Stories of Faith: In Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Women’s Ordination

At the 2020 Synodical Convention, our theme of “Just Celebrate” was intended to honor our female identifying clergy in Southwestern Minnesota over the past 50 years.

While the convention needed to cancel due to COVID 19, we received so many beautiful stories and reflections from our clergy that we had to share them! Therefore, we are pleased to present these “Stories of Faith.” Please click the image below to download a copy today! Enjoy and God Bless!

2020 Fall Leadership Gathering Update

The synod board met via ZOOM recently and discussed the upcoming Fall Leadership Event and the Conference Fall Gatherings.  The decisions made are below.

  1. Fall Leadership Event (scheduled for Gloria Dei Lutheran, Redwood Falls for Sat., Aug. 22, 2020)   This event is CANCELLED.
  2. Conference Fall Gatherings……the synod board strongly recommends that you as conferences CANCEL the Fall Gatherings.  Crow River, Scenic Valley, Lakeland, Prairie and Shetek Conferences have already cancelled.

These recommendations come in light of Gloria Dei not being available to outside groups due to the COVID-19.  Also, churchwide organization strongly suggests that NO in-person EVENTS be held through the end of the year for the synods.  And the synod board members were just not comfortable putting the health and safety of our women in jeopardy.

There will be NO LWR COLLECTION in our synod through the end of the year.  So, if units or conferences have been collecting LWR items and you want them to get to St. Paul warehouse – that has to be up to each individual group to figure that out.  Your other option is hang onto the items and bring them to the 2021 Convention. Go to and search for the phone number of the St. Paul warehouse.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as these decisions do not come easily or lightly. We all continue to pray for the health and safety of all people during this pandemic.

SWMN 2020 Synod Assembly Cancelled: Walker Bag Donations

On April 25th, the Synod Council voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 Synod Assembly for Southwestern Minnesota.

Many of you have worked very hard to produce homemade walker bags with the intention of donating them to the Synod Assembly service project. Unfortunately, due to the limitations around social distancing and ensure we keep as many Minnesotans safe during this time, there is no path to continue this service project.

The Synod office recommends those with an abundance of walker bags should donate them to any care facilities, nursing homes or rehab centers in your local area.

The Synod WELCA Board would also suggest adding a personal note or prayer to go with your bags. Our neighbors living at these centers are experiencing isolation unlike anything before. Any connection you could provide in this time would be a great act of service and love!

Knowing that rules for donations may have changed, please contact your local center prior to donating to make sure the health and safety of the residents and workers there are the first priority.

Thank you all for your understanding and your continued commitment to loving and serving our neighbors in Southwestern Minnesota!

Meet the new SWO Board!

2019-2020 SWO Board – Top Row: Barbara Wurtzberger, Karla Conrad, Linda Magnuson, Kim Christianson, Maria Lokensgard, Jill Duncan; Middle Row: Christina Nelson, Louise Ferry, Betty Brandt; Bottom Row: Jane Tongen, Joan Iverson; Not Pictured: Dianne Doscher, Janet Hagen

Thank you ladies for your commitment and service to our organization! God bless you on your endeavors for the coming year. For more information on our board check out Our Synod page!

Many thanks as well to our outgoing 2018-2019 SWO Board. Your dedication and love made this a fantastic year!

2018-2019 SWO Board – Top Row: Barbara Wurtzberger, Karla Conrad, Linda Magnuson, Dianne Fredin, Kim Christianson, Betty Anderson, Marcella Chapman, Betty Brandt, Maria Lokensgard; Middle Row: Christina Nelson, Louise Ferry; Bottom Row: Jane Tongen, Joan Iverson

Congratulations to our Triennial 2020 Voting Members!

At our 32nd Synod Convention, the voting members for Triennial 2020 were elected to serve our Synod with their voice at vote at the convention in Phoenix, AZ. Thank you ladies for your service!

Triennial 2020 Voting Members – Top Row: Christina Nelson, Linda Magnuson, Karen Skarphol, Carla Johnson, Maria Lokensgard; Middle Row: Kristy Henriksen, Louise Ferry, Algene Larson; Bottom Row: Jane Tongen, Joan Iverson

Triennial 2020 Alternates (not pictured) – Sandra Buendorf, Julie Jarvi, Nan Crary, Barbara Borth

Synod Board Meeting Focused on Convention Planning

The SW MN Women of the ELCA Synod Board met on October 28. Together we hashed out the details for our annual convention. Speakers and Workshops are tentatively scheduled as well as inspiring bible study and worship leaders. You are not going to want to miss what we have planned for June 29 & 30 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud, MN!

Other Board News:

We also began planning for the 2019 Synod Convention as well as 2020! Be sure to keep checking this site for official dates and locations as we get them!