Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
Referencing Acts 2, this year’s synod convention essayist drew our attention to a “call for action.” In light of our synod-wide anniversary offering, Pastor Timothy Hartwig posed a thought-provoking question: “When Peter and the apostles proclaimed the truth that Jesus is the Messiah at Pentecost, those who heard were cut to the heart. They were convinced that they had crucified the very one for whom they were waiting. They believed and their faith caused them to ask, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’ It is a good question for us to ask. What should we do? We have considered two threads: Home missions and Christian giving. What action is our belief calling us to take?” … May God bless us in our efforts to use our resources to share the message of salvation in Christ with many more souls throughout our land!
Blessings in Christ,
John A. Moldstad
- The theme chosen for the week was “Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done: Give Thanks to His Name!”
- The essay focused on how the special thankoffering will be used by the Board for Home Outreach: to start new mission congregations and to fund the Vicar-in Mission project.
- A new pictorial directory of synod congregations and pastors is being compiled.
- A joint statement on “termination of fellowship” was approved as correct and biblical, enabling a further step forward in our formal discussions with members of the Church of the Lutheran Confession.
- The synod resolved to continue informal meetings with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
- Concerning a memorial on “closed Communion,” the synod reaffirmed its scriptural stand on this practice and asked the Circuit Visitors to discuss practical issues.
- The Board of Regents were commended for the improvements in curriculum and methods of education (such as online learning) and asked to continue to prioritize the calling of ELS pastors as full-time religion professors.
- The Board for World Outreach was encouraged to equip ELS members with a knowledge of Christian apologetics (how to defend the faith).
- ELS congregations were urged to provide names of military personnel to www.lutheranmilitary.org.
- The synod budget for congregational contributions was set at $760,000 for the year of 2017, with gifts over $735,000 to be allocated to the Board for Home Outreach.
- Divine Mercy Lutheran of Hudson Oaks, Texas, and Peace Lutheran of Deshler, Ohio, were received into ELS membership. Pastor Michael Lilienthal, Pastor Christian Eisenbeis, and Dr. Gene Pfeifer (BLC) also were received as permanent members of the synod.
- The Rev. Craig Ferkenstad was re-elected as the secretary of the synod.