Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
A deep conviction on something turns into a committed desire to impress the same on others. Just look at the disciples. How could they emerge from behind locked doors so willing to risk their lives for the sake of the gospel? They were convinced–by the Spirit’s power–that their Master, whom they first feared to be simply dead and buried, was in actuality alive–resurrected! We today have the witness of the apostles in the verbally inspired, printed and transmitted Word of God. It speaks to our own hearts convincingly. Jesus has come and died to atone for our sins. He has risen gloriously from the dead! This news proves salvation for sinners has been completed. Fellow servants, what a blessing we have to see how the same Spirit-worked conviction, worked in the disciples long ago, moves us now to praise and to confess. Hearts full of Easter joy spill over into mouths eager to extol Jesus’ name and to tell souls, “In Him we have forgiveness of sins and the gift of life everlasting!”
Blessings in Christ,
John A. Moldstad
This coming June we take time to thank Missionary David Haeuser and his wife, Ruth, for the many years of service to our sister mission church in Peru. This year he is completing 28 years of faithful service to our fellow Peruvian brothers and sisters in Christ. David served as seminary president in Lima, but now that duty is carried on by the Rev. Segundo Gutierrez.
The 2017 convention the Evangelical Lutheran Synod will be held June 18-22, 2017 on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. The theme will be “Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide.” Due to the special nature of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, the convention essays will be presented on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday mornings at 10:30 each day. There also will be a Reformation Hymn Festival on Tuesday evening at 7:30 in Trinity Chapel.
Pastors and delegates can register online at http://www.els.org/2017convention/.
The seminary commencement service will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Adolph Harstad will be the preacher, President Gaylin Schmeling will serve as liturgist, and the Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch will represent the Board of Regents. The following will graduate from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Aaron Ferkenstad and Kurtis Freimuth. Following the commencement service, there will be a reception in Honsey Hall honoring the graduates and Prof. Adolph Harstad at his retirement for his 26 years of faithful service.
Groundbreaking in North Mankato
On Sunday, March 26, 2017, members of Peace Lutheran Church in North Mankato, Minnesota, broke ground for a new fellowship hall with classrooms. The project includes enhancing sanctuary space by removing a wall and utilizing the area that currently is the narthex. The Rev. Timothy Hartwig serves as the pastor of Peace. Lately the congregation received an acceptance of its call for a second pastor. The Rev. Matthew Moldstad of Kissimmee, Florida, has accepted the call.
In observance of the centennial of the synod’s reorganization, a hard-bound book is being published. This book is titled Proclaim His Wonders and is a pictorial history of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The book will have three-hundred pages and include four-hundred photographs. It can be purchased at this year’s synod convention for $15. After the convention it can be ordered from the Bethany Bookstore for $20 (plus $5 additional for shipping).
Pastors, the Centennial Bible study, “Proclaiming God’s Truth,” will be available electronically for download from the synod’s website. If you would like printed copies, they will be available at convention only by preorder. You will be able to submit your request for a number of copies to Pres. Moldstad at the spring pastoral conferences or email Elsa before May 25 with the number that your congregation would like to have. You will be able to pickup the requested copies at Synod Convention. No additional printed copies will be available.
We are pleased to announce that Pastor Nicholas Proksch has accepted the call to serve on the theological faculty of Bethany Lutheran College. In addition, the Rev. Andrew Schmidt has accepted the call to serve as Dean of Students at our Bethany Lutheran College. Both men will be involved in the teaching of religion courses and participation in the daily chapel program. We ask God’s blessings upon these men in making in making the transition.
The Rev. Matthew Behmer of Christ the King Lutheran in Bell Gardens, California, has begun Spanish worship services as of February 19. He reports that he preaches in both Spanish and English in a “bounce back and forth” style. New banners by the church and its website are being used for advertising. Pastor Behmer says that recently four adults completed an instruction course, and one adult was baptized. Please pray for our synod’s gospel outreach work in this Los Angeles suburb.
On March 20, the Colloquy Committee voted to grant the Rev. Steven Brockdorf a successful completion of his colloquy and is therefore recommending his membership to our clergy roster at our upcoming convention.
Thanks for all who have given and have joined in giving to the Anniversary Offering this past month. We are over $342,000 in gifts and promises! In this 500th year of the Reformation remember our Reformation heritage is being passed on. Churches are being built. New families are joining our missions. Children are learning about Jesus. As you keep our missions and missionaries in your prayers please include them with your generous support. Also, don’t hesitate to plan boldly to support our missions by calling 507-469-9656 and let Pastor Dan Basel help you make the most of your planning. You may also give at els.org/donate and select the “Anniversary Offering” or send in a gift today to 6 Browns Ct., Mankato, MN 56001.
April 1 – Deadline for publication in the Book of Reports and Memorials
April 19-20 – Board for Education, Madison, Wisconsin
April 19-20 – Board for World Outreach
April 25-26 – Great Lakes Pastoral Conference, Eau Claire and Bloomer, Wisconsin
April 27 – West Coast Pastoral Conference, Tacoma, Washington
May 3 – Synod Review Committee
May 4-5 – Board for Home Outreach
May 8-9 – Board of Regents
May 10 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement
May 12 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement
May 16 – Board of Trustees
May 24 – Great Plains Pastoral Conference, Mankato, Minnesota