Tag Archive for: Together03032020

Synodical Council 2020 February meeting summary

The Synodical Council (SC) held its winter meeting last week.

  • Financial results from 2019 were encouraging. Congregation Mission Offering receipts were more than $330,000 above what congregations had committed and $130,000 more than what was received in 2018. Expenses for the current fiscal year have been less than planned, improving the balance in the Financial Stabilization Fund. All our synodical schools are in a stronger financial situation due to cost controls and higher-than-expected gifts. Financial situations at all synodical subsidiaries have improved significantly.
  • The SC adopted planning assumptions for the 2021-2023 biennium. Development of that plan begins in the coming months. The SC is assuming a 2.5% increase in called worker wages, an increase in health insurance rates of 6.5%, and a retirement program increase of 5%. These planning assumptions can change in the months ahead if circumstances warrant.
  • The SC increased the WELS mileage reimbursement rate from 48 cents to 51 cents per mile.
  • A search has begun for a replacement for Mr. Todd Poppe, the synod’s chief financial officer, who will retire at the end of June.
  • The SC approved a request from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary to construct a new faculty home on its campus.
  • The SC made no changes to the “Unfunded Priority List.” These are items that are not included in the ministry financial plan adopted by the synod but can be approved if funding becomes available. The list, in priority order, is:
    1. Board for Home Missions—mission expansion ($125,000)
    2. Board for World Missions—mission support/expansion ($125,000)
    3. Board for Ministerial Education—student financial assistance at MLC ($125,000)
    4. Board for World Missions—mission support/expansion ($100,000)
    5. Board for Home Missions—mission expansion ($100,000)
    6. Board for Ministerial Education—top capital improvement priorities ($150,000)
    7. Special Ministries—WELS Military Services Committee ($50,000)
    8. Special Ministries—WELS Prison Ministry Committee ($50,000)
    9. Ministry of Christian Giving—additional counselor ($120,000)
  • Mr. Denny Walters, Mr. Ronald Schmitz, and Mr. Max Wenck were reappointed to serve on the Board of Directors of WELS Investment Funds.
  • Mr. Mark Maurice was reappointed and Mr. Ken Zehm was appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the WELS Foundation.
  • The SC reviewed the plans to communicate information regarding the proposed change to the WELS retirement plan. The proposal will be discussed at this summer’s district conventions.
  • Teacher James Moeller and Mr. Tim Snyder have completed their time of service on the SC. We thank them for their faithful service.

Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder



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Go and TELL

WELS Multi-Language Publications has officially changed its name to WELS Multi-Language Productions (MLP). This change reflects how the work of MLP has evolved with technology and has expanded beyond printed books to websites, social media, videos, and worship music—all to share the gospel message with people all over the world.

One of the new productions from MLP is TELL (Think, Evaluate, Learn, Lead), an English-language online Bible-based training platform developed to bring the gospel to English-speakers around the world. Modeled after the Spanish-language Academia Cristo model, TELL comprises a Facebook page with more than 1.2 million followers, self-led Bible study courses, and deeper studies with a live online instructor.

TELL targets English speakers outside the U.S. “We looked at the top spoken languages in the world. Spanish is in the top four; English also is in the top four. If you include second-language learners, English is by far the most spoken language in the world,” explains Rev. Nathan Seiltz, MLP director.

Rev. Dan Laitinen was called as a full-time TELL missionary and began serving MLP in November 2019. He’s currently producing content and cultivating relationships on the Facebook page. Additional Facebook content is provided by Lutheran pastors from around the world with whom WELS shares fellowship. This helps contribute to the intended global feel and reach of TELL.

In addition to the web-based platforms, MLP recently launched apps for both TELL and Academia Cristo. The apps are android based, with plans for iOS compatible apps in the future. TELL had over 3,000 downloads in the first week, and Academia Cristo has had more than 5,000 downloads. The TELL app has three Bible courses on it; each course has eight to nine video-based lessons accompanied by a quiz. After a user completes the self-led courses, they are invited to participate in a live online class.

Seiltz says that in the next six months he hopes at least a couple hundred people have signed up for TELL online courses, and, God-willing, within two years, people who have taken the courses are implementing what they learned to bring God’s Word to their communities.

Learn more about WELS Multi-Language Productions at wels.net/mlp.


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WELS Night tickets and shirts now available

Tickets are now on sale for the seventh annual WELS Night at Miller Park. Organize your group and plan to join thousands of WELS members for the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Pittsburg Pirates on Fri., July 24, 2020. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

The Brewers are offering WELS members up to 50 percent off the price of tickets.

The pricing is Field Outfield Box for $21/ticket, Loge Outfield Box for $17/ticket, or Terrace Reserved for $9/ticket. All seats are on the third-base side. The link to purchase discounted tickets, www.brewers.com/wels, is now live. The deadline to purchase tickets in these reserved WELS sections is Friday, June 26.

WELS Night at Miller Park shirts are available for sale at a cost of $6/shirt. Shirts can be purchased online.



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Upcoming 2020 WELS events

The time is here to explore all the opportunities for learning and fellowship through WELS events coming up this spring and summer. Consider the opportunities below.

WELS Women Writers Conference
April 24-25
Waukesha, Wis.

The conference is intended to encourage beginning and experienced women writers in the vocation of writing and provide practical help and resources for writing improvement. Plus, the editorial staff of Forward in Christ magazine will be doing a presentation. Learn more and register

WELS International Youth Rally
June 23-26
Knoxville, Tenn.

Registration is now open for the 2020 WELS International Youth Rally! The 2020 International Youth Rally will be held June 23-26 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The theme for the rally is “Vision 2020: Seeing Christ Clearly. Serving Christ Boldly.” It’s an opportunity for WELS teens from around the country to come together to learn about and grow in their faith, enjoy fellowship, and participate in fun excursions. Contact youth leaders need to preregister members of their group. Once the group is preregistered, then individual rally goers will receive personalized links to finish registration. Learn more and register

57th annual Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society Convention
June 25-28
Athens, Ga.

The 57th annual LWMS Convention will be held June 25-28, 2020, in Athens, Ga. The weekend will include worship, workshops, speakers, displays, fellowship, and fun. Attend to hear from WELS missionaries and learn about WELS mission work around the world. Learn more and register

Taste of Missions
July 11
Mequon, Wis.

Registration is now open for the second annual Taste of Missions! It will be held on Saturday, July 11, 2020, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis. Plan to attend for an afternoon of family fun, ethnic cuisine, fellowship with home and world missionaries, and more! Learn more and register

WELS Night at Miller Park
July 24
Milwaukee, Wis.

Tickets are now on sale for the seventh annual WELS Night at Miller Park. Organize your group and plan to join thousands of WELS members for the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Pittsburg Pirates on Fri., July 24, 2020. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Learn more and read more in this issue of Together.


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