Dear Members of Friends of the ELS:
Wouldn’t you and I liked to have eavesdropped on that first Easter Sunday afternoon? Our risen Lord Jesus appeared to the two disciples walking along the road to a small village near Jerusalem. A huge surprise came when Jesus eventually revealed himself as the resurrected Messiah. How fascinating it must have been for the men to hear our Lord expound the Old Testament Scriptures concerning his suffering, death and resurrection for the salvation of sinners. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Note how Christ first directed the men to what God’s Word said to have them see the truth. It was only after this that the further unveiling occurred. This is significant for us today. Our hearts too “burn within us” (Luke 24:32) as we ponder Scripture and see how Christ has fulfilled all that was needed for us sinners to have full forgiveness and the gift of life eternal by faith in him. On this side of eternity, no further unveiling is necessary than what he has set forth in his Word. But, oh, the big reveal is also coming for all who–like the Emmaus men–hold on to the Christ of Scripture! May God keep us all in the Word.
John A. Moldstad
Mother’s Day Offering
Our ELS is collecting a Mother’s Day Offering which supports our World Needs Fund. With this fund, we have been able to show God’s love and care by helping people overcome flooding in the jungle, offsetting the costs of medical emergencies in India, helping people pick up the pieces after a devastating hurricane, or just helping families get through a difficult time. With our offerings, we can extend our love and care for others far beyond our own reach. You may use the special Mother’s Day envelopes provided through your congregation or you may send your gift directly to the synod: ELS World Needs Fund, Evangelical Lutheran Synod, 6 Browns Court, Mankato, MN 56001.
The commencement service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary will be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel of Bethany Lutheran College. The Rev. Daniel Basel will be the preacher, and President Gaylin Schmeling will serve as liturgist. Those receiving vicar assignments for the 2019–2020 academic year are Jacob Kempfert, Ethan Urtel, and Karim Yaghleji.
The commencement service for Bethany Lutheran College will be held on Friday, May 10, 2019, in the Sports and Fitness Center. It also will be live streamed at blc.edu and facebook.com/BethanyLutheranCollege starting at approximately 10:10 a.m. the day of commencement.
Synod Convention 2019
Remember that the Synod Convention is scheduled for June 23-27 this year! This is one week later than our most recent convention. The theme this year is “My Help Comes From the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” Convention materials are available at els.org/convention.
Mission News/Helping Hands
Watch for the latest edition of Mission News/Helping Hands. Pastor Brad Kerkow writes of a recent unforgettable experience in India. You can pick up a copy at your church or read it online here: https://bit.ly/2DuAQEg
The 2019 LYA Convention will be held July 25-28 at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. Visit the ELS website for registration and more information: els.org/lya19
eSports at BLC
Bethany Lutheran College is now a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports. April 23, 2019, was the kick-off for the program. Dr. Gene Pfeifer, president of the college, noted that by adding this new video gaming competitive sport it can serve to broaden Bethany’s already successful media and broadcast programs.
Mt. Olive Project
Work continues nicely on a substantial addition for our synod’s Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and School in Mankato, Minnesota. The project when completed will offer a new kindergarten room, much more office space, and a new entry to the sanctuary. The church is the largest ELS congregation in terms of membership and attendance.
The ELS won a gold Hermes Creative Award for the video “Proclaiming God’s Word into the Future,” highlighting our mission work in Peru. The video, produced by ELS Communication Director the Rev. Paul Fries and narrated by Board for World Outreach member Pastor Matt Behmer, can be viewed at: www.elsworldoutreach.org
Appointment of the Explanation Review Committee (ERC)
At the urging of the General Pastoral Conference, the synod president has appointed a seven-member committee tasked with reviewing our ELS Explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism (2001 edition). The pastors appointed to serve on the ERC are: Mark Bartels (chairman), Glenn Obenberger, Ben Wiechmann, Kyle Madson, Dan Hartwig, Piet Van Kampen, and Matthew Moldstad.
Resignation from ELS Board of Regents
Mr. Bruce Gratz has resigned his Type B membership on the ELS Board of Regents for Bethany Lutheran College and Seminary. The reason for this is his acceptance of a full-time position as Advancement Gift Officer for the college. The regents likely will propose a replacement name for the one-year unexpired Type B term, which then needs ratification by the synod convention.
Our Giving Counselor, the Rev. Dan Basel, has reported that the total for the offering is $868,000. This also includes taking into consideration deferred gifts.
Estate Planning Seminar
Trinity Lutheran in Brewster, Massachusetts held an estate planning event this past month. ELS Giving Counselor, the Rev. Dan Basel, encouraged Gospel-motivated stewardship and estate planning, Kris Braun presented on Massachusetts state law and medical directives, as well as palliative care information, and the Rev. James Braun presented timely and encouraging information on planning a Christian funeral that is a true witness of our faith, as well as a frank discussion on what is and is not appropriate for a Christian funeral. f you would like to set up such an event for your church and would like assistance, call our synod’s giving counselor, Rev. Dan Basel at 507-344-7311.
April 30-May 1 – Great Lakes Pastoral Conference at Holy Cross, Madison, WI
May 2-3 – West Coast Pastoral Conference at St. Luke, Mt. Vernon, WA
May 6 – Board of Trustees
May 7-8 – ELS Board of Regents
May 8 – Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement, 4:00 p.m.
May 9-10 – Board for Home Outreach
May 10 – Bethany Lutheran College Commencement, 10:30 a.m.
May 19 – 100th anniversary at Our Savior’s Lutheran, Elderon, WI
May 22 – Great Plains Pastoral Conference
June 23-27 – Synod Convention