75 years of experience in running summer camps. We follow over 300 standards established by the American Camp Association in order to provide a safe space for your children. Every day, all week long, campers (grades K-11) are accepted and celebrated for exactly who God made them to be. Summer camp operates June 13 – August 11. Give your kids the experience of camp. Now more than ever, kids need the outdoors, friends, adventure, music and faith role models.
Families can enjoy a weekend getaway this summer! Also perfect for family reunions, conferences, weddings, and day events.
Our annual fundraiser helps subsidize every camper week and make camp financially accessible for all!
Learn More About Lutherdale HERE
All Synod Worship!
"All Will Be Well"
We will be looking for groups/individuals to do the hymns, submit creative liturgical expressions of hope (this could be photography, poetry, art, dance, music, etc.) and submit pictures and video that are related to the theme of hope and “All Will Be Well”
As part of our worship we are introducing the All Creation sings hymnal.
All submissions need to be received my May 27th in Mp4 format (if video). More information will be sent out Friday afternoon with a chance for individuals and congregations to sign up, please watch for a special email.
*Last Call* 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 you may come at our final time 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
Tomorrow, Friday, April 30
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
ELCA Grants - Apply Today!
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 now open at ELCA.org/OpenDoors.
  • Linda Freitag, Board Member, St. James (Verona)
  • Eugenie Hildebrandt, Board Member, St. Paul (Mayville)
  • Rev. Dr. Paula Harris, Pastor & Members of St. John Evangelical (Reedsburg)
  • Kathi Matthews-Risley, Collaborative Learning Student & Members of St. John-St. Paul (Mazomanie)
  • Bishop Michael W. Rinehart, the Staff, and Congregations of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod
Churchwide Partners:
  • The Rev. Philip J. Knutson, Regional Representative - Africa Desk, Global Mission
  • The Rev. Phillip R. Baker, Regional Representative - Asia/Pacific Desk, 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!
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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