Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
We are in a season that reminds us of hope. Far more significant than spring, the season of Good Friday and Easter gives us confidence of a better day! Christ has come and died for sinners. He has secured our forgiveness. He has risen! And now, by faith in him, we his people shall also be raised from our graves. If we sleep in Jesus, God will bring us with Jesus. Since he lives, we also shall live! Isaiah prophesied of this great day: “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead” (Isaiah 26:19)… So, every day until the Big Day, let us wake up and smell the roses!
Blessings in Christ,
John A. Moldstad
The Rev. Christian Eisenbeis was installed as pastor of First Trinity Lutheran Church in Marinette, Wisconsin, on January 31, 2016. He is only the fifth pastor in the eighty-five years since the congregation was founded. The Rev. Fred Stubenvoll, pastor emeritus at First Trinity, served as liturgist. The Rev. Andrew Schmidt, pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church (WELS) in Mosinee, Wisconsin (and a 2007 graduate of our Bethany Seminary), preached the sermon. The Rev. Robert Otto, pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bloomer, Wisconsin, and our synod’s Circuit 6 Visitor, performed the rite of installation.
The Rev. Peter Faugstad was installed as pastor of Saude and Jerico Lutheran Churches in Lawler, Iowa, on February 21, 2016. The Rev. Robert Harting of Thornton, Iowa, served as liturgist; the Rev. Thomas Rank of Scarville, Iowa, preached the sermon; and the Rev. Wayne Halvorson, circuit visitor, performed the rite of installation.
This spring the Christ In Media Institute is planning to host an Online Conference focusing on Gospel Outreach with Media (GOWM). The conference is scheduled to open online on Monday, March 28, the day after Easter. It will feature presentations by two dozen or more of the people in the ELS and WELS actively supporting the use of technology to reach out to unchurched and unbelievers with the Good News of what God has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. During the three weeks the conference is “open,” visitors online from anywhere the internet reaches can interact with the presenters by posting questions and comments, to which presenters, and other visitors, can reply. After three weeks, on Sunday, April 10, the conference will be closed to further interaction. However, the presentations and discussions will be preserved online for anyone to read.
Circuit 8 Winter Youth Retreat
ELS youth in northern Minnesota gathered at Luther Island Camp, Henning, Minnesota, for their annual winter retreat, February 14-15, 2016.
News from Bethany Lutheran College
Bethany World Club members and their advisor Susan Harstad, International Students Coordinator Lyn Merseth, and ESL Instructor Nick Cook were guests at the President Pfeifer home for dinner and a visit. This year 19 international students representing 9 countries are studying at Bethany. They come from China, D.R. of Congo, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Latvia, Malawi, Peru, South Korea, and Ukraine. Dr. Gene Pfeifer says, “It’s a blessing that the experiences of our campus family can be enhanced through a global perspective.”
Reports for Convention
Thank you to those who have submitted statistical reports!
Other deadlines to note:
- Items for publication in the 2016 Book of Reports and Memorials are due April 1. Completed reports are to be mailed to the synod’s secretary, the Rev. Craig Ferkenstad.
- Requests for presentation time during the synod convention program must be directed to the president of the synod, the Rev. John Moldstad, prior to April 15.
Pastors and congregational leaders: We are hoping to increase synodical awareness by expanding the subscription to regular news updates. Please include the following in your Sunday bulletin: “Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod may have access to monthly updates from our president’s office. News about synodical events, home and world missions, finances and calls is included. You may subscribe by going to els.org and then, on the right hand side of our opening page, click the link for ‘Email Sign Up.'”
News from World Missions
A new format for Mission News and Helping Hands Mission Newsletter will be introduced in March! The new bi-monthly publication will focus on one field per issue, enabling the board to provide detailed information about a single aspect of our synod’s World Outreach efforts in South America and Asia. Mission News & Helping Hands will be provided in bulk to every ELS congregation, and we hope it will be distributed to each family at worship services. Individual subscribers will continue to receive personal copies by mail. The publication will also be posted at www.elsworldoutreach.org.
A colloquy (Part 1) has been scheduled for the Rev. Steven Brockdorf of Hillsboro, Oregon. The colloquy is set for March 15, 2016. Pastor Brockdorf is a former pastor of our synod seeking restoration of fellowship. Any correspondence pertaining to the colloquy should be addressed to the synod president (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are very pleased to announce the redesigned Lutheran Sentinel. A big thank you to designer Ryan Madson and Managing Editor Kyle Madson for their hard work! If you would like to receive our bimonthly synodical periodical directly by mail to your home, we urge you to send your subscription of $12.00 to:
6 Browns Ct
Mankato MN 56001
The Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary commencement service will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Craig Ferkenstad will be the preacher, with President Gaylin Schmeling serving as liturgist, and the Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch representing the Board of Regents. The following men are scheduled to graduate from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Matthew Behmer, Jeffrey Hendrix, Joshua Mayer, Daniel Ruiz, and Andrew Soule. Elisabeth Urtel will be graduating from the seminary with a Master of Arts in Lutheran Theological Studies degree.
Upcoming Events: http://www.els.org/about/calendar/
March 2 – Synod Review Committee
March 14-15 – Doctrine Committee
March 15 – Colloquy Committee
March 30-31 – Board for World Outreach
April 4-5 – Board for Education
April 6 – Synod Review Committee
April 8 – Centennial Committee
April 12-13 – Great Lakes Conference, Okauchee, Wisconsin
April 13,15 – West Coast Conference, Yelm, Washington
April 14 – Emmaus Free Conference, Parkland Lutheran, Tacoma, Washington
April 17 – Pres. Moldstad to preach at St. Luke Lutheran, Mt. Vernon, Washington
April 24 – Pres. Moldstad to preach at Clearwater Parish, Oklee, Minnesota