Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
Pentecost is not just a festival of the New Testament. It was the second of three annual festivals for the Old Testament believers. The name was “Feast of Weeks,” a harvest celebration. It is not too difficult to connect the Old Testament festival with the Pentecost we celebrate today as New Testament Christians, recorded in Acts chapter 2. Just as God provides a harvest of food at the proper time (Psalm 104:27-28), so we observe at Pentecost a harvest of souls by God the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:41). Through his continuing work in the church today by his Means of Grace, the Holy Spirit causes the seed of the gospel to germinate in people’s hearts and produce bountiful fruits of faith. What a privilege we have to go about the Spirit’s work, always acknowledging him as the “Lord and Giver of Life!”
Blessings in our risen and ascended Lord,
John A. Moldstad
Circuit 8 Meeting at Oak Park
Pictured with Pres. Moldstad are the four ELS pastors who serve in northern Minnesota: (from left to right) the Rev. John Merseth, the Rev. Nick Proksch, the Rev. Jeff Merseth and the Rev. Gene Lilienthal. Oak Park Lutheran is served by Pastor Jeff Merseth as part of the Clearwater Parish, near Oklee, Minnesota. On Sunday afternoon, April 24, 2016, the synod president had an opportunity to make two presentations (history of the synod & update on our mission work) to a well-attended Lay Circuit Conference encompassing the circuit’s ten congregations. Members gathered an offering to be sent to one of our synod’s new home mission congregations. After the day’s meeting, a delicious supper was served by the ladies of the Oak Park Parish.
Early Learning Center – Madison, Wisconsin
Teacher Erin Mensching serves as the Director of Kids Crossing Early Learning Center, the new education effort by Holy Cross Lutheran, Madison, Wisconsin. Her husband, Brian, currently holds the call to serve as principal of the Holy Cross School. We pray for God’s guidance on Brian as he deliberates, and also we wish the Lord’s blessing on Erin as she is completing her first year at the Early Learning Center.
Installation in Korea
The Rev. Dr. Choi Sung Gyu (Sam) was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor at Seoul Lutheran Church on Sunday, April 10, 2016. In the same service, he was installed as Director of Seoul Lutheran Theological Institute, which trains Korean and Korean-Chinese men for ministry. Sam is pictured (center) with his mother and members of his family, including wife, Gehee (far left) and the Rev. Young Ha and Margaret Kim (behind Sam). The Rev. Steven Petersen, our World Outreach Administrator, performed the rites of ordination and installation.
Building the new church in Farmington, Minnesota
The members of Hope Lutheran of Farmington, Minnesota, are excited to see construction begin for their new church building. The location of the site is along Highway 3 on the northeast part of the city. The Rev. Dan Oberer says the congregation is anticipating a dedication date scheduled for Reformation Sunday, October 30. We pray all goes well for the project!
Baptism at Bethany Lutheran College
Our synod’s college has many opportunities to share the gospel in the religion classes, the chapel program, and other activities on the campus. On Wednesday, April 27, one of the students at Bethany Lutheran College, Marissa Lee Milless, was baptized by Chaplain Don Moldstad. Conducting the liturgy was the Rev. Shawn Stafford, Marissa’s religion instructor. We pray for God’s rich blessings upon Marissa.
Installation of Pastor Gullixson
On Sunday, April 17, 2016, the Rev. Samuel Gullixson was installed as one of the three pastors at Parkland Lutheran, Tacoma, Washington. The Rev. Jesse Jacobsen of Hood River, Oregon, preached the sermon, and the Rev. Steven Sparley, Circuit 12 Visitor, performed the rite of installation.
Synod Centennial Photo
This June at Synod Convention group photographs will be taken of both the assembled convention in the gymnasium and also a group photograph of the clergy. These photographs will be taken during the conclusion of the Tuesday morning session. As these will serve as the centennial photographs, both delegates and pastors should make special efforts to be present.
The 100th anniversary of our Evangelical Lutheran Synod is being observed in 2018. Next year (2017) we also observe the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. In conjunction with these important anniversaries our synod is conducting a synod-wide thankoffering to provide support for our home missions and for the training of seminarians through the vicar-in-mission program. Pastors and delegates to our June convention are being asked to participate in the kick-off by bringing gifts and/or promises as a way to initiate the offering. “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever!”
The commencement service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary will take place on Wednesday, May 11, at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. This service includes both the graduation of students and the assignment of calls. The commencement service for Bethany Lutheran College will take place on Friday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. in the Sports and Fitness Center.
Seminary Pastors’ Institute
This year the Seminary Pastors’ Institute will take place at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary on July 6-7. Professor Timothy Schmeling will give a presentation on “Concordia, Discordia, Et Irenicum: The Reception of the Book of Concord in Seventeenth Century Braunschweig Lutheranism.” This presentation will demonstrate how the Book of Concord was received in the northern German states. It explains some of the conflicts involved in the acceptance of the Book of Concord in Lutheran lands and helps explain the genesis of the Syncretistic Controversy (ca. 1645-86) of the seventeenth century. President Gaylin Schmeling will give a presentation on “Church of the Lutheran Confession: Then and Now,” centering on the origin and recent history of the CLC. Please contact the seminary to register.
Call for Nominations: Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary