Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
Usually, summer is a time for rest and rejuvenation. I pray that this season of rest has been and will continue provide that needed rest for your minds and bodies. The greater rest, however, is that which our Lord invites us to receive from Him—an eternal rest for our souls. As He promises in Mt. 11:28–29 “Come unto Me … I will give you rest … for your souls.” The labor and heavy burdens of our souls are a result of our guilt, shame and condemnation for our many sins of thought, word and deed. Our sinful natures wrongly imagine that by our works of self-righteousness we can make ourselves right with God. All such efforts always fail. The rest Jesus gives comes through the Gospel in Word and Sacrament. If in this last year and a half with its many COVID restrictions you have been led to minimize in your mind these sources of rest for your soul, I encourage you to be revived. Gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ on a regular basis. Satan hates the fact that where two or three Christians gather together in Jesus’ name there He is with His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. Our Lord, from the very beginning of time desired for us a weekly day of rest for our souls, not just a season of a couple weeks and a few weekends of rest. Value the gift of rest your God has provided for you, not only for your mind and body, but especially for your soul. In truth, when we return after our summer times of rest, we often come back exhausted and long for the calming routines of daily life. This is not so with the rest for our souls. We leave a divine service revived, ready to do the work of our daily vocations unburdened, knowing our Lord smiles upon us for Jesus’ sake.
Glenn R. Obenberger
View the 2021 Convention President’s Message: https://vimeo.com/567602694
In keeping with our desire to support our Bethany Lutheran College as mentioned in our 104th ELS convention, keep in mind that our 2021 synod budget is set for $790,000, but any amount over $760,000 goes to the current operations of our Bethany Lutheran College.
Candidate of Theology Sean Scheele was ordained and installed on June 27, 2021, at Faith Lutheran Church in Parkersburg, Iowa. He is serving the dual parish of Faith and Pilgrim Lutheran in Waterloo. (pictured at right)
Candidate of Theology Adam Brasich was ordained and installed on July 4, 2021, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Winter Haven, Florida. He is serving the dual parish of Resurrection and Our Savior Lutheran in Lakeland. (pictured below left)
Candidate of Theology Samuel Johnson was ordained and installed as pastor of Abiding Word Lutheran Church in Bowling Green, Ohio, on July 4, 2021.
Pictured (below right): (back) Vicar Lilienthal; Pastors Nowak (WELS); Mayer; Ernst; (front) Pastors Mosher (WELS); Schneider; Sam Johnson; Kempfert; Freimuth
The Rev. Michael Smith was installed as pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Ames, Iowa, on July 11, 2021.
Our Bethany Lutheran College
All those interested in learning more about Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) are invited to attend Bethany National Auxiliary Day on Monday, September 27, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m. on the Bethany campus. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Bethany faculty and students about the exciting things happening at BLC. The group will also take part in an annual business meeting where auxiliary members vote on projects to support.
Bethany Lutheran College is very grateful for the support we receive from ELS congregations. We invite all ELS members to attend Auxiliary Day if possible; and we ask you to please publicize the event in your congregation.
The special day provides a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with all that is happening at Bethany and to enjoy Christian fellowship. If your congregation does not have an active Bethany Auxiliary, you are still welcome to attend.
If you have any questions about Auxiliary Day, please contact Lance Schwartz at 800-944-3066.
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Anniversary
The seminary is about to begin another school year. During the past year we have observed the 75th anniversary. We have shared history, held an open house, and gathered an offering for the seminary. Would you like to make a final 75th anniversary gift as we now turn our attention to the future of our seminary? Contributions can be sent directly to Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, 6 Browns Ct, Mankato MN 56001.
Presidents of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gaylin Schmeling; Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Glenn Obenberger; Bethany Lutheran College, Gene Pfeifer
Center for Apologetics and Worldviews
The Center for Apologetics and Worldviews is pleased to provide free video archives of the Third Annual Apologetics Conference (June 2021) at blc.edu/apologetics/events. Six sessions develop the theme “Why Does Moses Matter to Christians? Examining the Meeting Point of Ancient Inscriptions, Archaeological Discoveries, and the Hebrew Scriptures.” The seventh session includes live Q and A modelling how Christians can respond to challenging questions (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).
In March 2019, the head of the jail in Sparta, Wisconsin (Monroe County) asked Pastor James Olsen if he would send a regular devotion to the inmates. Captain Stan Hendrickson said he would pass these out and later encouraged him to keep sending them. He tries to prepare and send one a week. Later, the Wis Institutional Ministries (a para-synodical group made up largely of WELS members) began sending them to various institutions. If you would be interested in receiving these on a regular basis please contact Pr. Olsen: email@example.com
August 8 – 100th Anniversary of Our Savior’s (Princeton, Minnesota)
August 9–10 – ELS Board of Regents
August 12 – Board of Trustees
August 16–17 – Doctrine Committee
September 14 – Committee for Archives and History
September 16–17 – Circuit Visitors Conference