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April 11, 2013 Letter for Members of the
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin

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April 11, 2013
Dear Members of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin,

Leaders and members of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin continue to express sorrow and sympathy for the family of Maureen Mengelt, who died April 7, when she was struck by the vehicle of Bishop Bruce Burnside, who was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide while intoxicated.

We pray that God will comfort the Mengelt family – especially Maureen’s husband, Kevin, and her children, Megan, Andrew, and Allyson – and surround them with peace and grace. We ask for prayers for all those left to grieve the death of one of God's dear children. Our sadness for the untimely death of Maureen Mengelt is too great to be adequately expressed.

Throughout these days we have been in prayer for members of the synod staff and the synod council, for Bishop Bruce Burnside and his family, and for the pastors, leaders, and congregations of our synod.

Bishop Burnside has been released on bond and he entered an inpatient treatment facility on April 11.

In accordance with the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin's constitution and bylaws, the synod council confirmed the temporary appointment of the Rev. Blake Rohrer as acting bishop to oversee the ministry and work of the synod. This should not be confused with the appointment of an interim bishop.

Further information on matters of concern to the synod, including the upcoming Synod Assembly, will be available after this week’s synod council meeting.

“Scripture and Prayer Resources,” as well as public statements and information updates are available on the synod website:

Please continue to pray for all those affected by this unfortunate tragedy. We live in the trust that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and we pray that God’s love will sustain us all today, and in the days ahead.

In Christ,
Eric Peterson
Synod Vice-President
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin
The Rev. Blake Rohrer
Acting Bishop
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin


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The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin is one of the sixty-five synods of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
©2013 South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-ELCA Web Master:
South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA