Neighbor to Neighbor

Neighbor to Neighbor: Together in Ministry/ Vecino a Vecino: Juntos en Ministerio is a new ministry of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin, where we join together to boldly practice the gospel as we cultivate meaningful relationships between the Anglo ELCA congregations with the Latino American community in the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin. We strive to form a beloved community that is inclusive and diverse,  a space to know your neighbor, share the hope of the gospel with the community and a platform for church tostart the journey to explore social and racial justice in our context and communities.

I am Lidixe Montoya, from El Salvador, Central America. I am a physician and worked 8 years as a rural medical doctor for the public health department.

I came to the U.S. with my (then) 5 years old son and got a degree in Human Resources Management with emphasis in Public Health from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire and a Master degree in Leadership and Innovation for Ministry from Luther Seminary in ST Paul, Minnessota.

Now, I am an ELCA Mission Developer and started the Neighbor to NeighborTogether in Ministry that is aimed to create bridges between Anglo Lutheran congregations and the Hispanic community in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin area. This ministry has also a big component of anti-racism and social justice and is envisioned as a permanent mission for Lutheran Churches. 

When the ELCA was formed in 1988, it was with the intention that our church would be a diverse body, inclusive and authentically reflecting the world around us. However, despite our efforts, we are a predominantly white, middle class church of European descent. On August 9th, 2019 in Milwaukee, WI the Churchwide Assembly adopted a document entitled “How Strategic and Authentic is Our Diversity: A Call for Confession, Reflection and Healing Action. This document names the call the entire ELCA has felt to engage opportunities more fully to deepen our work, our journey and our joy as our church moves toward authentic diversity. We at the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin faithfully join the whole church in recognizing the need for our synod, our leaders and our congregations toengage in action and opportunities to reflect on our diversity, to educate ourselves on our diversity and to start some healing action. We know with more voices and input from differing backgrounds and walks of life, our synod becomes stronger, more authentic and more clearly reflects the body of Christ. We must work harder and with more intention to raise the level of diversity in the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin.

Neighbor to NeighborTogether in Ministry/ Vecino a Vecino: Juntos en Ministerio will strive to help congregations reimagine what their role and voice and identity in their community is. We will strive to explore social and racial justice issues in our synod and connect with neighbors. We will explore worshipping together and commit to learning about our neighbors. This ministry has emerged as a re-imagined approach to living and sharing our faith in a rapidly changing society. In addition to the work connecting our congregations to their Latino community, Neighbor to NeighborTogether in Ministry/ Vecino a Vecino: Juntos en Ministerio will also provide racial justice training and opportunities for community outreach and partnership.

We’ll start by launching five different events, which will meet either monthly or bi-monthly.

  1. Proyecto de Bienstar/The Wellness Project is a monthly group of Latino Americans who meet in one of our ELCA congregations for group discussions around whole being wellness (spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, social, vocational, intellectual). 
  2. Community Connection is a bi monthly event that will aim to partner our ELCA congregations with the Latino American Community on a social justice or community event. 
  3. Racial Justice education and training in our ELCA congregations.
  4. Digital content for kids on anti racism and racial justice education and our faith will be available for use.
  5. Bilingual Worship Services                 

How you can help!


  1. Donate! We need financial support from all our congregations for this ministry to succeed!
  2. Invite Neighbor to Neighbor to your congregation for anti racism training, workshops or education.
  3. Use our digital youth content!
  4. Join us in our worship services or community events!