Greater Milwaukee Synod and Churchwide Initiatives

Greater Milwaukee Synod and Churchwide

ELCA LogoAscension supports the mission of the Greater Milwaukee Synod and the missions of the ELCA. This includes:

Synod Missions

ELCA Hunger Relief

Malaria Campaign

Outreach for Hope

Lutheran Social Services

SOPHIA (Stewards of Prophetic Hopeful Intentional Action)

SOPHIA is dedicated to dialogue with individuals, agencies and public officials to stimulate creative and effective efforts to improve our communities in Waukesha County. SOPHIA addresses social injustices in our increasingly fragmented world. We join hands with others to bring effective change rather than isolated self interest.

  • SOPHIA is an interfaith organization of people actively living our faith and values.
  • SOPHIA works to build community by intentionally developing relationships within in our faith communities and with leaders in our county.
  • SOPHIA members honor the rich diversity and dignity of all individuals and act on our common beliefs and values




Current Issues Task Forces:

Treatment Alternatives and Diversions

Immigration Reform

Healthcare Reform

Affordable Workforce Housing

SOPHIA is a Member of WISDOM at the state level. WISDOM is an Affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation at the International Level.  For more information or to be on the email list, contact Iva Richards or go to the website:

SOPHIA Prayer Breakfast & Silent Auction – Come out and support SOPHIA. Read more…



Refugee Resettlement Program

On Sunday, March 26, we will celebrate Ascension’s long commitment to refugee resettlement.  Ascension has sponsored seven refugee families over the last 15 years. Resettlement involves helping families adjust to a new life, in a new country, with a new language, and getting a household set up from scratch. Many people have helped in this mission over the years. Looking back, it is good to see that the families are doing well.  Praise God for this ministry that changes lives. With all of the publicity about immigrants and refugees, this program continues to work according to Jesus’ command, “I was a stranger and you took me in.”

While Ascension has not had a refugee family recently, we continue to support Refugee Resettlement, especially with the Karen people who came from Burma. Jo Buth is our refugee angel for all that she does to help the Karen families. Together with Galilee Lutheran Church, St. Bart’s in Pewaukee, and most recently Christ the Servant, Ascension assists the more than 112 Karen refugees in 23 families who live in Waukesha. Thirty-five of those refugees are children and eight of them are college students. On any given day, Jo drives families to doctor appointments, goes to school conferences, assists in studying for citizenship tests, and just being Pe Jo (Grandma Jo). Her love for the families is contagious!

The families can tell you sad stories of their escape into the jungle because soldiers were shooting at them as they ran and then watched as their food was stolen and their homes burned. They finally entered refugee camps across the river in Thailand and applied for resettlement to another country. Eventually they landed in Waukesha. There are about 60,000 Karen Refugees in the US — about 3,000 in Wisconsin. These Waukesha Karen families came from different areas of Burma and have made a close-knit community in Waukesha. They have their Christianity and language in common.

They are doing well as employees, homeowners, college students, and licensed drivers. A couple of the families are the proud owners of a Habitat for Humanity home. The children are excelling in school and the little ones learn to speak Karen and English at the same time. Many of them participate in our literacy program. During spring break, Jo and a member of St. Bart’s will take nine middle school and high school students to Washington DC. To read more about refugee families and where they are now, please check out page 12 of the March 2017 newsletter.

If anyone is interested in helping with this ministry, please contact Jo Buth. You will be blessed!