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!

Lac Qui Parle retreat to the Nest

The Lac Qui Parle conference retreat took place at the EAGLE’S HEALING NEST in Sauk Center MN. THE NEST provides a safe haven for veterans who struggle with mental health, drug and addiction. The facility survives solely on private donations with no government subsidies. The group toured the facility, ate lunch and brought a variety of in kind gifts.

Find out more about Eagle’s Healing Nest here!

Southwest Minnesota Women leaders encouraged to “Reach Out and Welcome”

“So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!” Romans 15:7 (the Message)

Last Saturday, 75 WELCA leaders from all over the Southwest Minnesota Synod gathered at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls, MN for our annual Leadership Training Event. This event is held every September for our leaders to get information on the different officer roles as well as set agendas for the upcoming year.

This year, our agenda is centered on the theme “Reach Out and Welcome.” We are called, as Christians, to always strive to welcome all from our neighbor to the stranger. We are called to welcome them in our church, our towns and our hearts.

What does that look like? Well, our guest speaker, Pastor Jon Nelson of Ebenezer and Tripolis Lutheran Churches, said it might look something like this: It means desiring relationships with the other.  It means being open to being changed by the other.  It means listening, really listening.  It means stepping outside of our comfort zones.  It means learning new languages (perhaps farmer, teacher, doctor, nurses, etc.).  It means admitting we are uncomfortable when we are not comfortable.  It means sacrificing of ourselves.  It means keeping the 8th Commandment (to always assume the best of people’s’ intentions).  It means letting go of competing. Being welcoming is our calling!

Women of the ELCA has a New Executive Board!

Congratulations to our own Sara Larson from Southwest Minnesota on your election to the Executive Board of the Women of the ELCA!

Congratulations also to our new president, Lisa Plorin, from Western North Dakota Synod. Lisa was our churchwide representative at the 2017 Synodical Convention last May. We are very excited for her!

And, of course, congratulations the all the remarkable women elected to the executive board during the Triennial Convention. They are: Lisa Plorin, Becky Shurson, Freddie Jordan, Anna Sarver, Angela Bell, Tina Bigelow, Elizabeth Burgess, Lois Bylund, Anissa Canova, Lydia Davila, Dinah Dutta, Sandra Grier, Laura Krueger, Sara Larson, Joy Michalicek, Kandy Pflaster, Keala Simeos, Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld, Lynette Todd, Barbara Tormondsen, and Karen Voris.

Please visit for more information.

Here’s What’s Cookin’ from SWMN With Love

We had such an amazing three days at the Minnesota Convention Center. 150+ women from Southwest Minnesota attended the 2017 WELCA Triennial Gathering. One of the fun traditions for women attending Triennial Gatherings is to distribute gifts to women from Synods around the country. Southwest Minnesota distributed 10 different recipes to the women all over the country that attended. The recipes are listed below for those that wanted to complete their recipe collection. Enjoy!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup from Crow River Conference
  • ¼ c. butter
  • 2 medium stalks celery chopped fine (about 1 to 1 ½ c)
  • 2 carrots coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium onions, (½ to 1 cup)
  • ½ cup flour, ¼ tsp. pepper, 3 cups cooked wild rice
  • 5 cups water, 6 chicken bouillon cubes
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (helps prevent curdling)
  • 1 pint (2 c.) half and half
  • 2 to 4 chicken breasts, cooked & cut into chunks

Heat butter in large (5 quart sized) stock pot or Dutch oven. Add & cook celery, carrots, and onion about 4 minutes. Stir in flour, pepper, water, bouillon and heat to boiling. Add cooked rice. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in baking powder. Stir in half and half a few minutes before serving. If you want this cheesy, add several cups of favorite cheese before you add the half and half. Heat just until hot (do not boil). To cook wild rice ahead of time, let rice soak in water. Drain off dirty water. Rinse at least 3 times or overnight. For every cup of wild rice, add 3 cups of water and 2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes to the pan or bowl. Cover and cook 1 to 1 ½ hours. (The darker the rice, the longer the cooking time).

Audrey’s Chicken Delight from Minnesota Valley Conference
  • 1- 8 oz. pkg. Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 lg. can evaporated milk (about 13 oz.)
  • 2 Tbsp. Minced onions
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • 4 c. cooked chicken (or turkey) diced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). In a medium size bowl, combine butter and stuffing mix. Pat 1/2 of mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Combine the rest of ingredients. Pour mixture over the stuffing mixture in pan. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over top. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 C) for 40-50 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool 5 minutes before serving to set. Dish will be able to be cut into squares for serving.

Aunt Lena’s Five Decker Dinner from Great River Conference
  • 6 slices of bacon-cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 lb. ground beef, made into four patties
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes sliced
  • 4-6 carrots, sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water

(Made in an electric fry pan) Separate bacon pieces and place on bottom of fry pan. Put ground beef patties on top of bacon. Layer onions, potatoes and carrots over this, season with salt/pepper. Put green peppers and parsley on top. Cook on medium heat until bacon is sizzling, 3-5 minutes. Add water. Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook about 45 minutes. Drain grease. Recipe serves four. If you increase the recipe; cook it a little longer.

Calico Beans from Shetek Conference
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2 tsps. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 can pork and beans
  • 1 can small lima beans
  • 1/2 cup catsup

Fry the onion, bacon and ground beef together. Add the remaining ingredients. Pour into casserole dish and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Ground Beef Stroganoff from Scenic Valley Conference
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups noodles
  • ¾ tsp. salt & ¼ tsp. pepper & 2 tbsp. minced onion
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup sour cream

Brown beef in skillet. Combine flour, salt and pepper & add to browned beef. Add onion and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Sprinkle in noodles and cook about 20 minutes. Stir in soup and sour cream. Heat 2-3 minutes.

A Wild Rice Breakfast from Prairie Conference

Cook one cup of wild rice in 4-5 cups of water for 30 – 45 minutes. Fluff & then rinse the rice. Set aside. In frying pan, brown 1# of sausage & drain. Return sausage to frying pan & add a little onion for taste. Then peel & chop up 2 apples & cook the apples in the onion & sausage mixture for a few minutes. Add sausage mixture to the wild rice. Stir in a ½ bag of dried craisins & a small bag of slivered almonds.

Chicken Hotdish from Lac Qui Parle Conference
  • 3-4 cups, cooked & diced chicken
  • 1 cup celery
  • ½ cup onions
  • 1-2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 can sliced , drained water chestnuts
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1-8 oz. pkg. shredded cheese
  • 3 cups shoestring potatoes

Saute the onions in the butter. Mix the onions, chicken, celery, water chestnuts, mayonnaise, cream of chicken soup & cheese. Put in a 9” x 13” greased pan. Top with shoestring potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Swedish Rice Dish from Glacial Ridge Conference
  • 1 qt milk
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 5 eggs separated
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring

Cook rice until done & cook under cold water. Drain. Beat egg yolks. Add a little milk to the cornstarch & add to the egg yolk mixture, cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add sugar & ½ tsp almond flavoring. Beat egg whites (stiff). Add 10 tbsp sugar, a pinch of salt & ½ tsp to egg whites. Put rice mixture in a 9 x 13 glass cake pan & put egg whites on top. Bake in 375 degree oven 10 to 15 minutes or until whites are brown.

Old Settlers Baked Beans from Watonwan Conference
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound bacon cut in small pieces
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can baked beans  (Bushes)
  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Brown ground beef, bacon and onion. Add remaining ingredients. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Slow Cookers Vegetable Beef Soup from Lakeland Conference
  • 1 lb beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 3/4 in cubes
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes (1/2 in cubes)
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package McCormick Slow Cookers Vegetable Beef Soup Seasoning or McCormick Beef Stew Seasoning
  • 3 cups water

Place beef and vegetables in slow cooker. Mix seasoning mix and water until blended. Pour over beef and vegetables. Cover. Cook 8 hours on low. Stir before serving.