“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). We had an uplifting and edifying convention. Below you will find a brief summary of several of the highlights. It is a year of thankfulness as we praise God for His numerous blessings upon our synod. Now, we prayerfully move forward with the work He would us do. The harvest is great. Our Lord’s saving love for us and all sinners is even greater! What powerful seed we have to sow!
John A. Moldstad
The Centennial Convention of our synod met in June. The theme of the convention was “Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done: His Enduring Grace.” The convention essay was presented by the Rev. Peter Faugstad. Devotions were conducted by the Rev. Bernt Tweit (convention chaplain), the Rev. Egil Edvardsen (Norway), the Rev. Segundo Gutierrez (Peru), and the Rev. Kenneth Mellon (West Bend, Wisconsin). Officers of the synod also preached for various services during the week: President John Moldstad (Sunday exordium), Vice President Glenn Obenberger (Wednesday communion service), and Secretary Craig Ferkenstad (Sunday sermon). Convention photographs can be accessed at elslutheran.smugmug.com. Convention videos (Synod Sunday, Centennial Program, morning devotions, etc.) can be accessed at vimeo.com/Lutheranism.
- During the Synod Sunday service, a choral union choir was formed by approximately sixty synod members from throughout the country in celebration of the centennial.
- Also in celebration of the synod anniversary, a special Centennial Program was held on Tuesday evening. At this program the synod history was read and greetings and congratulations were received. A reception followed in Honsey Hall.
- Newly received into membership were four pastors and two congregations (Grace Lutheran Church, Crookston, Minnesota and Cross Lutheran Church, Charles City, Iowa).
- In the Tuesday morning session, elections were held for synod president and vice president. John Moldstad and Glenn Obenberger were elected to these positions.
- Educational institution presentations were given on Monday morning by Bethany Lutheran College President Gene Pfeifer and Tuesday morning by Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary President Gaylin Schmeling.
- Learn more about our college in the coming year: Bethany Lutheran College will evaluate who receives printed publications and if those publications effectively enable synod members to stay informed about the status of our synod’s college.
- Have you enjoyed the many centennial events? You have another opportunity this fall when your congregation observes the anniversary locally on Founders’ Day, October 14. The Centennial Committee is thanked for the planning work they have done during the past nine years!
- A “Position Statement on Sex and Gender Identity” was affirmed expressing the current, historical, and Scripturally-based position of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod
- Reach out to those in your community: The Board for Home Outreach and the Evangelism-Missions Counselor are available to assist all congregations of the synod. You don’t have to do it alone. Invite them to help in your area. They would be happy to do so.
- The next convention will be held June 23-27, 2019.
- We thank God for the fifty years of ministry in Peru and the transition to a self-governing church body. The fiftieth anniversary of ELS mission work in Peru was commemorated during the convention session on Wednesday morning. The work in Peru began in 1968, and the church in Lima was officially organized on Reformation Day 1971 as Centro Cristiano. Today the Peruvian Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Church is served entirely by national pastors and vicars. Please pray that the Lord would guide the national church so that his will may be done and his kingdom come in Peru.
- Individuals in the synod have requested that the Board for Christian Service promote a special needs support group. The board will seek input on this project and report on progress at the 2019 convention.
- Gifts for the Mother’s Day Offering support the World Needs Fund administered by the Board for Christian Service. This fund is used for a variety of special needs and projects. Congregations and members are encouraged to remember this special offering.
Board of Trustees: Mr. Dennis Behr, Rev. Paul Schneider
Board of Regents: Rev. Erwin Ekhoff, Rev. David Thompson, Mr. William Soule
Doctrine Committee: Rev. David Jay Webber, Mr. Allen Quist
Board for Home Outreach: Rev. Timothy Hartwig, Mr. Keith Duin, Rev. Aaron Hamilton
Board for World Outreach: Mr. Matt Lukasek, Rev. Bradley Kerkow, Rev. Matthew Behmer
Board for Youth Outreach: Rev. Jeff Hendrix, Mr. Peter Bloedel, Rev. Bernt Tweit
Board for Education: Mr. Kenneth Meyer, Mr. Steven Beilke, Rev. Kurtis Freimuth
Board for Christian Service: Mr. Brad Wosmek
Committee on Worship: Rev. Peter Faugstad
Committee for Communication: Mr. Andrew Overn
Equalization Committee: Mr. William Anderson
Planning and Coordinating Committee: Mr. Ronald Younge
Circuit Visitors: Circuit 5: Visitor Kenneth Mellon, Alternate Mark Bartels, Circuit 4: Visitor Josh Skogen, Alternate Dan McQuality
Board of Appeals: Rev. James Braun, Rev. Jerome Gernander, Rev. Dan Hartwig, Rev. Dr. Timothy Schmeling, Mr. Kermit Traska, Mr. Todd Knutson, Mr. Glen Hansen (2-year unexpired term)
Committee on Nominations: Rev. Peter Faugstad, Rev. Aaron Ferkenstad, Rev. Tim Hartwig, Rev. Daniel Hartwig, Mr. William Soule, Mr. Silas Born, Mr. Ben Faugstad, Mr. John Baumann
The Centennial Committee has produced a special documentary about our synod in this anniversary year. The seventeen-minute video depicts well the resolve on the part of the small band of pastors and laity who gathered at Lime Creek Lutheran Church in northern Iowa in 1918 to form what today is known as the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Rev. Jeff Hendrix is especially thanked for his work on the script and editing. You may view the video online at https://vimeo.com/275335300
Last month, thirty-five individuals participated in an ELS Centennial Heritage Tour to Norway. On June 3, the group worshipped with members of our sister congregation in Avaldsnes. The congregation is a part of LBK-Norway, a member church body of the CELC (Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference). The Rev. Tor Jacob Welde serves as pastor of the Avaldsnes church.
On Sunday, June 10, Candidate of Theology Christian Walz was ordained and installed as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Indianola, Iowa. Dr. Michael Smith preached the sermon, the Rev. Robert Harting was liturgist, and Pres. Moldstad performed the rite of ordination.
Bethany Lutheran College and Theological Seminary announce the Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures, which will take place October 25-26, 2018. In this synod centennial year, the theme of the lectures will be “Evangelical Lutheran Synod: Three Perspectives.”
1. ELS: A WELS Perspective-Dr. John Brenner
2. ELS: An LCMS Perspective-Dr. Lawrence Rast
3. ELS: An Introspective-Rev. Craig Ferkenstad
The lectures will take place at Bethany Lutheran College, S. C. Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, beginning October 25 at 10:30 a.m.
July 26-29 – LYA Convention in Tacoma, Washington
August 2-3 – Board for Home Outreach
August 7 – Board of Trustees
August 8-9 – Doctrine Committee
August 13-14 – ELS Board of Regents
August 21 – Synod Review Committee