September 2, 2021
Lutheran World Relief Ingathering - Boxcar Loading
The date of this years Ingathering boxcar loading will be:
Saturday, September 18th from 7-11am
Madison WI SO Railyard
1890 East Johnson St.
Madison, WI

If you have any questions please contact site coordinator
Bob Topel 608-831-4556

*Please note: They are no longer collecting loose soap or fleece tied blankets.
Bring one form with to the train station and keep one form for your church.
September Webinars
Join us at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7th for the Equipping the Saints Webinar. We will have a Dwelling in the Word with Bishop Joy.
Rostered Leaders will receive the Zoom link by email on Tuesday morning. Anyone who also wishes to automatically receive the link for the webinars can sign-up online here.
Join us at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21st for a very special Equipping the Saints Webinar where we will welcome ELCA Youth Gathering staff who will share insights and details on preparing your congregation for the Gathering. There will also be time to ask questions and learn from others!
Lutheran Men in Mission Retreat Update

Please Note: This year’s One Year to Live retreat at the MacKenzie Center has been canceled due to insufficient registrations. We have already reserved September 23-25, 2022 for the next one. Save the date!
Registration Deadline September 9th!
South Central WI Synodical Women’s Organization (SWO)
September 24-25, 2021
At Lutherdale Bible Camp
Elkhorn, WI - Hope Conference Center

 SPEAKER: Pastor Lily Zeich Brellenthin
Served in South Africa (2015-2016) with Young Adults in Global Mission

Due by midnight, Thursday, September 9, 2021 
• All other Biennial Convention/Fall Retreat registrations

New Devotional from the
Synod's Prayer Team

The Synod Prayer Team has written a monthly devotional resource for leaders of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin

Click below for the
Registration is open with classes starting in September.

What is diakonia®?
·       The diakonia® program consists of 12 different, five week courses. Classes are held via distance learning technology from the convenience of your home with an instructor and other students using your computer and internet connection. Classes meet once a week for three hours.
·       Students may participate in 1 to 6 courses a year. Upon successful completion of all 12 courses, students are invited to participate in a graduation ceremony.
·       Courses are taught by pastors and/or lay professionals particularly skilled in that area of instruction or ministry.
·       Classes combine theological knowledge with practical skills. Assignments and readings aim to be relevant while also developing a solid background on the topic.
Is diakonia® Right for You? Ask yourself:
·       Are you looking for a deeper faith life?
·       Have you been wondering what God has in mind for you?
·       Do you want to be better equipped for Christian service?
If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, diakonia® may be just what you’re looking for!
If you are interested in teaching a diakonia course(s) or are a returning instructor please click HERE to indicate your interest and availability for our courses.
Upcoming Events at Bethel Lutheran Church
Madison Summit for Homeless Support: New Strategies for Mental Health Support
September 9th from 8:30am-5pm

Join us for the 1st Annual Madison Summit for Homeless Support: New Strategies for Mental Health Support! This Summit will allow us to gather in one place to learn from our talented keynote and breakout session presenters!

For more information and to register:
An Evening with Shane Feldman
September 16th - 7pm

Shane is the visionary behind the world’s largest millennial-led movement Count ME In. He has been recognized by The White House, United Nations, and The Prime Minister of Canada for his achievements in community leadership. He has worked with some of the world’s most dynamic companies, including Google, Microsoft, and The Walt Disney Co.
Get Free Tickets Here:
Living Lutheran: The Spiritual Discipline of Rest
“In Genesis, God rests on the seventh day and blesses it as holy. As people created in God’s image, we, too, need rest. Yet rest often evades us.” In Living Lutheran’s August lead feature, Erin Strybis speaks with experts on how the spiritual discipline of rest allows us to live healthy, balanced lives, and examines why making space for rest can be a challenge for so many of us. Read more and download the study guide.
Coming soon: “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday
On Sunday, September 12, ELCA congregations will come together for “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, a dedicated day of service. As church, we are guided by our life in Christ to share the love of Jesus and serve our neighbors — even if these acts of service take place from our homes, outdoors or from a safe distance because of ongoing pandemic concerns. As you explore opportunities to participate, visit for planning resources including a tool kit, videos, posters, social media graphics and a special hymn for the day. Plan your day of service.
Do You Have an Intern at Your Church?

We would love to know their names, contact information and a bit about what they do so we can spotlight them on the Synod's Facebook page. Please email the information to our communications manager Stephanie at

Are you interested in a little more systems thinking?
On October 27 & 28, you are invited to learn a little more about looking at congregations and leadership through the family systems lens on human behavior developed by Dr. Murray Bowen and applied to congregations by Rabbi Edwin Friedman. The Voyagers, a group of clergy and faith leaders that has been meeting for over 20 years to study systems thinking, is gathering this fall at the DeKoven Center in Racine. 
Clergy, council members, congregational staff, seminary students, congregational members and anyone who is interested in how groups of people work is welcome!
An Introduction to Family Systems Thinking is the topic on Wednesday, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Unpacking Pete: The Teaching Legacy of Peter Steinke is the topic on Thursday, again, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
You are welcome to attend for one or both days. There also is the option to participate via Zoom.
Take Action to Offer Welcome & Aid to Afghan Allies 
  • Lutheran Social Services
Their website has been updated with the most current needs and information.
The greatest need is for monetary donations.  

  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Team
They are incredibly grateful your time, your interest, and your passion for helping our friends in Afghanistan.  If you missed their webinar or would like to share it with friends, family, or community, please check out the recording!  The Afghan Crisis: How to Help Our Neighbors - YouTube More information and resources on their website: Help Our Afghan Allies | LIRS
2022 – Lowest rate increase in eight years
A 3% ELCA-Primary health contribution baseline rate increase* — the lowest in eight years! No change to current ELCA-Primary health deductibles, out-of-pocket limits, prescription drug cost-share, and coinsurance. A significant decrease in the contribution cost of ELCA Medicare-Primary health coverage for plan members, and a rate decrease for nearly all organizations sponsoring members with this coverage. You can find 2022 rate and benefit details in our just-published news article here.  * The 2022 ELCA-Primary health plan baseline 3% increase doesn’t yet reflect adjustments related to changes in compensation, age, and health coverage level (that is, whether members enroll their spouse and/or children).

Annual Enrollment
With 2022 Annual Enrollment beginning soon, a few reminders: The window for employers to make their selection this year will be earlier and shorter, Oct. 4 – 15, 2021. Be sure to schedule any benefit discussions ahead of this window. Custom Comparison Reports are available now for all EmployerLink users. A reminder: Starting last year, the ELCA recommends both the Silver+ A and Gold+ health benefit options. If your congregational council is looking for a virtual presentation on the differences of this recommendation, please reach out to Jennifer Prinz, Regional Representative from Portico. She can be reach at

New Vision Care Services
Help manage the cost of prescription frames and contact lenses. While ELCA-Primary health benefits already cover an annual eye exam, Portico will now offer in 2022 a new 100% member-paid vision care services coverage gives sponsored members an affordable way to prepare for additional vision care needs, including prescription eyewear. To learn more click here.
NEW Administration Matters
E-Newsletter from the ELCA

We would like to introduce you to Administration Matters, a bimonthly electronic newsletter for ELCA church leaders. It addresses common, practical issues including finance, governance, risk management, and tax and legal concerns, as well as other topics of interest about day-to-day operations and management in church settings.

If you wish to subscribe to the Administration Matters e-newsletter, go to (see left side of page).
If you haven't already I encourage you to join our new Facebook page SCSW - Care, Connect, Equip. This page will be for churches within the synod to share their events, ask questions and communicate with other churches. Please click here to join! If your church does not have a Facebook page and you would like your event to be posted please contact me at and I would be happy to post it for you!

Diakonia Team
  • Secretary Linda Wulff, St. John’s (Beaver Dam, WI)
  • Coordinator Barb Zimmerman, St. Matthew New Life (Madison, WI)
Pastors and Congregations in our Synod
  • Pastor Eric Bakken and Members of West Koshkonong (Stoughton, WI)
  • Pastor Connie Matye and Members of West Middleton (Verona, WI)

Neighboring Synods
  • Interim Bishop, Rev. Wm Chris Boerger, La Crosse Area Synod 
  • Bishop Elect Felix Malpica, La Crosse Area Synod
Members Elected by Churchwide Assembly
  • Susan Boxberger, Region 4B
  • Lisa Burk, Region 7B
We give thanks at this time for the ministry of those who celebrate their anniversary of Ordination during this coming week:
  • David Solberg, September 3, 1967, Retired Pastor living in Dubuque, IA
  • William Lehman, September 4, 1988, Pastor of First Lutheran in Stoughton, WI
  • Fred Rilling, September 6, 1998, Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran in Prairie du Sac, WI
  • Ken Smith, September 9. 1973, Retired Pastor living in Madison, WI

  • Paul Way Jr., August 25, 2001, Interim Pastor at Redeemer, Rio, WI

May these leaders continue to be blessed for service!
Synod Quick Links
View Upcoming Events
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Ministries & Partners
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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 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.
Care - Connect - Equip