Steeple Image

Synod News 2/8/2017

By South Dakota Synod | Posted 2/10/17 at 3:37pm |
Category: Synod News

South Dakota Synod News

February 8, 2017

The Synod E-News is designed to keep you informed in a condensed, weekly email for rostered ministers, congregational leaders, and members of the South Dakota Synod. 

Annual Reports Needed

File Your Annual Congregational Report by Feb 15 

The South Dakota Synod and the Churchwide offices need your parochial reports (Forms A&C) completed by next Wednesday.

Click here to complete your annual congregational report. Instructions can be found here.

If you are needing your congregational ID or password, please contact the Synod office at 605-274-4011 or email us at

The following information needs to be completed by congregations in the South Dakota Synod as soon as possible.

  • Statement of Intent for Mission Support – This form is used to to tell us your congregation’s plan for supporting ministries in South Dakota and the churchwide organization for 2017. If your congregation hasn’t completed this step, please complete by Friday, February 10.
  • Congregational Leadership Form – This form is used to update contact information on leaders in your congregation. Complete this at the same time you complete your Statement of Intent.

Annual Rostered Minister Reports to the Bishop

Reports for all Rostered Ministers can be filed online this year.
Click here to file your annual report to Bishop Zellmer that pertains to your particular call. If you haven’t completed your Rostered Minister Annual Report, please complete by February 15.

Interfaith Prayer Vigil Tomorrow Night in Sioux Falls

An Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Refugees, Immigrants,and Sojourners will be held in the Augustana University Chapel of Reconciliation on Thursday, February 9 at 7pm. The event is co-sponsored by Augustana Campus Ministry, the Muslim Student Association, area churches, the South Dakota Synod of the ELCA, the Muslim Community Center, and Lutheran Social Services Center for New Americans. Come to pray and hope for God’s radical welcome to inspire us all toward a more generous hospitality. All are welcome.

The South Dakota Synod would like to extend an invitation to all rostered ministers and congregational leaders to attend a Chrism Mass service in February.
A Chrism Mass is for the
blessing of Baptismal Oils and
the renewal of vows.

We will also be offering a blessing to newly elected council presidents and congregational leaders as they serve this church. Please be sure to extend this invitation to them as well.

Feb. 26 – Atonement Lutheran, Rapid City – 5 PM
Feb. 27 – Zion Lutheran, Aberdeen – 6:30 PM
Feb. 28 – St. John American Lutheran, Sioux Falls – 6:30 PM

Seminary Debt Restructuring Program

Rostered Ministers in a congregational call who are interested in setting up appointments for the Seminary Debt Restructuring Program can contact Jessie Hall or Sara Ramirez at LSS. For more details, click here. LSS looks forward to working with pastors in the South Dakota Synod.

Companion Synod Updates

Call for Missionary Support

On behalf of the Companion Synod Committee I am asking for you help us with our appeal to support for Sergio, our missionary in the Iglesia Lutherana Fe y Esperanza in Nicaragua. Sergio stands ready to welcome and support visitors to Nicaragua who get a first hand look at the outreach and ministry of our sister church.

We have put aside money to support Sergio through April of 2017. We hope to bring him to our Synod Assembly so that he can travel through South Dakota and you can meet him this June. Please make your contributions to Companion Synod Committee with Sergio Support in the memo line of the check.

Thank you, Rev. Charlie Bunk
Companion Synod Coordinator

Call for Reformation Day in Nicaragua

This is a call to all Rostered Ministers in South Dakota. We have a standing invitation to send one of our own leaders to celebrate Reformation Festival with the Lutheran Church of Faith and Hope in Nicaragua. We are looking for a leader to volunteer to preach at the Reformation Sunday Celebration in Managua on Sunday, October 29, then lead a Bible Study with leaders on Monday and Tuesday October 30 and 31. You could travel back to be present at the big celebration of the 500th Anniversary in Sioux Falls on November 1. Sergio is willing to interpret your Sermon and your Bible Study in Spanish should you wish. Please talk to Pastor Charlie Bunk if you are willing to say: “Here am I, send me!”

Looking Ahead

Conference Assemblies

The following conferences have scheduled their Conference Assemblies in March:

  • Southeastern: March 5, 2 PM at Scandia Lutheran in Centerville
  • Prairie Coteau: March 5, 3 PM at NeSoDak
  • Bear Butte: March 12, 3 PM at Piedmont Valley Lutheran Church
  • Medary: March 12, 3 PM at Trinity, Arlington
  • Northern Plains: March 19, 4 PM at St Paul Lutheran in Bowdle
  • Prairie Rivers: March 19, 2 PM at First Lutheran, Mitchell
  • Crossroads: March 26, 2 PM at Our Savior’s, Sioux Falls

Resolutions Deadline

The deadline to submit resolutions is March 31st. Please submit resolutions in an email with the resolution attached to Crystal McCormick in the Synod Office at

Spring Theological Conference – April 18-20

Please join us on April 18 – April 20, 2017 for our Spring Theological Conference to be held in downtown Sioux Falls. All Worship and Academic Sessions held at First Lutheran Church. Click here for more details.

Crossroads Men in Mission Prayer Breakfast

This year’s Men in Mission Prayer Breakfast will be on Saturday, April 22 at Brandon Lutheran.

Registration begins at 8:30 AM with breakfast starting at 9 AM.

Program this year is Rebel Hurd, Mission Developer of Church on the Street in Sioux Falls.

RSVP by April 18 to Brandon Lutheran by calling 605-582-3401 or email

Synod Assembly

Save the date for Synod Assembly, June 2-3, at Gloria Dei Lutheran in Sioux Falls.

ELCA Rostered Ministers Gathering

The ELCA Rostered Ministers Gathering early bird registration opens on March 31st-May 31st. Scholarships are also available through the churchwide office for Rostered Ministers looking to attend the event. Applications for scholarships must be submitted by March 8th. More information and details can be found here.

This Week


Feb. 9
Interfaith Prayer Vigil
Augustana University

Feb. 16
Northern Plains Conf. Mtg.
Lutheran Memorial, Pierre

Feb. 19-21
Bear Butte Spring Leaders Retreat
Outlaw Ranch

Feb. 21
Prairie Rivers Conf. Mtg.
St. John, Dimock

Congregations in Transition

Ministry Site Study Scheduled
Belle Fourche, St. James (solo) # – Jean Helmer, SAM, Interim – Feb. 26 at 11:45 a.m.
Buffalo, Grand River (solo)
Custer, Custer Lutheran Fellowship (solo) # – Deacon Pat Eidsness, SAM, Interim – Feb. 25 at 3:00 p.m.
Glenham, Norway/McLaughlin, Redeemer (solo) – TBD

Ministry Sites Accepting Candidates
Scotland, Zion (solo) – Kwen Sanderson, Interim

Deacon Laura Campbell (First Call/Seminarian) – Our Savior’s, Spearfish – Feb. 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Installations Scheduled
Jared Rakness – West Nidaros, Crooks (solo) – Feb. 19, 2017
Ramona Hayes – Langford Parish – Augustana, Claremont/Evangelical, Falnes & Highlanda in Langford (solo) – TBD
Jonathan Steiner – Graceful Hills Parish – Atonement, Rapid City & Piedmont Valley, Piedmont (solo) – March 12
Deacon Laura Campbell (First Call/Seminarian) – Our Savior’s, Spearfish – Feb. 26  at 8:30 a.m.

Calls Extended
Eric Ohrtman – Messiah New Hope, Sioux Falls (solo)

Click here for a full list of “Congregations in Transition”.

Congregational News

Charis Ministry Partners Job Opening

Charis Ministry Partners, a partnership of area ELCA churches in the Sioux Falls area are seeking a person who will serve as the Coordinator of the Mobile Food Pantry Ministry to the end that it runs well and serves both the guest families in need and the volunteers as they serve and learn about this caring ministry. The position will require 20-22 hours per week, including one Thursday evening distribution weekly, and availability for phone calls and emails throughout the week. The Food to You Coordinator shall be an ex officio member of the Charis Ministry Partners Board, and shall work with the board and the Director of Charis Ministry Partners.

Food to You Mobile Food Pantry Coordinator

Salary / benefits:

  • 20 – 25 hours per week
  • $20,000 annual salary
  • Opportunity to participate in ELCA health insurance program
  • W2 issued by Peace Lutheran
  • $30 / month cell phone reimbursement  $360 annually
  • Mileage reimbursement for personal vehicle use of $.50 per mile
  • 3 weeks vacation which include a substitute for the Thursday distribution

Nicholas Welder – Director of Charis Ministry Partners
Office: 605-336-3597

Graceful Hills Parish Job Opening

The Graceful Hills Parish (2 churches just outside Rapid City) is seeking candidates for the position of Parish Education Director.  This full-time position would help create educational programs for children and youth in two congregations.  Candidates should be excited for teaching our Lutheran faith, ready to be creative in structuring programs, and willing to try out a new model for multi-congregational ministry.  Please contact Pastor Jonathan Steiner at or 301-785-0518 for the full job description, more details, or any questions you may have.

Northeast South Dakota Youth Gathering

Join youth from the ELCA in the Northern Plains Conference at this upcoming gathering.

Who: Over 100 high school students from across Northeast South Dakota, open to grades 9-12

What: 24 hours of worship, games, music, food and challenge. You’ll be invited to follow Jesus and see how your gifts will bring your faith front and center in your life at home, school, sports and arts!

When: March 24-25,2017, starts at 6:30PM

Where: Aberdeen; the ELCA Ministries of Aberdeen are hosting. The gathering will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1620 Milwaukee Ave NE.

Visit for more information and registration.


“It’s Not What We Do”
Whose work is it? 
In her February column for Living Lutheran, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton lifts up the need for well-trained pastors and deacons. Where do we find these potential leaders? She says it’s the “work of the entire church.” Read her column by clicking here.

Share This:
divider line

Comments are closed.

South Dakota Synod header background image