Walking Together

2020 Women Leaders Retreat

Contact Deacon Cheryl Erdmann with questions.

Bishop Lane Retreat Center 7708 East McGregor Road, Rockford, IL 61102

Bearers of the Light – In our time together, we will use Scripture and song to ponder the depth of bearing the Light in our personal life and professional ministry in our turbulent, tumultuous time. In Scripture we will see glimpses of light-bearing through characters perhaps not familiar to us, characters who can inspire and encourage us on our way. In song, we will celebrate the Light who is our light, equipping us for our journeys ahead. In conversation we’ll have opportunity to share with each other and to celebrate our callings as Bearers of the Light.

Registration will be available October 1.

Please bring

  • A candle, flashlight or other light item that will be used during introductions to help let others know something interesting about you.
  • A bible and an Evangelical Lutheran Worship book.
  • A snack to share.
  • If you wish to play cards or a board game during free time, please bring that along.



  • 11:30 am – Check-in available
  • 12 noon – lunch in the dining room
  • 1:00-2:00 pm – Intros/Sharing
  • 2:00-2:30 pm – Worship
  • 2:30-4:30 pm – Retreat Session #1
  • 4:30-5:30 pm – Free Time
  • 5:30 pm – Supper
  • 6:30-7:45 pm – Retreat Session #2
  • 7:45-8:00 pm – Break
  • 8:00-8:45 pm – Evening Devotions
  • 8:45 pm – Snacks/Sharing/Free Time


  • 8:00 am – Breakfast
  • 9:00-11:00 am – Retreat Session #3
  • 11:15-12 noon – Worship/Eucharist
  • 12 noon – Departure

Retreat Presenter
the Rev. Dr. Deaconess Gwen Sayler 

is distinguished Professor of Bible and the William A. & John E. Wagner Professor Biblical Theology and Warburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque. Her joy and focus is on the Hebrew Bible. She is an avid bicyclist and Green Bay Packer fan. In 2019, she celebrated the 48th anniversary of her consecration as deaconess in the Lutheran Deaconess Community (Valparaiso), and the 37th  anniversary of her ordination as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA. The school year of 2018-2019 marked her 28th year of service at WTS. She continues to teach, although she is officially retired. She has a BA from Valparaiso University, an M.A. from Christ Seminary – Seminex and a Ph.D from the University of Iowa. She is widely published in both academic and denominational circles, and is known for both her depth of knowledge and sense of humor.

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Congregational Treasurers and Bookkeepers Workshop 2019

November 2, 2019 from 8:30 am – 2:00 pm

Faith Lutheran Church
14206 Flagg Road
Rochelle, IL  61068 

Guest Speakers:
Thomas Hammar, CPA
Molly Hammar-Shattuck, Staff Accountant
and by webcam, Richard Hammar, Attorney, CPA, & Author 

Registration will be available by October 1.

Past topics have included


  • Moving Expenses – Personal or Business?
  • Tax Forms – Employee & Employer
  • Fringe Benefits Taxation
  • Tax Law Changes for 2018
  • Churches and Sales Tax
  • Unrelated Business Income


  • What Gifts are NOT tax-deductible?
  • Substantiating Donations


  • Accountable Reimbursement Policy
  • Recordkeeping and Retention Rules
  • Budgeting Best Practices
  • Onboarding Employees
  • Using Technology Wisely
  • Risk Management
  • Financial Reporting

Church Property

  • Selling Church Property – How is it taxed?
  • Church Rentals – Building, Parsonage, etc – the Dos and Don’ts

Internal Controls

  • Best Practices Every Church Needs to Consider

Legal Developments

  • Update by Richard Hammar

If you have specific topics that you would like discussed; please email  June Cain, Synod Bookkeeper at

Proposed Schedule

  • 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Registration
  • 9:00 a.m. Opening Prayer, Rev. Gary Erickson
  • 9:10 – 12:00 p.m. Presentation, Molly Hammar-Shattuck, Staff Accountant, Thomas Hammar, CPA, and Richard Hammar, Attorney, CPA & Author
  • 12:00 p.m. Noon Meal (Sorry, no provision can be made for special dietary needs.)
  • 12:45 – 1:45 p.m. Questions & Answers
  • 2:00 p.m. Adjournment

Registration will be available by October 1

Registration is not complete until payment is received.

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...for Pr. Mark Hagen, St. Mark, Rockford, at the death of his wife, Naomi

September 9, 2019

Dear friends in Christ,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is with sadness that I report to you the death of Ms. Naomi Hagen, wife of the Rev. Dr. Mark Hagen, who died Sunday, September 8, 2019, in Rockford, Illinois.

Visitation will be held on Friday, September 20, 2019, from 9:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 675 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, Illinois.  A Memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the church.

As the church, we offer our sympathy to Naomi’s family and friends and because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we rejoice in God’s promise of eternal life, comfort, and hope.

Walking with you,

Bishop Jeffrey Clements

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...for Pr. Troy Hedrick

Retired Pr. Troy Hedrick (Rockford) has metastatic prostate cancer. He is now involved in hospice and receiving palliative care. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

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Soup for the Soul, Learning Together in the Midst of Grief

 St. Barnabas Lutheran Church, Cary and Bethany Lutheran Church, Crystal Lake, in partnership with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care Congregational Outreach invite you to a free four-part series on grief.

There is no cost to those who attend. Each workshop will cover all kinds of grief: death of a loved one, becoming an empty nester, loss of a job or health, transition in life (i.e. retiring, aging), and relationships ending. The gatherings are designed so that each session stands alone, so participants can attend any amount of sessions they choose. Download a detailed flyer about the seminars. 

In each seminar, we will learn from experts and from each other, different ways to process and live with grief. We will share tools, techniques, and gifts of healing, and we'll begin by sharing a meal together as we nourish our bodies and our hearts. Each workshop will cover all kinds of grief: 

  • Death of a loved one 
  • Becoming an empty nester 
  • Loss of a job or health 
  • Transitions in life (i.e. retiring, aging) 
  • Relationships ending 

REGISTER TODAY! RSVP for the first workshop by September 12, 2019 to Suzanne Martinez, 

Questions? Call: 847-842-4285 

Location Sites of the Four-Part Series 

Sunday, September 15, 2019 – Seasons of Grief 
Location: Bethany Lutheran Church, 5-7 p.m. 
76 W Crystal Lake Ave, Crystal Lake, IL Room: Luther Hall 
Presenter: Christine SPUHLER, LCPC, Psychologist 

Sunday, November 17, 2019 – Making it through the Holidays 
Location: St. Barnabas Church, 5-7p.m. 
8901 Cary Algonquin Rd, Cary, IL 60013 Room: Family Life Center 
Presenter: Maggie MOORE, Widow Coach and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist 

Sunday, January 19, 2020 – New Beginnings?!? Faltering Steps in Grief 
Location: Bethany Lutheran Church, 5-7 p.m. 
76 W Crystal Lake Ave, Crystal Lake, IL Room: Luther Hall 
Presenter: TBA 

Sunday, March 1, 2020 – Life… Even in Grief |Body • Mind • Spirit 
Location: St. Barnabas Church, 5-7p.m. 
8901 Cary Algonquin Rd, Cary, IL 60013 Room: Family Life Center 
Presenter: TBA 

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Making Christ Known

    2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly summary of actions


    ​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 Center in Milwaukee.

    More than 900 voting members:

    • Reelected on the first ballot the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton to a six-year term as ELCA presiding bishop.
    • Elected Deacon Sue Rothmeyer to a six-year term as ELCA secretary. Rothmeyer, currently serving as executive for administration with the Office of the Secretary, was installed during the assembly's closing worship on Aug. 10 and will begin her term Nov. 1. 
    • Approved the social statement "Faith, Sexism, and Justice: A Call to Action" and its implementing resolutions. The social statement, in part, names patriarchy and sexism as sins and calls the church to action on a range of issues, including gender-based violence, workplace discrimination and economic inequality.
    • Adopted "A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment," which will serve as church policy for inter-religious relations. The policy statement was adopted with the witness of 39 ecumenical and inter-religious guests in attendance.
    • Approved the triennium budget for 2020-2022, which includes a current fund spending authorization of $68,378,325 for 2020, a current fund income proposal of $68,442,034 for 2021 and $68,507,018 for 2022; and an ELCA World Hunger spending authorization of $21.5 million 2020, and an income proposal of $21.5 million for 2021 and for 2022.
    • Adopted the "Strategy Toward Authentic Diversity in the ELCA," which consists of a report and recommendations on how the ELCA exhibits authentic diversity and formulates goals for racial diversity and inclusion.
    • Witnessed the presentation of the "Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent," which was accepted by the Rev. Lamont A. Wells, president of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA), and members of ADLA. 
    • Adopted 26 memorials en bloc, ranging in topics from gun violence to engagement in the Holy Land and gender identity to seminary tuition. 
    • Adopted a memorial that affirms the ELCA's long-standing commitment to migrants and refugees and declares the ELCA a sanctuary church body. 
    • Adopted a memorial that calls for the development of a social statement and social message on the relationship of church and state.
    • Adopted a memorial to encourage all synods and congregations to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ELCA's ordination of women in 2020, the 40th anniversary of the ordination of women of color in the Lutheran tradition and the 10th anniversary of the ELCA's decision to remove barriers to ordination for people in same-gender relationships.
    • Adopted a memorial to support the vision and goals of the Poor People's Campaign that align with the ELCA's social teachings. 
    • Adopted a series of amendments to the "Constitutions, Bylaws and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," including one that makes ordination the entrance rite for ministers of Word and Service, and an amendment to no longer count deacons as laypeople for representational principles. 
    • Adopted a resolution that committed the ELCA to support the World Council of Church's "Thursdays in Black" campaign toward a world without rape and violence. 
    • Adopted a resolution to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance in the ELCA for the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people who were shot and killed June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
    • Adopted a resolution to condemn white supremacy, calling all ELCA congregations to engage in a "study of the structures and rhetoric that empower and fuel racism and white supremacy and to take to heart the teaching of Scriptures, so we may all be better equipped to speak boldly about the equal dignity of all persons in the eyes of God."
    • Celebrated the end of Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA, which concluded June 30 with nearly $250 million raised in cash, multiyear commitments and planned gift commitments. At the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members approved the $198 million campaign to help sustain and grow ministries of the church. 
    • Elected members to serve on the ELCA Church Council, churchwide committees and churchwide boards, including Portico Benefit Services, the Mission Investment Fund and 1517 Media.

      - - -

      About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
      The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.5 million members in more than 9,100 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands.," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

      For information contact:
      Candice Hill Buchbinder
      Public Relations Manager

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