Welcome to the home of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin, where mission is about sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ everywhere!

Part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the East Central Synod of WI consists of 85,000 Lutherans in 126 congregations.

A Christmas Message from the Bishop Mansholt

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.”

(Luke 1:30)

Fear can easily get the better of us. Sometimes the fear is very personal, relating to a doctor’s visit or the balance in our checkbook or the uncertainty of the future. At other times fear grasps a whole community, a congregation or community or country. Fear can paralyze action, distort reality, and lead us into a downward, evendeathward spiral.But the message of the angels is about saying farewell to fear. The angels said the same thing to shepherds who were working the night shift on the hills of Bethlehem. Fear not, they said, we’ve good news for you and the whole world.

The Christmas carol, “O little town of Bethlehem” has a beautiful line about the hopes and fears of all the years being met in Jesus, the baby born to Mary. It is a way of saying the deepest yearnings of humankind and the most haunting fears of every generation find comfort and assurance in what God was doing in this Christmas story.

We say this because Christmas is not really about a baby; it is about the Christ. Christmas is about God who heard and answered the cries of his people, the deep longing of the world for salvation, the pain and suffering from every corner of the world. Christmas is about the cross and God’s gift of forgiveness and mercy for the whole world.

During the educational hour at one of our congregations recently two high school girls had an overhead projector sitting on a small table in the sanctuary. They were trying to project the shadow of several small crosses onto a wall. I guess they were trying to set something up for a Sunday School lesson. But to their dismay the Christmas tree was in the way, and the shadow of the cross was being cast on the tree, and it was frustrating them. I told them there was a theological lesson in that shadow upon the tree. They had this perplexed look upon their face and I don’t think they were all that interested in what I had to say at the moment.

But it is true nevertheless. And this is what led Martin Luther to say the greatest of the Christmas miracles was not that God should come in human flesh, or be born to a virgin but that shepherds and other humble folk should believe the Savior was born for them, that this baby Jesus was their Savior and Lord. They believed and said “farewell to fear.”

New Staff at ECSW
Rev. Jean DeVoll-Donaldson,
Director of Evangelical Mission

Rev. Jean DeVoll-Donaldson

Rev. Jean DeVoll-Donaldson will begin her ministry as DEM on January 9th, 2015. She comes to us from the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod. Her typical emphases as a DEM were renewal/ redevelopment of congregations, starting new congregations and other related ministries, leadership development, stewardship education and resourcing.

She has served as a member of the ELCA’s Renewal Team. Pastor Jean is certified in the ELCA to train others to be coaches, is trained to support congregations working with Natural Church Development (NCD), can provide conflict transformation mediation and recently completed a week-long immersion in faith based community organizing. She looks forward to finding out how her training and experiences might dovetail with interests of others within our synod.

Spirit Led, Spirit Shaped – A Journey Together

  • January 24th
    • 8:30-11:30 a.m. Wisconsin River Valley
    • 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tomorrow River Conference
  • January 31st
    • 8:30-11:30 a.m. Shawano Conference
    • 1:30-4:30 p.m. Green Bay Conference
  • February 7th
    • 8:30-11:30 a.m. Appleton Conference
    • 1:30-4:30 p.m. Oshkosh Conference

Bishop Gerald Mansholt welcomes all rostered leaders, congregational members, youth and youth workers of the Synod to gather for discernment of  where the Spirit is Leading and Shaping Us to participate in God’s mission.

We are on this Journey Together!  Ramie Bakken, Coordinator for Missional Leadership for Region 5, will lead us in small group sessions by Dwelling in the Word, Listening and Praying Together and Asking.

“What might God be up to in our synod?” 

“Where might the Spirit be stirring our imaginations for ministry?”

Watch for More Details to Come!

Looking for a place to find Theologically sound resources? Check out the Association of Lutheran Resource Centers (ALRC) Pinterest Site.

If you have some resources or websites or new boards you would recommend be added, please let me know so I can add the information to this site:  darlene.kalfahs@ecsw.org

ALRC on Pinterest

The Association of Lutheran Resource Centers – Our “virtual” resource center of theologically sound resources for Lutheran congregations/ecumenical partners.

YAGM in South AfricaRev. Tessa Moon Leiseth is the ELCA young Adults in Global Mission South Africa Country Coordinator and one of the Missionaries that several of our congregations sponsor.

Visit the
to learn more about the YAGM in South Africa.

Tessa and her family Jon, Isaac and Sophia live in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Stay in touch with them via their blog.

Congratulations to Pastor Anne Edison-Albright, Pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Stevens Point for an excellent article in the December 2014 Issue of the Gather Magazine.

Trusting Children is the title and it reminds us about the importance of providing experiences that help children to trust in God, in church while reminding us about the many blessing they bring to our life and the importance of trusting them too.

Read Article Here