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TORRINGTON, CT (SZS) As we begin a new decade in these first days of 2020, we find ourselves inundated with numerous ads and promotions aimed at health goals, body fitness, and self-help in an attempt to address many of the traditional New Year’s resolutions. As Lutherans, we have additional opportunities to address wellness and wholeness, whether spiritual, physical, emotional, organizational, or psychological.

Let’s get 2020 off to a great start by filing the Congregational A&C Forms (aka “the Parochial Report”) for the year ending December 31, 2019. We can begin this new decade with a clean slate by leaving 2019 in the rearview mirror. The A&C forms are now open for submission and the deadline for filing is February 15! You should have received blank report forms and instructions in the mail. Paper forms are to be returned to the Synod Office. Filing online may be done by congregations by clicking here. If you have any questions about this process or require assistance, please contact the Synod Office at your earliest convenience.

Last year, the Slovak Zion Synod was one of only three of the 65 ELCA Synods in which 100% of our congregations sent in their reports! Let’s make this year another banner year for Slovak Zion Synod!

Also due this time of year is the Rostered Ministers Annual Report to the Bishop. If you are a rostered minister under call to a congregation, agency, or institution in the Slovak Zion Synod, please click the identifier on the form for those “Under Call.” If you are retired, please click the identifier on the form for those “Retired.” If you are on leave from call, please click the identifier on the form for those “Not Under Call.” This form may be found on the Synod website by clicking here:

Another thing of which to be mindful in this new year is our annual tradition of contemplating our own physical, spiritual, psychological, and financial health. If you have ELCA-Primary Health Benefits, a suite of new online offerings provides convenient access to self-care resources at your fingertips – whether on the go, in your office, or in the privacy of your own home. These featured resources serve to support and strengthen your emotional resilience, help you learn new skills, and aid you in saving on costs:

  • Being is a holistic, faith-based, educational platform offering expert-led videos on a wide range of wellbeing skills—such as longevity, purpose, resiliency, and more.
  • Learn to Live is a self-directed online mental health support program designed to help participants manage stress, depression, social anxiety, insomnia, and substance use.
  • Text-Based Primary Care is available through a convenient app. The app named 98point6 connects you 24/7 with U.S.-based, board-certified doctors where you can receive an on-demand consultation, diagnosis, and treatment plan for $5 or less. Doctors can also prescribe medication (except controlled substances) and order lab tests.

Members can also earn up to $200 wellness dollars to help pay for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. Earn $100 wellness dollars each when you complete a physical health assessment or biometric screening, and when you have a conversation with a Portico Financial Planner. If your spouse is covered by ELCA-Primary Health Benefits, they can earn $200 as well. Sign into myPortico to learn more and start earning today.

So let’s get 2020 off to a healthy start and make wellness and wholeness something that is on-going and lasts. Let’s strive for healthier congregations, communities, and stronger leaders, which lead the way in stewarding all the gifts of the physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, and psychological life which God has given us.