Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
In Proverbs 14:34 we read: “Righteousness exalts a nation…” That passage emphasizes how important it is even for civic righteousness in any land to have citizens who are Christian, who respect God’s moral laws and pray for good government. How blessed are countries that have an abundance of Christians in the population!
In the same way, Christians who serve their country by enlisting and carrying out duties in the military are invaluable to the country and to military in which they serve. Not only are the prayers offered by such heard as they ascend to God’s throne in the name of Jesus; there is more. As Melanchthon wrote in his doctrine book (Loci): “The Christian fights in the battle line in keeping with his calling or vocation, and thus he strengthens his weapons by calling upon God, just as David, when he was about to go up against Goliath, equipped himself with his prayers and his sling. Therefore, the Christian is better equipped than the unbeliever” (Loci 1543, p. 222 – J. Preus edition).
This month we are privileged to host at our Bethany Lutheran College and Seminary campus the meeting of the Lutheran Military Support Group. We give thanks to God for all who serve in the armed forces–not least of all, for fellow Christians–who are willing to risk their lives for the blessed freedoms we enjoy daily!
For more on LMSG, we direct you to http://www.els.org/resources/military/
John A. Moldstad
ELS Lutheran Youth
The synod’s 2019 Lutheran Youth Association gathered this year at our Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. The theme for the July 25-28 convention was “One Thing Needful,” the motto of the college, taken from the account of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. The keynote speaker on Saturday was the Rev. Jerry Gernander of Princeton, Minnesota who spoke of the Christian in relation to one’s own conscience. We are pleased to note that a number of the attendees are very interested in enrolling at the college in the near future. Please pray for the youth of our Evangelical Lutheran Synod as they make important decisions for further education in the days and months ahead.
Confirmations in California
Christ the King (Cristo Rey) Lutheran in Bell Gardens, California had a special Confirmation Sunday on July 7. Pictured are newly confirmed members: Heiley, Samantha, and John. May God bless them in the confession of His truth as they continue to serve Jesus as Savior throughout their lives.
Centennial at Center Lutheran Church
Center Lutheran Church in Scarville, Iowa, observed its centennial anniversary on June 30, 2019. The current pastor of the Scarville and Center parish is the Rev. Joshua Skogen.
Special Day in Madison
On Sunday, July 7, the members of Our Saviour’s Lutheran in Madison, Wisconsin, gave thanks to God for being able to burn the mortgage on their facility at Droster Road. The congregation is part of a two-point parish-together with Grace Lutheran on the west side-served by the Rev. Cory Hahnke.
Kenya Online Meeting
On Monday, July 29, an initial meeting occurred between ELS representatives and four pastors representing the Nyamira area in Kenya. These pastors were at one time in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya, but now are in contact with our synod. We are planning a series of meetings with them to determine the doctrinal agreement necessary for declaring fellowship between the ELS and this group of pastors and congregations. Those representing the ELS at our initial meeting were the Rev. Thomas Heyn, BWO administrator, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling of our seminary, and Pres. Moldstad. The men representing the Kenya church were Bishop Sospeter Okongo, the Rev. Evans Gwachi (secretary), Tom Otuke (seminary principal), and Pastor David Ombogo (seminary online coordinator). We ask everyone to keep these discussions in your prayers. Another meeting is being planned for the month of September.
August 5 – Explanation Review Committee
August 6 – Board of Trustees
August 12-13 – ELS Board of Regents
August 22-23 – Board for Home Outreach
August 23 – Synod Review Committee
August 26 – Board for World Outreach
September 5 – Committee for Archives and History
September 8 – 150th Anniversary of Holton (Holton, MI)
September 10-11 – Doctrine Committee
September 12-13 – Circuit Visitors’ Conference
September 22 – 50th Anniversary of St. Luke (Mt. Vernon, WA)