NIS 2020 Forum Day Videos Now Available

The first Forum Day was held Saturday, June 20 • 9:30 am – 1:15 pm

Videos of the forums are below.

If you have any questions, please contact Deacon Cheryl Erdmann at

Session 1 – 9:30-10:30 am

Choose from one of the following four sessions:

Creation Care Subcommittee

Let All Things Now Living: A Worship & Preaching Resource for Season of Creation Year A

The Rev. Jeff Schlesinger

In 2018 the NIS Assembly passed a resolution encouraging all congregations to celebrate the Season of Creation during their liturgical year. In January, the Creation Care Committee gathered a group of leaders to produce a resource to aid pastors and worship leaders in effectively planning this season. Join Pastor Jeff Schlesinger as he shares the value of Season of Creation, and outlines and highlights what is available in “Let All Things Now Living: A Worship & Preaching Resource for the Season of Creation Year A.”

Outreach Committee

Outreach and Stewardship

The Rev. Paul Marsh, the Rev. Peter Reuss, and the Rev. Gary Erickson

Rev. Paul Marsh and Rev. Peter Reuss, GSB Fundraising, present on the relationship between outreach and stewardship.

Congregational Life Committee

Variations on Digital Worship

Congregational Life Committee with Pr. Lu Cantrell, Pr. Frank Langholf, Pr. Doug Liston, Pr. Elizabeth Martin, Pr. Jane McChesney, Pr. Julie Monnard, Pr. Brandon Nelson

Worship leaders from across the synod share how they’ve been using technology in different ways to lead worship on Sundays for their congregations. Hear about four different ways to use Facebook, two different ways to use Zoom, and how to use YouTube. There will be plenty of time for questions.

Ministry Support Committee

Sexual Harassment Awareness

Donna Kelly, Carol Swanson, and the Rev. Marilyn Hanson

Providing information on the State of Illinois mandate for businesses and organizations to provide Sexual Harassment Training for all employees. Also provided will be links to training materials.

Session 2 – 10:45-11:45 am

Choose from one of the following four sessions:

Social Ministry Committee

Social Ministry Fund for Coronavirus Pandemic Assistance Information

Pr. Denver Bitner and members of the Social Ministry Committee

At this forum, participants will learn about the newly established special fund to assist congregations and ministries of the NIS to organize projects that support and help with response to those dealing with the pandemic. This is an opportunity for members of NIS congregations and associated agencies to talk about projects they are currently doing and those they dream of doing and share how we can be God’s Hands doing God’s Work in our area.

Youth Subcommittee

LIGHT in the Darkness

Pr. Karyn Kost, HS leaders of the NIS Light team, and members of the Youth Subcommittee

Come learn how you can be a part of the Light team – a synod organized youth team whose mission is to plan and organize faith forming events for youth throughout the synod that aren’t easily planned by individual congregations. The youth from the Light team and adults from the Youth Subcommittee will share about the team and the event that is planned for the fall – Ignite 2020.

Global Mission Committee

Conversations with our ELCA representatives in Tanzania and India

Mr. Daudi Msseemmaa, the Rev. Chandran Paul Martin

Through the Zoom platform we will hear from the Rev. Chandran Martin, ELCA representative in India, and Mr. Daudi Msseemmaa, ELCA representative in Tanzania about our companion synods and how they are working in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Racial Justice Subcommittee

Discussion of the Apology from the ELCA to People of African Decent

George Sanchez and Sharon Texley

In June 2019 the ELCA Church Council adopted a “Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent.” On Aug. 6, 2019, at the Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee,  the Declaration, a letter of repentance for the church’s complicity in slavery and “the ELCA’s perpetuation of racism” was presented to the Assembly. At this forum, the NIS Racial Justice Sub-Committee will walk through the Declaration, also called the Apology, and discuss ways the NIS can learn and benefit from this document.

Session 3 – 12:15-1:15 pm

Choose from one of the following four sessions:

World Hunger

Hunger by the Numbers in Your Neighborhood

Ryan P. Cumming, Ph.D., Program Director for Hunger Education, ELCA World Hunger

Responses to hunger that work start with knowing our neighbors and neighborhood. In this workshop, we will use ELCA World Hunger’s new “Know Your Neighborhood” guide and worksheet to learn about hunger, housing, poverty and more in the Northern Illinois Synod. This handy guide walks users step-by-step through the data in a way that is easy to use, easy to understand and easy to share. We will also get a sneak peek at ELCA World Hunger’s newest how-to guide on launching or growing a feeding ministry. Join us for an interactive session and leave with new information to share with your congregation.

Youth Gathering

ELCA Youth Gathering 2021 in Minneapolis

Melinda Alekna, NIS Gathering Synod Coordinator

Let’s talk about where you are? How will you get your youth to the Gathering in Minneapolis? What deadlines are coming up this fall?!


Conversation with Bishop Clements

The Rev. Jeffrey Clements, Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod

Bishop Clements will engage in a Coffee Hour-style conversation about the state of the Synod. Bring your questions!


Called to Lead

Deacon Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop and staff liaison for Candidacy

Have you felt that God may be calling you to rostered ministry in the ELCA? Learn how the seven seminaries of the ELCA are crafting new and exciting ways to attend seminary and serve the Church and are working with the Northern Illinois Synod and the Churchwide Organization to educate and form pastors and deacons to serve Christ and Christ’s Church.