Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:
From this newsletter, you can see that anniversaries and mission rallies are on the agendas of many of our congregations. This reminds me that the focus of All Saints Day, November 1, is to give thanks to God for the power of his Holy Spirit bringing people to faith in Jesus and keeping them in faith until the time when all the believers will be joined together in the eternally blessed home of heaven. Every new day presents one more opportunity to share the good news of salvation in Christ with the souls the Lord puts in our paths. Church anniversaries help us reflect on the saints who have gone before us, but they also move us to march ahead with missions!
John A. Moldstad
Celebrating 50 Years at Holy Scripture
On October 13, the members of Holy Scripture Lutheran Church in Midland, Michigan, gave thanks to God for fifty years of his grace. Members pictured are all charter members of the congregation when it was formed in 1969. The lady in the white sweater in the front row is ninety-six-year-old Irene Martin, the widow of the founding pastor of the congregation, Rev. Marvin Martin, who died in 1979. Holy Scripture was an independent congregation in fellowship with the Lutheran Churches of the Reformation (LCR) until the time that it joined our ELS in 1979. Pastor Paul Schneider has been serving the congregation for the last thirty-nine years. The theme of the special day was “Thy Word is Truth,” and Pres. Moldstad served as the preacher for the anniversary worship.
Pacific Northwest Mission Rally
The ELS 41st Women’s Pacific Northwest Mission Rally was held on September 28, 2019. This year’s theme was, “Mission through Vocation in Everyday Life.” Concordia Lutheran Church in Hood River, Oregon, hosted the rally, and there were 56 people in attendance. Mites and offerings were collected and presented to Bethany Seminary Student Support Fund and Concordia Lutheran School. The guest speaker was Rev. Thomas Heyn, who spoke on “Legalities of Witnessing in the Workplace.” We thank Concordia and Bethany Lutheran Churches and all who attended the rally. May God bless us all.
Northern Circuit Women’s Guild
Northern Circuit 8 Women’s Guild was held September 28 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Bagley, Minnesota. The meeting begin at 9:00 a.m. with registration & coffee followed by a worship service at 9:40. The special speaker for the program was Pastor Don Moldstad, chaplain of Bethany Lutheran College, on the topic of Christian ethics, helping to answer questions on medical issues. Rev. Larry Wentzlaff presented on Cross-stitch and foreign and home missions in the synod. A large amount of food was collected for the seminary students. The business meeting was held and $3700.00 was given to different mission projects. Seventeen women from circuit 8 and five pastors were present for this enjoyable day. A wonderful lunch was served by the ladies from Our Savior’s Church.
Southern Minnesota Mission Rally
The southern Minnesota Mission Rally was held at Peace Lutheran Church in North Mankato, Minnesota, on October 26. The program, “Missions, Music, and Mrs.,” included presentations by Rebecca DeGarmeaux, Terry Schultz, Larry Wentzlaff, and Tom Heyn.
St. Martin Lutheran Observes 160 Year Anniversary
Members of St. Martin of rural Shawano, Wisconsin, gave thanks to God for 160 years of grace on Sunday, October 27. After the church left the Missouri Synod in 1966, St. Martin was independent and then joined the ELS in 1976 under Rev. Wilbert Werling. The current pastor of the church is Rev. Kurt Kluge. President Moldstad brought greetings and preached for the festival service. In the photo, two former pastors of St. Martin are also pictured: Rev. Michael Krentz (who now serves a WELS church in the Pittsburgh area) and Rev. John Smith (twice called and served at St. Martin).
Resignation from Board and New Appointment
On September 20, 2019, Mr. Norman Hartigan submitted his resignation from the Board of Trustees for personal reasons. We very much appreciated Norman’s service through the years. The president of the synod has appointed Mr. Brian Sorenson of River Heights Lutheran Church in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, as Norman’s replacement. This appointment will serve until our 2020 convention when the position will come up for election.
Appointment for Apologetics Committee
Dr. Andrew Das, a member of our St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Lombard, Illinois, has consented to serve as an extra appointee to our ad hoc Committee on Apologetics. The committee members at this time are Rev. David Thompson, Prof. Al Quist, Dr. Doyle Holbird, Chaplain Don Moldstad, Rev. Thomas Heyn, and Dr. Das. We pray that God will bless the committee in assisting our synod to study the subject of developing an “apologetics center” on our Bethany campus.
November 7-8 – Board for Home Outreach
November 8 – Synod Review Committee
November 10 – Dedication at Mt. Olive (Mankato, MN)
November 11-12 – ELS Board of Regents
November 11 – Veterans’ Day groundbreaking for military monument
November 12 – Board of Trustees
November 12-13 – Explanation Review Committee
November 13-14 – Board for World Outreach
December 2-3 – Doctrine Committee
December 9-10 – Continued informal discussions with LCMS
December 10 – Open House at the Ottesen Museum