Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
Not on Father’s Day! That is what we decided last year as we set the date for this year’s Synod Sunday and then the following days for our annual convention. Please pray for our delegates and pastors and families as they travel to Mankato, Minnesota, for the dates of June 23-27. Pray also that God would grant all of our fathers and grandfathers a truly blessed “Happy Father’s Day” on June 16. We sincerely thank God for the gifts of Christian fathers and mothers, as we pray: “O blest the parents who give heed unto their children’s foremost need and weary not of care or cost. May none to them and heaven be lost” (ELH 190:3).
John A. Moldstad
Centennial at Elderon, Wisconsin
Members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Elderon, Wisconsin, gave thanks to God for 100 years of blessings on May 19, 2019. The congregation in its history went through a name change from Trinity to Our Savior’s. In the year of 1976 it joined our Evangelical Lutheran Synod. In more recent years, the Rev. Tosten Skaaland and the Rev. Harvey Abrahamson (currently) have served as the pastors. Pres. Moldstad preached for the occasion.
2019 Book of Reports and Memorials Available
The 2019 Book of Reports and Memorials for this month’s synod convention is now available online on the synod’s website, els.org/convention. This book contains reports from all of the boards and committees of the synod, a report from Bethany Lutheran College, and a proposed 2020 budget. This information in this book forms the basis for the synod convention which will be held June 23-27 on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College. Printed copies of the Book of Reports and Memorials for the pastors and delegates have been mailed to each congregation in the synod.
ELS Historical Society Annual Meeting
The 2019 annual meeting for the Historical Society will be held at Bethany Lutheran College on Synod Sunday, June 23, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center. The program will be “Revisiting the 1919 Constituting Convention of the ELS.” The program will highlight the constitution, the opening sermon by G. A. Gullixson, and other important actions taken in 1919. All are invited to attend.
Bell Gardens, California
On May 12, Cristo Rey Lutheran Church, Bell Gardens, California, had a special Mother’s Day service with a Blessing of the Mothers. During the service, all mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other women who serve in a motherly way were invited forward for a special blessing and received a rose. The bilingual service was held outside. Afterwards, ladies from the congregation served a meal of homemade pozole and agua de jamaica.
BLC Graduate Assigned to Washington
Jayde Thompson (right), pictured with Dr. Polly Browne, graduated in May from our Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota, with a degree in Elementary Education and with an ELS Certification qualification. On May 8, Jayde was assigned to teach the middle grades at Bethany Lutheran School in Port Orchard, Washington. Jayde also is soon to be married to Mr. Timothy Faugstad, a recent graduate of BLC. We pray God’s richest blessings upon Jayde and Tim in their new home in the state of Washington.
Seminarians Assigned Vicarages
On May 8, 2019, three men from our Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary were given vicar calls: Vicar Karim Yaghleji to Bethany, Port Orchard, Washington; Vicar Ethan Urtel to Hartland and Manchester, Minnesota; and Vicar Jacob Kemfert to Mt. Olive, Mankato, Minnesota.
Great Plains Conference
The Great Plains Pastoral Conference (circuits 7–9, including Iowa and Minnesota) met on May 22 at Bethany Lutheran College. Nearly 50 pastors were in attendance for this conference.
Prayers Requested for our New Home Mission
Our synod’s newest home mission is located in San Angelo, Texas. As the Rev. Peter Heyn is installed and commissioned on June 2, 2019, we pray God would bless the efforts of Gospel outreach in that city, and at the congregation of Our Redeemer. May God also go with Peter, his wife Andrea, and their three girls as they move into their Texas home.
Mission News on India
Please read the latest issue of Mission News & Helping Hands. It contains an interesting article on the need for widow support under the direction of our Lutheran Mission of Salvation—India. If you would like to donate to the work of LMSI, you may use this address: ELS Missions, 6 Browns Court, Mankato MN 56001.
Installation in Michigan
Pastor Jeffery Luplow was installed as the new pastor of the joint parish of Faith, Hillman, and Trinity, Rogers City, Michigan, on Sunday, May 19, 2019. The Rev. Paul Schneider, Circuit 3 Visitor, performed the rite of installation, and the Rev. Homer Mosley preached the sermon. Pastors pictured here, left to right, are: T. Smuda (former pastor of the parish), P. Schneider, J. Luplow, H. Mosley, and P. Zager.
News from WELS
President Mark Schroder of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), a sister synod of the ELS, reported this good news in the “Together” newsletter:
The Hmong Fellowship Church in Vietnam (HFC), a church body with approximately 100,000 members, has asked WELS to provide theological training for its pastors. Their leaders and several dozen pastors have been receiving instruction from WELS pastors for about three years. They have concluded that we are teaching biblical truth and have embraced the teachings of the Lutheran church. They want to be a Lutheran church body. With the permission-and even encouragement-of the Vietnamese government, the HFC has invited WELS to establish a theological training school where eventually all their pastors will receive thorough instruction and pastoral training. … This agreement enables our synod to secure the use of a four-acre parcel of land on the outskirts of Hanoi and to begin construction of the planned theological training school. Details are now being worked out, and we hope that construction will begin in the near future. … As we begin down this road, we do so realizing the risks, but also with our eyes of faith focused on the grace and promises of God and the opportunity he is giving us to proclaim the saving gospel in a place where it has been rarely heard. To God be the glory!
June 23-27 – Synod Convention
June 30 – 100th Anniversary of Our Savior’s, Albert Lea MN
July 25-28 – LYA Convention at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato MN