Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
One hundred years back, May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania was sunk by a German torpedo off the coast of Ireland. The sinking, occurring in less than twenty minutes, was an event that triggered our own country becoming involved in World War I.
A far more severe sinking ship situation is bringing devastation of eternal proportions. All who do not believe in the Lord Jesus will perish, although they may presently enjoy a rather comfortable cruise. We can be of help! We are among those who — by God’s grace — have been rescued from the sinking ship, holding to Jesus alone for our salvation. Interestingly, our rescue has involved water — water and the Word! Baptism truly does save, for it connects us to all the benefits of our Rescuer.
Living as rescued ones, each of us want, pray and strive to see the rescue effort extending to fellow souls still on the torpedoed vessel. Can we bring them to the rescue ship? The sanctuaries of our churches are known as naves (ships). Through Word and Sacrament we are privileged by God’s mercy to have been brought safely inside the vessel that is sailing steadily to the heavenly harbor. May our invitation to those who are sinking be heard and heeded. “Come aboard! Christ is the Captain who always gives life!”
Blessings in the world’s one and only Savior, the Lord Jesus,
We happily report that on April 14 the Rev. David Emmons successfully completed his colloquy for membership on the clergy roster of our synod. The action of the Colloquy Committee is scheduled for ratification at our June convention. We welcome David, his wife Lisa and their five children into the ELS!
Planning is continuing for the Synod Convention, June 21-25. During the month of May, congregations will be receiving the Book of Reports and Memorials. When it arrives, please notice that the credentials form is printed on the back cover of the book.
The program for this year’s convention will have a different look because the time constraints were removed by action of the 2014 convention. The two most notable changes will be that the essay, which has been adjusted during the previous two years because of early adjournment, is scheduled to be read and discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Also, each day will begin with a lengthened opening devotion in Trinity Chapel.
The convention theme for 2015 is “Engaging One Another with Jesus’ Teachings.” The Rev. Jonathan Madson (Okauchee, Wisconsin) will serve as essayist the afternoons of Tuesday, June 23, and Wednesday, June 24.
We also are making plans for electronic voting for the election of board and committee members.
The convention’s memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 23, at 5:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Glenn Obenberger (Tacoma, Washington) will be the preacher. Those being remembered are:
Mrs. Helen Guldberg (1923-2014)
The Rev. Mark Harstad (1948-2015)
Mrs. Violet Holte (1920-2015)
The Rev. David Hoyord (1947-2014)
The Rev. John Krueger (1931-2014)
The Rev. Herbert Larson (1931-2014)
The Rev. Jeffrey Londgren (1955-2015)
Mrs. Katherine Oesleby (1915-2012)
Mrs. Naomi Petersen (1929-2014)
Mrs. Lois Weseloh (1921-2013)
Ultimate Frisbee Faceoff
On April 26, the youth of Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, faced off against those from Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Madison, Wisconsin, for an ultimate Frisbee matchup at a park in Madison. The night wrapped up with food and prayer. More and more events like this are taking place in the Madison area, bringing teens from area churches together.
During the month of April several pastors were installed at parishes throughout the synod. The Rev. Thomas Smuda was installed at Faith and Trinity Lutheran Churches in Hillman and Rogers City, Michigan, on April 12. The Rev. Paul Zager was installed at First Lutheran Church in Suttons Bay, Michigan, on April 19. The Rev. Joseph Abrahamson was installed at Faith Lutheran Church in Clara City, Minnesota, on April 19.
Pictured: Installation of the Rev. Joseph Abrahamson
On April 28, 2015, our synod’s Board for World Outreach met with the Rev. Young Ha Kim and Mr. Sung Gyu (Sam) Choi concerning the mission work in Korea. Mr. Choi, a graduate of our Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, is also set to graduate with a doctorate in May from Concordia, Fort Wayne, Indiana. In the month of June he plans to return to Seoul to help with the Theological Studies Institute (TSI) program.
ELS Great Lakes Pastoral Conference – Midland, Michigan
Mother’s Day Offering
We are encouraging each congregation to participate with the annual offering for World Needs. Our Board for Christian Service assists with numerous requests for assistance throughout the year. This month the board committed funding to help with recovery efforts in Nepal after the earthquake.
May 7 – Committee on Archives and History
May 11-12 – Board of Regents
May 12 – Board of Trustees
May 13 – Vicar Workshop
May 13 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement – 4:00 p.m. CDT
May 14 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement Vespers – 7:00 p.m. CDT
May 15 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement – 10:30 a.m. CDT
May 20 – Circuit 9 Conference
June 21 – 65th Anniversary of Bethany Lutheran Church (Luverne, Minnesota)
June 21-25 – Synod Convention
Click here to view current vacancies and calls in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Click here to download the newsletter bulletin insert.