I think it’s difficult for 21st-century Christians to comprehend the seismic shift that had occurred.
There was once a time when two distinct peoples were trying to comprehend how they could be one people. One was a millennia-old people who had persevered through enslavement, oppression and exile. And they still preserved their identity and trust in God. They believed that God had blessed them to be a blessing to all humanity even when the rest of humanity reacted violently against them. They believed that God had made an everlasting covenant with them and had given them a sign of that promise.
The other people were hostile, polytheistic, the majority and suspicious of the other. They rejected any claims by the other group that a life lived by covenant obligations could possibly be a good one. This wasn’t just a lack of understanding, but antagonism and contempt.
Then, something happened. Through the cross these two peoples became one people. This is the story of the first-century church. “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:13-14).
Read More. . .
As this time of pandemic carries on, sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re still living through something major and global. In the midst of anxiety and fear, Bishop Eaton shares the words of Jesus, “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
View Bishop Eaton's video message
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
You know our hearts, and the sadness and grief that fills them. You recognize how that grief has pushed all other emotions aside and weighs heavily.
We pray for the family of
William 'Bill' Markgraf
upon his death earlier this week. Bill served as a Parish Ministry Associate from 1995 until August 2020.
Our hearts also swell with gladness as we celebrate and pray for the ordinations of
, Saturday, September 18, 2021 at
Advent, Olathe, KS
, Saturday September 25, 2021 at
First, St. Joseph, MO
We lift also
, and the congregation of
First Lutheran, Mahattan, KS
, as he is installed September 26, 2021.
Let our tears cleanse us and allow us to again dance and laugh as we make a joyful noise to praise you.
(The next meeting of the Mission Endowment Committee will be April 21, 2022)
The Central States Synod Mission Endowment Fund Committee met on Thursday, September 9 to review grant requests. The mission endowment gives grants for continuing education for rostered and lay leaders, scholarships and financial assistance to seminary students who are in candidacy in the synod, student loan debt reduction for rostered leaders serving their first five years in the synod, and other outreach projects and ministries.
At that meeting they dispersed:
$1450 for continuing education for rostered ministers
$3900 for student loan debt reduction
$29,000 for seminary student scholarships and support
$ 2,000 for Hollis Renewal Center
$10,000 for Sanctuary in the Ordinary, a non-profit organization in St. Louis that provides affordable housing to individuals with disabilities as well as those released from prison
$22,500 for the Synod Mission Table to disperse to SAWCs in 2021
$25,000 for the Synod Mission Table to disperse to SAWCs in 2022
In total $93,850 in grants were given from the synod mission endowment fund to support leaders and fund ministries!
In addition, the committee also considered outreach and technology grants from congregations of the synod and approved $6500 of $500 grants to 13 congregations in the synod. These funds come from the synod budget because of the generous support of congregations last year. We are truly “walking together” as we seek to strengthen our ministries and outreach of the gospel! Thank you!
Fall Theological Conference
October 12-14, 2021
Lodge of the Four Seasons
While we are keeping an eye on Covid numbers in Missouri, we are planning to meet in-person with the following protocols:
Attendees are asked to wear masks while gathered indoors. Additionally, all participants are asked to be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid test a few days prior to the conference.
Rev. Del Strecker
Central Kansas Conference
Thank you to
Rev. Del Strecker
Rev. Adam Wutka
for agreeing to serve as conference deans!
for a complete list of deans and the conferences they serve.
Rev. Adam Wutka
Western Kansas Conference
Backpack Blessings of Food
Want to learn more?
- Contact one of these partner congregations.
Do you have a similar ministry?
- Let us know by contacting Rev. Kendra Nolde at
Fall has arrived and students are headed back-to-school! Many congregations have a "Blessing of the Backpacks" to encourage students and families at the start of another school year. And some congregations also bless students and backpacks in another way -- by sending home backpacks with food on the weekends! Yes, there is a lot that remains uncertain in these pandemic days. But we know that there are still hungry children and families whom we can feed with God's love. Here are just some of the congregations in Central States who indicated they have some form of a "backpack of food" ministry:
Salem Lutheran (Lenexa, KS)
Messiah Lutheran/Bethany College (Lindsborg, KS)
Upper Wolf Evangelical (Robinson, KS)
Family of Christ (Imperial, MO); St. John (Russell, KS)
Resurrection Lutheran (Haysville, KS)
Prairie Faith Shared Ministry (Ellis, KS)
A big shoutout to these congregations who are dreaming God's dream of a just world where all are fed.
The bulletin insert contains additional information as well as prayer suggestions for Sunday, October 3rd, and the video is part of a zoom conversation with Pastor Alexander Lapochenko with missionary Bradn Buerkle translating. Our Synod is committed to providing financial support for Pastor Lapochenko, a commitment that is a priority for us in our work with the Lutheran Church in the Russian Far East. Learn more at the link below entitled "
Far East Deanery Russia
Don't miss this opportunity to remember that we are part of a global church and that we are not the only ones struggling with the pandemic and challenges in ministry."
Update regarding the 2022 ELCA Youth Gathering
After much prayer and conversation, Gathering leadership have decided to require full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative test result (likely 72 hours before arrival) to attend the 2022 Gathering, MYLE and the tAble. As of now, leadership have not decided on any additional safety measures. We commit to continued transparency in the decision-making process and will release information as it becomes available regarding additional safety measures or adjustments to key dates. Any updates will be communicated via Gathering social media, gNews and our website.
Stories of Faith in Action
” connects us as church and illustrates how, through your generosity, God is at work across the ELCA. It highlights how a portion of your offering, called Mission Support, advances the ministry of our church, helping the ELCA nurture Christian community, raise up leaders, serve our neighbors and strive for justice. Most importantly, it’s one way to thank you for your faithful generosity to your congregation, your synod and the churchwide organization — by showing your offering at work. Dive into
the latest issue
, which is now available in its digital edition and includes:
A special message from
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Nine inspiring stories from around the country and the world.
2020 financial report on Mission Support
— the portion of your offering your congregation shares with your synod, and your synod shares with the churchwide organization.
A story-based devotional for use at Bible studies or committee meetings.
Additionally, you can visit
today to download additional resources related to this publication, including a high resolution PDF for printing.
“The pandemic was a stark illustration of the fact that the church is not a building,” said Sandra Rudd, pastor of Sitka (Alaska) Lutheran Church. “A lot of people say that, but we didn’t fully know it until we didn’t have a building to use. We learned that there are many ways to be connected as the church.”
Saturday, October 23, 2021 • 11 am to 5 pm
Camp Tomah Shinga • 7821 E. Lyons Creek Road, Junction City, KS 66441
Presentation at 11:00 am
followed by Lunch, Outdoor Time, and Resource Sharing
(A Zoom option for the presentation will be available for those unable to attend in person.)
To register for the retreat, please go to:
Make sure to choose ticket type:
, and use country code
when registering. A Zoom link will be sent closer to the event for those who are participating online.
Lutheran School of Theology St Louis is pleased to present:
Womanist Biblical Interpretation
A 3 Zoom session Colloquium
with The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.+
The Right Rev. Sam B. Hulsey Professor of Hebrew Bible
Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas
In this salon-styled offering, participants will study some of the earliest exemplars of womanist biblical interpretation along with more contemporary work. They will engage in their own womanist or womanist adjacent biblical interpretation individually, in small groups and collectively.
The format will be participatory, discussion based and include workshopping with minimal pre-reading assignments required to participate.
Assigned texts: Renita Weems,
Just a Sister Away
and Wil Gafney,
Recommended texts (for library building):
Gay Byron and Vanessa Lovelace,
Womanist interpretations of the Bible
and Mitzi Smith,
Before the first session read: Weems,
Just a Sister Away
Foreword and pp 1-20 and Gafney,
pp 1-10, 19-20, 122-128.
Optional: Any/All of Weems and Translation Appendix in Gafney
Sessions will be held via Zoom on Wednesday evenings, Sept. 22, 29, & Oct. 6, 2021
7:00-8:30 pm CDT.
Copyright © 2021 Central States Synod, All rights reserved.
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