Changing Life
                     December 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

If you were in church this past week, you saw the first Advent candle being lit. It is known as the "candle of hope" or the "candle of prophecy."  Prophecies are promises. Christmas has always been about promises. Mankind has only celebrated Christmas for some 2000 years. Before that, all sinful man had are promises that someday there would be Christmas. It began with God's promise to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Just after they sinned, God said to the serpent, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." After that comes promise after promise that God would send a Savior. Promises like the one in Isaiah 7:14, "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Promises in which God describes the nature and the work of the Savior. Promises that even tell us where Jesus will be born, and where he will grow up.

But promises are only as good, promises are only dependable as the person making them. We know that because we live with broken promises every day. We all know the disappointment that comes from broken promises. Broken promises make us skeptical. Broken promises cause us to be suspicious. That's what makes Christmas such a special time of the year. Read full article

Mission & Ministry News


The Christ-child comes to the SOS Center

Pleas for help from so many urban Milwaukee neighbors have been heard, and a partnership of our South Wisconsin District and its urban and suburban congregations is working together to reopen the SOS Center (Strength Of Savior), located at 47th Street and North Avenue. What a Christmas blessing it will be to gather the funds necessary to refurbish this old building-so close to so many who struggle to survive-and get this vital ministry re-activated once again!  More 



Spanish/English Christmas service on December 15

One family, one journey, one child who would change the world forever. The Savior of all nations is born! All are invited to a special bi-lingual Spanish/English Christmas service to be held at 10:30 a.m. on December 15 at Oklahoma Ave. Lutheran Church, 5335 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee.




A Time to Plant

It is time for us once again in SWD to begin a deliberate time of church planting.  We are currently celebrating the 50 anniversaries of many congregations that were started when Bernie Raabe was the mission exec.  That was a different time in SWD.  But the need for Christ-centered, Lutheran congregations that stand firmly on God's Word is greater today, I would argue, then it was 50 years ago.  It is time for us to put actions to the words of the Formula of Concord, "We believe, teach and confess..."  Time for us to look to places and new peoples in our communities where we do not have an LCMS witness.  Let there be not doubt but that this is to be a Lutheran church planting season.  My plea is that you as pastors and people in SWD look for places to plant a new church. Keep your eye open to new cultures/new people who might be establishing themselves in nearby communities.  There are many growing communities where we do not have an LCMS witness.  

                                              Human Care News


LCMS pledges $150,000 for Philippines typhoon relief

Three congregations of the Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP), a partner church with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, are in the area hardest hit by Typhoon Haiyan, which tore through the country Friday, Nov. 8 and is one of the strongest storms ever recorded. At least one of those congregations is reportedto have significant damage.  Learn how you can help! 


                          Schools Youth & Family





Our Redeemer Lutheran School, 10025 W. North Avenue, Wauwatosa, is pleased to announce that it was selected by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as one of just 286 schools nationwide for recognition as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School.


Criteria for the honor included overall academic excellence and/or school progress in improving student academic achievement. The Department of Education will honor these 236 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 18-19, 2013, in Washington, D.C. 

Read More

SWD logo

Our Mission:


Empowering life-changing
bold, passionate witness
of the
Jesus Christ


Rev. James Keuch who is rehabilitating after brain surgery.


Mrs. Erma Suelflow, wife of  Rev. Ed Suelflow as she recovers from a second surgery.


Laurie Ahlborn,

wife of Marvin, recovering from emergency surgery.


Arthur Harrmann, father of Bruce, uncle of Robin Mueller and their families, as Art was called home. 


Those that are suffering from depression and stress that they may find peace in their situations.


Those that are homeless and hungry that they may be blessed this Christmas.
The family of Rev. Daniel Doan as he was called home to glory.
The family of Walter Dobberfuhl, emeritus principal, as he too was called home to glory.


Upcoming Events Around the District
  • January 24-25, 2014: LWML Winter Get Away Retreat -Patchwork of Friendship

    Sponsored by The Young Women of LWML-SWD. A great start to a new year that focuses on unity and strength in friendships!

    Keynote Speaker: Amy Meyer

    Location: Osthoff Lake Resort Elkhart/ Lake, WI

    For more information please visit:    

  • February 22, 2014: SWD Passionate Believers Conference -Divine Redeemer, Hartland. Join us for our leadership conference.  Registration information to follow. 

  • February 24-26, 2014 Retreat for Circuit Counselors- Holiday Inn Express, Stevens Point

  • February 28-March 2, 2014: Men's Retreat - "gods at war" Holiday Inn, Manitowoc for more information call Jim Berg 414-462-5871  

Pastor Calls and Vacancies
Calling Congregations
  • First Immanuel - Cedarburg
  • Divine Savior - Hartford 
  • Divine Redeemer - Hartland
  • Redeemer - Manitowoc
  • Trinity Freistadt - Mequon
  • St. John, Portage
  • Bethlehem - Sun Prairie 
  • Christ the Life - Waukesha
  • Trinity - Wisconsin Dells

Temporarily Non-Calling

  • Gospel - Milwaukee
  • St. Mark - Milwaukee 

Pastors Accepting a Call

  • Greg Hyatt - Trinity, Wautoma to St. John/St. Paul - Melcher-Dallas/Lacona, IA  
  • Elijah Ndon - Bethany, Milwaukee to Holy Ghost, Milwaukee 
Contact Information

President John C. Wille
Karen Hauser-Rayner