Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
As we currently observe Holy Week, I would like to share these devotional thoughts recently used with the Parkland Lutheran School faculty:
“[The Sanhedrin] sentenced [Jesus] to death; not because He had done anything against human or divine Law; all the false witnesses they procured could not fix any crime on Him; no two of them could agree to tell the same lie; surely a remarkable evidence for His innocence. But they sentenced Him for blasphemy, because He claimed to be the Messiah, … Yes, there is a higher tribunal than the Sanhedrin; and before that court we are all arraigned. Many witnesses appear against us; and they are not false witnesses. There is the Law of God, which we have not kept. There is Satan, who watches our life more closely than the Jews ever watched Jesus. There are all our sins and transgressions. And divine Justice says: ‘The soul that sinneth, it shall die!’ – But One arises in that court and says: ‘It was expedient, eternally expedient that One Man should die for the people. I am that Man. I am the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. I have borne their griefs and carried their sorrows. I was convicted for their sins, and I died for their atonement. Who will lay anything to their charge? I am He that justifieth.’ – And that is our salvation.” (The Devotional Bible, Vol Two, CPH, 1948, Devotion #82. “Despised and Rejected of Men” Luke 22:63-71, pp. 283-284.)
Our crucified and risen Lord Jesus bless you in your observances of His passion and resurrection that your faith may be strengthened and preserved. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
Glenn R. Obenberger
2021 Synod Convention
The 2021 Synod Convention will convene June 20–24, 2021 on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College. While many details still need to be worked out and will be announced later, we are at this time planning it will be an in-person convention for all voting delegates/pastors. Those eligible to vote will be positioned with proper social distancing in the south gymnasium. Visitors and advisory members of the synod will be located in the north gymnasium with proceedings live-streamed on a screen.
The convention will observe the 75th anniversary of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary under the theme “The Good Shepherd Sends Shepherds.” Three essays will be presented by Professors Timothy Schmeling, Gaylin Schmeling, and Brian Klebig.
The deadline for items for publication in the Book of Reports and Memorials is April 1. Completed reports are to be mailed to the synod’s secretary. Requests for presentation time during the synod convention program must be directed to the president of the synod prior to April 15. Board and committee secretaries are reminded that any corrections or additions to the “Addresses of Board and Committee Members” which is printed in the Synod Report also should be submitted at this time.
Delegate names are needed for the BORAM by April 15. Due to the pandemic and the difficulties this causes in planning the convention, it is of special importance that the names of all pastors and delegates attending the convention be received by April 15.
Pictured are the current officers of the synod: Vice President Timothy Hartwig, President Glenn Obenberger, and Secretary Craig Ferkenstad
A Son of the ELS Honored
We are pleased to announce that Professor Em. Erling Teigen was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The degree will be conferred on May 21. The doctorate is in recognition of the significant contribution Prof. Teigen has made in the cause of confessional Lutheran theology through his many years of faithful teaching in our Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, as well as his many academic writings. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod especially has been blessed by his diligent and faithful scholarship. Erling has made invaluable contributions in our theological discussions and doctrinal statements over his many years of service. Congratulations Professor Teigen!
Sunday Morning Visits
It is desired that during the next year President Obenberger, weather permitting, will be attending ELS congregations’ divine services that are within driving distance from Mankato on Sunday mornings. This will be in addition to visiting congregations farther away where he will be near in his travels or invited to attend, e.g., mission festivals, anniversaries, installations, etc. On March 14 (Lent 5) he had the privilege of visiting Norseland Lutheran Church, rural St. Peter, Minnesota (pictured) and hearing its youth choir sing an Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) with the altar painting of the crucified Christ behind them. It was truly a joy to worship with fellow members of the synod and experience what we have come to expect among our ELS congregations and pastors—a thoroughly Christ-centered gathering in both word and practice.
Our Bethany Lutheran College
Does your ELS congregation or school have a website? Our Bethany Lutheran College is asking for help from ELS congregations by adding a link to the Bethany website (blc.edu) on their congregation’s website. This small but important effort will help establish the Bethany website as a more trusted site on Google and will help the college achieve a higher page ranking which ultimately allows more people to see the BLC website. This could be a simple text link, or a linked statement in the footer such as: We support Bethany Lutheran College, owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Questions about this can be directed to Mr. David Norris, Director of Visual Media at Bethany.
Seminary Anniversary Fund
Are you planning to attend Synod Convention this year? If you are able, please visit the seminary as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of this institution. We want to ensure that this seminary continues to properly educate pastors for years to come. To do so, the seminary is gathering an anniversary offering. If you would like to donate, contributions can be sent directly to Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, 6 Browns Ct, Mankato MN 56001.
The 2021 national LYA convention has been cancelled. The Board for Youth Outreach is exploring options for regional events in various locations around the country. Watch for more information coming soon!
April 1 – BORAM reports due
April 13–14 – Board for World Outreach
April 15 – Names of convention attendees needed
April 20 – Board for Youth Outreach (online)
May 3–4 – ELS Board of Regents
May 5 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement
May 7 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement
May 11 – Board of Trustees
May 19 – Great Plains Pastoral Conference