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Latino Fellowship GatheringFirst Annual Synod-Wide
Summer Latino Fellowship Gathering

Saturday, July 11th, 2015 at Vilas Park 12:00-6:00 pm
We invite all our synod members to an exciting new South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Latino Event. The day starts at 12noon with devotion & fellowship then we’ll just enjoy the afternoon at the park and zoo. This is a time for us to gather from throughout the synod to lift up our Latino ministries and build our friendships within and across our congregations. We will provide water, treats, music, lawn games, and paper products but please bring your own food. If you plan to attend or bring members from your congregation, please just email so we can make sure we have enough capacity.

Interested in sharing with your congregational members? Click here for a bulletin insert:  PDF   Word

This event is funded via a Siebert Lutheran Foundation 3-year grant.


Congregations Find Purpose Together:
A New Partnership

There was a procession held Sunday, November 2, 2014, to commemorate a new partnership between two very distinct congregations — St. Paul LuLuterana San José, both of Beloit, Wisconsin.

Members of St. Paul Lutheran Church walked from their congregation to gather up their new partner congregation from Parroquia San José and together, both congregations walked back to St. Paul to finish worship together and to share Communion. Starting in November, Both congregations will worship under the same roof at St. Paul, 617 St. Lawrence, Beloit, WI.

Gracia de Dios: A First Century Model of Latino House Churches in Janesville
The SCSW's Latino Ministry in Janesville, formerly housed at Faith Lutheran Church, has chosen to leave Faith and become an independent Worshipping Community named Gracia de Dios. They are being served by Mr. Abel Arroyo, a seminarian from LSTC and are following a first century model of gathering in homes for worship, bible study, and fellowship. The Synod is grateful for all the time, money, heart and passion the people and pastors of Faith Lutheran put into beginning this important ministry in Janesville. We continue our support of the people of Gracia de Dios as they move toward further autonomy and self-determination.

Mission Partners Agreement
Concerned for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we commit to supporting God’s mission in each other’s locations. We will share each others challenges and joys. We will communicate regularly and nurture positive relationships between our congregations, sharing our unique gifts with each another.

Click here to download a PDF of the Mission Partners Agreement.

Click here to download a Word Document of the Mission Partners Agreement.

Celia's Story
Cecilia came to the United States from Mexico several years ago. She came to Beloit, WI, to escape the abuse she was experiencing there, as well as to earn income to support her family who remained in Mexico.

Unfortunately, soon after her arrival she began to feel sick and could not work as she had expected. She felt this was God's punishment. She had not experienced God's love before, until she had to allow others to help her. In this time she became connected to the ministry and the community of Parroquia San José, a mission congregation of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin and the Presbytery of Milwaukee located in Beloit.

Living with cancer as part of a faith community allowed her to have new dreams. She realized the negative experiences she had brought with her from Mexico, and she felt her faith and her connection with this community helping her to release that baggage and open her up to the blessings of life. She became thirsty for learning about the Bible, she became a lay minister in the church (she came to training for this role even when she had to lay on the floor because of her pain from her illness). Cecilia wanted her children to know what she was now experiencing so that they would also be encouraged to help others. In the words of the Rev. Neddy Astudillo, pastor of San José, “She taught us all the power of love and faith. She never lost her smile. She became pure of heart. She saw God.”

Latino Ministries“Cecilia's life taught us all how to trust God's presence in our lives, in spite of whatever circumstance and experience the wonderful ways in which God protects and provides for God's children.”  Rev. Neddy Astudillo, Pastor of San José

Ultimately, Cecilia wanted to return to Mexico before she died, so she could be reunited with her family and share with them her new experience of faith and life even in the midst of terminal cancer. When time came to return, she experienced God's presence all along the way: from the help of doctors to make her strong enough to travel, the time at the airport with the young man who was willing to accompany her all the way to her next flight; the airplane ticket provided by the Mexican Consulate; the accompaniment of the church; all medical bills forgiven by the UW hospital, and more.

When Cecilia arrived, in spite of the poverty in her community in Mexico, she said she found everything to be more beautiful than she had ever imagined or remembered it. “God has changed my eyes, my soul, my heart, my way of being... I was surprised with all the love an attention I was receiving from my loved ones, even some whom had been unjust to me in younger years.”

Pastor Astudillo worried about how Cecilia would receive pastoral care in her dying days in Mexico, but because of the connections of the larger church, she was able to make contact with a Lutheran pastor who lived some eight hours away from Cecilia’s home in Oaxaca. However, the pastor was from Oaxaca, and would be travelling there and visited Cecilia, providing a tangible presence of Christ and spiritual support to her and her family. The rest of her family was Roman Catholic, and a local priest also supported the family and presided at Cecilia’s funeral.

According to Pastor Astudillo, “Cecilia's life taught us all how to trust God's presence in our lives, in spite of whatever circumstance and experience the wonderful ways in which God protects and provides for God's children.”

Cecilia’s artwork is an ongoing witness to her faith in Jesus and the importance of the body of Christ.

Click here to download a PDF of the Mission Partners Agreement.

Click here to download a Word Document of the Mission Partners Agreement.

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