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In Jesus’ Name. Proclaim the Gospel - Make Disciples - Do Justice.
August 13, 2020 Table of Contents
  • Synod Assembly
  • MCS Ministry Modules
  • Booking the Bishop or Synod Staff for Guest Preaching
  • Help Invite College Students to Lutheran Campus Ministry
  • Read the New Synodical Women's Organizations (SWO) Newsletter
  • Why I Came and Why I Stayed Story Requests
  • LWR Quilts and Kits
  • 8/19 & 8/26 Advocate Aurora Self Care Workshop
  • 9/19 Begins Fall Diakonia Program
  • Upcoming Events at Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
  • Portico Updates
  • COVID-19 Congregational Support Fund
Synod Assembly Postponed & Keep October 3 Marked in Your Calendar

After consulting with the Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and in conversation with other synods of the ELCA, the MCS Council has voted to postpone the MCS Synod Assembly until 2021. The councils of the Northern Illinois and Central/Southern Illinois Synods have passed parallel motions for their own assemblies. The 2021 assembly will begin by visiting the unfinished business of 2020 before moving into the business of 2021. We still plan to virtually gather on October 3 for a special event, in lieu of the actual assembly. Please keep your calendars marked for that date. We anticipate a joyful and edifying time together. Stay posted or reach out to the Secretary of the Synod Council, the Rev. Erin Clausen ( for more information.
MCS Ministry Modules
Mark your calendars and join us!  Watch for upcoming events via email, Facebook, and on our MCS calendar.

Booking the Bishop or Synod Staff for Guest Preaching

Would you like to invite Bishop Curry or a synod staff person to preach at your outdoor, socially distant worship service? If so, you may reach out by email to the office.  Email contacts can be found here: We'd love to join you for worship and witness the creative and loving ways you are being and doing church in the time of COVID.

Why I Came and Why I Stayed: Nominate a Member of Your Church to Tell a Faith Story

In each monthly Metro Word zine since February, we have been featuring Why I Came and Why I Stayed stories of members of MCS congregations. Is there someone in your congregation you'd like to nominate? Reach out to Pastor Tom Gaulke at Include the person's name, congregation, and why you would like to shine the light on their story. We are specifically highlighting members (and not pastors), so please keep that in mind as you recommend! Many thanks. 

Read the Latest SWO Newsletter
LWR Quilts and Kits Lost in the Beirut Explosion

In addition to the devastating casualties, injuries and widespread destruction, three containers of LWR Quilts and Kits – amounting to more than 47,000 items – were destroyed in the Beirut explosion. These items were bound for families throughout Lebanon struggling with the current economic crisis and COVID-19 pandemic, including refugee families from Syria. LWR is in discussions with staff and partners to determine the most urgent needs and potential response options, with a particular emphasis on shelter, food security, and basic needs. For more information:

9/19 Begins Fall Diakonia Program

This Fall the diakonia program will be hosting classes via Zoom, starting September 19.  New students are welcome to apply to the program by completing an  application which is available on the Synod's website. 

The following  sequence of classes are scheduled for 2020: 

'Finding Meaning and Direction for Your Ministry' taught by Pastor Karl Riko

'Introduction to the New Testament' taught by Pastor Josh Buzbee

'Church History, the First 400 Years' taught by Pastor Soren Flessen

For more information about the diakonia program, please visit

Upcoming Events at the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
Please join us for one of the two remaining sessions of Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) that are scheduled before the end of this year: October 5-9 and November 16-20, 2020.  This workshop equips participants with the skills and knowledge necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  Given that this event will be conducted remotely, participants will need a device with both a camera and microphone in order to participate fully. For details and a registration form, please consult this MSTI Brochure.  A complete list of our upcoming 90-minute webinars and our popular daylong workshops — including Conflict Transformation Skills, Healthy Congregations, and Leadership and Anxiety in the Church, which are perfect for groups — can be found on the LMPC Events Calendar.  Questions?  Call the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at 630-627-0507, or email us at

Update from Portico Benefit Services

Two ELCA-Recommended Health Plan Options for 2021

Last summer, the 2019 Churchwide Assembly passed a resolution asking the ELCA Church Council and Portico to review the ELCA health plan recommendation in the context of a changing church and look for ways to increase flexibility. Following significant analysis, the Church Council’s recommendation will include not one, but two health benefit options for next year.   If you are a sponsoring organization or a plan member, look for more information on next year’s rate and benefit changes in mid-August.

Enhancing the ELCA Retirement Fund Line Up

Today, more than 4 out of 5 ELCA Retirement Plan members invest in balanced funds, which offer a static mix of stocks and bonds in a single diversified fund, based on desired level of risk. While balanced funds have performed well for decades, this October Portico is introducing target date funds to simplify the retirement investing experience. Want to learn more? A Portico Financial Planner can help you understand how these funds can fit your retirement goals. Call 800.922.4896.

Thanks for Donating to the Fund! 

The MCS has received over $17,000 in donations from congregations and individuals to the MCS COVID-19 Congregational Relief Fund. Thank you for your gifts, and for helping us to share resources across the synod. We are the Metropolitan Chicago Synod together.

Gifts are welcome online at this link and are also welcome by mail, sent to the synod office.

Applications are still open for the MCS Congregational Support Fund as well as the Congregational Materials Grant. Apply today. Find more COVID-19 resources on the MCS website:

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. 

LWR photo from LWR in Beirut.

Synod Assembly Photo from MCS Archives.

Logos of organizations belong to those organizations. 

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

Contact the Communications Office:

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