Friends in Christ,
As we continue to respond to the changing dynamics regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, I want to alert you to several resources from the synod office:
- Online worship experience for rostered ministers: This Thursday morning, March 26, at 10:00 am, we will be offering a chance to gather for worship via zoom. Please click the link at the bottom of this email to be connected. Please note that there is a phone-in option for those who do not have access to computers. Materials will be displayed on the screen for those connecting by video; otherwise, you can access them here, here and here. Please also note that prelude music will begin around 9:55, and when you enter the online meeting, all participants will be muted. There will be an opportunity to enter prayer concerns and laments via the chatroom. The service will be recorded, and the link will only be shared with rostered ministers who cannot be with us and who request it.
- Upcoming e-news statement:Thursday afternoon at 2:00 pm, we will distribute the weekly E-news, which will contain an updated message from me regarding the most recent “Safer at Home” order from Gov. Evers and its implications for our congregations.
- COVID-19 webpage: We are continuing to collect resources that we believe may be helpful to our congregations and leaders, posting them all on our synod webpage at www.milwaukeesynod.org/covid19. We do not want to overload your inbox with multiple messages each day, so we encourage you to regularly check back to this page as you seek additional resources.
- Zoom check in meetings: We will continue to offer regular zoom check in meetings, Tuesdays at 1:00 pm and Thursdays at 10:00 am. If you have questions, concerns, or suggestions for these meetings, please reach out to us to let us know. Please also reach out to me or to Kristin, Matt, or Jennifer as you have need to, even if it’s just to ask a quick question or to connect with a listening and supportive ear.
- Stewardship in Uncertain Times: Around 3:30 this afternoon, you may have seen that the Siebert Lutheran Foundation put out information about a webinar being offered entitled “Stewardship In Uncertain Times” on April 1st & 7th. These sessions are capped at 25 participants each. We are pleased to announce that we have worked with Rev. Mike Ward from GSB to offer the same webinar for GMS leaders, so we can expand the numbers of people who have access to these great resources. The Greater Milwaukee Synod’s webinar with Mike is scheduled for Wednesday, April 1st, from 10:00-11:00 AM. He will share tangible ideas for responding to this crisis and help you put in place the infrastructure to keep generosity flowing to your congregation. A portion of the time will be dedicated to questions from participants. This is for pastors, stewardship leaders, council members, and others engaged in congregational leadership. Learn more and sign up here.
I continue to be amazed and blessed by your creativity, compassion, and persistence in these days. As we settle in for what appears to be an extended period of physical distancing, I pray that you will find ways to become more deeply connected to God, to your immediate family, and to our extended faith family as we seek out new ways to engage and embrace one another.
Bishop Paul Erickson