How can we mark well the Reformation celebration? This is on the minds of Lutheran parishioners gathering for special worship services this month. First of all, we can acknowledge with thanksgiving the magnitude of the gifts we have received through the life of Dr. Martin Luther. About 150 years ago, one Luther scholar mused: “The blessings of which the Reformation was the cause, abide; we feel them in our homes, in the Church, in the State; they are interwoven with the life of our life. Once feeling them, we know that this would be no world to live in without them” (C.P. Krauth). Certainly, today we can say the same. The doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Christ, highlighted by Luther, is overriding and indispensable for our personal lives, for our families, for our local congregations, for our synod, and is what prompts all of our mission efforts! The Bible put into the language of the people and into the hands of the people cannot be underestimated! The blessing of having the Bible truths set forth in simple catechetical language is a treasure that still guides both young and old alike! The emphasis on the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper far transcends any mere preference for ceremonies; here in these rites Christ intimately presents to souls personally His gracious forgiveness of sins! And Luther’s constant stand on the Word of God alone, transcending the voice of worldly reason, remains a legacy we cannot do without! Yes, we are grateful for the magnitude of these Reformation blessings. But secondly, are we not then moved to see how these treasures should be secured for ourselves and future generations at any cost? Can we through teaching, through example, through prayer, through our offerings, and through any influence we may have in our stations in life have some small impact on preserving this large dowry from the Lutheran Reformation? May God help us do so for the glory of His holy name!
Blessings in Christ,
John A. Moldstad
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on south Texas in late August. Our ELS churches were not affected, but the homes of several members of WELS congregations experienced flooding or damage.
Hurricane Imra caused devastation throughout the state of Florida in September. The ELS church in Naples sheltered several families during the storm; the Kissimmee church lost some shingles; the church sign was destroyed in Sebring; the church in Vero Beach also lost shingles and had some leakage in the office. We are thankful that all of our ELS church facilities in Florida, as well as those of WELS, were spared major structural damage. However, the home of Pastor Charles Keeler (Winter Haven, Florida) was damaged, including much of the roofing, some interior ceilings, and major water damage. The home was uninhabitable for some time, and the Keelers stayed with members and friends.
Together you already have donated nearly $20,000 to the ELS for hurricane relief. Thank you for these generous gifts! Please continue to keep the people of these areas in your prayers.
|Western Koshkonong (Cottage Grove, Wisconsin)||September 17|
|Peace (Jefferson City, Missouri)||October 1|
|Trinity (Brewster, Massachusetts)||October 8, 3:00 p.m.|
|Christ the King (Green Bay, Wisconsin)||October 8|
|Pinewood (Burlington, Massachusetts)||October 21|
|Scarville (Scarville, Iowa)||October 22, 4:00 p.m.|
|St. Luke (Mt. Vernon, Washington)||October 22, 4:00 p.m.|
|Resurrection (Winter Haven, Florida)||October 29|
|Grace (Hobart, Indiana)||October 29|
|Jerico (New Hampton, Iowa)||October 29, 3:00 p.m.|
|King of Grace (Golden Valley, Minnesota)||October 29, 9:30 a.m.|
|Mt. Olive (Mankato, Minnesota)||October 29|
|Oak Park (Oklee, Minnesota)||October 29, 4:00 p.m.|
|Faith (Carthage, Missouri)||October 29|
|Abiding Word (Bowling Green, Ohio)||October 29, 4:00 p.m.|
Theme: Luther’s Three Treatises: The Reformation Platform
1. To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation-Prof. Erling Teigen
2. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church-Dr. Erik Herrmann
3. The Freedom of a Christian-Rev. James Langebartels
Online registration available at https://www.blc.edu/reformation-lectures
On Thursday, October 26, there will be a gallery talk and reception at 7:00 p.m. The gallery talk will focus on Luther, Vocation, and the Arts. All are welcome to attend.
- Have two weeks (or a whole month) dedicated emphasis on support of the offering.
- Post regular updates and the progress of the offering (e.g. AO Corner in your newsletter).
- Plan for a budget item in your church’s budget in support of the offering in 2017-2018.
- Invite a special speaker (perhaps the Evangelism-Missions Counselor or a home missionary).
- As you use the Bible Study, Proclaiming God’s Truth, promote missions when you reach the section on missions.
- Finally, make use of all materials available on the offering website els.org/offering.
October 3 – Board for Youth Outreach
October 4-6 – General Pastoral Conference
October 8 – Tenth anniversary of Hope (Farmington, MN)
October 24 – Synod Review Committee
October 26-27 – Reformation Lectures
November 2-3 – Board for Home Outreach
November 6-7 – ELS Board of Regents
November 7 – Board of Trustees
November 8-9 – Board for World Outreach
November 15 – Synod Review Committee