May 13, 2021
Friends of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin:

As many of you are aware our International Companion Synod is the Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church of India. You have also heard of the great suffering that many in India are enduring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our ELCA is showing up in India. On May 6th the Service and Justice Administration and Finance Team of the ELCA approved a grant of $60,000 from the COVID-19 Disaster Relief – Global Fund to Padhar Hospital in Betul, India to assist COVID-19 patients with respiratory issues and provide oxygen. We are stronger when we are church together.

Recently, the ELCA Lutheran Disaster Response has set up a giving page for special COVID Relief Grants to be sent to India and our companions:

I invite you to share this widely with your social networks and in your congregations. Please consider helping as you are able. Please keep the people of India in your prayers as they continue in this suffering.

God’s peace,

Bishop Joy
How can I keep from singing?
In her May column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton notes that music, like God’s love, is at the same time deeply personal, sounding deep within an individual’s soul, and universal, ringing out to an entire community. Read her column in English at and in Spanish at
Our next Equipping the Saints Webinar is this
Tuesday, May 18
at 2:00 p.m.

Mike Griffin, Community Organizer and Field Director for Change in Minneapolis, Mn. Mike joins us to discuss his experience after George Floyd's murder and what it means to community organize and the why behind it. Mike helps train and teach faith and religious organizations to begin relational organizing. He'll give great insight into how the South Central Synod can start taking action and leading our churches well in our racial justice conversations. 

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.
Synod Wide Worship - Spots Still Available!
Premiering June 5, 2021

When you hear “All Will Be Well”, what comes to mind?
We are inviting our synod members, young and old to participate through creative expression to our theme for this Synod Wide Worship. We are looking for groups or individuals to 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”!

Learn more about how you can be involved and sign-up on the worship page at:

Join us to remember and celebrate the ministry of Brent Christianson, Campus Pastor and Director of Lutheran Campus Ministry in Madison, 1993 to 2014. Alumni and colleagues will share stories, music, poetry, and images that convey the impact of Pastor Brent’s 21 years of service at LCM.

Lutheran/Divinity Education Scholarships
Attention Students!

Apply Now for our Lutheran/Divinity Educational Student Scholarships

The synodical Women's Organization will award two ($500) scholarships to students who are pursuing education in Called Ministry (Pastor or Deacon), Youth Ministry in an ELCA congregation or an ELCA Bible Camp Ministry.

Application deadline is August 16, 2021

Mental Health Awareness Month Resources
In recognition of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, Portico Benefit Services is pleased to share the following resources with you, courtesy of our health and wellness vendor partnerships
  • Helping You Thrive EAP Overview – new feature: online scheduling link allow faster access to video support, from the comfort of home.
  • Why Mindfulness? Register to attend this 30-minute Burn Along workshop on 5/19 at 11:30 a.m. Central.
  • In late May, Portico will be introducing Being Here, it is a Portico-specific podcast series. In an upcoming email later this month to all ELCA-Primary health benefit members, you’ll find our inaugural episodes that include topics on: Beating Burnout 2.0, Grief & Compassion Fatigue, and Financial Literacy.
Bethel Horizons Bike-A-Thon
June 5, 2021 9am - 2pm
Military Ridge Trail - Mount Horeb
Join us for the 36th Annual Bethel Horizons Bike-A-Thon on Saturday, June 5 2021!
Participants and volunteers come together to raise money and awareness about
the Adventure & Environmental Education Programs at Bethel Horizons.
The Bike-A-Thon starts at the Mount Horeb Train Depot and participants ride on the
Military Ridge State Trail between Mount Horeb and Ridgeway. You chose
the distance that works best for you.
Vital Congregations Re-boot Camp
This is an invitation to existing congregations leaders interested in tools and ideas for revitalizing our ministries together. Teams of 3, 4 or more are invited to come with their pastor to reignite mission. This course will offer best practices and strong foundations for congregations who have historically been identified as being in the important times of redevelopment, transformation, and renewal. This is an opportunity to discern, kickstart efforts, or begin to reimagine in the hopes of growth in vitality, sustainability, and reaching new people. (This revisit many of the topics in the 2020 Vital Congregations cohort and is therefore not for those participants, but it is for a new cohort of rostered leaders who would be joined by their teams of lay leaders from their ministry sites.)
The first online webinar will begin on May 27th at 12:30-2:00 CST. This is a four-part training. Additional Dates are June 10, June 24, and July 8th at 12:30-2:00 CST. This series is also free of charge for congregations and leaders.
Please register by May 24th using the link below. For more information please contact our SCSW Director for Evangelical Mission Rev. Walter Baires at or contact Neil Bullock at (773) 380-2884 or Rev. Anna-Kari Johnson (773) 990-0814 at the ELCA Churchwide Office.

All courses will be led by Rev Nancy Nyland, Rev CeCee Mills and Rev Jason Adams in partnership with the ELCA Christian Community and Leadership Congregational Vitality Team. 

  • Eleanor Siebert, Board Member, Five Points (Blue River)
  • Rev. Dale Vlastnik, Pastor & Members of St. John's (Johnson Creek)
  • Rev. Peter Beeson, Pastor & Members of St. John's (Madison)
  • Bishop Craig A. Saterlee, the Staff, and Congregations of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod
Churchwide Partners:
  • Ms. Katy Ajer, Program Director, Health & Sustainable Development - Global Mission
  • Dr. Rebecca Duerst, Director, Diakonia - 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 The deadline for consideration of inclusion in the current weeks e-newsletter is 12:00 p.m. (CT) on Wednesday.
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