The etymology of the word “synod” describes well what we are as a grouping of churches flying under the ELS banner. The term derives from two Greek words meaning “together on a road.” We are walking together on a spiritual journey as we make our confession of faith in the Triune God and as we strive to uphold and promote all of the teachings He has given us in His holy Word. That picture of walking together on the roadway of life-ultimately, of life eternal-also serves to remind us of how we as fellow believers enter the new calendar year. None of us knows what 2019 holds for us personally or for families and friends. But we do know something about the journey. In fact, it makes each new day, each new week, and each new year intriguing, unintimidating, and filled with anticipation. You and I are walking the path of life hand-in-hand with the very One who has secured our forgiveness for every sin and has locked-in for our possession the gift of being in heaven with Him! This is sealed to us in our baptism whereby God the Holy Spirit has created faith in our hearts. Notice the new walk! “We were buried with Him by baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). So, we go into this new year with a confidence not in our own power but in the power of Him who promises, “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). Have a great 2019!
John A. Moldstad
Loving Life at Divine Mercy Lutheran
Our home mission congregation in Weatherford, Texas, has taken on a project. The members of Divine Mercy, pastored by the Rev. James Kassera, explain their new initiative: “We want to share the mercy of Christ with our neighbors through the gifts of clothing, food, friendship, as well as the forgiving Word of God. How does it work? Many people donate their lightly used or new items that would really help parents and young children. Then, about once a month, we hold a ‘shopping day’ where those in need can come and take a few items home to help their family. What is the cost? There is no cost. Just as Jesus gave us salvation as a free gift, we joyfully offer our help for free as well.” If you would like to assist their efforts, we direct you to this link: https://divinemercytx.com/loving-life-ministries/
New Mission at Incheon
Rev. Young Ha Kim and wife, Margaret, are pictured with some others who gathered for the opening worship service at Incheon, near the international airport outside Seoul, Korea. Under the direction of our Board for World Outreach, the fast-growing area with many large businesses was targeted this past year for Gospel outreach. Please pray for the new mission.
Mt. Olive at Bethany
Upper grade students from Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Mankato, Minnesota, graced the Bethany Lutheran College chapel with their voices on Friday, December 14, 2018. You can listen to live and archived chapel services at https://www.blc.edu/chapelcast.
Synod Convention 2019
In making plans for 2019, remember that the Synod Convention is scheduled for June 23-27. This is one week later than our most recent convention.