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April 2023 President’s Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:

We will soon be observing Holy Week and the Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord. There are those who look upon the events and acts of Jesus, which we will recount, as only making salvation possible for sinners. Such thinking places your salvation into the category of uncertainty. Jesus did not make your salvation merely a possibility, but He secured your salvation by sacrificing His perfect life for you, receiving the punishment for all your sins and defeating your sin, death and hell by rising to life again.

Your sin and its condemnation were placed upon the Christ by His Father. But having answered for all of that by His suffering and death, He rose without your sin and condemnation. He lives in eternal righteousness and so do you now through faith in Him. It is true that you and I need to believe in Jesus our Savior in order to receive that which has been acquired by Him, namely our salvation. However, since faith is the work of God the Holy Spirit, salvation is not just a possibility making it real with our own believing. No, Christ won your salvation and the Spirit distributes its blessing to you through faith. And so, get rid of all “possibility” speech when it comes to salvation and rejoice in its certain reality through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

In His holy and saving name,

Glenn Obenberger

ELS Giving Counselor Position

The Rev. Daniel Basel has served the ELS as Giving Counselor for 16+ years. We have been blessed with his work among us. Rev. Basel has announced his retirement effective Jan. 31, 2024. We are currently seeking interested laymen to apply. Please include your resume and contact information with your application sent to on or before April 21, 2023. A job description can be found at


I was given two white hardanger cloths, one for an altar (75″×28″) the other pulpit/lectern (15½″×28″), to be given away. The hardanger was given to Larry Wentzlaff, when he was serving as Evangelism and Missions Counselor, by Eileen Skoglund, a member of Faith in Clara City, Minnesota. She never claimed to have made it herself, only stated that it was to go to a congregation that could use them. She did mention that it had to be hand washed and can be ironed on the back side.

BLC Steinway Initiative Update

We have great news to share! Recently, we took delivery of six new pianos: a Steinway Grand and five Boston uprights that replace worn-out units that have served us well. This was made possible by the generosity of donations from alumni and friends of Bethany who wish to support our legacy of performance and music. Thank you for your support of this project!

We are much closer to becoming an All Steinway Campus. We also documented the recent events with video and interviews featuring leaders in our Music Department. Watch the video at

If you are interested in continuing to support our goal to provide the highest-quality equipment and tools for our Music Department piano students, please visit

Our Bethany Lutheran College

Students at Bethany Lutheran College thrive in and out of the classroom. The 2023 calendar year has already brought a tremendous amount of success to the campus with notable student achievements on a regional and national basis:

  • Theatre students and faculty received awards in the regional Kennedy Center Honors competition in Iowa
  • Media arts students won first-place national titles among multiple awards from the Broadcast Education Association
  • For the first-time ever, the mock trial team earned a spot in the Opening Round Championship Series of the American Mock Trial Association
  • Members of the speech team claimed honors at a meet hosted by the University of North Dakota
  • The concert band completed a successful tour to Arizona and Utah over Spring Break in early March
  • The choirs are preparing for their annual Spring tour, this year visiting Michigan and Wisconsin in May
  • Women’s and men’s indoor track and field teams took Upper Midwest Athletic Conference titles in 12 different events and two individuals represented BLC at the NCAA DIII National Indoor Meet for the first time
  • The men’s basketball team earned a spot in the NCAA DIII National Tournament with its third-ever UMAC championship

We thank God for the blessings He provides students at our Bethany Lutheran College.

The Bethany Concert Band at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Scottsdale, AZ
Pictured: On Sunday 3/5 at Rev David Meyer’s home with members from Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. We gathered for an afternoon BBQ and a blessed mutual conversation and consolation of brothers and sisters in Christ.

In early March, 2023, Rev. Thomas Heyn (the ELS Board for World Outreach Administrator) and I were privileged to conduct a visitation with the members of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Queensland, Australia. (My wife, Lisa, also joined us on the trip and established enduring friendships.) The ELS has had fellowship with this congregation going back almost a half a century. We received cordial hospitality from these brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, we were thoroughly impressed by the faithfulness of the pastor and the congregation to our shared Confessional Lutheran position but also observed their overwhelming sense of loneliness. We encourage you now and into the future to pray for them and even to write words of encouragement so that they know they are not alone in their confession.

Upcoming Events

April 1 – BORAM reports due
May 7–8 – Board of Regents
May 10 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement
May 11 – Board of Trustees
May 12 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement

View current vacancies and calls in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

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