Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
At the end of June, a number of ELS representatives were able to be in attendance at the ninth triennial meeting of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC). The Rev. Dan Koelpin completed his two terms as the president of the CELC, while the convention elected the Rev. Gaylin Schmeling of our Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary to serve as its next president. The 2017 meetings were held at the St. Augustin School in Grimma, Germany. Four essays on the Lutheran Reformation were presented; the business portion of the conference included the adoption of a contemporary version of a “95 Theses” paralleling Luther’s Small Catechism, the adoption of an Article VII of “The Eternal Word: A Lutheran Confession for the Twenty-First Century” on the Church: Unity of Spirit-Bond of Peace, and also the acceptance of an offer to hold the next triennial meeting in Seoul, South Korea. We are grateful that God gives us opportunity to share our unity with over thirty churches around the world who are like-minded in confessing the truth of God’s Word as it is faithfully expounded in the confessional writings of the Lutheran Church.
Blessings in Christ,
John A. Moldstad
On July 2, Kurtis Freimuth was ordained and installed as pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Kissimmee, Florida. Pastor Herb Huhnerkoch served as liturgist, Pastor Matthew Luttman served as lector, Pastor Michael Dale performed the rite of ordination, and Pastor Greg Sahlstrom preached the sermon. There was a light lunch following the service.
On July 16, Aaron Ferkenstad was ordained and installed as pastor of King of Grace Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, Minnesota. President John Moldstad performed the rite of ordination and Pastor Craig Ferkenstad preached the sermon. The service followed the historic order for ordination from the nineteenth century Norwegian Synod, the predecessor of our Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Pastors Ben Wiechmann, Erv Ekhoff, Gaylin Schmeling, Jeffery Merseth, Adie Harstad, Matt Moldstad, and Michael Smith participated, along with other attending pastors from the circuit.
The ELS convention Reformation Hymn Festival can be viewed online at https://vimeo.com/224722232. The program folder also can be found online at http://www.els.org/2017convention.
Prayers and support needed: Dr. Laryssa Chorna, chief physician for Thoughts of Faith’s Medical Clinic on Wheels in Ukraine, was recently diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme–a very aggressive brain tumor. Dr. Laryssa has worked for Gift of Life for nine years and initiated the use of the Bible proclaimer for devotions at the beginning of each day with staff guided by Deaconess Ludmyla. Dr. Laryssa, a devout Christian, expressed that her life is in God’s hands and is at peace with whatever the outcome is. Thoughts of Faith is committed to providing for this faithful physician who has contributed so much to our work in the medical vans. We will assist her family with expenses for treatment and therapy. Would you consider helping Dr. Laryssa with your prayers and financial gifts? Donations can be sent to Thoughts of Faith, 6 Browns Court, Mankato, MN 56001, with “Dr. Laryssa” in the memo line. Otherwise donations can be made through the Thoughts of Faith website, tof.org/donate. The Lord bless and keep you as you reflect His love in Christ to our neighbors around the world.
-BWO Europe Committee
In celebration of our synod’s upcoming centennial next year, we commissioned a pictorial history now authored by our ELS Secretary, the Rev. Craig Ferkenstad. The book wonderfully tells the interesting story of how our church body formed in 1918 over a doctrinal controversy, and it sets forth by 400-plus photos and print how God’s grace in Christ Jesus has richly blessed our church body down through the decades. The layout and design was done by Ryan Madson, who also assists us with the publication of our bi-monthly Lutheran Sentinel. The book, Proclaim His Wonders, is available through our Bethany Lutheran College Bookstore (1-800-944-1722) for a price of $20, plus a shipping charge of $5. We urge all of the members of our synod to purchase a copy and freely share the message of the teachings and work of our synod with those of all generations!
Summer offers many distractions from the everyday routine. But let’s not forget to support our churches and missions. So, don’t hesitate to make up your gifting plans if summer routine takes you away from making that gift. Remember you can make gifts to the offering on the offering website or send in your gift directly. The giving page has a special slot for the offering. Find it at els.org/donate.
For all those who gave and also continue to give, thank you! For those who have yet to give and are planning to give generously in the future, thank you!
Please keep the latest information on the offering before your congregations and be sure to promote the offering through your worship services, church websites, newsletters, and in your Bible studies. For the latest update video, you can visit the website (els.org/offering) to see the video. We recommend that you wait for the hard copy of the DVD or download the video to your computer to make sure you can share it without glitches. Just click on the Vimeo symbol and scroll down to the download button. Feel free to call 507-469-9656 or 507-344-7445 if you need assistance.
August 1 – Board of Trustees
August 3-4 – Board for Home Outreach
August 7-8 – Doctrine Committee
August 9 – Synod Review Committee
August 14-15 – Board of Regents
August 16 – Board for World Outreach
August 21 – Centennial Committee
August 22 – classes begin at Bethany Lutheran College and Theological Seminary
September 7 – Committee for Archives and History
September 14-15 – Circuit Visitors’ Conference
September 19 – Missions Advancement Project
September 25 – Bethany Lutheran College Women’s Auxiliary Day
October 4-6 – General Pastoral Conference