Sunday, March 17, was an especially blessed day for many people who were gathered at Mission of Christ, Milwaukee, for the ordination of Rev. Afam Ikanih. When Pres. Wille placed the red stole on Pastor Afam's shoulders, there were plenty of smiles and tears to go around.
Sunday, March 17, was a great day for the wearing of the purple, as seen on some of the pastors who joined over 125 LCMS members gathered at Mt. Olive in Milwaukee to celebrate the 20th anniversary of A Place of Refuge. While green is the color for St. Patrick's Day and the usual color for life, purple is the color of Lent, the season in the church year when we focus on how serious God is about redeeming life. We thank the Lord of Life for blessing the work of A Place of Refuge for the past 20 years! May He continue to bless this LCMS ministry's efforts to promote, protect and celebrate life for another 20 years!
The SW District Parish Nurse Network meeting will be held Tuesday, April 16th at St. Peter Lutheran Church, 43 N. 3rd St., Hilbert, WI 54129. The presentation topic is "Live Long.....Live Well." Nancy Krueger will speak about the programs and services that can be provided by the County Aging and Disability Resource Units. In addition to transportation and meals, the ADRCs have a variety of educational offerings related to health topics. Nancy will review these and share with us ways in which we can be involved and involve our parishioners.
Were you given a family through Lutheran Counseling and Family Services? Do you feel blessed because LCFS was there to help in your adoption? We are excited about creating and growing Christian families by providing adoption services. If you feel the same way, then please join us at this reunion on April 20, 2013 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in West Bend.
On January 19, Peace Lutheran Church of New Berlin, WI held a disaster response training event for the members of their congregation. Thirty-three participants attended and are now certified as LCMS volunteers. One of the best ways to be prepared for any kind of disaster is by attending a disaster response congregational training session, "Mercy in Action: Preparing a Congregation for Disaster Response." This training helps congregations prepare their members and physical buildings to survive a disaster, and prepares members to engage in relief and recovery efforts in their local community.
Under Rev. Christian Ikanih’s direction, Bethany Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, began hosting English as a Second Language (ESL) classes in December 2012, a joint mission endeavor with People of the Book Lutheran Outreach (POBLO). The ESL students are adult immigrants from Somalia. Ebou Faye, a Bethany elder and a POBLO outreach and evangelism worker, recruited the students among Somalis living near Bethany. As word of the classes has spread among the Somali community, about 15 Somalis have attended one or more classes.
Daily our news sources are filled with stories about disasters, both natural and manmade. The tragedy that took place in Newtown, Conn., is just another example of how quickly and unexpectedly our lives can be changed. We are exposed to potential dangers in our workplaces, movie theaters, shopping malls, schools and other public places.
Training for your congregation or school is available from the South Wisconsin District disaster response team.
Contact Peg Raabe at (414) 464-8100 or team coordinator Rev. Bill Wagner to schedule training.
We have created a false sense of security in our institutions. The misconception that “it will never happen here” still seems to apply to us until we find out differently. While some have developed a vague plan for emergencies, most have never thought through a comprehensive emergency plan.
Early in January, Pres. Wille received the following personal note from Danelle Putnam, of the LCMS mission to Dominican Republic:
Dear Pres. Wille and the South Wisconsin District,
Thank you for your faithful support of our Dominican field! You all do so much to help us every day—we are thankful and blessed.
Please extend our thankfulness to all the congregations of the SWD!
Click here to read
(PDF) their year-end newsletter and learn how Moises, Ramona, Francis, Junior, Estafani and Randy are all receiving God’s love and the love of all those who help them to develop into happy and healthy children of God! Learn how you can help, too!
“As a believer,” says Ikanih, “I know the Word of God says that with him all things are possible and nothing is impossible. The time to know and understand what the Lord expects from us and how he wants us to reach the lost in the community indeed is here. We have to work with the lost, and those families affected, when and wherever we can find them.”
Epiphany Sunday 2013 was a very exciting day for members of the Karenni community which meets at Chapel of the Cross in Milwaukee. The light of Christ continues to grow among these Burmese immigrants, and eight new members were received into the Christian faith.
In 2012, a school was repaired and a playground with play equipment and a volley ball court was finished by LCMS servant mission groups to the Dominican Republic. In the same area, a seminary/retreat center was created out of an existing building, and a hill between the school and seminary was terraced for agricultural use. Recently a new video, 2012 Year in Review--Dominican Republic Mission Groups, was produced that tells the story of these mission projects accomplished in 2012, and describes what will be on the agenda for 2013.
|Brian and Jeanette Keller standing next to SWD President John Wille in the DR, have been coordinating the building and construction projects there since 2011.
Coming from a missionary family and working in mission fields all of her life, Bessie Fick has always appreciated the work of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML). In every mission field she’s been involved in, the faithful women of our Synod have provided funds for the work, whether it was in Guatemala, North Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Iowa or Wisconsin. Today the Lord is richly blessing Bessie and the work she is doing as the international student ministry (ISM) coordinator at Luther Memorial in Shorewood.
It’s hard to believe that it has already been eleven years since the tragedy of the Twin Towers in New York City. Since then there have been many, many more crisis situations, manmade and natural, even as close as our own backyard. The main characteristic of all crises is that they come without warning, in a flash, quickly, without notice. You never know when a disaster might happen. Are you prepared?
Early this summer, Karen Dupuis of First Immanuel, Cedarburg, was looking for a summertime project for their Bible study group. They were especially thinking of a Bible marking project. At about that same time, the District’s prison ministry was making a large purchase of Bibles for distribution inside Milwaukee's County Correctional Facility-South (CCFS).
|From left to right: Maria Swartzel,Tamara Marshal, Heidi Hinck, Martha Clapham, Angela Koweleski, Martie White and Kris Schaubs. (Missing is Karen Dupuis who took the picture.)
The next South Wisconsin District parish nurse network meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, at Good Shepherd (lower level seminar room), 1611 East Main St., Watertown, WI 53094. Guest speaker Dr. Cheryl Roets will talk to the group about “Mental Health in the Elderly.” Bring your questions about this topic.
Donations of quilts and kits will be loaded on to box cars to begin their trip to people who need them all over the world. This Lutheran World Relief collection will take place on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at 12th Street and Mt. Vernon in Milwaukee. Click here for more information about items needed and where the quilts and kits went last year. You can also find other drop off locations by zip code at this site.
“Aging Grace-fully” is the theme for the Oct. 2-3, 2012, retired pastors, wives and widows retreat at the Best Western Grand Seasons Hotel in Waupaca. Reserve the date on your calendar now for this joint SWD-NWD event and plan to enjoy the program and fellowship. The two main presenters will be Dr. Steven Arnold, retired DCE from the Minnesota South District, and Rev. Stephen Wenk, chaplain at the University Hospital in Madison. The registration cost will be $72.50 per person if you share a hotel room, and $110 per person for a private room. This includes the program expenses, breaks, three meals and the lodging.
Registration has been closed for this year's Church Workers Golf Outing to be held on Monday, Aug. 13, at Rock River Hills Golf Club, 3000 Main St., Horicon. The cost is just $42 which includes 18 holes, lunch and a cart. But hurry! The registration deadline is Aug. 3, 2012. Registration flyer
A lot can happen in 40 years of ministry to residents of health care facilities. Workers retire, nursing homes close or change hands, and the faces of the residents often change. But one thing remains—the need to bring Christ to the elderly, infirm or developmentally disabled residents of those facilities. All are children of God needing to hear of his love for them.
RSVP by July 1 to attend a day of fun celebrating the Sheboygan chaplaincy ministry's 40th anniversary July 15, 2012. The celebration and fund raiser will be held in the banquet hall at the Sheboygan County Memorial Airport, W3244 County Road O, Sheboygan Falls. Celebration flyer
“By the grace of God, I and my church here are committed to teach to the refugees that are coming to us, and also back home in our homeland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Rev. Gui Kasongo said. Luther’s Catechism in their own French language continues to be a successful tool for teaching the truths of Scripture. People of the Congo are eager for Pastor Gui's return, and he is eager to bring the catechism to them.
He is asking for your help!
Beautiful weather greeted 56 guests to the Cedar Valley Conference Center for the “Gathering” on Wednesday, May 16. All anticipated a day in the country setting, focusing on “Understanding the Future of the Church.” No one left disappointed—or hungry!
Make plans today to attend the annual Church Workers Golf Outing this summer on August 13! Once again it will be held at the Rock River Hills Golf Club, 3000 Main Street in Horicon.
The international student ministry at Luther Memorial, Shorewood, is a ministry of friendship and hospitality that welcomes internationals to the Milwaukee area. This gives them the privilege of sharing the gospel message.
|Ashkan, on the left, enjoyed a camping trip last fall with his newfound American friends.
Ashkan, a University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee student from Iran, shared some of his experiences of how the Luther Memorial family has made him feel welcome.
National Severe Weather/Tornado Awareness Week will be observed April 16-20. During that week the media and local authorities will emphasize the seriousness of tornados and what we can do to protect our lives and our property. Children will practice going to shelters and local tornado sirens will be tested. Are you and your congregation prepared? Once you have a plan, then what?
The first allocation of a $9,000 grant from LCMS World Relief and Human Care has been given to the South Wisconsin District’s French African Immigrant Mercy and Evangelism (FAIME) project. This ministry is under the direction of Rev. Gui Kasongo, pastor of a newly chartered congregation, International Lutheran Church of Zion, Milwaukee.
The SWD parish nurse network meeting will be held Tuesday, April 17, at Trinity, 300 Broad St., Menasha. Jill Rasmussen, program center director at the Apple Creek YMCA, will present "Healthy living—it’s a journey.” Some of the topics for discussion and practical experience will include fitness suggestions, Tai Chi easy movements, posture improvement, relaxing breath practice and stress management techniques.
Reserve the date on your spring calendar for this year’s gathering at Cedar Valley in West Bend! The District’s older adult task force welcomes all to come for a day of fellowship and learning under the topic, “Understanding the Future of the Church.”
Information & registration brochure
Road to Emmaus, written and produced by an LCMS filmmaker, is back by popular request this year, at the greatly reduced price of $150 for a case of 100 DVDs (that’s just $1.50 each). This acclaimed Easter film offers a dynamic new opportunity to reach people with the story of Jesus, especially during the season of Lent and Easter.
The SWD Parish Nurse meeting will be held February 21, 2012 (snow date February 28) from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 1019 North 7th Street, Sheboygan, WI. The speaker will be Mai from Safe Harbor, a women's shelter in Sheboygan. She will give a presentation on domestic abuse and what we as parish nurses can do in those situations.
RSVP to Carolyn Eiden at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 920-457-8627 or 920-980-1382.
|Becky King (left) studies with Deloris Erlandson, member of Our Savior Deaf, Madison.
Becky King is deaf. It is difficult for people who can hear to really understand what it is like to be completely deaf. Even reading is a challenge. English is a language of words; sign language is a language of pictures. For Becky, a Christian, it is difficult to read and understand the concepts of the Bible and theological words like “justification”, “righteousness” or “sanctification.” They are meaningful words, but are terrible to sign! But that was not the only challenge in Becky’s life.
|Rev. Yia Vang plays his "xemxo" (pronounced "see-saw") instrument at the 2011 ethnic folk fair.
LCMS members representing many of the world's cultures gathered together on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Pilgrim, Wauwatosa for the fourth annual “Lutheran Ethnic Folk Fair.” The gym was alive with activity, ethnic foods, music and displays that told of the ministry at work in the South Wisconsin District. Young and old enjoyed learning more about our cultural differences and our oneness in Jesus Christ.
In an episode of the well-known TV show Seinfeld, the three friends spontaneously decide one day that they want to be volunteers. One of the volunteers went to visit an elderly lady with a goiter; the other two friends went to visit a couple of elderly gentlemen. None of them gave a great deal of thought or planning as to what their responsibilities would be a volunteers. What would be the needs of those they would be visiting, and would they be able to provide the services? It is much the same situation with people wanting to respond to a disaster.
Because of the back's complexity and its weight-bearing responsibility, it's not surprising that back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the country. In fact, back pain--especially lower back pain in this case--can be caused by underlying physical problems, or it may also result from lifestyle habits.
The Parish Nurse Network meeting on Tuesday, October 18, will feature Patti Michels, APNP from Fond du Lac, who will present "Managing Low Back Pain."
Have you ever wanted to go on a short-term mission trip? All the needy faces we see in the Lutheran Witness and other media tug at our hearts and beg us to open our arms to them. Here is a chance for you to reach out and turn that desire into reality!
The LCMS parish nurse district representatives met at Concordia University, Mequon, May 31 and June 1. The theme was “Commitment to Serve”. The 19th annual Concordia conference for Parish nurse and congregational health ministries was held following the district representative meeting. “Trust in the Lord” was the theme for this two day conference. Nearly 80 parish nurses from 20 states attended.
The South Wisconsin networking group meets three times yearly. The next meeting will be hosted by Jean Lange at Hope, Fond du Lac on Oct. 18, 2011.
Plan for a day of great golf and fellowship with LCMS church workers from around the District on Aug. 8, 2011. It will be held at Rock River Hills Golf Club in Horicon.
For the low cost of just $40 per golfer you will play 18 holes of golf, and that includes a cart and lunch! Thanks once again to LCEF and Church Mutual for providing lunch and prizes.Please register by no later than July 30! Information and registration form.
The next meeting of the Parish Nurse Network will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011, and hosted by Jean Lange at Hope, 260 Vincent St., Fond du Lac, WI 54935. You may contact her at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to RSVP.
A little over 50 people enjoyed a spring gathering at Cedar Valley, just west of West Bend, on May 18 under the theme “Living Responsibly as 21st Century Christians.” Twenty-four came for the afternoon and evening fireside chat the day before as well.
Natural disasters are occurring in unprecedented numbers this season. Wild land fires, droughts, flooding, and tornados are causing great anguish throughout the country. Thousands of people are suffering devastating losses of family and property. LCMS President Matt Harrison recently addressed SWD pastors at their spring conference about his vision for the Synod, with an emphasis on "Witness, Mercy, and Life Together." When disasters like these occur we have great opportunities to show acts of mercy to those in need!
Rev. John Freitag from Our Savior, Morristown, Tenn., has asked for volunteers willing to help with tornado assistance with the people of the LCMS Mid-South District.
"Volunteers are needed in Greene County in East Tennessee at Camp Creek this Thursday, May 19, thru Sunday. They plan on this Saturday and Sunday being another huge work weekend," Freitag said. "The need was a little understated earlier. They have 400+ homes destroyed and when I left Sunday there was still a huge need for help. We are hoping for a tremendous response again this coming weekend. They are looking for chain saw crews, debris removal help, construction crews, and distribution center help.
Here’s a great way to stretch your mission dollars to our ministry in the Dominican Republic! Earlier this year, the Seibert Lutheran Foundation granted the South Wisconsin District a matching gifts grant for the support of Brian and Jeanette Keller's three-year mission there. The matching gifts grant will provide up to $25,000 toward the field travel, housing and program support services for the short-term mission volunteers coming from the United States. Already three volunteer groups have served or are currently serving, and a fourth group is slated to arrive this summer.
Reserve the date of May 18 on your calendar for this year’s Gathering at Cedar Valley near West Bend. The District’s older adult task force welcomes all to hear Dr. Richard Eyer, retired bioethics professor, and Dr. Jeffery Walz, associate professor of political science at CUW, who will present topics that have spiritual, physical and social insights into living life as Christians in today’s world. There will be dinner and a “fireside chat” at Cedar Valley (May 17) for those who like to stay over the night before the gathering.
Register by using the form inside the brochure (PDF), or online. Please call Peg Raabe at (414) 464-8101 if you have any questions.
The ladies of Trinity-Friestadt will host the spring meeting of the Parish Nurse Network on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. The church is located at 10729 W. Freistadt Rd., Mequon. Please meet for coffee in the gathering room at 9:45 a.m. The program will begin at 10:30, and will feature Patricia Dolhun, M.D., discussing "Women's Heart Secrets" and women's health information in general.
If you are involved in making quilts or assembling kits for Lutheran World Relief, you will want to know about some changes that have been made in the directions. The items you have already prepared will be fine for sending this year, but please take note of these changes, especially for 2012. You can order the new booklet from lwr.org or call (800) 597-5792. Ask for the booklet called LWR Quilt & Kit Ministry Guide 2011.
Bin and her daughter, Tian Yi, arrived in Milwaukee on Christmas Eve 2009. Her husband, Ming had arrived a month earlier as a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee (UWM). He picked up the family at the airport with the help of a Chinese Christian who provided the car for transportation. That was the first hurdle they got through, and also their first encounter with a Christian.
Bin (left), daughter Tian Yi and husband Ming have learned that Christians have a big heart for helping others.
April 11-15, 2011, is “Severe Weather/Tornado Awareness Week.” Tornados occur in every state in the U.S. This special week gives us the opportunity to review disaster plans for our schools and congregations, and to practice them. Families and congregations can take steps to protect themselves and their property. It can begin by learning about the risks of flooding. For more information about disaster preparedness for your congregation and members, please consider inviting the District disaster response team to present our preparedness training at your church.
Houses afire amid tsunami debris in Natori City
As more details emerge surrounding the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the eastern coast of Japan on March 11, LCMS missionaries and members and Japan Lutheran Church (JLC) leaders are sharing news and thankful for the prayers and support that have already been offered.
Ongoing updates are being shared through the LCMS website at lcms.org/help.
On Dec. 23, 2010, 55 ex-offenders and their families worshiped together at Mission of Christ, Milwaukee, celebrating their Savior’s birth. It was a pre-Christmas gathering for worship, dinner, gift giving and sharing of support and encouragement.
Attending the "Free at Last" Christmas celebration at Mission of Christ, a former inmate receives gifts of new clothes.
District Mission Executive Rev. Dan McMiller recently returned home from a mission trip he and his family took to the Dominican Republic the week after Christmas. As a family they spent their time building relationships with the Dominicans while observing the many fruits of faith growing in the hearts of the people they met.
This beautiful Luther rose was created by one of the first members of the Licey mission plant in the Dominican Republic. Ivon is producing them in a limited quantity and offering them for a donation of $50 which will support the Dominican mission to the developmentally handicapped youth.
The next parish nurse network meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, at Christ Memorial, 2833 Raritan Rd., Fitchburg, WI 53711. The meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. Host Sara Peters has a great speaker lined up for you! Dannie Jaeger is a member of Christ Memorial and owns Primo Solutions, LLC.
Coffee, tea and lunch will be provided. Please bring greeting cards for the inmates at Taycheeda or school supplies for Sherman Park Lutheran, Milwaukee, as part of ongoing service projects.
RSVP to Sara Peters by e-mail or phone 608-225-2662. Directions
It’s finally time to get moving—literally! Thanks to the generous donations from many donors and the hard work of Brian and Jeanette Keller, a 40-foot container is waiting to be loaded with all the needed items bound for the Dominican Republic. Your help will be greatly appreciated to get things moving on Jan. 8, 2011, at 9 a.m. What greater way to start out the new year than to gather some friends together and help load all these necessities for a special kind of ministry to the Dominican Republic!
Are you prepared? Does your home have an emergency supply kit of water, first aid, energy bars, flashlight, whistle, and a battery-powered radio to sustain your family for 72 hours after a disaster? The number of emergency personnel that can respond in a disaster is limited, so we need to be able to take care of ourselves until help can arrive. Surveys tell us that only 21 percnt of Wisconsin residents have a disaster plan. Even more troublesome is that 59 percent of our residents haven’t heard that they need a plan. Remember that winter storm disasters can be just as dangerous as summer floods. Be prepared!
Through Lutheran Social Services (LSS) Refugee and Immigrant Services, Trinity-Freistadt, Mequon took a leap into a new ministry, and "adopted" a Karenni family in 2008. Originally from Burma (Myanmar), the Karreni were persecuted by their government and they fled to Thailand's refugee camps. Trinity helped that first family to find an apartment, navigate the government's social service systems, and begin learning a new language and culture. But the Lord had much more in mind.
To create an awareness of how we can best utilize resources and be prepared for disasaters in our District's homes and congregations, Sunday, Oct. 17, has been designated as Disaster Awareness Sunday. (Any other Sunday is also acceptable.) And to help congregations prepare for this observance, the CISM/disaster response team has prepared a Bible study, order of service, and suggested sermon. These can be downloaded and used in any way the congregation sees fit.
Bible study • Suggestions for liturgy • Sermon
If you prefer any of these files in Word format, please e-mail Peg Raabe to have them sent it to you.
The SWD's spring gathering at Cedar Valley was so well attended that the senior gathering committee decided to offer it again in a new venue with a “Fall Gathering in Reedsburg” at the Voyageur Inn Oct. 4, 2010. The theme is the same, "God’s Gifted Seniors—Yesterday and Today."
At the spring gathering a capacity crowd enjoyed hearing Rev. Mark Jeske of Time of Grace ministry share his insights about what’s happening with Lutherans today. He will do this again in Reedsburg after the morning devotional Bible study with Rev. Mark Meier of Emmaus, Poy Sippi. After lunch, Rev. Ron Riemer will coax you into filling in the blank space in his "God’s __?__ servants" presentation. Some good Lutheran-style singing (that would make Garrison Keillor smile) will be a prelude to Jeske’s afternoon chat about God’s gifted seniors.
Brochure ♦ Flyer ♦ Bulletin insert ♦ Online Registration
The Kellers have become globally engaged in outreach in DR
Recently, the LCMS mission team in the Dominican Republic received the good news of their government’s permission for them to establish a group home for the physical and spiritual care of those who are developmentally challenged. Brian and Jeanette Keller, members of Brookfield Lutheran Church in the South Wisconsin District, have begun serving the Lord as missionaries in this venture to the Dominican Republic.
On Monday, June 21, 2010, at about 9:15 p.m., the village of Eagle was hit with tornado that resulted in the complete destruction of six homes and damaging about 100 others of which some may result in total losses. Eagle is located in Waukesha County. St. John, North Prairie, reported that two members who live in Eagle suffered substantial damage. They are assessing the damages and have found temporary places to stay.
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod's World Relief and Human Care (LCMS WR-HC) is very much aware and concerned about the welfare of those affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the four states that the LCMS serves in its Southern District. They are ready to help when and where the help is needed. For now they are on stand-by alert.
|Carl Pellegrin, left, of the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries and Tom Kimmel of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service get ready to net an oil-covered pelican June 5 im Barataria Bay, La. They took the bird to a facility to be stabilized before cleaning. (Photo by U.S. Coast Guard/John Miller)
The South Wisconsin District disaster response team is trained and willing to help your congregation develop a plan for being prepared if a disaster strikes your church and/or community. Your congregation is invited to particpate in this free training. The next training is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, 2010, from 9 a.m to noon at Bethlehem (470 N. Oak Crest Dr., Wales, WI 53183). The same training will be offered again on Saturday, August 7, at St. John Lutheran Church (207 E. High St., Edgerton, WI 53534) from 9:00 a.m. until noon. For more information, please call Peg Raabe at the District office, (414) 464-8100.
Register online for July 24 Register online for August 7
Two opportunities for training to become a certified member of our district’s Lutheran Early Response Teams (LERT) have been scheduled. The first will be at Bethlehem, Wales (470 N. Oak Crest Dr., 53183), on Saturday, July 31, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The same workshop will also be held on Saturday, September 11, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church (207 E. High St., Edgerton, WI 53534). There is no cost to attend. Please register online or call Peg Raabe at the District office, (414) 464-8100.
Online registration for July 31 Online registration for September 11
The date of this year’s annual golf outing for SWD church workers has been set for Aug. 2, 2010. Once again it will be held at the Rock River Hills Golf Club in Horicon. The registration cost of $40 per person includes a cart and lunch. Plan now to enjoy a day of fun and fellowship with your coworkers in our District. Online registration • Mail in registration form
Rev. Ted Krey and his family from the LCMS mission in the Dominican Republic will be visiting the South Wisconsin District June 9-14, 2010. Our District is in mission partnership with this ministry.
"Sharing the Caring Christ" will be a celebration of God's work through LCMS World Mission, World Relief and Human Care, Bethesda Lutheran Communities, the Lutheran Church of Brazil and the South Wisconsin District to the people of the Dominican Republic at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 13, in the Bethesda Chapel, located at the Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Inc., 600 Hoffmann Drive, Watertown, WI 53094. Detailed map
Will you or someone in your congregation be receiving care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.? Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester offers their TLCare ministry to out of town medical guests. They strive to serve people in many ways such as prayer support, a homemade meal, a visit from one of our caring members, free parking in their lot, a comfortable place to go between appointments and more. An apartment (no cost) within walking distance of the Mayo Clinic is also available on a first-come, first-served basis for LCMS congregation members. For further information, please contact Jennifer at (507) 292-0439 or Pastor Otte at (507) 289-1531.
Fourteen members from South Wisconsin District congregations attended the first district Lutheran emergency response team (LERT) training held at Good Shepherd, Pleasant Prairie. The training prepares participants to respond to disaster scenes within the district and throughout the country.
'Art of the State' ex-offender/ inmate art show begins April 9, 2010
“Come experience the creativity and potential that has been all to easy to ignore.”
This display will include renderings from a variety of artists who have spent time within the walls of the Milwaukee County Correctional Facility – South (CCF-S), formerly known as the House of Correction. The show opens April 9 from 6-9 p.m. at Gallery 2622 in Wauwatosa and runs through April. Several of the artists will welcome questions about their art style and motivation. Statements will be posted from many of the inmates who currently use art as a venue for their release of emotional creativity.
As he traveled to Haiti to work on the continuing LCMS long-term earthquake response, LCMS World Relief and Human Care Director of Disaster Response Rev. Glenn F. Merritt monitored the aftermath of the magnitude 8.8-quake that hit Chile on Feb. 27, 2010. At least 700 people died and an estimated 2 million are homeless in this new disaster, which triggered tsunami warnings in 53 nations and territories, according to news reports.
Give now to Chile earthquake relief
Message from Rev. Matthew Harrison, executive director, LCMS World Relief and Human Care
In the event of a local crisis or natural disaster, special consideration should be given to the needs of our congregational members with various types of disabilities. This is especially true in the event of evacuation operations. The elderly and people with disabilities may respond more slowly to a crisis and often don’t immediately comprehend the magnitude of the situation. In some instances, reaction time is decreased. Age related impairments may also affect their ability to hear and understand warnings and broadcasts concerning a disaster in their area. Our congregations need to know about the needs of their members and be prepared.
Latin America responds — Haiti earthquake special issue
Families have been devastated by the earthquake.
Puertas: Open Doors in Latin America and the Caribbean
Bimonthly publication of LCMS World Mission LAC Regional Office, Panama
"In the days following the earthquake the Lutheran response came first through the hands of an extremely young church body; the Lutheran mission in the Dominican Republic. Gathering at their border with Haiti in a small dusty town named Jimani, the missionaries alongside a small team of Dominicans rushed to aid a quickly overflowing hospital...."
Dominican Republic missionaries Rev. Ted Krey and Danelle Putnam share some of their Haiti rescue and relief efforts following the earthquake of Jan. 12 in two YouTube videos.
The PBS program, Religion & Ethics News Weekly, will feature a story on their Jan. 29, 2010, show about the LCMS Haiti relief effort. A PBS film crew interviewed some members of the returning Haiti assessment, medical, and pastoral teams at Miami International Airport this past week. You can view the program online beginning Jan. 29 after 6 p.m. at pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics.
While you can watch the program online all week, audiences also may want to watch it on television. To check local listings for air dates, visit pbs.org.
In the event of a disaster, by federal mandate any volunteers responding to the disaster must be trained and certified or they will be turned away. Our Synod’s program complies with all of the federal government’s criteria for this certification. If you are interested in this kind of in-depth training to become a certified disaster team member, you may be interested in "Lutheran Early Response Training" (LERT) offered in the South Wisconsin District this spring at Good Shepherd, 4311 104th St., Pleasant Prairie, on April 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The LCMS assessment team coordinated by LCMS World Relief and Human Care and LCMS World Mission returned to the Dominican Republic from Haiti late on Jan. 23. James Neuendorf, a communications specialist missionary with LCMS World Mission in Latin America, provided photos today of Haitian people struggling to cope with the disastrous Jan. 12 earthquake. Go to LCMS World Mission's YouTube channel to view a video slideshow of images from Haiti, set to the music of a Haitian Lutheran congregation in Jacmel, Haiti, singing "How Great Thou Art," on Jan. 22, The LCMS assessment team was able to join this community of believers as they, despite the destruction and suffering surrounding them, offered up a spontaneous song of worship to the Lord. View photos from the assessment team at LCMS World Mission's Picasa album. Detailed updates from the assessment team and other disaster response updates are available from LCMS World Relief and Human Care.
On Jan. 22, the LCMS missionary team in the Dominican Republic sent us an email with an update of their efforts to assist the victims of the Haitian earthquake. Please honor their requests for your prayers as they work to save lives—physically and spiritually—in the aftermath of this calamity.
|Missionary Rev. Walter Ries, Missionary Danelle Putnam, Admin. Assistant Kisayris and Missionary Rev. Ted Krey
The South Wisconsin District's parish nurse network will hold their next meeting Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010, at Good Shepherd, Watertown. Shirley Stevens RN, CHPN, Rainbow Hospice patient care coordinator, will be the guest speaker. Her topic will be hospice/palliative nursing. Please click below to download a full agenda an all the details.
When January rolls around each year, many people want to make a fresh start at something in their life. The success of that new start depends on how highly that “something” is prioritized. For those who have recently been released from the Milwaukee County Correctional Facility-South (CCFS), getting a fresh start at life outside of prison is a very high priority.
When a natural disaster occurs of such magnitude as the earthquake that hit Haiti Jan. 12, it is heartwarming to see how many organizations come forward to help in whatever way they can. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is no exception. Likewise, closer to home, the South Wisconsin District has an opportunity to help in a most direct way.
Is your congregation ready for a disaster? What would you do first? Are you equipped to help others in such a situation? Everyone is fully aware that disasters can occur at any time, in any place. The South Wisconsin District disaster response team is trained and willing to take your congregation through the plan put in place by LCMS World Relief and Human Care. The next congregational training will be offered Saturday, March 20 at Elm Grove Lutheran, Elm Grove, from 9 a.m. to noon.
On the "Faith in the Dominican Republic" blog, Barb Below (director of social ministry at Lutheran World Relief and Human Care) spoke with Danelle Putnam, missionary in the Dominican. She writes, "I spoke with Danelle this morning and she told me that everyone there is okay. She explained that her, Rev. Krey, Rev. Ries, Willy and Joseph (vicars) and Ramon (theology student) were studying in the church building in Santiago when the earthquake hit.
LCMS World Mission asks you to join in prayer for the people of Haiti suffering from the affects of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on January 12.
|Members from St. John, Glendale, working in Port au Prince with a Lutheran mission team, have been reported safe. They are expected to return to Milwaukee later this week.
As news of what is being called the largest earthquake to hit Haiti in more than 200 years reached LCMS World Relief and Human Care (LCMS WR-HC) on Tuesday, the Synod’s mercy arm began preparing to reach out in the Caribbean nation with much needed assistance and working in cooperation with Lutheran partners.
James Jerome Farrelly, 75, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 16, 2009 in Sheboygan, Wis.
Jim was born Jan. 28, 1934 in Dovrey, Minn., the son of William and Mary Farrelly. Jim attended grade school and high school in Wadena, Minn. He was president of the first graduating class of the lay ministry program at Concordia College in Milwaukee and was the first to receive a diploma from that program in 1963.
Every day we hear about the H1N1 flu virus on the news, in the paper or around the water cooler. But have you really given the possibility of the virus hitting your congregation any thought, and made contingency plans for dealing with it? Read further for some suggestions.
Kids who have experienced a traumatic event need to be assured that they are safe and supported. Often emergency service personnel will give these children a stuffed animal to provide some immediate comfort. Read how the VBS students at Prince of Peace, Racine, are reaching out to others with the "Kid-to-kid" project.
Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester, Minn., has a ministry called "TLCare" that offers hospitality to those receiving medical care at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. TLCare now has lodging to offer LCMS brothers and sisters at no cost. The small apartment is located on the edge of the Mayo campus and is available first come, first served. For more information, please contact Jennifer Jurgensen, firstname.lastname@example.org or call Trinity at (507) 289-1531.
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, the SWD parish nurse network will celebrate their 10th anniversary, “A Decade of Bountiful Blessings.” This special meeting and luncheon will be held at the District ofice, 8100 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53222, from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dr. Marci Schnorr will be the guest speaker who will share, “A celebration of blessings and a vision for the future.” Invitations are available from the link below. If you have any questions, please call Peg Raabe
at the District office, (414) 464-8100. Invitation
The annual retreat for retired pastors, wives and widows will be held at the Ramada Inn in Stevens Point. Organized by the South Wisconsin District, it will be a joint event with the North Wisconsin District. The date is set for Oct. 13 and 14, 2009, beginning Tuesday at 9:45 a.m. and ending with lunch at noon on Wednesday. Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry will be the featured presenter.
Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry
Recently a parish nurse sent an e-mail to the District Office thanking all of those people in our congregations who have contributed unused greeting cards to the women housed at the Taycheedah Correctional Institution (TCI). TCI is located just northeast of Fond du Lac. If anyone reading this has had a hand in the collection of these items, please know your efforts are appreciated! Perhaps more will read about this simple project and collect more cards for this act of mercy and outreach.
A simple guide provided by Concordia Health Plan Services
- Call Cigna Behavioral Health at (866) 726-5267 (24 hour toll-free hotline specifically for Concordia Plans).
- Visit the Cigna Behavioral Health website at cignabehavioral.com.
- Click on "Login to access your benefits."
- Login with the word LCMS at the bottom left hand corner. This will help you understand the benefits and support available through Concordia Plans.
- Click on "Find a provider" to find a therapist or psychiatrist in your area.
With the recent mobilization of over 3,400 members of the 32nd Brigade and the 732nd in Tomah (with Pastors Doug Fleischfresser and Gene Henke, LCMS chaplains) the stress on military members is rising.
The military has resources available to all military members, whether they are active duty, National Guard or Reserve. To see some of these resources, visit militaryonesource.com. For emergency purposes, Military OneSource has a tollfree number that is operational 24/7, (800) 342-9647.
Plan for a day of great golf and fellowship with church workers from around the District.
Rock River Hills Golf Club, Horicon
July 13, 2009
18 holes of golf with cart and lunch included for just $35 per person!
An outstanding group of volunteer students from Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) had to say “goodbye” to the kids they grew so fond of at the S.O.S (Strength of Savior) Center. Over the school year they served as mentors, teachers, friends and helpers, but most important they shared the Good News with everyone there.
Help for the summer is needed! Now that school is out and it is time for their summer program, the center is gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year. Please consider helping them out--it's so important to the kids!
The possibility of a swine flu epidemic or pandemic could be on the horizon but the facts aren’t all in yet. LCMS World Relief and Human Care is offering the following articles in an attempt to stem the tide of false information or even panic in communities and churches.
Please go to the official Centers for Disease Control website for the most updated and accurate information, cdc.gov/swineflu
. A recent press briefing transcript
and audio recording
(MP3) are also available.
Check the LCMS World Relief disaster news website for daily postings,
The next SWD parish nurse network meeting is set for Tuesday, April 21, 2009,
at St. Peter, Hilbert. The meeting, which begins at 10:30 a.m., will feature Connie Olson, executive director for community action for Tobacco-Free Living in Calumet-Outagamie County. Her topic will be, "Helping Your Community (your parish and beyond) Ask for and Adjust to Smoke Free Workplaces." Announcement
A man we’ll call Eric showed up at the SOS Center recently needing help. Eric and his family live in urban Milwaukee, but the women of rural St. John, Brown’s Corners were able to reach out to this family in need in a special way.
Can you help? Benediction, Milwaukee, is in urgent need of more volunteers to help with their ESL classes held Monday mornings and Tuesday evenings. It’s a great way to meet people from a different culture who know almost nothing of our saving faith. Relationships like this lead to opportunities to be witnesses of God’s grace in your life!
Has your congregation ever suffered the effects of a disaster? Unfortunately, too many people think that disasters happen to others and will never happen to them. Statistics say otherwise. This March, the District CISM team will prepare you to minister effectively to your members and to your community if a disaster strikes nearby. Plan to attend a workshop offered in your region this March.
Flyer for posting in your congregation
Please share this message with your congregation – your financial gifts are vital, and very much needed, in providing Christ-centered care to:
- Households in Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri that remain without power a week after ice storms
- Millions of Kenyans struggle with food shortages due to drought, high fertilizer cost, and displaced farmers due to the country's political unrest.
Mark your calendars now and save the date. The 12th annual Cedar Valley gathering will be held May 19-20, 2009, at the Cedar Valley Retreat & Conference Center, just north of West Bend. This year’s featured speaker is Dr. Richard Bimler, past president and senior staff associate for Wheat Ridge Ministries.
The next meeting for SWD - LCMS Parish Nurses will be Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Steeple View Christian Senior Living Community, 12455 W. Janesville Rd., Mukwonago, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Community Room. Deb Reid-Zielinski, MSM LCSW, Certified Family/Child Therapist, will be the presenter. For additional information, please call Darlene Sorrell at Hales Corners Lutheran Church, 414-539-6700, ext. 119.
With the seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas upon us and the anticipation of a new year, several SWD members have written letters of thanks to all who helped them through the difficult times they endured after summer 2008 floods. This help is a testimony to the bold witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ displayed by members in reaching out to others in the District. Here are some excerpts of these thank you letters to you.
Recently the South Wisconsin District received a check for $12,354 from LCMS World Relief and Human Care. The grant will be shared with four District congregations that suffered major flood losses to church property or that of member families.
Thousands of families* throughout Wisconsin each year experience firsthand the reality of our nation’s ongoing conflict against terrorism as loved ones serving in the Armed Forces are sent overseas to places once unfamiliar and unknown. Congregational ministries of care and support can help these families and their loved ones make it through the anxious times of separation that a military deployment brings. It is not always easy, however, to know just how to reach out to these families in ways that are helpful. Military deployments present challenges for congregations just as they do for the families themselves.
The SOS Center (Struggle of Survival/Strength of Savior) held three community outreach events in Milwaukee the last weekend of October. A coat and blanket distribution helped families in need prepare for winter and a health fair provided free flu shots, blood sugar and blood pressure screenings to uninsured families. A dinner auction event featured children speaking about the impact SOS has had on their lives.
The SOS Center (Struggle of Survival/Strength of Savior) in Milwaukee is holding its annual fall fundraising event on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. This year’s event is an Oktoberfest celebration from 6-9 p.m. at Immanuel, Brookfield (13445 Hampton Rd.). The SOS Center exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through education and human care activities. For 26 years it has been providing many ministry services to inner city residents. Some of these services include after school tutoring, English as a second language, a Christian summer camp for kids, coat drives, and more.
As a child I spent a lot of time on my grandparent’s farm in Northwestern Iowa. Each week consisted of hard work, grocery shopping on Saturday and church at St. John’s Lutheran every Sunday. I can still hear my grandfather enthusiastically singing the hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" as I sat beside him. I could always tell that it meant something more to him than many of the other songs by his robust voice.
From LCMS World Mission blog, Sept. 5, 2008:
Volunteers are needed as soon as possible or even today to help serve in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Hurricane Gustav battered the city of Baton Rouge with heavy winds and rain. The wind brought down trees and left debris all over the city. Volunteers are needed to serve on Chain Saw and debris removal gangs. Rev. David Buss, LCMS Southern District disaster relief coordinator stated that “it may take three months or longer to clean up the city.” Read more
Learn and celebrate how people with disabilities can participate more fully in the life of the church. The Oct, 20-22, 2008 conference in Minneapolis, Minn., will offer interesting speakers, entertainment and networking with others who are passionate about creating a more welcoming church environment for persons with developmental disabilities.
On behalf of the flood victims from St. Peter, Reedsburg, Rev. Paul Crolius sent a letter of thanks for the prayers and gifts of God's people of the South Wisconsin District. "We praise God for the living hope that we have in Jesus and also for the love and encouragement from others," he wrote. " A great blessing that has come out of the flooding is that many people have assisted in helping and have come together to encourage and help one another. People also in faith have powerfully witnessed to the great hope we have in Jesus..."
It is not too late to make a donation to the South Wisconsin District to be directly applied to affected LCMS congregations in our area. To date over $8,000 has been raised, and many groups offered to help with clean up and repair. See "Rain and floods deluge the District
" for details.
Long-term recovery from flooding in Wisconsin will take many months. However, it is not too late to register with FEMA
. It may be just the asset you need for your family's recovery. Call FEMA today, (800) 621-FEMA. Don't be confused with the term SBA loan. It may or may not apply to you, but this registration allows you entrance into receiving possible help from FEMA. Over 35,000 have registered from the Wisconsin counties with federal disaster declarations
. Already $40 million has been given out in approved assistance. The deadline is Aug. 13, so there is still time to apply.
Working through government agencies and community-based organizations, organizational and planning meetings for long-term recovery continue to take place in communities throughout the thirty counties, and long term recovery committees are being formed at the local level to drive the recovery efforts. If you know of someone who may need help, call "211" for assistance. They will be able to connect you with agencies that can help. If you are unable to access 211 from a cell phone, you can call (608) 246-HELP.
"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock"
After June rains that flooded much of the Midwest, many local members' homes and some churches are still uninhabitable. Others are waiting for damage assessments to learn what losses may be covered by insurance.
Would you like to help? Monetary donations will be directed to congregations most in need. Please make checks payable to "South Wisconsin District—LCMS," and note "WI Disaster Relief" on the memo line. Give online
Has your congregation ever sponsored groups, or have individuals from your congregation gone to help the victims of Katrina? If so, the South Wisconsin District Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team wants to know!
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, through whom alone we have forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation!
News of the weather-related calamities in your district deeply saddens me and your brothers and sisters at the International Center of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The property damage that has occurred is significant. The human toll of the aftermath of the devastation is even greater. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Members of the community are needed to help save lives. A special marrow donor registration and blood drive will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ebenezer Lutheran Church, 1127 S. 35th Street in Milwaukee. Leadership from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod will join with leaders from Milwaukee’s Catholic Archdiocese to hold a special blessing ceremony upon those who attend the drive. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in the church sanctuary. Rev. Martin Dr. Bangert (English District vice president ) has cancer and will share his personal story. Flyer
The S.O.S. Center, located in Milwaukee's near west side, is sending out an S.O.S. of its own. So many individuals and families are coming to them for help—now they need your
help! There are plenty of opportunities to put talents and treasures to use at this center: English as a second language (ESL) leaders, adult basic education classes, after school program helpers, Bible study, and general education development (GED) preparation leaders are all urgently needed. Please spread the word to your congregation and friends know that they can call Armita Harmon at (414) 449-9964, or try (414) 975-7373
, if they can help in any
Lutheran Social Services, an affiliate of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), is collecting furniture and other donations to set up over 30 apartments for refugee families from Burma arriving by the end of this summer. These families arrive with very few possessions, so donations will contribute significantly to their new lives in the United States. There is a need for twin/full size bed sets, dining tables with chairs, dressers, couches, coffee tables, lamps, vacuum cleaners and rice cookers.
Cities have become the next great “mission field.” No longer does the church need to look farther than across the street to find harvests waiting. The fields are ripe and time is running out!
In answer to this mission call, the SWD is in partnership with the new Metro Milwaukee Lutheran Mission Society (MMLMS). The MMLMS will become the vehicle in matching urban congregations in the “mission field” with mercy ministries and other congregations in the suburbs with corresponding abilities to help where help is needed. The MMLMS board of directors is looking for two individuals to fill the part-time roles of an executive director and a development director.
On Oct. 26, 2007, Milwaukee's SOS Center and Crossing-Over (ex-offender ministry) reached out to the inner city community and gave away needed coats and jackets for winter survival and, most important, the story of God’s love. The good news is that it was so successful they want to do it again in December. The bad news is that it was so successful they ran out of coats and jackets! Please read on to find out how your congregation can help.
Wheat Ridge Ministries invites professional church workers to be refreshed professionally and personally at a wellness day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, 2007, at the Brookfield Suites Hotel. The featured speaker is Rev. Dr. Dick Hardel, director of wellnes ministries at Youth and Family Institute, Bloomington, Minn. Presentations include "The healing power of laughter and play" and "You either have balance or you don't have life." Free health screenings will also be offered throughout the day.
To register for the wellness day, contact Gail Maher at Wheat Ridge Ministries at (800) 762-6748 or email@example.com by Sept. 14, 2007. Space is limited; lunch is provided. Flyer
Rev. David Andrus, executive director for Lutheran Blind Ministry, will present an informational workshop for those interested in outreach to the blind community on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007, at Elm Grove Lutheran Church. It will be a one-hour presentation beginning at 2:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
Church workers are invited to a golf outing June 25 at Rock River Golf Club in Horicon. The cost is $43 which includes 18 holes, cart and lunch. Flyer Register online