March 17, 2022
The Cocooning of What Matters
Greetings Siblings in Christ!

What Matters is taking a break for the rest of Lent! With Pastor Jason Poole-Xiong taking some time away from the office, and the addition of Pastor Jen Christenson in the role of communications, now felt like a good time to put the weekly email on “pause” while we reconsider and transform our synod communication strategy. In a way, you could say What Matters is entering a cocoon – what will emerge on the other side is as yet undetermined, but it is our sincere hope that the outcome will provide a more streamlined and helpful format for synod communications. Pastor Jason and Pastor Jen have already started brainstorming and are excited about the possibilities as we move ahead.

In the meantime, you will still receive timely updates regarding our upcoming Synod Assembly. Synod staff will also send out any pressing or breaking news that affects congregations within our synod, including information regarding funeral or memorial services for rostered leaders who have died.

If you rely on What Matters for news and information from LOPPW, WCC, or WELCA, we have provided the links to those organizations below. If you find that you are missing other information, please do not hesitate to contact Pastor Jen Christenson, Associate to the Bishop for Communication and Relationship, at

We are hopeful that lightening the load in your inbox this Lent will prove to be a blessing. We are more hopeful still that our communications, storytelling, and ways of connecting with one another will be stronger and more effective as we begin to think intentionally and strategically about how we do all of these things.

Blessings to you,

Pastor Jen Christenson, Associate to the Bishop for Communication and Relationship
Pastor Jason Poole-Xiong, Contract Staff – Webmaster & Interim Synod Communications

Helpful Links:

A Message from Madison Area Jail Ministry
The Madison Area Jail Ministry serves in partnership with the Dane County Sherriff's Office. Over the course of a year, our chaplains join hundreds, if not thousands of men and women in their pain and sorrow. Relying on the strength of their faith traditions, chaplains help men and women identify God’s presence in their lives and accompany them on the highly personal and deeply spiritual process of experiencing healing, hope, strength, and courage for themselves and their futures.

The ministry is served by Chaplain Todd Marcotte and part-time Chaplain Tom Swartz. As a synod, please keep these chaplains, the deputies working in the jail, and of course the residents ( formerly known as inmates) in your prayers. MAJM is also extending an invitation to churches to join in a special prayer opportunity during Holy Week:
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus invited his disciples to, “Stay here and keep watch
with me.” (Matthew 26:38) 

From Sunday, April 10th - Easter Sunday, April 17th, we'll gather together in prayer for the common purpose of standing watch with Jesus, welcoming God’s will and presence in the deep places of need in Dane County. 

Thank you for being part of MAJM and for joining in this shared week of prayer by clicking here to Sign Up for a Day during which to pray for jail residents & MAJM.
We are also encouraging church pastors to record a short video on their phone with the video being a word or love and encouragement for the residents of the jail:
Please help encourage our brothers and sisters in the Dane County Jail by recording a brief shoutout video any time to let them know of your prayer. A montage of shoutout videos will be shared with jail residents during jail worship hours and through the jail's tablet system. 
When recording with a phone, please hold it horizontally.
Please email shoutout videos to
To learn more about Madison Area Jail Ministry visit their website at: 
2022 Synod Assembly
Friday, May 6 - Saturday, May 7
Kalahari Resort - Wisconsin Dells, WI
**Register Now Through April 1, 2022**
Your congregation is invited to be a part of the 2022 Synod Assembly! Synod Assembly is a time to celebrate and give thanks for our partnership in Christ’s mission. The assembly will include meaningful worship, fellowship and opportunities for learning and spiritual growth as well as decision-making on how we will use our resources and gifts to be partners in God’s work in the world. Click below for full information and online registration.
On the assembly website you can also find information on the In-Gathering taking place for Global Health Ministries and how your congregation can provide support.
WELCA Spring Update Meeting/Gathering
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 
at Grace Lutheran Church - Dodgeville
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In-Person or Zoom
Join us from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and bring your meal and eat with others in attendance.
  • Offering will be split 50/50 between Women of the ELCA South-Central Synod WI and Family Advocates designated for Human Trafficking. Please make payable to SCSW Women of the ELCA. Please bring with you Tuesday or mail to Donna Peterson, 4966 State Road 23, Dodgeville, WI 53533
  • In-kind offerings Disposable Baby diapers and Female Hygiene Products - please bring or drop off at Grace Lutheran Church in Dodgeville. They will be distributed to SWCAP Food pantries.
  • Door Prizes - eligible individuals are those that are attending in-person
For information contact Donna Peterson at or (608) 935-9023.
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