Walking Together

...for Bishop Clements and the rest of the people on the trip to Tanzania

Dear friends in Christ,

On January 17, ten of us from the Northern Illinois Synod will be traveling to Tanzania to spend some time with our brothers and sisters in the North Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania. As you know, this is one of our companion relationships. Among the congregations and institutions on our itinerary, we will be visiting the nursing school for which this synod raised a significant amount of money.

I am simply asking that you pray for us as we travel and while we are there. The three pastors among us (Gary Erickson, Stacie Fidlar and myself) will be preaching next Sunday in three different locations. You might pray that we all make sense after arriving the evening before!

Our companion relationships have been important to the life of our synod and the ELCA. I appreciate your support as we tend to these relationships…for the sake of the world. We will return to Chicago on January 31.

The synod offices will be open as normal while I am away. Should you need anything, the staff is ready to help you.

Walking with you,

Bishop Jeff Clements

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2020 Congregational Resourcing Event

The 2020 CRE will be Saturday, March 14 at Kishwaukee Community College in Malta.

Keynote speaker: ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton

In addition to workshops from the keynote speaker and NIS Bishop Jeffrey Clements, other workshops feature topics including: Congregational Leadership, Evangelism/Outreach/Hospitality, Faith Formation & Growth, Social Justice, Spirituality/Wellness, Stewardship, Worship, and Youth/Family/Children.

Bring everyone from your congregation to attend different workshops. Then get together and learn from each other!

Session and room assignments will be based on how many people register for each workshop. This information and any updates will be posted here by March 1.

Kishwaukee College is located at
21193 Malta Road, Malta, IL 60150
between DeKalb & Rochelle on IL Route 38.

Kishwaukee College is handicap accessible.


8:30–9:10 am – Registration & coffee

9:15–10:00 am – Welcome/Worship

10:00–10:30 am – Keynote

11:00-12:00 pm – Workshop Session a

12:00–12:45 pm – Lunch

1:00–2:00 pm – Workshop Session b

2:15–3:15 pm – Workshop Session c

Sponsored by the Northern Illinois Synod Congregational Life Committee, the Congregational Resourcing Event (CRE) is one of this synod’s finest yearly events. Church council members, teachers, musicians, staff, volunteers, and leaders – just about everyone in a congregation – can take advantage of this learning event to strengthen skills, gather resources, network with others, and discover new ways to enhance congregational and individual ministries. Come, experience and bring home new ministry tools.

The Congregational Resourcing Event offers many varied educational workshop selections for you, your key congregational leaders, and other interested congregation members.

Many groups, agencies, and institutions have displays. 

Supervised childcare is provided with pre-registration, but parents will need to bring a sack lunch and snacks for their children. A free-will offering will be accepted to cover child-care costs.

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Living Lutheran Stories - January 14, 2020

ELCA presiding bishop issues letter on the United Methodist Church

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has issued a pastoral letter on news about the United Methodist Church, a full-communion partner of the ELCA. "Last week, in a flurry of misleading, … continue
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I'm a Lutheran: Shannon Ivey

Triumphant Lutheran Church in Garden Ridge, Texas (physically), and New Hope Lutheran Church, Agoura Hills, Calif. (online) Filmmaker/activist/professor/founder of Theatre For Change I pray for … continue
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ELCA presiding bishop issues pastoral message on Iran conflict

ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton has issued a pastoral message on the current conflict between the United States and Iran. "Our country and Iran need urgently to find ways to resolve … continue
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Living Lutheran Living Lutheran

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...for Pr. Frank Langholf and Emmanuel, Rockford as he is installed there 2/8

Pr. Frank Langholf will be installed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Rockford at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 8.

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... for Vicar Mike Reibel in hospice care

Prayers are requested for Vicar Michael “Mike” Reibel and his family. Mike is member of All Saints, Byron, and is serving as a pastoral leader/student at Trinity, Lanark, and Wartburg Seminary, as a candidate for ministry of Word and Sacrament. Mike has been diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and is receiving palliative care at a hospice near his home. Cards and notes may be sent to: 4317 E Ridgeview Lane, Byron, IL  61010.

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Making Christ Known

    Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Ordination of Women

    Download video for use in your congregation.

    With gratitude for those who have gone before and hope for the future, the Northern Illinois Synod gives thanks to God for the ministry of women.

    In 2020 we celebrate 50 years of Lutheran women being ordained in the United States, 40 years of women of color being ordained, and 10 years of LGBTQIA+ individuals being able to serve freely.

    As part of this anniversary year, we celebrate the gifts and service that women have brought to our church and our world as pastors. We also lament that women have been barred from serving and have been bullied, dismissed, and excluded.

    Our 2019 synod assembly passed a resolution that called for the year 2020 to be a year of celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of women.  Bishop Clements appointed a task force to organize this celebration and momentous occasion in the life of the church.  The task force produced the video above and has several more planned to be released throughout the year for use in congregations and on social media.

    Congregations are encouraged to use these videos and hold their own commemorative events throughout the year! The ELCA has also produced resources to help congregations observe these anniversaries, including a five-session adult forum, a four-session Bible study, and a liturgy with Scripture and hymn suggestions (links below).

    NIS women rostered ministers are invited to share photos that show you engaged in the ministry life of your congregation/place of call.  The task force will use these photos to promote the ordination of women and educate the good people of the Northern Illinois Synod as to the gifts women bring to ministry. Send your photos to

    At the March 14 Congregational Resourcing Event, we will invite anyone that wishes to step into a video “booth” to tell how women pastors have strengthened their faith and impacted their lives. These interviews will be used in future video releases.

    A large group photo will be taken following the Affirmation of Vocation Worship for Rostered Ministers on Tuesday, March 31 at Faith, Rochelle. The day will start with Tools for Tending to our own Grief with the Rev. Dr. Kadi Billman followed by lunch and the Affirmation of Vocation worship. We hope all rostered women of the synod can attend to be part of the photo.

    We are so excited to start this celebration, and your participation is so greatly appreciated!  It should be a really wonderful year!

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