Virus Updates

This page will be updated as new information is available.

Update 4/27/2020

President Cynthia Natsis announced the cancellation of the 57th Annual LWMS Convention via Facebook Live video on Friday, April 24. That same morning an email was sent to everyone registered for the convention. Those registered without an email address will be notified by mail. Here is a copy of the email sent to attendees.

Cancellation E-mail

Subject: Taste and See that the Lord is Good.

LWMS is not going to be able to meet in Athens this summer for the 57th Annual Convention. While we are sorry that we will not see each other face to face, we want to do what we can to see that everyone remains safe and healthy. So, no travelling this year, however, we do have the unique opportunity to partner with our friends in the WELS Missions Office to hold an exciting online event that combines the best of our convention with the exciting missions event Taste of Missions.

Plans are underway to hold a two-week online event called Taste and See. During this event we will have live-streamed worship services, the LWMS flag presentation, workshops, mission speakers, and devotions, as well as cooking tutorials with mission families, recipes, family fun activities, and mission updates. So, mark your calendars to save the date! Taste and See will begin, Saturday, June 27 and wrap up with the commissioning of new missionaries on Saturday, July 11.

Please continue to check the LWMS and WELS websites, social media pages, and email newsletters for more information regarding Taste and See as it becomes available.

Now down to business, Taste and See will be a free event, please visit the LWMS Convention website to request a refund for your convention registration fees prior to June 16, 2020. See for the cancellation form.

If you are not aware of LWMS practices, our members vote on home and world mission projects through mail-in ballots that are counted before the convention. The winning ballot projects receive the mission money donated during the year. The projects not selected on the ballot receive the money collected during the convention in the worship service offerings. Since the collection of mission money has been disrupted this Spring and the service offering will not happen, we are giving attendees a chance to donate a portion of their registration fees to these projects on the refund form. The description of the four mission projects can be found at

If you registered for a hotel room using the link on the lodging page of the convention website, your room reservation will automatically be cancelled for you by the Athens Convention Bureau. Please see the website for a complete message regarding those cancellations.

Finally, the LWMS Central Office is technically closed until May 26, 2020, under the Wisconsin Safer at Home order. We are doing everything we can with limited office access while working from home. We will answer your phone calls and emails and process refunds as quickly as we can while working on the production of Taste and See with the LWMS Board of Directors and WELS Missions Office.

"Taste and See that the Lord is good!" (Psalms 34:8)

LWMS Central Office
Update April 6, 2020

The LWMS Board of Directors met April 2 and 3 via computer. While it was great to see everyone virtually, it would have been so much better to be able to meet face to face. The convention in Athens in June was one of the top items of discussion. We are in the process of examining all options and continue to pray that we will be able to meet in Athens in June. The board decided that a final decision on the convention will be made by May 15, 2020 at the latest. The confirmation letters scheduled to go out to attendees on May 1 will be held until the 15th.

The April mailing regarding the proposed amendments to the bylaws will not be able to be sent via bulk mail as the usual practice. The mailing will be posted on the LWMS website and a link will be e-mailed to congregational reporters. If you are a reporter that has unsbuscribed from the LWMS e-mails through Constant Contact, you may want to resubscribe at this time to receive all the mailings in a timely manner. To resubscribe, click on the "Sign Up for E-mails" link at the bottom of the LWMS website home page and provide the request information.

May our Lord continue to bless our missionaries, our country, the world and you as we join together in praising Him during this Holy Week!


Update March 23, 2020

We are expecting that the Wisconsin Governor is going to issue an order tomorrow directing people to stay home. Some of the Central Office staff is already working from home, but it is likely that the physical office will be closed beginning tonorrow. We will try of answer any questions via email and will be able to access the phone voice mail message. We will not be able to fill any orders at this time, but will mail out any requests once we've been cleared to open again.


Coronavirus Update - March 12, 2020

We understand the coronavirus is a concern around the nation and the world. At this point, however, no one knows the course it will take, and especially if warm weather will suspend it (as it does with the flu virus.) We will be watching the situation closely in the coming weeks. 

At this time we have no plans to cancel the convention. LWMS would still be under their contracted obligations with the Classic Center and the hotels. If closer to the date the government warnings for travel and gatherings are still in place, then we will try to cancel and would have a better chance at mitigating penalties. 

Please continue to make plans to attend! If you are flying, wait until May to book a ticket. We think by that time the coronavirus will either be gone or contained. Guest rooms can be canceled in June without penalty. The cancellation date for convention registration refunds is June 15.

In any event, we will alert you in early May to the convention status.