St. Andrew Christmas Craft Event

9002b_schwarzSt. Andrew Lutheran Church Free Community Christmas Craft Kids Day (The children will create 2 Christmas crafts they can keep or wrap and give as gifts. They will also hear the Christmas story and have pizza).

When: Sunday, December 20, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Where: St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1015 4 Mile Rd.
Who is welcome: Children ages 3 and Up

FaithWorks Structure Dissolves; Mission Continues

Final Report

by Pastor Mary Janz, FaithWorks Champion

Four years ago, as an outgrowth of lengthy Racine Area Mission Strategy (RAMS) discussions among leaders of eleven ELCA congregations, the profound mission partnership of FaithWorks was formed. These congregations (Emmaus, Emaús, St. Andrew, Our Savior’s and Atonement), bound by an annual covenant, financial commitment and a strong focus on outreach mission in the community, anti-racism work and care for creation, have, as a result, built strong relationships with one another.

Consultation and financial support has come from the Synod and from ELCA churchwide throughout the history of RAMS and FaithWorks. The Mission Council, comprised of two lay leaders and the clergy from each congregation, met monthly and was responsible for the many outcomes of the collaborative work.


PentecostService - 43

Photograph by Brian Fuerstenberg.

Many involved in the original visioning process for FaithWorks had dreamed that the FW congregations would eventually come under one umbrella, combining assets and restructuring for the sake of mission in Racine. Several leaders had hoped that there would be the willingness to establish ministry and worship sites in Racine with a shared staff and shared resources. However, there was resistance to letting go of individual assets, including buildings, for the sake of the whole, and the financial situations, the histories and the cultures influencing each of the congregations also impacted directly.

What resulted has been work on the Our Savior Atonement merger, including the anticipated sale of the Our Savior building in early December 2015. Although Emmaus and St. Andrew alternated worship for eleven months, the decision in September 2014 was to continue as separate worshiping communities. Since that time, Emmaus and Emaús, with the help of Synod and churchwide staff, have been working on becoming a new unified bilingual congregation with worship services in both English and Spanish, but with combined governance, finances and leadership. The members of St. Andrew will be reassessing their future direction at a December congregational meeting.


Photo by Art Smith

Leading the November meeting of the FaithWorks Mission Council, Pastor Mary informed the group that there would be no future funding from the ELCA and that decisions had to be made regarding the future of FaithWorks. In the past year resources have been used for the following: stipends for the positions of FaithWorks Champion and Communications Director, honoraria for guest preachers for the Season of Creation, honoraria for the FW Bible study leader, expenses for God’s Work Our Hands Sunday and expenses for the October Anti-Racism training. Those expenses, totaling nearly $6,000, included registration fees, interpreters and food for the three-day training for the 32 FaithWorks participants attending.


Photo courtesy Outreach for Hope

Facing the reality that FaithWorks funds would be depleted by December, members of the Mission Council voted to suspend the current structure of FaithWorks, including the annual covenant, financial support by member congregations, monthly meetings and the stipends paid to a Champion and Communications Director. At the same time, strong sentiment was expressed about the desire to continue to be in relationship with one another and to not abandon the richness of joint worship services, fellowship and shared opportunities for service in mission together in Racine.

The group identified the following areas of future commitment: ministry with neighborhood kids (especially after school and Neighborhood Camp programs), homelessness, ongoing anti-racism work, food ministries (especially FW Food Pantry, the Sunday night meal program and Pan de Cielo food pantry for Latino families), joint worship opportunities, and God’s Work Our Hands. There is a hope that there be quarterly lay led gatherings where representatives of all interested ELCA congregations be invited to join together in mission. Margaret Robinson, head of the FaithWorks Food Pantry, has consented to convene the first of these meetings after the first of the year. It is also the intent that current pastors of FaithWorks congregations, together with other interested active Racine ELCA clergy, will begin to meet on a regular basis.


Photo courtesy The Lutheran magazine

The members of the FaithWorks Mission Council celebrate the seeds planted by the hard work and dedication of so many during the past four years, and it is our prayer that all that we celebrate will truly take root and continue to grow and flourish:

  • Relationships built – clergy, individuals, congregations, cultures, and community
  • Anti-racism work, communication between English and non-English speakers
  • Radical hospitality model for the food ministries
  • God’s Work Our Hands – service, worship and fellowship together
  • Strong ministry with neighborhood children and families
  • Joint worship, especially Holy Week and God’s Work, Our Hands Sunday
  • Emphasis on the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized
  • Bible studies that feed, push and challenge

We pray that God’s Spirit grace us with passion and renewed energy and lead us into the next chapter of this venture filled with so much opportunity!

November 12, 2015


Photo by Art Smith

Food Pantry Makes Thanksgiving Plans

foodpantryB84The FaithWorks Food Pantry continues to be a fabulous success. Thanks to all who contribute in one way or another.

We plan to have a big Thanksgiving pantry on November 24 which will run from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. We anticipate serving somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 families. Beyond items mentioned in the Brown Bag Sunday article the pantry has a particularly strong need right now for canned vegetables, canned dinners (spaghetti, chili, stew, etc.), canned fruit and boxes of cereal. The contributions of the congregation make a difference in the lives of so many people.

Thank you for your continued support and kindness.

Anti-Racism Workshop Opens Eyes

Over sixty Lutherans from congregations around the Greater Milwaukee Synod, together with two leaders from the Racine Interfaith Coalition, met at Emmaus for three days in October for an intense Anti-Racism workshop.

Anti-racism workshop at Emaús-Emmaus, October, 2015

Anti-racism workshop at Emaús-Emmaus, October, 2015

The Synod Anti-Racism Team and FaithWorks co-sponsored the training. FaithWorks made it financially possible for over 30 members of the FaithWorks congre-gations to attend without cost, making the training the largest in the history of such workshops offered by the Synod. Emmaus/Emaús had the largest representation within the group, including six members of the EASY (Emmaus After School for Youth) staff. Three high school students were excused from a day of school in order to attend the full training.

Crossroads facilitators Jessica Vasquez Torres and James Addington provided an historical background and a thorough analysis of how institutional racism impacts us at all levels. Examples of the depth of the oppression for people of color were cited, some coming from first-hand experience of those attending the workshop.

Simultaneous interpretation was provided through headphones, and both Spanish speaking and English speaking participants had the experience of hearing the presentation translated into their own language at different points of the training. According to several of the English speakers, it was an eye-opening experi-ence to find out what it was like to understand another language through an interpreter.

There is high interest in continuing what was begun, as we of FaithWorks congregations strive to move along the continuum of what it looks like to be part of an institution that addresses and confronts racism.

We are now in conversation with community leaders, including the mayor and leaders from other faith communities, about how we can join together to collaborate with one another in the wider Racine community. It is the hope of the FaithWorks Mission Council members that there will be future funding to allow for training for community interpreters as well as for further anti-racism training events in the Racine area.

Gunderson Clouds Mural

The Journal Times reported on Saturday on the removal of the Karen Gunderson clouds mural from Our Savior’s Lutheran Church:

Gunderson started painting the murals in 1994 and finished the last one in 1996. The center one, consisting of four panels, was 17 feet tall and 21 feet wide. The two on the sides were each about 8 feet tall and 21 feet wide.

She retained ownership; the paintings were on loan to the church. But Our Savior has since merged with Atonement Lutheran Church, 2915 Wright Ave. There is a pending offer to buy the Our Savior building — with no offer to buy Gunderson’s paintings from her.

So, earlier this week, workers removed the cloud murals, which were rolled up and are ready for shipping to New York state, where Gunderson is trying to buy a building for a new studio.

Emmaus-Emaús Hay Ride

141022-HayrideJfarm1smDanny and Kris Johnson have invited the kids of Emmaus-Emaús to come have some pre-Halloween fun at their farm. This excursion will take the place of Emmaus’s regular Wednesday night activities on October 28. A group will leave from Emmaus-Emaús at 5:00 p.m. If you would rather drive out there yourself, the address is 16330 Plank Road (County Trunk A) in Yorkville.

Paseo Parroquial: Miércoles 28 de octubre, salida 5:00 p.m. de Emaús. Hot dogs, manzanas de caramelo, manzana, bocadillos, refrescos, agua, comida, paseos en heno, cosecha de la calabaza, y mas diversión, gratis. Cada uno en so carro si necesitas transporte, comunícate al (262) 634-5515. Es a 20 minutos de Racine.

Bless the Beasts

francassisiThis Saturday, October 3, Emmaus and St. Andrew will worship at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 1015 Four Mile Road. The service is at 4:30 p.m. Pastor Michael Mueller and Pastor Carol Baumgartner will perform the Blessing of the Animals. If you would like to help Pastor Michael or Pastor Carol in the service, please let Terri know. You can contact Terri (639-2072) for more information.

Atonement-Our Savior’s will have a blessing of pets at the 3:30 p.m. worship service Saturday, October 3.

Emmaus and St. Andrew will hold worship services at their respective church buildings Sunday morning, October 4. Guest pastor Rev. Marcy Wieties will preach on Mountains at Emmaus‘s 9:00 a.m. service, and Pastor Michael will preach on Sky at St. Andrew’s 9:00 a.m. service. Pastors Jhon Freddy Correa and Gabriel Marcano will lead a blessing of pets (bendición de las mascotas) at Emaús’s 11:00 a.m. Spanish language service.