Walking Together 12/20/2019

Merry Christmas from Bishop Jeffrey Clements and the NIS Staff.
Watch and share Bishop’s Christmas message
and download the video to show in your congregation!

Remember the synod offices will be closed December 24-27.

NIS News

Calling all youth leaders!

The theme of the 2021 ELCA Youth Gathering in Minneapolis will be boundless: God beyond measure. Who in your congregation should receive communications about preparations for the gathering? Please fill out the form below or ask them to fill out the form as soon as possible so we can start getting them the information they … read more.

December 2019 – Making Christ Known

Read and share this edition of Making Christ Known. Congregations are encouraged to use articles in their own publications and share via email and social media. Print the highlights pdf for your narthex or to send to visitors and shut-ins. read more.

A Christmas Message from Bishop Jeffrey Clements

Bishop Jeff Clements and the staff of the Northern Illinois Synod wish you and yours a very merry Christmas. Watch and listen as Bishop tells a story of Christmas love. Download the video to share in your congregation. Video transcript: Hello, I’m Bishop Jeff Clements of the Northern Illinois Synod. I suppose your house is … read more.

Holiday Office Hours

The Rockford and Rock Island synod offices will be closed Tuesday, December 24 through Friday, December 27 for Christmas and Wednesday, January 1, 2020, for New Year’s Day. We wish you all a very merry Christmas! read more.

Creation, Climate, and the Church – Healing Our “Vitamin C” Deficiency

A morning of reflection for all people of the Northern Illinois Synod Saturday, January 25, 2020 9:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m. Faith Lutheran Church14206 E Flagg RdRochelle, IL Featuring: Dr. Leah Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary This event sponsored by the NIS Creation Care Committee In an increasingly polarized society, … read more.

Safeguarding God’s Children workshop 1/15/2020 at St. Barnabas, Cary

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Part of our commission from Jesus … read more.

Safeguarding God’s Children workshop 2/1/2020 at St. John’s, Ashton

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Part of our commission from Jesus … read more.

2020 Women Leaders Retreat

February 3-4, 2020 Bishop Lane Retreat Center 7708 East McGregor Road, Rockford, IL 61102 Contact Deacon Cheryl Erdmann with questions. Sabbath Seeing On retreat together, we will lean into a variety of Sabbath traditions with the intent to see more clearly and serve more fully our wholeness, wellbeing, and growing edges. For instance, we will take time to … read more.

Crucial Conversations with Pr. Edie Lenz and Pr. Scott Stephan

February 20, 2020 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fee: $35 if registered by February 5, 2020, $50 February 6-20, 2020 First, Geneseo (114 E Main St., Geneseo) Scholarships are available. Register online using the form on this page or contact Synod Registrar Nancy Corey at ncorey@nisynod.org or 309-794-4004. read more.

Tools for Tending to our own Grief with the Rev. Dr. Kadi Billman

Followed by a conversation with Bishop Clements and Affirmation of Vocation Worship for Rostered Ministers March 31, 2020 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Faith, Rochelle (14206 E Flagg Rd., Rochelle) Fee: $35 if registered by March 16, 2020, $50 March 17-31, 2020 Scholarships are available. Register online using the form on this page or contact Synod … read more.

Ignite 2020

Mark your calendars now and plan to spark a fire in the hearts of your High School youth with Ignite – June 12-14 at LOMC! The NIS Light high school youth leadership team is excited to invite your high school youth groups to its first Ignite Synod Youth Event on June 12-14, 2020, at Lutheran … read more.

Read more NIS News

Congregational Events
and Bulletin Board

Celebrating Dreams at Zion, Rockford

Zion Lutheran Church, Rockford, and Patriots Gateway Center are sponsoring Zion’s 19th Annual event called “Celebrating Dreams,” a gospel celebration that honors the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Celebrating Dreams event is Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 2 pm at Patriots Gateway Center on 615 South Fifth Street, across from Zion Lutheran Church. … …read more…

169th annual Julotta

The 169th annual Julotta (early morning Christmas service) will be held at Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover on Wednesday, December 25, at 7 am.  The early starting time and a choir anthem sung in Swedish are part of a long-standing tradition (for many years the service started at 5 am).  The original street lamps, which were … …read more…

Immanuel, Dixon Seeks a Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator

Apply online at www.indeed.com Children, Youth, and Family Ministries Duties ·        Enhance and develop youth and family ministries within the congregation. ·        Visit families with children high school age and under. ·        Be available for college-aged members. ·        Work with the Parish Education to develop Christian education for families and children; ·        Work with the Pastor on confirmation education ·        Develop … …read more…

December Events at Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover

49TH ANNUAL JOY OF CHRISTMAS WITH AUGUSTANA COLLEGE Wednesday, December 4, 7:30 pm – Students and faculty from Augustana College join the community for this beautiful service of worship and music that starts at Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover. The Christmas story will be read in several different languages.  The service concludes with a procession to the Jenny Lind … …read more…

Christmas at Augustana

Christmas at Augustana has become one of the most treasured traditions at Augustana College. Another treasured tradition is our special invitation for ELCA pastors and rostered leaders, with one guest, to join us. This year, Christmas at Augustana will be performed on Saturday, December 7 at 2:00 and Sunday, December 8 at 2:00. Northern Illinois Synod rostered ministers can receive two free tickets for you and a … …read more…

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, … …read more…

Visit the Bulletin Board


  • Synod Offices Closed Tuesday, December 24 –  Friday, December 27, 2019
  • Synod Offices Closed Wednesday, January 1, 2020
  • Central Conference Meeting Wednesday, January 8, 2020 – 9:00 am
  • Northwest Conference Meeting Wednesday, January 8, 2020 – 9:30 am
  • All Staff Meeting Thursday, January 9, 2020 – 9:30 am
  • Finance Committee Friday, January 10, 2020 – 3:30 pm
  • Executive Committee Friday, January 10, 2020 – 4:30 pm
  • Synod Council meeting Saturday, January 11, 2020 – 9:00 am
  • First Call Theological Education Tuesday, January 14, 2020 – 10:00 am
  • Safeguarding God’s Children workshop in Cary on 1/15/20 Wednesday, January 15, 2020 – 6:00 pm
  • West Conference meeting Thursday, January 16, 2020 – 9:30 am

Synod Calendar
Upcoming Events

Churchwide News

ELCA Worship News – December 2019

View & download a video message from Bishop Eaton Download English PDF | Download Spanish PDF CONNECT WITH US     …read more…

Global Links – December 2019

“I just feel so lucky to be in a position where I have such a wide array of activities. Every week looks a little bit different.” —Ann Emilie Tjorhom, Young Adult in Global Mission in Argentina In a new video update, Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteer Ann Emilie Tjorhom shares a snapshot of … …read more…

Living Lutheran Stories – December 17, 2019

Ornaments share the story of Jesus In the spirit of Christmas, many congregations decorate evergreen trees for their sanctuaries. Often these trees are covered in white and gold ornaments in the shapes of religious symbols and … continue Highly recommended The Family Time Bible Families looking to start a new tradition in the new year will … …read more…

Women of the ELCA Bold Connections – December 2019

When women listen, a community grows Jesus says in Luke 14:35b, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Myrna Wells-Ulland, president of the Women of the ELCA Grand Canyon Synod, shares what happened when her synodical women’s organization heard and acted on an idea from their Latina sisters. Read the story. Why do mothers and children flee … …read more…

Charitable Giving Tip from the ELCA Foundation

 If you are 70 ½ and have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), you are required by law to withdraw a certain amount of money from the account each year — this is known as your required minimum distribution (RMD). Many people find that they don’t need the extra income, but they’re required by law to … …read more…

Lent Resources 2020

We’re excited to share that ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving will continue in 2020. Together, we’ll experience how the grace of Christ moves us to engage in transformative works of love around the world through ELCA World Hunger as God calls us into the ministry of hope, liberation and restoration. This year, ELCA World … …read more…

Living Lutheran Stories December 10, 2019

Invited into the wilderness Our Advent lectionary readings this year are a rich tapestry. In Matthew’s Gospel, we are swept up together in the comforting but challenging reality of the “already” and the “not yet.” … continue Honor Advent through the saints The weeks leading up to Christmas are a big deal in our house. Since … …read more…

Presiding Bishop’s Christmas Message

A Christmas message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton View & download a video message from Bishop EatonDownload English PDF | Download Spanish PDF The Rev. Elizabeth A. EatonPresiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America On Christmas Eve there always comes a time when everything is finally still. After all the preparations and Christmas pageants, after all of the rushing, it’s … …read more…

2020 Rostered Ministers Gathering

As a rostered minister in the ELCA, you are invited to join colleagues at the 2020 Rostered Ministers Gathering under the theme “Rekindle the Gift Within You” (2 Timothy 1:6). This an opportunity to gather with colleagues across the church for fellowship, renewal, continuing education, Bible study and refreshment of your spirit. Learn more! Watch … …read more…

ELCA Good Gifts

 Animals Water Agriculture Women & Children Christmas Gifts Give something unexpected this Christmas In Christ, we receive the gift of God’s love. Let us share God’s love with others. ELCA Good Gifts are a fun, meaningful way to honor friends and family with gifts that go on to make a difference in the world. … …read more…


AN E-NEWSLETTER FROM THE ELCA FOUNDATION Welcome to the first edition of Insights, a quarterly newsletter from the ELCA Foundation. In this newsletter you’ll find tips, tools and information to achieve your charitable-giving goals while supporting the people, ministries and causes you love. Know someone else who should receive this e-newsletter? Invite them to subscribe. CHARITABLE … …read more…

ELCA Church Council welcomes 23 new members

​CHICAGO — The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met at the Lutheran Center in Chicago, Nov. 7-10, 2019. Twenty-three new members, elected by the 2019 Churchwide Assembly, were welcomed. The council serves as the ELCA’s board of directors and interim legislative authority between meetings of the Churchwide Assembly. The council … …read more…

Young Adults in Global Mission Applications Open

Applications for the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) program are now open, and you can invite young adults on this yearlong journey abroad. If you know young adults age 21 to 29, this is the time to reach out. Encourage them to apply for YAGM by the priority deadline of Jan. 15, 2020. Talk to them personally … …read more…

ELCA Worship News – November 2019

Greetings, We are about to take a turn into a new church year as we enter into the season of Advent, reminded that this season is about “the church’s continual prayer that God will come (The root of the meaning of ‘advent’) to us, bringing life to a dying world.” (Keeping Time: The Church’s Years, … …read more…

ELCA Fund for Leaders Scholarships

If you are feeling a call to ministry, or if you have any questions about candidacy, please contact Deacon Cheryl Erdmann in the synod office. Greetings from the ELCA Fund for Leaders! The ELCA Fund for Leaders is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that provides scholarships for future ELCA pastors … …read more…

Read more Churchwide News

NIS Prayers

… for family and friends of Leland Uden who died 12/8

…for Pr. Jeff King and family at the death of his father, Fred, on 12/9/2019

…for family and friends of Pr. Howard Jacobson who died 11/29

…for family and friends of Pr. Chuck Steinke who died 11/19/2019

…for St. Paul, Orion and Pr. Gwen Sefrhans-Murphy as she is installed there 1/12

…for the congregation of Living Waters, Crystal Lake

…for Pr. Amy Nyman and family at the death of her husband, Bertil

…for Pr. Amy Nyman battling cancer

….for Pr. Jane McChesney, First, Rockford, battling cancer

…for NIS candidates for rostered ministry

NIS candidates for rostered ministry

Presiding Bishop Elizabeth EatonNIS Bishop Jeffrey Clements, and their staffs and families.

Congregations going through vacancies and rostered leaders in transition.

ELCA Prayer Ventures

ELCA missionaries and Young Adults in Global Mission (read this month’s ELCA Global Links newsletter).

Those not named here who are hospitalized or otherwise need our prayers.

Send prayer requests to karin@nisynod.org.

The purpose of this e-newsletter is to convey information from synod staff, churchwide, committees, auxiliaries, and congregations. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. 
Send submissions to Deacon Karin Graddy, Assistant to the Bishop for Communication karin@nisynod.org
Copyright © 2019 Northern Illinois Synod, All rights reserved.