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August 22, 2023

Dear Ones of Northern Illinois,

It has been roughly 355 days since I took office as your Bishop. This has been a year of learning, trying new things, and exploring how we can be the body of Christ together. Thank you for the ways you have shown up and served in your own communities. Thank you for the ways you live out Gods love.

You have been welcoming to our new staff members and kind in your goodbyes to staff that served faithfully over the years. Transitions are never easy, but they are necessary to continue to grow.

During all the transitions of the last 24 years, there has been one constant in the synod. She has been the welcoming face in the Rockford office, the lovely voice on the phone, and a warm presence at synod events. That constant, Ms. Julie Lewis, has served faithfully through three bishops and multiple staff members. Ms. Lewis will finish her tenure as Executive Administrator to the Bishop on October 31. Ms. Julie Lewis has been a wise and gentle guide through my first year as Bishop. Her faithfulness and heart for the church have been a beautiful example of how to serve Christ's church.

Ms. Lewis remarks, It has been a joy to have served in this office and I will miss the wonderful people and ministries I have been a part of these past 24 years.  I look forward to enjoying retirement with my husband, doing some traveling, and spoiling my beautiful grandchildren!

Please know that the Synod Staff is hard at work planning opportunities for us to celebrate the ministry of Ms. Lewis. As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.

As we prepare for Ms. Lewis retirement, we are excited to announce that Ms. Laura Bergren will join our staff and fill in the role of Executive Administrator to the Bishop. Ms. Bergren will begin with us on September 1st and work closely with Ms. Lewis during this transition. Ms. Bergren resides in Rock Island and will be located out of the Moline office.

Thank you for walking with us as we transition. We are grateful for your ministry in every corner of the synod.

Walking with you,

Bishop Stacie Fidlar

The Rev. Stacie FidlarBishop