Digital Reformation: From the Printing Press to Zoom and Beyond

The South Wisconsin District is pleased to announce that we are partnering in a grant from the Siebert Lutheran Foundation to help congregations “connect communities of faith.” The grant provides up to $4,500 per approved congregation for no-cost technology assessments, guided purchase and installation of new hardware and software for streaming worship and Bible studies, and access to necessary training.

Recognizing that many congregations proactively took similar action this past year (e.g., technology upgrades/purchases after April 1, 2020) they are also invited to apply for consideration of grant funds retroactively.

The steps to apply will be explained at these virtual Foundation Events:

Foundation Events
An introduction to the ways digital technology can be used to share the Good News. Each session will end with detailed information about grant opportunities for equipment and ongoing training/coaching.

  • Thursday, March 18​​, 6:30-8 PM  5 Key Take-Aways from Church in 2020
  • Saturday, March 20​​, 10-11:30 AM  7 Church Trends in 2021
  • Monday, April 12​​, 6:30-8 PM  3 Great Examples of Stories any Church can Share

(In order to apply for the grant, a congregation representative must be in attendance at ​one of the above Foundation Events.)

The One-Day Event
The grant also provides access to the one-day webinar Digital Reformation: Transforming the Church in 2021 on Saturday, April 17.

What is this? An interactive day of training, connection, and exploring how any church of any size can leverage content, tools and resources to reach people in today’s technological age. Topics covered include:

  • Mission and Vision 2021
  • Newspaper Ad to Google Search
  • Word of mouth to Social Media
  • Understanding the #Numbers
  • Post-Office and the Home Visit

Who is this for? Volunteers, staff, church workers, elected or appointed leaders, and members interested in learning more about reaching people through the use of current resources and new technology.

Register for a Foundation Event here!

SWD Food Bank Cooperative

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.(Romans 12:11-13)

In the South Wisconsin District, there are congregation-operated food banks (see list of locations and hours) supported by donations from churches, individuals, and agencies like Feeding America. These food banks, often running on a shoestring budget and staffed by volunteers, make a significant difference in the community they serve by practicing hospitality.

Over 45 days in ten of our food banks the number of families receiving food assistance has increased from 225 to 500 a week and still growing. Because of the significant increase, many of our food banks reported difficulty providing food as donations of foodstuff were down, access to food bank support agencies were being limited to cover the Statewide increased demand, and grocery stores were having difficulty helping because of supply limits.

Through this cooperative effort we can purchase more for less, increase the number of families served, and provide hope for hundreds of families each week. But in this uncertain economic time, we need your help now, more than ever. The SWD Mercy Food Cooperative provides resources which immediately helps many during this challenging time. Your generous gift will help sustain this cooperative effort as we work together to “share with the Lord’s people who are in need.”

This mercy work is extremely necessary and our congregation-operated food banks are working hard to meet the demand. Please consider supporting the cooperative by giving on-line or by mailing your check to the South Wisconsin District Office at 8100 W. Capitol Dr., Milwaukee, WI 53222 (memo Food Bank Support).

We are especially grateful to Brakebush Brothers Chicken for their 7,500-pound chicken donation, Rev. Dennis Harmon of Hope and Mission of Christ Lutheran Churches in Milwaukee, Rev. Brett Matz of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Sheboygan, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, and Caroline Horn of LUMIN for their financial, food stuff, and volunteer support these past five weeks. 

Urgent Food Bank Needs

Food banks are experiencing significant shortages as individuals and families are impacted by the recent changes in work and school schedules.

There are 10 food banks operated by LCMS congregations in our District (see list of locations and hours) and many of them operate with limited cash resources, depend on donated food, and rely on a small volunteer base. To help meet the rise in demand, please consider hosting a nonperishable food drive for your regional LCMS congregation-run food bank and/or local food bank(s).

  • If you would like to be a collection site for your congregation, consider your regional LCMS food bank as a recipient or contact Rev. Jonah Burakowski at (414) 464-8101 or by email and a volunteer will pick up the items and distribute them to the food banks in your region.
  • If you would like to make a monetary donation, you may do so directly to the food bank OR send it to the District Office (memo: Food Bank Support) and it will be used to support all of our food banks immediately.

Donations can be mailed to the District Office at 8100 W. Capitol Dr. in Milwaukee, WI 53222 or you can give online here. (Choose “SWD Food Bank Support” from the drop down menu.)

Roman Martin Fund

UPDATE: The fund has closed. If you would like to give, please contact St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan (920) 452-6829 directly.

On Wednesday, October 9 Roman Martin was struck and killed while riding his bike to school.  This kind, smart, fun loving child loved Jesus Christ and will be missed by his family and friends.  While his death has created a void in our church and school family, we rejoice in the knowledge that Roman is at peace with His Heavenly Father.  We grieve, but not without hope.  We are sad, but not without joy.  We are confident that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ has given Roman everlasting life.

We are a close family at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, and we have shared our love, expressed our concern, and offered our care.  But we have also received the care and concern of the Sheboygan community and have been asked numerous times, “How can I help the Martin family?”

To help the family during this very difficult time, we have partnered with the South Wisconsin District of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod and established the “Roman Martin Fund” at St. Paul’s.  Gifts and donations received will be used to help the family pay for the funeral and other associated costs. 100% of the received gifts will be used to support the family.

We are grateful for the time we were able to share with Roman and we appreciate your support as we gather around his sister and mother in their time of need.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25, ESV).

Firm Foundations 2019/2020

August 16, 2019   ♦   November 1, 2019   ♦   February 7, 2020

Martin Luther High School
5201 S. 76th St.

Cost:   $60 – includes all three dates and materials

August 16 – ACES – Speaker:  Sara Daniel, Saint Aemilians
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  (no lunch)


Title:      Trauma Informed Schools

This training is an introduction to the model of trauma informed care that Saint Aemilians has developed over the past seven years and has implemented across a variety of school environments.

Participants who attend this training will be able to:

  • Describe the prevalence of adverse experiences and the scope of their impact.
  • Define and respond to behavior from a trauma informed perspective.
  • Describe how trauma affects the brain and influences development, behavior and learning.
  • Identify factors that enhance the capacity for positive relationship for students who have adverse experiences.
  • Describe how purpose, belonging and safety enhance client well-being.
  • Identify techniques that enhance caregiver capacity and connect them to client outcomes.
  • Identify action steps to create a trauma sensitive school environment for all students.

November 1 – PBIS – Speaker:  Dr. Fred Johnson, Ed. Resources Services

Title:  Proactive Discipline for Reactive Students

This seminar is designed to assist staff to differentiate between typical and atypical student behavior patterns and to establish practical proactive discipline strategies that incorporate Restorative Discipline Practices and PBIS. Participants will also learn how to implement classroom plans that utilizes the RTI 3-Tier Model and meets “Best Practices in Classroom Management”.

February 7, 2020 – ALERT – Speaker:  Brad Spicer, Safe Plans

AlerT (Assess, lockdown, evade, resist, Tell) Active Threat Defense training. Our training program will focus on Threat Assessment, Active Shooter Defense and Response, as well as address the need for All-Hazards preparedness.

Deadline to register is August 7.

Life Essay Contest Winner, Lutherans For Life of WI

Jacob Kohlmeier, a senior at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, son of James and Laura Kohlmeier, has won the 9-12 grade division essay contest for Lutherans For Life of Wisconsin. Jacob wrote about why Christians should respond to the sanctity of life which is under attack across the world today. He said, “The Lord has ordained and caused the formation of every human life, and we as a part of God’s creation are not permitted to act as though we are God and decide which of his created beings are allowed to live and to fulfill their part in his plan.”

Lutheran students throughout the state were invited to enter life-affirming essays that centered around different life issues such as adoption, abortion, and the value of life at all ages.

Jacob will receive an award certificate and a check for $150 from Lutherans For Life of Wisconsin.  For more information on the next essay contest, please email

May 6-9 – Mission and Mercy Excursion

May 6-9, 2019

The South Wisconsin District Office of Mission and Human Care and VBS Express Ministries/SonShine Travelers are hosting a 4-day Mission and Mercy Excursion to LCMS Mission Central in Mapleton, IA and Orphan Grain Train in Norfolk, NE.  We will tour both locations learning about the work of our LCMS international missionaries (Mission Central) and the mercy and disaster response efforts around the world (Orphan Grain Train).  In our travels you will be introduced to leaders and volunteers, experience firsthand the immense amount of global work being done to share Jesus Christ, and participate in servant projects.

The Journey includes:
> Round trip Motor Coach transportation from Beaver Dam, WI
> Two days of touring Ministry Sites and Mission Projects
> Three nights lodging

Trip Costs and Registration Details available by clicking on the links below:
> Brochure
> Register Online
> Download Registration Form
> Bulletin Insert

For additional information, contact:
Rev. Bruce Meier

Rev. Jonah Burakowski


2017/2018 Firm Foundations

Firm Foundations – Professional Development

August 14, 2017
November 3, 2017
February 2, 2018 

Martin Luther High School
5201 S. 76th St.

Focus:  Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Ideal Team Player”

All participants are required to purchase and bring the book with them to the sessions.

August 14 – 7:30 am – 12:00 pm
November 3 – 7:30 am – 3 pm*
February 2 – 7:30 am – 3 pm*

* times are subject to change

Registration Fee:  $60 – book is not included in the registration fee.

Register online by Friday, August 4.