Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
It feels good to know when a job is finished. Whether it is a remodeling project, a writing assignment, a hobby wish-list — whatever has been put off for a time-there is much satisfaction in declaring, “It’s finally done!” The ultimate completion the world has ever known goes way beyond a wonderful sentiment. The Lenten services this month will remind us that the job of saving sinners — you and me — has been fully accomplished in every way by our Lord Jesus. Luther explains it this way: “By departing with the word ‘It is finished,’ Christ indicates that all Scripture is fulfilled. He says in effect: World and devil have done as much to Me as they were able to do, and I have suffered as much as was necessary for the salvation of men and as was prophesied and proclaimed in Scripture through the prophets. Therefore, everything is fulfilled and finished. We are to mark this well: Christ’s suffering is the fulfilling of Scripture and the completing of the redemption of the human race. It is finished! God’s Lamb is slaughtered and sacrificed for the world’s sin. … Everything is fulfilled and finished, and no one need argue that something still remains to be fulfilled and perfected” (W 28:406). Now, that is true satisfaction! May God bless our meditation in this season of Lent.
John A. Moldstad
Grace Lutheran Has a New Start
Pictured here are just some of the members of Grace Lutheran in Redmond, Oregon. The congregation was reported as “closed” in our report to the 2018 convention, stating that a final service was held in August of 2017. A few of the original members of Grace continued to meet in a home thereafter. Since that time, the congregation has grown and now meets temporarily for Sunday services at the Seventh Day Adventist building in the city. Pastor James Ruppel and his wife Karen faithfully travel from Eugene to Redmond each week for services. President Moldstad preached, presented on the work of the synod, and brought greetings to the Grace membership on February 24, 2019. May God continue to bless this group as it reaches out to the people in the Redmond and Bend areas with the saving gospel of Christ.
Prayers for Home Missions
Our Board for Home Outreach currently is listing seven congregations for receiving support at various levels in the 2019 year:
- Christ Lutheran, Bell Gardens, California, Pastor Matt Behmer (pictured, top left);
- Divine Mercy Lutheran, Weatherford, Texas, Pastor James Kassera (pictured, top right);
- Hope Lutheran, Leander, Texas, Pastors Brad Kerkow and Dan Ruiz (pictured, bottom right);
- Hope Lutheran, Farmington, Minnesota, Pastor Dan Oberer;
- Redeeming Grace Lutheran, Rogers, Minnesota, Pastor Josh Mayer (pictured, bottom left);
- Grace Lutheran, Lincoln, Illinois, Pastor Dan McQuality;
- and a new mission start in San Angelo, Texas.
We ask our synod membership to keep these congregations, pastors, and families in their daily prayers.
Synod Review Committee
Prof. Erling Teigen (pictured, second from right) has resigned from the Synod Review Committee (SRC). We thank him for his fifteen years of service on the committee, of which he also served as chairman. Also, Mr. Norman Werner (pictured at right) is concluding his term on the committee. Norman began his time on the SRC in 1996, and has served twenty-three years as a faithful and busy secretary of the committee. The Synod Review Committee deals with governance issues for the ELS, particularly assisting our conventions when new or edited guidelines are adopted to be placed into our synod Handbook (els.org/handbook).
Visit to India
Numerous pictures are available from a recent trip to India by Pastors T. Heyn, B. Kerkow, and P. Fries. The visit to our mission churches in the Lutheran Mission of Salvation-India (LMSI) brought encouragement for the Gospel work of our Lord in the regions of Hyderabad, Rajamundry, and Jabalpur. The LMSI has continual needs for capital improvements, including a possible expansion at one of the sites in Hyderabad in order to accommodate larger groups. If any would like to provide financial assistance for building needs in India, please send your gifts to ELS, 6 Browns Ct., Mankato, MN, and indicate with your gift: “LMSI projects.” Thanks in advance for your help and especially for your prayers.
View more photos from the visit on our Facebook page.
Devotional Planned by BHO
The Board for Home Outreach (BHO) is developing a devotional booklet to be given to prospective members. We are pleased that a special grant has been received for this effort.
Registration for the annual Lutheran Youth Association convention is now open. Confirmed and high school youth are invited to Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota, July 25-28, to be fed and nourished by the “One Thing Needful.” This theme, taken from the lesson of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42), focuses us on the importance of the Word of God. Register at els.org/lya19.
Mr. Tom Reason resigned from the Planning & Coordinating Committee on February 7, 2019. We thank Tom for his years of service. The Committee on Nominations will recommend names to fill the remaining one-year unexpired term on the committee.
March 9 – Homeschooling convention at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN
March 18-19 – Doctrine Committee
March 24 – 50th anniversary of Scriptural Lutheran, Cape Girardeau, MO
March 25-26 – Board for World Outreach
April 1-2 – Board for Lutheran Schools at Bethany Lutheran, Port Orchard, WA
April 30-May 1 – Great Lakes Pastoral Conference at Holy Cross, Madison, WI
May 2-3 – West Coast Pastoral Conference at St. Luke Lutheran, Mt. Vernon, WA