November 4, 2021
Please note: Fake emails are going out using Bishop Joy's name. These are phishing scams, please delete them.
Do you come home from a trip with a new best friend? Have you ever prayed with someone in line at the grocery store? Do you talk to your neighbors about Jesus? If these scenarios ring true for you, you might be a hidden evangelist! Join us for a virtual gathering and a lively conversation with people who have a similar passion for sharing Christ’s love. Join Rev. Phil Hirsch, ELCA Executive Director for Christian Community and Leadership, and Louise Johnson, ELCA Executive for Administration, on Zoom November 9 at 7 p.m. Central time. As the ELCA seeks to engage new people, discern how you can share your gifts of interpersonal connection to help activate your community. Register today.
LSS Webinar with SCSW: The ABC's of Refugee Resettlement

We’ve all heard a lot in the news about the evacuation of Afghans and many people have questions. Join us on Tuesday, November 16th at 7 pm CT vial Zoom when staff from Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan presents “The ABC’s of Refugee Resettlement”. You’ll learn how the program works, how you can help, and the latest information about the evolving situation of refugees from Afghanistan.

This meeting will be held via Zoom and is open to everyone to attend.
See the details for attending below.
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Nov 16, 2021 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing
information about joining the meeting.
After a two-year pause during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program is preparing to send volunteers out into the world again! Applications are now open, and you can invite young adults on this journey abroad for the 2022-2023 program year.
If you know young adults aged 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the deadline of Feb.1, 2022. (Priority deadline is Jan. 15, 2022.) Talk to them personally about what this opportunity will mean for their faith, identity, career and understanding of God’s work in the world. Share these videos about the YAGM experience.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 1, 2022.
Priority will be given to those who apply before Jan. 15, 2022.
Greetings from Rev. Lisa Heffernan, who on June 1st began serving as coordinator for ELCA Disability Ministries. She works remotely out of South Dakota, where she is also serving as a part-time interim pastor with a congregation. She began serving on the ELCA Disability Ministries advisory team about four and a half years ago, and is thankful for and humbled by the opportunity to serve in this new role. As a person with a disability (spina bifida), this ministry is especially close to her heart and is excited for where God is leading us in 2022 and beyond.

If you would like more information on the ELCA's disability ministry click here.
Free resource "Thriving Beyond COVID" arrives!
“Thriving Beyond COVID” is a Scripture-based resource to encourage and inspire congregations to embrace opportunities and face challenges once the "post-COVID" journey begins. This customizable small- and large-group study is available for free download and includes leader and participant guides, videos and PowerPoint slides.
Faith Partners Leadership Training

The opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone struggling with addiction is often no farther away than the person who sits near us in the pew on Sunday morning—someone whose life is silently unraveling and who desperately needs us to reach out with an open heart. The faith community can be one of the principal healers of addiction and mental health issues.
Faith Partners has established a national presence resulting in over 1,000 trained congregational teams in 29 states from 23 different faith traditions.

What: Faith Partners Leadership Training provides an overview of this proven model and the opportunity to gain tools and strategies to build congregational support for this lay team ministry.

Who: 2-4 Congregational leaders including a pastor, staff, and laity. We suggest at least a pastor and lay person who can help initiate this ministry in their congregation attend.

When: Saturday, November 13th from 9:00-4:00 p.m. (central time).

Where: In-person participation will be held at Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, 3611 N. Berens Road NW, Prior Lake, MN. Those out of state participate online.

Costs: The Leadership Training fee is $250/congregation and includes the training, toolkit including consultation ($75 value), set of three ministry guides, and workshop handouts.

or you can register on the Faith Partners website:

For more information, please contact Drew Brooks at 

November 9 at 11:15 a.m.
 Kristallnacht commemoration service

Annually the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) commits to the denunciation of anti-Semitism now and in the history of our tradition and seeks to bring together people of all faiths in the work of the world’s mending and the healing of the nations. November 9 at 11:15am, LSTC will offer a hybrid service of reflection, music and witness together with Jewish partners from the area.  
Kristallnacht took place the night of November 9-10, 1938 when a massive, coordinated attack on Jews throughout the German Reich occurred. Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, and it starkly signaled a movement towards the Final Solution, a systematic program of genocide designed to annihilate every Jew and others in Europe. 
The Kristallnacht commemoration service on Tuesday, Nov. 9 will be in person in the Augustana Chapel at LSTC, 1100 E. 55th St., Chicago. It will also be available on Zoom for those who register. It will also be livestreamed on LSTC’s YouTube page. Register here for the Zoom link. 
November 16-17, 2021:
Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium

LSTC will partner with Other+Wise for the 13th Annual Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium on November 16 and 17, 2021. The event will be offered virtually. The theme for this year's symposium is "On Our Way to Truth and Healing." The symposium educates seminarians, church leaders, and allies about the work of Vine Deloria Jr. and about Indigenous culture, movements, and activism. This year, symposium content will focus on the intersection between Indian boarding schools and Christian and theological education.
More information about the schedule of events and presenters is available here.
Advent Pilgrimage in Palestine is a four-week virtual pilgrimage from the ELCA’s Peace Not Walls and Young Adult Ministry teams featuring young adult voices from the ELCA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land. 
Join us this Advent Season on the WAY to Bethlehem: Prepare, Journey, Arrive, Witness
What is “the way to Bethlehem,” as Advent practice, and as Christian engagement in Palestine? What does it mean for us as Christians, and for the church, to be called to resist the injustice of “the way things are” in favor of following the disruptive and transformative way of the Lord? What does it mean for us to be “on the way”?

Opening Webinar on Nov 22: Join us as we kick-off the series.

Join us for our 2021 Annual Meeting
Featuring Guest Speaker Jessica Kantrowitz

Starting Tuesday, December 7th

What happens at WCC's Annual Meeting?
The Annual Meeting includes our business meeting (hear updates on the Council's operations, vote for new members, etc), our plenary speaker, and workshops. This year, material typically covered in workshops will be spread throughout the week to allow for more participation and most events will be recorded so if you aren't able to attend them live, you can still listen and learn at a time better suited to you.

Where will the Annual Meeting be Held this year?
We will once again hold our Annual Meeting on Zoom, so you can access it from your home or office. A unique link will be sent for each session.

Who is invited to WCC's Annual Meeting?
Everyone is invited and there are two ways to attend.

Keep up with the latest news from the ELCA!

  • Annual Report Covers from the ELCA are available:

  • Resource for congregations about the Boy Scouts of America. Find here.

COP Participant
  • Cindy Crane - attending COP as an ELCA observer.

Finance Committee 
  • Jane Cahill Wolfgram, Synod Vice-President, Christ (DeForest, WI)
  • Bruce Hutler, Synod Treasurer, Our Saviors (Sun Prairie, WI)

Pastors and Congregations in our Synod
  • Members of Bethlehem Lutheran (Broadhead, WI)
  • Members of Bethlehem Lutheran (Edmond, WI)

Neighboring Synod
  • Bishop Chris DeForest Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod 

Members Elected to Churchwide Assembly
  • Jim Jennings, N.E, Pennsylvania Synod
  • Patricia C Kluetz, Central Wisconsin Synod

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 to Stephanie Bill, Communications Manager 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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