Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
In his remarks on Psalm 23, Dr. Luther emphasizes how the voice of our Good Shepherd is the holy gospel. He writes: “Christ has sought us miserable, lost sheep and has brought us back from the wilderness. That is, he has redeemed us from the Law, sin, death, the power of the devil, and eternal damnation. By giving his life for us he has obtained for us grace, forgiveness of sin, comfort, help, strength, and eternal life against the devil and all misfortune. To the sheep of Christ this is a dear, sweet voice” (LW 12:155). May we always listen carefully to the soothing and consoling voice of him who has promised us, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Blessings to all in our one and only Good Shepherd,
John A. Moldstad
The 2017 convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod will be held June 18-22, 2017 on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota.
- Theme: Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide
- Synod Sunday Service at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel
- Preacher: Pres. John Moldstad
- Liturgist: Rev. Samuel Gullixson (Parkland – Tacoma, Washington)
- Offering designated for the Anniversary Offering
- Also the installation of Dr. Timothy Schmeling as a professor at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary
- Essays in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation:
- Sola Scriptura by Timothy Schmeling, presented Monday at 10:30
- Sola Gratia by Tony Pittenger, presented Tuesday at 10:30
- Sola Fide by Jerome Gernander, presented Wednesday at 10:30
- Convention Chaplain: Rev. Daniel Hartwig (Holy Trinity – Okauchee, Wisconsin)
- Devotion Speaker: Rev. Matthew Moldstad (Peace – North Mankato, Minnesota)
- Devotion Speaker: Rev. Peter Heyn (Peace – Deshler, Ohio)
- Reformation Hymn Festival on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Trinity Chapel (find more information below)
- Communion Service on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Trinity Chapel
- Preacher: Rev. Mark Bartels (Holy Cross – Madison, Wisconsin)
- Liturgist: Rev. Ben Wiechmann (King of Grace – Golden Valley, Minnesota)
- Offering designated for the Anniversary Offering
- Anniversary publications and commemorative items will be presented at various times during the convention:
- Proclaim His Wonders – hard-bound pictorial history (find more information below) – to be presented following the Synod Sunday Service and on Tuesday afternoon
- Ornament/Medallion – produced by the Historical Society – available on Synod Sunday (find more information below)
- Pictorial Directory – of ELS pastors and congregations – to be presented to the convention on Wednesday
- Proclaiming God’s Truth – synod-wide Bible study prepared by the Doctrine Committee for use in fall 2017. Pastors, if you would like printed copies, they will be available only by preorder. If you have not already requested copies, email Elsa before May 25 with the number that your congregation would like to have.
Mark your calendar! A celebratory 500th Reformation Hymn Festival will be held on Tuesday evening at 7:30 in Trinity Chapel. The festival will include works for organ, brass, percussion, choir, and congregation. Jacob Weber will be the organist and featured composer for this event. Even if you cannot attend the convention, you can join in this anniversary event which will be live-streamed on Tuesday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. CDT at https://www.els.org/2017convention.
The synod’s year-long anniversary celebrating the dual commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the 100th anniversary of the reorganization of the synod begins next month!
In observance of the centennial of the synod’s reorganization, a hard-bound book is being published. This book is titled Proclaim His Wonders and is a pictorial history of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. It can be purchased at this year’s synod convention for $15. Consider gathering advance orders in your congregation which can be purchased during the convention and taken home by the pastor or delegates. After the convention the book can be ordered from the Bethany Bookstore for $20 (plus $5 additional for shipping).
The ELS Historical Society has produced a medallion that honors the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and 100th anniversary of the reorganization of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The 2-inch commemorative medallion bears the synod’s anniversary logo and will be available for purchase ($15.00) at the Historical Society annual meeting and program on Synod Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the theater of the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center on our Bethany Lutheran College campus.
Bethany Lutheran College will hold commencement services on Friday, May 12, at 10:30 a.m. in the Sports and Fitness Center. See the website www.blc.edu for more information.
The seminary commencement service will be held on Wednesday, May 10, at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. Following the commencement service, there will be a reception in Honsey Hall honoring the graduates and Prof. Adolph Harstad at his retirement.
Jerico Lutheran Church (New Hampton, Iowa) will celebrate its Sesquicentennial Anniversary on Sunday, June 25. The day will consist of an anniversary service at 10:30 a.m., a catered meal at noon, and an afternoon program at 2:00 p.m. For more information and to learn how to register for the meal, please visit the Facebook event page at “Saude & Jerico Lutherans.” All are welcome to join on this special day!
Attendance at one of our newer missions broke 100 souls this Easter. Another mission saw 80 souls attend worship. These two missions alone had many new prospects visit as they celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord. Another home missionary reported several new families and individuals under instruction and joyfully reported that new members were immediately stepping up to help with their talents and time as well as their treasures. Praise the Lord! Thank you for supporting them as they reach out to the lost and/or unchurched on our behalf.
But we still need your monetary support to do this work. Last month, we received over $10,000 in cash gifts and $50,000 potential dollars in deferred gifts for the offering. Can we repeat that for the next 20 months? If so we will meet our goal of $1,500,000! Thank you for continuing to help as we Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done together!
- July 27-30, 2017
- Theme: Saved Through Water (1 Peter 3:20)
- Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio
- A visit to Answers in Genesis’ Ark Encounter
- 6 occasions to gather in corporate worship
- Choice of 3 of 10 different sections
- Get to know and worship with fellow ELS members from throughout the nation
- Opportunities to take tours of the stadiums where the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals play
- Check out the promotional video and find the registration packet on the LYA page of the synod website: els.org/lya17
May 1 – Board for Christian Service
May 2 – Assignment Committee
May 3 – Synod Review Committee
May 4-5 – Board for Home Outreach
May 8-9 – Board of Regents
May 10 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement, 3:00 p.m. CDT
May 12 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement, 10:30 p.m. CDT
May 16 – Board of Trustees
May 24 – Great Plains Pastoral Conference, Mankato, Minnesota
June 5 – Installation of Matthew Moldstad at Peace (North Mankato, MN)
June 18-22 – Synod Convention
June 25 – 150th Anniversary of Jerico (New Hampton, IA)
June 29-July 2 – Convention of the CELC