Walking Together March 13, 2020

Please click the image to watch a video message from Bishop Clements about the cancelation of this year’s Congregational Resourcing Event (CRE).CRE CANCELED – We will not be able to hold the Saturday, March 14, Congregational Resourcing Event (CRE) as Kishwaukee College and the DeKalb County Health Department have decided to cancel this large event. Please watch the video from Bishop Clements above, and please share the cancelation of CRE with everyone you know that may have been planning to attend.
Because of the current pandemic, all listed events are subject to postponement or cancelation. Please watch your email, the synod website at nisynod.org, and social media for updates. 

Please refer to the CDC and your local health departments
for the most up-to-date health information and guidelines. 

We are so grateful for your continued partnership.

The entire synod staff keeps all of you in our prayers.

(Please wash your hands and don’t touch your face!)Pastoral Message from Bishop Jeffrey Clements on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)Watch a pastoral message from Bishop Jeffrey Clements on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Download the video for use in your congregation.
NIS NewsNIS Communicators Facebook GroupAre you a communicator in your congregation? Do you create the congregation’s newsletter or worship bulletin? Do you do contribute to your congregation’s social media? Do you create screens for your worship services? Do you work on your congregation’s website? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please join the NIS Communicators Facebook … read more.

Congregational Resourcing Event CanceledWe will not be able to hold the Saturday, March 14, Congregational Resourcing Event (CRE) as Kishwaukee College and the DeKalb County Health Department have decided to cancel this large event. Please watch the video from Bishop Clements above, and please share the cancelation of CRE with everyone you know that may have been planning … read more.

Annual NIS Assembly Offering of LettersJune 19-20, 2020 In response to a 2018 Synod Resolution encouraging an annual Synod Offering of Letters, the Social Ministry Committee established an Offering of Letters Sub-Committee. Congregations and Assembly members were invited to participate as last year’s 2019 Assembly. 3,000 letters were offered and sent to 8 Representatives and our 2 Senators advocating for … read more.

A pastoral message from Bishop Jeff Clements on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)Please watch a pastoral message from Bishop Jeffrey Clements. Share with your congregation and on social media. Share the video in your congregation and on social media. For information on how to keep yourself and others healthy, visit the CDC website. read more.

February 2020 – Making Christ KnownRead 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.

Ignite 2020Mark 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 Retreat, June 12-14, 2020, at Lutheran Outdoor … read more.

Lent is Bishop’s favorite time of yearBishop Clements explains why Lent is his favorite time of year in this video message. Please share it widely in your congregations, through email, and on social media. read more.

Safeguarding God’s Children workshop 4/4/2020 at St. John’s, Somonauk“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.

Synod-wide Spring Ordination Service Saturday, March 28Everyone from the synod is invited to come to a special synod-wide ordination service on Saturday, March 28 at 2:00 pm at Shepherd of the Hill, 925 E. 9th Street, Lockport. Tom Redig will be ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament. He has been called to serve at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Peru. Please … read more.

*CANCELED* NIS Women of the ELCA 2020 Spring RetreatThe NIS Women of the ELCA have decided to cancel the 2020 Spring Retreat in order to keep everyone safe. Please wash your hands and stay well. Faith Along the Winding Road “There will be trouble in this life.  But take heart:  I have overcome the world” –John 16:33  LOMC, 1834 S. IL Rt. 2, … read more.

Safeguarding God’s Children workshop 4/14/2020 at Shepherd of the Hills, McHenry“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.

**POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA** – Tools for Tending to Our Own Grief with the Rev. Dr. Kadi Billman and Affirmation of Vocation Worship for Rostered MinistersThis event has been postponed and a new date is being negotiated. Please watch for more information. POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBATuesday, March 31, 2020 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Faith, Rochelle (14206 E Flagg Rd., Rochelle) Followed by a conversation with Bishop Clements and Affirmation of Vocation Worship for Rostered Ministers Tending to Our … read more.

2020 Boundaries WorkshopsRegister today for one of two Boundaries Workshops being held in Huntley and Geneseo in April. Thursday, April 23, 2020Shepherd of the Prairie, Huntley9 a.m. – 3 p.mCost $50 (includes lunch and a participant workbook) Tuesday, April 28, 2020First, Geneseo9 a.m. – 3 p.mCost $50 (includes lunch and a participant workbook) Assistant to the Bishop, … read more.

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.


 Read more NIS NewsCongregational Events
and Bulletin Board
Friends of LWR Spring LuncheonFriends of Lutheran World Relief announces the 43rd Annual Spring Luncheon Friday, April 24, 2020 Avalon Banquets1905 E. Higgins Rd., Elk Grove Village847.439.5740Handicap accessible/ample parking Arrive at 11:00 a.m. to view a display of Quilts, Care Kits and purchase fair trade products. The event begins promptly at 11:45. Guest Speaker: David Fuerst, Associate Vice President … …read more…

LOMC Summer Camp for Children, Youth, Families, and CongregationsSummer is coming. Really. Summer at camp means being apart from the ordinary world to grow and experience creation in the light of Christ. We invite you to consider a summer camp experience whether for a child, your family, or bring a group of 3-5th or junior highers from your church (Team Camp!). NEW Thrive! Worship CampNEW Explore Creation CampDay Camp Each … …read more…

UNITE Service CampUNITE Service Camp, for 7th-12th graders, June 23-26 in Sterling, IL. Throughout this three-day service camp, youth will paint homes for people in need!  UNITE 2020 is for current 7th-12th grade youth. Cost: $50 per youth, $25 per adult. Allison Eide (www.allisoneide.com) will be speaking and leading music throughout the week!   For full info and … …read more…

Augustana Seeks a New Chaplain and Director of Spiritual LifeAugustana College welcomes applications and nominations for the position of Campus Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life. For full consideration for this position, materials should be received by March 6, 2020. Augustana’s next Campus Chaplain will be called to lead the campus community in creative and faithful worship of God; to strategically promote spiritual health, … …read more…

VBS Curriculum from LOM Now AvailableLutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) produces the curriculum each year that is used in camp and retreat settings and for Vacation Bible Schools and day camps.  LOM has released its 2020 curriculum entitled From Generation to Generation. More Information …read more…

Ministry in Divisive Times – 2020 Rural Ministry ConferenceWartburg Theological SeminaryMarch 1-3, 2020Best Western Plus Hotel & Conference Center3100 Dodge Street, Dubuque, IA Keynote speaker The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary and author of Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide Breakout Sessions Planning and Implementing the Sermon-Dialogue-Sermon Method in … …read more…

Progressive day of prayer in Rockford on World Day of Prayer – March 6“Do you want to be made well?” Jesus asks in John 5:6.  Of course, the lame man whom Jesus encountered at Bethesda wanted to be made well; otherwise, he would have not been at the pool. What stopped him from being well before meeting Jesus?  What stops us from being well?  World Day of Prayer 2020 … …read more…

Planning for Retirement with Portico – two locations: Davenport or ChicagoRetirement takes planning. Whether it feels light years away or just around the corner, Portico’s Plan for Retirement Seminar can help you prepare. And it’s coming to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.  Or you can choose to attend at the ELCA Lutheran Center in Chicago on Thursday, May 7.  In the morning, learn how … …read more…

Jenny Lind’s 200th Anniversary to be remembered April 26The 200th anniversary of Jenny Lind will be celebrated at the annual Founders Day Service on Sunday, April 26, 4 pm, at the Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover. The Chapel, constructed in the early 1850’s, is named for this celebrated Swedish singer, who gave a generous donation to Pastor Lars Paul Esbjörn, leader of the … …read more…

Free organ needs a homeFREE to Individual, church, or organization: Lowrey GX225 organ in Freeport 2 full keyboards and full pedalboard. Instruction books and bench included. Just bring a truck and four men to transfer. Contact Richard Brinkmeier for more information at 815-599-9005 …read more…


 Visit the Bulletin BoardCalendar*CANCELED* Congregational Resourcing Event Saturday, March 14, 2020Northeast Conference Meeting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – 9:30 am*Zoom* First Call Theological Education Tuesday, March 17, 2020 – 10:00 amWest Conference meeting Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 9:30 am*Zoom* Conference of Deans meeting Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 10:00 am*CANCELED* East Conference Meeting Thursday, March 26, 2020 – 9:00 am**POSTPONED – NEW DATE TBA** – RMCE Tools for Tending to our own Grief with the Rev. Dr. Kadi Billman Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 9:00 amSafeguarding God’s Children at St. John’s Somonauk Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 9:00 amCentral Conference Meeting Wednesday, April 8, 2020 – 9:00 amAll Staff Meeting Thursday, April 9, 2020 – 10:00 amFinance Committee Friday, April 10, 2020 – 3:30 pmSynod Calendar
Upcoming EventsChurchwide NewsHow to stream your worship service — A starter guide ELCA Worship Team(rev. 3/13/2020) If you’ve ever wondered how to stream your congregation’s worship or events online, this guide is for you. It’s not comprehensive, and the information contained here may change at any time because the software and hardware are always evolving. But the guide explains how to begin streaming for very little money … …read more…

ELCA Public Health Resources Caring response in times of public health concerns With the outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States and around the world, congregations and houses of worship need to be well-informed and well-prepared. The following information offers guidance as we minister to and engage with each other, and within our communities, as the … …read more…

Presiding Bishop Eaton’s message on COVID-19 Please watch Presiding Bishop Eaton’s video message on COVID-19. …read more…

ELCA Advocacy in time of COVID-19 pandemic With daily developments in the spread and scope of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), our anxiety and uncertainty tempt us to curve inward and fixate on self-preservation. Appropriately, ELCA congregations and ministries are responding to the outbreak in their communities to ensure the health and safety of worshipers, staff and neighbors by adopting practices to slow … …read more…

ELCA Church Council and ELCA Conference of Bishops hold first-ever multiday joint meeting ITASCA (March 13, 2020) — For the first time in the history of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the ELCA Church Council and the ELCA Conference of Bishops held a joint meeting over multiple days. The purpose of the meeting was to nurture their relationship and foster dialogue around shared work that guides … …read more…

ELCA Advocacy Connections: March 2020 COVID-19 pandemicWith daily developments in the spread and scope of the COVID-19 outbreak, our anxiety and uncertainty tempt us to curve inward and fixate on self-preservation. Last week, Congress passed emergency funding to bolster local, state and federal governments’ public health response to the virus. This is an important first step, but we must do more so … …read more…

ELCA Church Council votes to remove “Vision and Expectations” ELCA News Service – 3/8/2020 2:40:00 PM ​CHICAGO — The ELCA Church Council voted today to remove “Vision and Expectations” from use in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Disciplinary standards for rostered ministers are outlined in “Definitions and Guidelines for Discipline.” The council encourages people to read the document, which states: “As an expression … …read more…

Women of the ELCA Bold Connections – March 2020 Presidents ask, ‘What’s God calling you to do?’ A recent immersion trip to the southern border of the United States was a “life-changing experience,” Women of the ELCA’s executive board president Lisa Plorin told women at the Conference of Presidents’ meeting in Chicago, Feb. 21-23. When asked by presidents what God is calling her to … …read more…

Living Lutheran Stories – March 3, 2020 The great and holy leveling field “There but for the grace of God go I.” I’ve heard this uttered and may have even said it myself a time or two. It’s usually said in response to seeing some unfortunate soul pass by with … continue Lent: Reflect, repent and connect Lent is a time of introspection, … …read more…

God’s work. Our hands. Sunday 2020 Please save the date Sept. 13 for “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday, the ELCA’s dedicated day of service. Since 2013, “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday has inspired people of all ages to put their faith in action through service projects that share God’s love with all of God’s people. As we gather together in service to our neighbors, we are … …read more…

Seeds Monthly – February 2020 Rostered Ministers Gathering Early registration is now open for the second Rostered Ministers Gathering, taking place July 20-23 in Phoenix, Ariz., under the theme “Rekindle the Gift Within You” (2 Timothy 1:6). The ELCA invites pastors and deacons to participate in this opportunity to remember, reclaim, rekindle and revive themselves alongside colleagues and friends across … …read more…

ELCA Worship News – February 2020 Greetings in these last days in the Time after Epiphany. We are excited to announce the forthcoming release of All Creation Sings, a supplement to Evangelical Lutheran Worship, in fall 2020. This new resource follows more than two years of consideration, preparation and collaboration with Augsburg Fortress and the Worship team in the Office of the Presiding … …read more…

ELCA Global Links – February 2020 “All of these issues are impacted by RACE — so being white and serving in Africa, a distinctly non-white space, puts us in positions that are clearly privileged and often painful.” —Cynthia Holder Rich and Mark Rich In a recent blog post, ELCA missionaries Cynthia Holder Rich and Mark Rich reflect on confronting white privilege … …read more…

Get ready for Census 2020 Our communities are significantly shaped by census data, and Census 2020 will update these numbers for the first time in 10 years. The ELCA is an official partner of the 2020 Census to encourage the most accurate count possible. “Funding for over 100 federal programs, many of which combat poverty and hunger and support people … …read more…

Women of the ELCA BOLD Connections – February 2020 How do we ‘just love’ our neighbor? Does love mean valentines and chocolates and red roses? Or does love mean sacrifice? Maybe love means delighting in someone’s company, or maybe it means untiring service, as a middle-aged daughter might give to her aging mother. Or maybe love means all these things–and more. Read our monthly devotion.What … …read more…


 Read more Churchwide NewsNIS Prayers
…for our nation and the world during this pandemic 

…for Vicar Micah Louwagie, recovering from surgery 

…for our siblings in Christ in the Southeastern Synod recovering from the Middle Tennessee Tornado 

…for Joanne Wolff and family at the death of her husband, Pr. Paul Wolff 

…for thanksgiving with Pr. Jacob & Michelle Gawlik on the birth of their son 

… for June Cain and family at the death of her mother, Evelyn Stahl 

… for Pr. Tom Rogers awaiting test results 

…for Deacon Marti Bein at the death of her mother on 2/14/2020 

…for Pr. Zach Baer and Living Waters, Crystal Lake as he is installed there 3/1 

…for Deacon Carla Vanatta at the death of her sister, Bonnie on 2/10/2020 

… for family and friends of Vicar Mike Reibel who died 2/5/2020 

…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