Thank You in script font

We are church together! What a joy it was to gather for the Synod Assembly as people from small congregations on the prairie to large congregations in urban centers (and everything in between) came together as the Southwestern Minnesota Synod – in-person! My heart was lifted as over 400 people raised our voices to praise God in song in Christ Chapel, built relationships, shared meals together, and did the work of the church to build up the body of Christ. This summer I have been reminded of this beautiful verse from Isaiah:

“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

Today there is new energy to re-shape many of our ministries for this new time. And there is renewed strength as we move forward in the unfading promises God gives in Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your continued partnership, prayers, and encouragement for the work of God’s mission through this synod. Thank you for the financial generosity you provide in Mission Support. Together, you make it possible for us to:

  • Expand congregational leaders' capacity as they adapt for ministries in these changing times. Synod staff walk with leadership during transitions and call process, encourage faithful innovation and coaching, host opportunities for lay leader training, and convene partnership meetings. The full-time staff position of Director for Evangelical Mission, Pr. Troy Pflibsen, is fully provided by the ELCA as our Mission Support dollars come right back to us here. I wish everyone could see the joy and excitement of area congregations who are imagining new ways to partner in ministry. We are here to invest in our leaders.
  • Grow the faith of youth, providing tools and coordination for congregations to deeply connect with young people. Faith-forming events like Junior and Senior High ministries and the next ELCA National Youth Gathering are highlights of these ministries. We are with you as Synod Youth Ministry Coordinator, Pastor Nikoli Falenschek, works with synod youth and adults, and we are grateful for the leadership of Pastor Jon Wendt as he helps you organize for the ELCA Gathering in New Orleans next July.
  • Discern God’s call for the Synod as the Synod Council continues conversation about our ministry together. The commitment statement they adopted this spring, shared at the Synod Assembly, will guide our staff and Council work so that we are here for you and move forward with diligence, wisdom, and care.
  • Maintain our excellent ministry to provide pastoral care for leaders in times of illness or crisis. We will continue to be there for you as we preach in numerous congregations each week, rejoice in ordinations, and celebrate with congregations marking 100th and even 150th anniversaries this summer.

Your Mission Support makes possible these ministries right here and - around the globe. Thank you! As you review your congregation’s Mission Support for 2023, know that we are grateful for the gifts you share and highly value your partnership in God’s mission. We are church together! May God bless your congregation with new energy as you live out the Good News, invite new people to follow the way of Jesus, and love your neighbors in the place where God planted your church. Wishing you blessings for summer renewal.

+ grace and peace,
Bishop Dee Pederson

Your Mission Support Gifts at Work

Click here to read the ELCA Mission Support Memo from June 2023 that shares how important your weekly offering in your congregation is in sustaining and growing God’s mission. For previous Mission Support Memos Click here. 

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