Category: Making Christ Known

Making Christ Known is published online six times per year. Congregations are encouraged to email or make copies for leaders, members, and visitors. Articles can be copied for congregation use in newsletters or other publications.

International visitors

The Global Mission Committee of the Northern Illinois Synod has had several opportunities to host guests from our companion synods this summer. In June and July, two retired pastors visited from the Arcot Lutheran Church, our companion synod in India. During June the Reverend Bavani Joseph spent some days with us, including attending the Northern …

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A closer look – repurposing microscopes for good

by Mike Wadle, First, DeKalb and Marlene Winkie, Our Savior’s, Rockford When the science classes at the Rocky Boy Indian School in MT and the Red Cloud Indian School in SD began the fall semester this year, there was a gift of love awaiting the students. Ten refurbished microscopes for each school were shipped from …

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The story of a bell

by Richard Brynteson Years ago, around 1979 – 1982, I was an officer of First National Bank on East State Street. The Bank established a Community Development Corp. to pursue the renewal of East State Street and Haight Village. I was honored to serve as President of the Corporation & President of the East State …

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2019 NIS Women of the ELCA Convention

The annual Convention of the Northern Illinois Synod Women of the ELCA met on Saturday, September 21 at Trinity, Moline. Their key verse was Ephesians 2:19, “So you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” Bishop Jeffrey Clements gave the morning …

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Our common witness – Presiding Bishop Eaton

By Elizabeth A. Eaton One of the distinct privileges of this call as presiding bishop is seeing the church at work at home and around the world. The Lutheran movement is alive and well, speaking the gospel in a distinctive voice. Sunday after Sunday the good news is proclaimed in accordance with Scripture and the …

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diakonia Graduation

The Northern Illinois Synod gathered with the Metro Chicago Synod to celebrate the graduation of 26 diakonia graduates on Sunday, July 14, 2019. The Graduation Service of Thanksgiving was held at Salem, Sycamore at 3:00 pm. Deacon Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop was the preacher and the Rev. Preston Fields was host pastor and …

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2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly summary of actions

8/14/2019 ​CHICAGO — Gathering under the theme “We are church,” voting members of the 2019 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) made a number of key decisions to further the mission and ministry of this church. The assembly, the chief legislative authority of the church, met Aug. 5-10 at the Wisconsin …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Saturday highlights

8/10/2019 The sixth and final day of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began Aug. 10 with worship at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The service featured youth and young adult leaders and was presided over by Ben Hogue, a pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Washington D.C. Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, delivered the sermon. Sue Rothmeyer, …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Friday highlights

8/9/2019 On day five of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members and guests reconvened Aug. 9 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. The assembly adopted the social statement “Faith, Sexism and Justice: A Call to Action” and its implementing resolutions. April Larson, the first woman bishop in the ELCA, called the assembly’s attention to the …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Thursday highlights

8/9/2019 ​MILWAUKEE  — The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly began its fourth day on Aug. 8 with a greeting from Dr. Agnes Abuom, the first woman and first African to serve as moderator of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee. Speaking about the WCC campaign “Thursdays in Black: Toward a World Without Rape and …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Wednesday highlights

8/7/2019 ​MILWAUKEE — In a key action this afternoon, the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted to approve a memorial that declares the ELCA a sanctuary church. The ELCA is the first North American denomination to declare itself a sanctuary church body. As a sanctuary church, the ELCA is committed to serving and supporting migrant children …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Tuesday highlights

8/6/2019 ​MILWAUKEE — On day two of their gathering, the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly took key actions and received reports that set the stage for how the denomination wants to move into the future. The assembly re-elected the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton as presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Aug. 6. …

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2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly – Monday highlights

8/6/2019 8:45:00 AM ​MILWAUKEE — Gathering under the theme “We Are Church,” members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) are meeting in Milwaukee for the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly — the highest legislative authority of the ELCA. In his sermon during Monday’s opening worship, Rev. William “Chris” Boerger, secretary of the ELCA, emphasized …

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Our common witness – Presiding Bishop

By Elizabeth A. Eaton One of the distinct privileges of this call as presiding bishop is seeing the church at work at home and around the world. The Lutheran movement is alive and well, speaking the gospel in a distinctive voice. Sunday after Sunday the good news is proclaimed in accordance with Scripture and the …

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Assembly Election Results

Thanks to all those individuals who have been willing to stand for election to the various offices of the Synod. Synod Council: Vice President (4-year term) Minnette ScottSynod Council: Treasurer (4-year term) Tammie Farley Synod Council: Laity (3-year term) Carla Vanatta Synod Council: Laity (3-year term) George Sanchez Synod Council: Clergy (3-year term) Janet Wold Synod Council: Clergy (3-year …

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Videos: Recognition, Celebration, and Remembrances

The Friday night service at the 2019 Assembly was a special time of recognition, celebration, and remembrance. Attendees filled the worship room of Trinity Lutheran Church, Moline to overflowing. Special celebrations were held for landmark anniversaries. Watch the videos below:  Trinity, Durand 175th Anniversary  Capron, Capron 175th Anniversary  Pr. Dennis Heaney – 50 yrs of …

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More Assembly Highlights

Visit the Assembly Highlights page for many more stories, videos, and photos from the event. See election results and resolutions that were passed. Watch videos from our churchwide representative, Presiding Bishop Eaton’s video report, and the new Light youth ministry team. Hear from our synod officers, Portico, LSSI, and about the CycleToSynod team. Watch the …

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ELCA Churchwide Assembly to meet August 5-10, 2019

The ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the primary decision-making body of the church, is a process of communal spiritual discernment. Finding ourselves in Christ, the fifteenth Churchwide Assembly will be a time for us to be the living body of Christ guided by the Spirit and conformed to God’s will. We will meet at the Wisconsin Center …

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Grace, Ophiem closes doors

On Sunday, June 30, 2019, Bishop Jeff Clements attended the final worship service of Grace Lutheran Church, Ophiem after 130 years of ministry. Pastor Nancy Jaster preached a sermon which was perfect for the occasion. Bishop prayed, “May the witness of the people who have ministered in the name of Jesus Christ through Grace Lutheran Church be …

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Video: ELCA Foundation helps congregations

Meet Tim Urness, Regional Gift Planner for the ELCA Foundation. Regional Gift Planners can partner with you, your congregation, synod, or other ELCA-related organization as you explore the variety of possibilities to give with generosity, and planning. They provide expertise — as well as resources, financial education, and investment and endowment management services to help …

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2019 Retired Rostered Ministers Luncheons

Each year, Bishop and Paulette Clements host informal luncheons across the synod for retired rostered ministers and their spouses. The first was Wednesday, May 15 at Trinity, Moline, and the second was Wednesday, May 22 at Christ Belvidere. This year, these events were generously supported by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. St. Paul writes, “I thank …

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Founders’ Day 2019 at Jenny Lind Chapel

Bishop Clements preached from Lars Esbjorn’s pulpit when he was the featured speaker on Sunday, April 28, for the Founders Day observance at the Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover. The service celebrated the founding of Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover, Augustana Lutheran Church in America, and Augustana College and Theological Seminary in Rock Island. Pam …

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ELCA presiding bishop issues letter on abortion

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has released a letter addressing states recently passing or considering legislation to restrict access to legal abortion. “Talking about abortion has never been easy in this country, and the same holds true in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The members of this church have divergent beliefs and opinions about whether or …

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Gathering, Word, Meal, and Sending – Presiding Bishop Eaton

Liturgy is important—not each constituent part—but the basic structure of corporate worship: gathering, word, meal and sending. It’s a discipline Lutherans willingly undertake because it helps individuals and the entire community express our connection with other Christians throughout the world and across the ages. When we gather, it’s not simply a group of like-minded individuals. …

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Questions in Life

Questions in life. In her May column for Living Lutheran, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth takes time to reflect on one of “The Questions”—what is a life worth living? She reflects on the cruciform life, which delivers us from our constant striving to make our lives have meaning through our own efforts.” Read her column in English at https://bit.ly/2LhJQTp and in Spanish at https://bit.ly/2LmmdcJ.

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#CycleToSynod 2019

“I am a part of Cycle to Synod because ELCA Word Hunger ministries is important to me.  I believe we can work toward ending world hunger.  And this is an exciting way to get my whole family involved in raising awareness and funds for ELCA World Hunger.”  — Pastor Jamie Gallagher of First Lutheran Church, Monmouth on why …

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Spiritual Renewal with Affirmation of Vocation

Almost one hundred rostered ministers from across the Northern Illinois Synod met at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Dixon on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, for a day of spiritual renewal. The Rev. Elaine K. Olson, Certified Spiritual Director and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor talked about the importance of self-compassion. Three workshops were led by the Rev. Olson, …

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Bishop’s Easter Greeting 2019

Watch the video. Download the video. Hello. I’m Bishop Jeff Clements of the Northern Illinois Synod. Easter will soon be here, and I’ll get to put on my Easter stole with all of its butterflies. A dear friend of ours made this for me. It’s all cross stitched, and every butterfly on this stole is unique and …

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Life and Death and Breath

Prior to beginning my ministry with hospice in 2000, I spent about a year in specialized chaplaincy training. I remember a conversation with one of my colleagues about intubation sustaining life. He remarked that sometimes we prevent God from being God when we artificially create breath for someone without breath. His words were very insightful. …

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National Quilting Day

Pr. Scott Ralston, Faith, Forreston On a Friday in March, the Faithful Hands Group of Faith Lutheran Church in Forreston Illinois challenged themselves to create and tie 15 Lutheran World Relief quilts in celebration of National Quilting Day. The group wasn’t actually aware of National Quilting Day until it was shared in an LWR mailing. …

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CRE 2019 – Being Disciples Comes First

The Rev. Dr. Dave Daubert was the keynote presenter at the 2019 Congregational Resourcing Event on March 9 at Kishwaukee College in Malta, IL. CRE is always a great day for being the church together and learning how other congregations are making Christ known where they are. It’s a chance to get together with our …

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Spiritual and religious – Presiding Bishop Eaton

    Is “Lutheran spirituality” an oxymoron? When we consider Martin Luther and the early reformers, we think of great theologians, prolific writers and musicians. We are well aware of Luther’s earthy language and direct communication. But spirituality? Luther as mystic? Not so much. And yet, Luther was a deeply spiritual person who also cared …

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ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grant Recipient

The World Hunger Subcommittee is pleased to announce that Christian Care, a nonprofit organization in Rock Island, has received a 2019 ELCA World Hunger Domestic Hunger Grant.  They were awarded $5,000 for each of the next three years to support their on-site meal programs for families and increase their on-site vegetable garden production.  Christian Care …

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