Have you made plans yet? We are only six weeks away from our Synod Convention where we will be celebrating our centennial, beginning June 17 (Synod Sunday). Our hope is that a good number of pastors, delegates, teachers, and guests will be able to attend, as we give thanks to God for His many blessings showered upon our church body over the past decades. “Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise?” (Psalm 106:2). In our praise to the Lord, may we include the petition that our Evangelical Lutheran Synod would be renewed in our commitment to its three-fold purpose, so that we zealously serve to advance Christ’s kingdom: 1) to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone (Matthew 28:19-20); 2) to contend for the faith (Jude 3); and 3) to promote the development of Christian life (Galatians 5:22-25). To assist us in carrying out our aims, and as a great way to express appreciation for God’s grace, we encourage our members to make a special gift toward the Anniversary Thankoffering (6 Browns Court, Mankato MN 56001). And if you are able, please join us for our Synod Sunday service at 4:30 p.m., June 17, in our Bethany Lutheran College’s Trinity Chapel. Then, also join us on Tuesday, June 19, at 5:00 p.m. for a celebratory program!
In our risen Savior,
John A. Moldstad
Our home mission in Leander, Texas, Hope Lutheran Church, dedicated its church building on April 22, 2018. President Moldstad preached for the occasion.
As soon as the baptismal font was dedicated at Hope Lutheran, it was put to good use as Wu Dong Yi (Linda) was baptized in the name of the Triune God. Pastor Brad Kerkow and Pastor Dan Ruiz serve this mission congregation in Texas.
2018 marks our 50th year of mission work in Peru. Pictured is a confirmation that occurred earlier at our congregation in Tarapoto, near the Amazona region. We give thanks and praise to God for the privilege of spreading the life-saving Gospel of Christ to many souls during these years. We also express our gratitude to the many who have served in leading and mentoring the ministry work, as we trust our Lord to continue his blessings upon our sister church, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Peru.
The Great Lakes Pastoral Conference includes pastors from Circuits 3-6 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin). The conference met in Ohio on April 10-11. The West Coast Pastoral Conference (pictured below) met on April 11-12 at Parkland Lutheran in Tacoma, Washington. Please pray for our pastors in all they do.
The ELS Centennial Convention is coming soon! One hundred years ago, plans were being made to meet at Lime Creek Lutheran Church. Now plans are being made to meet at Bethany Lutheran College. At the last year’s convention, the pictorial history Proclaim His Wonders was made available. At this year’s convention, a video history of the synod will be premiered.
The Synod Sunday Service will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Trinity Chapel and include a Choral Union Choir. Please note the time of the service! All are invited to sing with the choir which will consist of choir members from throughout the synod. Pastors and choir directors should already have this music.
We have another opportunity to come together in support of missions at our synod convention this summer. Both the Synod Sunday service and the Wednesday night communion service offerings will go to support the thankoffering. Your congregation may want to collect a special offering locally to send with your pastor and delegates to the convention. Please also do make plans with your delegates, voters, and pastors to support our efforts to support your missions.
The synod is concerned about the welfare of its workers and for people who have suffered losses from situations beyond their control. A World Needs Fund has been established by the synod for this purpose and is supported by a collection taken in the synod’s congregations on Mother’s Day. In 2017 disbursements from this fund included $13,000 for relief funds for natural disasters and $12,000 to help individual needs cases. In addition a special offering was collected last year to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Congregations and individuals contributed over $32,500 to this special offering.
Each year on Mother’s Day our synod conducts an offering for World Needs. We urge our congregations to make use of the envelopes being provided for May 13.
Last fall we had reported that Grace Lutheran Church in Redmond, Oregon was officially folding. Since that time, Rev. James Ruppel was continuing to meet with a family or two on an every Sunday basis at a home south of Redmond. At this time, I am pleased to report that they will once again be holding Sunday services in the city of Redmond. Pastor Ruppel reports that there has been an influx of some new families that are enabling the preaching station to lease a building. As of May 6, the congregation is planning to hold Sunday morning services at 10:30 a.m. For more information, we encourage you to contact Rev. James Ruppel at 509-899-5018. Please inform anyone you know who may be interested in these new worship times and a new location.
The commencement service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary will be held on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The following will graduate from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Noah Thompson and Christian Walz. Following the commencement service, there will be a reception in Honsey Hall honoring the graduates and Dr. Michael Smith for his 16 years of faithful service at Bethany Seminary.
Bethany Lutheran College will hold commencement services on Friday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the Sports and Fitness Center. See the website (www.blc.edu/commencement) for more information.
Back Row: Bruce Gratz; Joshua Mears, PsyD; Rev. David Thompson; Timothy Thiele; James Minor; Paul Chamberlin; Rev. Mark Bartels, Vice Chairman
Front Row: Willis E. Anthony, Ph.D.; Rev. Erwin Ekhoff; Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch, Chairman; Pres. Gaylin Schmeling; Pres. Gene Pfeifer, Ph.D.; Pres. John Moldstad; Lyle Fahning; Rev. Edward Bryant, Secretary
May 1 – Board of Trustees
May 3-4 – Board for Home Outreach
May 7-8 – ELS Board of Regents
May 9 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement
May 11 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement
May 20 – Commissioning of Dr. Michael Smith to Asia Lutheran Seminary, 3:30 p.m. CDT (Bethany Lutheran College Trinity Chapel)
May 23 – Great Plains Pastoral Conference
June 17-21 – Centennial Synod Convention