Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
How to cope with adversity? For the Christian, the answer is looking more and more to the One who in His providence permits hardship to serve the overall benefit of His kingdom work. Someone asked a believer in Christ, “How can it be that you handle affliction so well?” The interesting reply directed away from self to where the real answer always resides: “It lightens the stroke to draw near to Him who handles the rod.” Repenting of our sins and trusting in the mercy of God, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation, we find in the cross and empty tomb the strength that carries us through every chastening challenge! May God move each of us to say with Job, “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
John A. Moldstad
Midland, Michigan Flooding
Please keep in your prayers Rev. Paul Schneider and the people of our Midland, Michigan, parish. As you may have heard, major flooding has happened in Midland due to heavy rain and multiple dam failures. Unfortunately, Holy Scripture has suffered greatly. The flooding is devastating, and the church and parsonage have been heavily damaged. Pastor Schneider wrote on May 20: “We are completely flooded. Waist deep water throughout the entire church. The parsonage basement and main floor flooded. We are stranded but we are looking for a way to get out with the boat. But we are safe.” A video tour of the flood damage at the church and parsonage can be viewed at https://youtu.be/5LXg6cs8dMU.
We certainly ask for your prayers. If you would also wish to donate toward a relief fund, please send your gifts to: ELS Holy Scripture Flood Relief, 6 Browns Court, Mankato MN 56001. You may wish to use our set-up for electronic giving and marking “Flood Relief.” Please go to els.org/donate.
|Graduates: Jacob Kempfert, Ethan Urtel, Karim Yaghleji|
|Vicar Assignments: Sean Scheele, Samuel Johnson, Adam Brasich, Roger Emmons, David Choi|
The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included the assignment of calls, occurred on May 6 in Good Shepherd Chapel. The service was live-streamed in order to limit those present in the chapel to only the students.
Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Jacob Kempfert, Ethan Urtel, and Karim Yaghleji. Jacob Kempfert was assigned as pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Saginaw, Michigan) and Karim Yaghleji was assigned as Arabic outreach missionary and pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church (Lombard, Illinois). Ethan Urtel will pursue further education.
Vicar assignments were: Adam Brasich was assigned as vicar of Resurrection Lutheran Church (Winter Haven, Florida) and Our Savior Lutheran Church (Lakeland, Florida), David Choi was assigned as vicar of Seoul Lutheran Church (Seoul, South Korea), Roger Emmons was assigned as vicar of Grace Lutheran Church (Redmond, Oregon), Samuel Johnson was assigned as vicar of Our Saviour Lutheran Church (Lake Havasu City, Arizona), and Sean Scheele was assigned as vicar of Pilgrim Lutheran Church (Waterloo, Iowa) and Faith Lutheran Church (Parkersburg, Iowa).
Great Plains Pastoral Conference
The Great Plains Pastoral Conference was held by GoToMeeting on Wednesday, May 20. This conference takes in three circuits located in Minnesota and Iowa. Three presentations were given: “Prayer: Prayer Warriors, Prayer Chains, and the Efficacy of Prayer,” by Rev. Michael Lilienthal; “Purging the Leaven: The Search for the Authentic Passover,” by Rev. Joshua Mayer; and “Compassion Fatigue & Pastor’s Self-Care,” by Dr. Ben Kohls. In the time allotted for casuistry items, attention was given to how best to open up once again for worship services in our parishes in light of the covid-19 precautions and restrictions. For the most part, the online conference worked well as our chairman, Rev. Luke Ulrich, served as the moderator. A few extra facial hairs did not scare off the participants!
Reports to the Synod
Because there will be no synod convention this year, the reports of the boards and committees of the synod will be for information only and will not be printed. The “Reports to the Synod” will be made available digitally. They will be posted on the synod’s website prior to June 21. There will be no printed Synod Report in 2020.
The 2020 Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures are being planned for October 29-30, 2020. The theme will be “We Confess Jesus Christ”: 1. Early Church Christology – Dr. Joel Elowsky, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO; 2. Early Modern Lutheran Christology – Dr. Carl Beckwith, Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, AL; 3. Modern Lutheran Christology – Dr. Jack Kilcrease, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI.
Bill Overn passed away on May 12. He was a long time member of our ELS Board of Regents and also was a frequent speaker and advocate for the biblical account of creation. His pastor, Rev. Karl Anderson, noted: “Our loss is Bill’s gain. He fought the good fight, he finished the course, he kept the faith. Now tonight the Lord has laid upon him the crown of righteousness. All his tears are wiped away. He rests in peace and joy in his Savior’s presence.”
Clarice Madson, age 94, wife of sainted Prof. J. B. Madson and mother of nine – including Rev. Jonathan Madson – died on May 16. By faith in her risen Savior she now enjoys her heavenly rest. A funeral is being planned for later in June.
The father of Pastor Mark Faugstad died on May 17. Mark writes: “God in his mercy has called my father, Norman Faugstad, to his heavenly home. Funeral arrangements will be made in the near future. While we travel through this valley in the shadow of death, we are comforted our Good Shepherd is leading us to the bright day that has no end. Prayers for the family are appreciated as the family mourns his death.”
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord…” Rev. 14:13.
June 21-24 – Synod Convention – CANCELLED
July 16-17 – Board for Home Outreach
July 24-26 – LYA Convention – CANCELLED