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In Jesus’ Name. Proclaim the Gospel - Make Disciples - Do Justice.

Give to the COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund

While the COVID-19 crisis has created unexpected struggles for many of our congregations, we have also witnessed tremendous generosity. 

Please consider, as congregations and as individuals, a gift to the COVID-19 Congregational Support Fund. Your gift will be used for direct relief to congregations experiencing shortfalls or at risk of closure through no fault of their own. Your gifts to the fund will encourage and strengthen congregations hit the hardest by the pandemic so that they can continue to minister in their communities. Gifts are welcome online at this link, and are also welcome by mail, sent to the synod office. 

Thank you for your ongoing and faithful support of the synod’s mission: “In Jesus’ Name—Proclaim the Gospel, Make Disciples, Do Justice.”

Phase IV and Restoring MCS (Reprinted)

Dear Partners in Ministry,

As the pandemic continues here in Illinois, yesterday, the governor released Phase 4 Guidelines for Reopening as a part of “Restore Illinois.” These guidelines do not give specific guidance to churches, and in our conversations with the Illinois Department of Public Health, we learned that it is uncertain if the church-specific guidelines will be updated in the days ahead. However, the Illinois Phase 4 guidelines note that “organizations that operate across multiple workplace environments should refer to applicable Phase 4 guidelines for guidance on those workplaces.” 


Therefore, the new Illinois Phase 4 guidelines were reviewed and integrated into Restoring Metropolitan Chicago Synod: Guidelines for Physically Returning to Buildings. All changes are highlighted. The bottom of the first page indicates the date for each update which is highlighted in a different color. A PDF and Google Doc version of the guidelines are available here on the synod website.

Some congregations are choosing to be particularly cautious regarding the health of congregational members, delaying in-person events for a period of time, or choosing not to hold in-person events during Phase 4. Whatever your congregation decides, we trust that your decisions, for your specific contexts, are made faithfully and lovingly. 


As you discern how and if your congregation will open during Phase 4, please remember that we are offering Safety Materials Grants up to $1,000 from the Congregational Support Fund. These grants are specifically for safety materials related to re-opening your building to in-person activities. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Please remember that as you use Restoring MCS contextually, you will need to integrate additional local guidance from entities such as your county or municipality and confirm the current local, statewide, and national legal requirements. Restoring MCS takes into consideration only the state-wide context that applies to all our congregations. As always, we encourage you to contact the Associate to the Bishop for your conference for any additional support.

Blessings in your discernment,

The Rev. Jason S. Glombicki, co-leader of Restoring MCS; Metropolitan Chicago Synod Council

The Rev. Kyle R. Severson, co-leader of Restoring MCS; Metropolitan Chicago Synod Pastoral Staff

July 15 Taking Faith to College

As your graduate prepares to leave for college at summers end, what last steps are underway to pave the way for flourishing and well-being in their next chapter of life? Perhaps you are investing in new tools like laptops or calculators, or making sure that clothing and bedding essentials are ready to go. Have you considered what part God and faith will play in your son or daughter’s toolkit for life on campus and beyond?

Please join us (with your freshman) via Zoom on Wednesday, July 15, from 7-8:00 pm central as we discuss with current college students, parents, and Lutheran campus pastors why Jesus and college faith communities matter, and the positive difference they make. Learn first-hand about pressures and challenges of college life, and what it means to be supported and affirmed by God and peers in the faith. Campus ministry is an opportunity to question, learn, and grow in faith, and to nurture authentic relationships. Faith on campus can be a blessing that is worth considering. Register using this link ( or contact Steve Oelschlager ( with questions.

Upcoming Events at the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Please join us for one of the many events that we have planned from July through December of this year, including traditional events that we haven't presented for a while, as well as brand new webinars on timely topics.  A sampling of a few imminent events is listed below (some events will be repeated in future months):

Meditation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (August 3-7, 2020): This intensive 5-day event helps clergy and other church leaders deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.

Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches (July 18):  Sessions include "Finding Renewal in Conflict" and "How to be Effective when People are Angry," among others.  Groups are especially encouraged to register for this event!

Healthy Congregations (July 21):  Participants will learn how to keep anxiety within their congregations from becoming infectious, put limits on invasive behavior, manage reactivity, focus on strengths, and more!  This workshop is also especially well suited for groups who are members of the same congregation.

Breaking Free: Finding Resilience in an Era of Collective Trauma (July 16 and July 30): Grounded in Family Systems Theory, and offered in the context of COVID-19 and the aftermath of George Floyd's tragic death, Breaking Free will help participants identify the impact of trauma on themselves and others, discuss strategies to break free from trauma, and find resilience. 

Further details and registration information for these events and others will be made available on BrownPaperTickets (some events still pending).  We also encourage you to visit time to time for the latest updates, call the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507, or email us at

July 27 Application Deadline for the Spiritual Care Visitor Training Program at Bishop Anderson House

Bishop Anderson House announces the next session of the Spiritual Care Visitor Training Program, beginning on Saturday, August 8, 2020. To ensure our student’s safety in the current COVID19 conditions, we will start with a virtual retreat held over Zoom in three separate mandatory sessions: August 8 – 10a-12p and 1:30p-3p; August 15 - 10a-12p. (All Central Time).

You will continue on with the program by taking seven online modules covering a variety of topics, completing two verbatims and providing two hours of spiritual care weekly via phone or videoconference at the direction of your faith community leader.

A $50 application fee is due when you apply to conduct a background check, which must successfully be completed prior to the start of the retreat. The course fee is $325 with discounts offered for groups of 5 or more from the same organization. We do have limited scholarship funds available. Please see our website for further details on the program or to begin your application. Download the brochure. ​All applications are due no later than Monday, July 27. If you have any questions, please contact Kim Lessner, Registrar, at 312-563-4825 or

Free Webinar From Advocate Aurora

Enjoy this free webinar on "Testing for Covid-19" presented for faith leaders, by two content experts from Advocate Aurora Health, Dr. Rob Citronberg, Medical Director for Infectious Diseases, and Ms. Barb Bigler, President of ACL Laboratories. 

Applications are still open for the MCS CSF. Apply Today
Miss the webinar? Click the image above to see it now on our YouTube channel
Check out Mission Memos and consider being a Mission Interpreter. Find more info (as well as back-issues) on the MCS website, or contact Ken Olson,

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod is a Reconciling in Christ Synod.

What does this mean? 

Copyright © 2020, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, photography and cover art are by Synod Photographer, N. Gaby Valladolid. 
Photos include South Loop Campus Ministry Community Table and Synod Retiree Event, as well as ECRA Event in Edgewater

Bible photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash
COVID testing photo by Graham Ruttan on Unsplash

Submissions for the monthly Metro Word Newsletter are due on the 15th of each month. 

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