October 2016 President’s Newsletter

Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:

Happy October 31! We as spiritual heirs of the Lutheran Reformation prize highly the blessings we enjoy today through the productive life of God’s faithful servant, Dr. Martin Luther. Think of how Luther’s main reform for the church has had an impact on you and me and those we are privileged to teach. The restoration of the chief teaching of the Bible to its rightful place of prominence means everything to us! It is the teaching that we poor sinners are justified personally–declared forgiven and righteous–not by good works, but by God’s grace alone, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. This means we are certain of having eternal life! This also is the certainty of salvation we are privileged to pass on to others. What a tremendous change comes through the news of this insuperable inheritance!

Blessings in the name of our Savior,

John A. Moldstad

Anniversary at Redeeming Grace

On Sunday, September 25, Redeeming Grace Lutheran Church (Rogers, Minnesota) celebrated its tenth year as a mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. It was a wonderful day and the Lord blessed both the morning and afternoon services held at Redeeming Grace. Special guests, such as Pastor David Russow, the Rev. Steve Peterson, and Pastor Bobby Oberg, helped direct hearts and minds to the true treasure we have through Word and Sacrament: Christ Jesus. In view of God’s abundant blessings, a special thankoffering was gathered for the Evangelical Lutheran Synod for its ten years of faithful support. “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished” (1 Chronicles 28:20). The present pastor of Redeeming Grace is the Rev. Joshua Mayer.

Holy Cross Relocation

Sunday, September 25, was a very historic day for Holy Cross (Madison, Wisconsin). It was the final Sunday Church Services at the Milwaukee Street location. Following the services, a luncheon and program were held at the new location on Holy Cross Way. (The new location and building are pictured on the right.)

Reformation Lectures

The 49th annual Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures will be held at Bethany Lutheran College and Seminary on October 27-28. The theme this year is “The Cost of Confessing: Luther and the Three Princes.” Lecture 1: Luther and Frederick the Wise – Dr. Roland Ziegler; Lecture 2: Luther and John the Constant – Dr. Charles Cortright; Lecture 3: Luther and John Frederick – Dr. David Lumpp. Learn more or register online at http://www.blc.edu/reformation-lectures.

Upcoming Women’s Mission Society Rallies

The Mission Society Rallies are a primary means for sharing information about our synod’s home and world mission programs. All ELS members are invited to the rallies!

10/1/16 – Midland, MI
10/1/16 – Jerico, New Hampton, IA
10/15/16 – Wisconsin Dells, WI
10/22/16 – Rogers, MN
11/12/16 – Kissimmee, FL
12/3/16 – San Antonio, TX
2/11/17 – Bishop, CA

Western Koshkonong’s 125th Anniversary

Western Koshkonong Ev. Lutheran Church, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, invites you to join them in celebrating God’s blessings over the past 125 years. They are planning a special day on October 9, 2016 beginning at 9:30 a.m. The day’s activities include a special worship service remembering how the congregation (and our synod) got its start. A luncheon will follow the service, and then also a presentation by the Rev. Craig Ferkenstad will be given on the congregation’s history, as well as on the history of the Norwegian mission outreach to the Koshkonong prairie in southern Wisconsin. Memorabilia from the synod’s Ottesen Museum will be on display. The address of the church is 2633 Church St, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin 53527. Directions and updates to the special day can be found on the congregation’s website at www.westernkoshkonong.org.

Dedication in Farmington

One of our synod’s home missions, Hope Lutheran in Farmington, Minnesota, will dedicate its first church building on October 30. President Moldstad will preach for the festive occasion. “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).

Part I Colloquy

On September 22, 2016, the Rev. Robert Lawson, Sr., who serves as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Princeton, Minnesota, successfully completed Part I of his colloquy. Members of the Colloquy Committee are: the Rev. G. Obenberger, the Rev. G. Schmeling, the Rev. E. Ekhoff, the Rev. E. Teigen, the Rev. T. Hartwig, G. Costello, and Pres. Moldstad. No date has been set yet for Part II.

Anniversary Thankoffering

Thanks to all our parishes who have begun sharing the offering with their members. We would love it if you gave your offering through your congregation. But feel free to give directly to: Anniversary Offering, 6 Browns Ct, Mankato, MN 56001. Cash gifts, challenge gifts, planned and deferred gifts are all great ways to help our Anniversary Offering for home outreach. Call 507-469-9656 if you have questions or would like to set up deferred and/or make a matching/challenge gift.

Nominees for Professorship at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary

The Board of Regents of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mankato, Minnesota, announces that the following have been placed in nomination for Professor of Old Testament at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mankato, Minnesota.

Nominees: Nominated by:
Joseph Abrahamson Christ, Port St. Lucie, FL; Mt. Olive, Mankato, MN; Parkland, Tacoma, WA; Scarville, Scarville, IA; St. Luke, Mt. Vernon, WA; St. Timothy, Lombard, IL
Mark DeGarmeaux Christ, Port St. Lucie, FL; Hope, West Jordan, UT; Parkland, Tacoma, WA; St. Luke, Mt. Vernon, WA
Christian Eisenbeis Board of Regents
Timothy Hartwig Board of Regents
Matthew Moldstad Board of Regents; Gloria Dei, Cold Spring, MN; Our Savior’s, Albert Lea, MN; Peace, Kissimmee, FL
Timothy Nass Board of Regents
Nicholas Proksch Gloria Dei, Cold Spring, MN; Grace, Vero Beach, FL; Holy Scripture, Midland, MI; Holy Trinity, Okauchee, WI; Mt. Olive, Mankato, MN; Our Savior’s, Albert Lea, MN
Timothy Schmeling Gloria Dei, Cold Spring, MN; Grace, Vero Beach, FL; Holy Scripture, Midland, MI; Holy Trinity, Okauchee, WI; King of Grace, Golden Valley, MN; Mt. Olive, Mankato, MN; Our Savior’s, Albert Lea, MN
Steven Sparley Christ, Port St. Lucie, FL; Hope, West Jordan, UT; Parkland, Tacoma, WA; Redeemer, Iola, WI; Redeemer, Scottsdale, AZ; Saved By Grace, Gresham, OR; Scarville, Scarville, IA; St. Luke, Mt. Vernon, WA; St. Timothy, Lombard, IL; Trinity, Brewster, MA
Daniel Witte Board of Regents

Upcoming Events

  • October 3-4 – Board for Education
  • October 4 – Board for Youth Outreach
  • October 4 – Board for Christian Service
  • October 5-7 – ELS General Pastoral Conference
  • October 7 – Committee on Worship
  • October 9 – 100th Anniversary of King of Grace, Golden Valley, Minnesota
  • October 9 – 125th Anniversary of Western Koshkonong, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
  • October 11 – Missions Advancement Project, Inc.
  • October 17-18 – Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Forum (WELS & ELS leaders)
  • October 23 – 160th Anniversary of Trinity, West Bend, Wisconsin
  • October 27-28 – Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures
  • October 28 – Centennial Committee
  • October 30 – Dedication of Hope, Farmington, Minnesota
  • November 1 – Board of Trustees
  • November 2 – Committee for Archives and History
  • November 3-4 – Board for Home Outreach
  • November 6 – 25th Anniversary of Family of God, Fort Mohave, Arizona
  • November 6 – 60th Anniversary of Grace, Weston, Ohio
  • November 6 – 75th Anniversary of Redeemer, New Hampton, Iowa
  • November 9-10 – Board for World Outreach
  • November 14-15 – Board of Regents
  • November 16 – Synod Review Committee
  • November 17 – Committee for Communication
  • November 27 – Ordination of Matthew Behmer at Christ the King, Bell Gardens, California

 

View current vacancies and calls in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Download this newsletter as a bulletin insert.

Donate to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

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September 2016 President’s Newsletter

Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:

Soon the church schedules will be in full swing. May we make use of all of the opportunities to become educated in the teachings of Scripture and to be strengthened in our faith in Christ as God touches our hearts with Word and Sacrament. An opening remark in a sermon by Dr. U.V. Koren in the 1800s strikes a familiar cord for us today as we think of our need for what is offered at our churches every Sunday. Koren, speaking on Christ as our Good Shepherd, said: “We find things to be difficult in the world. There is so much that disturbs and distracts, that confuses us and draws us away from caring about our salvation. That makes our need even greater. The condition of our souls varies. But the Word that God sends us fits all. It points us not to ourselves, but to Him where everything we need is to be found” (U.V. Koren’s Works, Vol. 1; M.DeGarmeaux, tr.).

Blessings in the name of our Savior,

John A. Moldstad

Ordination at Ulen, Minnesota

We wish God’s blessings on the Rev. Jeffrey Hendrix who was ordained and installed as pastor of Calvary (Ulen, Minnesota) and Grace (Crookston, Minnesota) on Sunday, August 14, 2016. Pastors pictured are, from left to right: (front) N.Brenner, J.Mayer, J.Hendrix, J.Merseth, G.Lilienthal; (back) J.Moldstad, J.Merseth, M.Pfeifer, A.Soule, and N.Proksch. The Rev. John Merseth served as liturgist, the Rev. Nathan Brenner as lector, the Rev. Matthew Pfeifer preached the sermon on 2 Corinthians 4:7, and Pres. Moldstad performed the rites of ordination and installation.

Mission News & Helping Hands

Our Board for World Outreach recently has combined the newsletter issues of Helping Hands and Mission News. We invite all to read the latest issue, to pray for the work we do together in our synod to promote the gospel of Christ in other countries, and to support with financial gifts the mission efforts being managed by our BWO: http://els.org/download/mission_news_helping_hands/MissionNewsJulyINTERACTIVE.pdf

Resignation and Appointment

The Rev. Thomas Heyn writes: “My position as administrator for the Board for World Outreach began on August 1st. I hereby submit my resignation as a member of the Board for World Outreach. It has been a great privilege to serve the Lord and our synod as a board member. It will continue to be a privilege to serve as administrator of the BWO. May the Lord bless our work together.” To fill the vacated position on the board, the Rev. Wayne Halvorson has been appointed to serve. The appointment stands until the 2017 convention.

Bethany Lutheran College News

We received great news this summer for our synod’s college located in Mankato, Minnesota. The Minnesota Board of Nursing officially granted permission for Bethany to establish a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. Due to this action, our synod’s Board of Regents for the college also officially approved the addition of the new major on August 8, 2016. The first nursing cohort at BLC will begin their studies in Fall 2017. Pre-nursing courses already are in place, and current students may prepare to apply to the nursing program while taking these courses. Dr. Sara Traylor PHD, RN, CNE, is Bethany’s Director of Nursing and has been developing the program’s curriculum and leading the state approval efforts since 2014.

On another note: This is the first year since the 1990s where Bethany Lutheran College finished its fiscal year—due to a number factors—with a slight surplus in its operating budget! The projected operating budget expenditures of $11,522,950 were met and exceeded by $23,823. Let us give thanks to God for this, even as we pray—above all—for our college always to remain true to its motto, “The One thing Needful” (Luke 10:42).

Bethany Seminary

The new school year at our Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began on August 23. The seminary enrollment this year numbers nine. There are two vicars, two seniors, one middler, and four juniors. The vicars are Aaron Ferkenstad at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) and Kurtis Friemuth at Grace Lutheran Church (Vero Beach, Florida).

Pictured from left to right: (back) John Spivey, Noah Thompson, Ethan Urtel, Christian Walz; (front) Patrick Ernst, Karim Yaghleji, Jacob Kempfert; (Vicars, not pictured) Aaron Ferkenstad and Kurtis Freimuth

Clara City, Minnesota, Dedication

Faith Lutheran Church, Clara City, Minnesota, dedicated a new office and educational wing adjacent to its sanctuary. The afternoon dedication service was held on August 28, 2016. Pastor Joseph Abrahamson serves the Clara City parish.

Anniversary Thankoffering: Congregation Rollout

Congregation kick-offs for the anniversary offering are happening this fall! Some congregations will start on September 11, while others will wait until the following week. Still others, with their own fall plans in the works, are planning for a later rollout. Here’s a short list of things you can do to help get the word out on the offering.

  1. promote the offering in your newsletter and put up the offering posters,
  2. use the sermons and Bible studies (or synod essay) as provided or write your own materials and follow similar themes,
  3. share the video with your members,
  4. hand out booklets with envelopes,
  5. use the downloadable inserts on our website (els.org/offering),
  6. use at least one insert every couple of months.

The Anniversary Offering Committee thanks you for your help, and we are grateful for your prayerful and generous participation.

Update on Shalem

In case you’ve been wondering about the health of Shalem, the boy in Hyderabad, India, whose life was spared when ELS members contributed nearly $50,000 for a liver transplant in 2013—he’s fine today! He and his family remain faithful members of St. John’s Lutheran Church. His family of four still shares a motorcycle ride to church, rain or shine, every Sunday.

Upcoming Events: els.org/about/calendar/

September 13 – Synod Review Committee

September 15-16 – Circuit Visitors’ Conference

September 26 – Bethany Lutheran College Women’s Auxiliary Day

September 28 – Ad Hoc Committee on Military Monument

October 3-4 – Board for Education

October 4 – Board for Christian Service

October 5-7 – General Pastoral Conference

October 7 – Committee on Worship

October 9 – 100th Anniversary of King of Grace, Golden Valley, Minnesota

October 11 – Missions Advancement Project, Inc.

October 17-18 – Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Forum

October 23 – 160th Anniversary of Trinity, West Bend, Wisconsin

October 27-28 – Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures

October 28 – Centennial Committee

October 30 – Dedication of Hope, Farmington, Minnesota

 

View current vacancies and calls in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Download this newsletter as a bulletin insert.

Donate to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

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