Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
Good Christians all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done,
In sending His beloved Son.
While we call Christmas Day the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, we also recognize it as the feast day of the Father who in His graciousness sent His Son to be our Savior (Easter—Son; Pentecost—Holy Spirit). It is no accident that the prayers of the Church on this blessed feast day are often directed to the Father in heaven:
LORD God, gracious Father, who in the fullness of time sent Your Son to assume our flesh and become our Brother, we thank You for Your truth and fatherly goodness in giving us this Savior, by whose birth we are delivered from sin, death, Satan, and hell; and we humbly ask You, keep us until the end in true knowledge of our Redeemer, that, with all the holy angels, we may rejoice at His nativity and behold Him, together with You and the Holy Spirit, in glory and majesty, now and forever. Amen. (The Lutheran Liturgy, companion altar book for The Lutheran Hymnal, p. 57)
A blessed Christmastide to you and your dear ones!
In Jesus’ name,
Glenn R. Obenberger
Lakewood Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Washington, celebrated her seventy-fifth anniversary on November 28, 2021. President Glenn Obenberger preached for the celebration on the text Matthew 21:14–17 under the theme, “75 Years Preparing ‘Little Children’ to Mouth God’s Praise.” The Rev. Jesse Jacobsen was the liturgist.
On December 30, 2021, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Yelm, Washington, will be signing the final papers to sell their church building. Since the property is being sold to a secular business, no longer to be used for the services of the Gospel, on December 29 they will be conducting the Rite of Disposition and Deconsecration of their church building. Plans are currently underway for Our Redeemer to merge into Parkland Lutheran Church (PLC). As PLC has already been considering work to the south, part of the sale of the property will serve as seed money for hopefully opening up another church, as the Lord wills.
On December 15, a teacher graduate from Bethany Lutheran College was assigned to one of our ELS schools. Heather Juedes graduated on December 10 from Bethany Lutheran College with a degree in Social Studies and Social Studies Education, and received the ELS teacher certification. Heather has been called by our Lord through the Assignment Committee to teach kindergarten through eighth grade at Scarville Lutheran School, Scarville, Iowa, starting on January 17, 2022.
Ordination in Korea
On December 19, David Choi was ordained and installed at Seoul Lutheran Church. The ELS Board for World Outreach Administrator Thomas Heyn preached on 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, “The Lord sends messengers to prepare his people for Jesus’ second coming.” The rite of ordination was conducted jointly in English and Korean by Pastor Heyn and Pastor Sam Choi. Pastor David Choi will serve as a pastor at Seoul Lutheran Church as well as a missionary under the Board for World Outreach. The congregation also installed one deacon and four deaconesses. May the Lord bless the ministry of Pastor David Choi. (Pictured, left to right: Thomas Heyn, David Choi, Sam Choi)
The site preparation for the Evangelical Lutheran Synod Military Monument has been completed on our Bethany Lutheran College Campus. We now are awaiting the spring thaw so the concrete structures, which will support the granite, can be poured. The granite has been ordered from a local contractor and the bronze sculptures are in the process of being completed by Artist Jason Jaspersen. $255,000 of the $300,000 needed funds to complete the ELS Military Monument project has been received through the sales of inscriptions on pavers, benches, pillars, as well as monetary donations by generous contributors. To God be the glory! If you would like to donate to the ELS Military Monument project to honor a veteran with a paver, bench or pillar inscription please go to: https://els.org/monument or if you would like make a cash donation, please send it to: Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 6 Browns Ct, Mankato MN 56001.
January 14 – Synod Review Committee
February 3 – Committee for Archives and History
February 7–8 – ELS Board of Regents
February 9 – Planning & Coordinating Committee
February 10 – Board of Trustees
February 24–25 – Board for Home Outreach