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).
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.
- promote the offering in your newsletter and put up the offering posters,
- use the sermons and Bible studies (or synod essay) as provided or write your own materials and follow similar themes,
- share the video with your members,
- hand out booklets with envelopes,
- use the downloadable inserts on our website (els.org/offering),
- 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