Last year we Lutherans devoted much attention to the 500th observance of the Lutheran Reformation. As we know, the major benefit from the work of God’s servant Martin Luther involved the teaching of sinners being justified-declared forgiven–by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. This is not just a doctrinal formula for the church. It is personal. It is life-changing for each of us. In 1894 a Lutheran theologian named Henry E. Jacobs, wrote: “To those who have the righteousness of Christ, there belong only the full and complete rewards of that righteousness. God is never angry with his justified child. He has for it no thought except those of pure and complete love… Man has courage to feel at home with God, and to address Him not from a distance… He is nearer and dearer to God, and God is nearer and dearer to him, than mother and child are to one another.” May this closeness to our God be our daily encouragement!
John A. Moldstad
“It’s official! This fall Bethany Lutheran College has set an all-time record enrollment of new students–breaking the previous record of 215 set in 2008. This year we’re pleased to engage 225 freshmen and transfer students with the saving knowledge of their Savior, Jesus, and to assist them in developing their God-given talents and abilities for lives of service in the family, church, workplace, and community. Thank you, dear Lord, for your ongoing blessings upon the mission of our college, upon the students and constituents we serve, and upon the faculty and staff who use their gifts and talents to your glory.” – Pres. Gene Pfeifer
The Board for Home Outreach on September 25 issued another call for its new mission site in San Angelo, Texas. The first call that was extended was returned. We pray that God will lead the right man to serve as the pastor of this exploratory effort.
Board for World Outreach administrator, the Rev. Thomas Heyn, and member of the board, the Rev. Timothy Bartels, recently returned from an extended trip to our fields in Peru and Chile. From Peru, we are please to hear that a new mission opportunity exists in Cajamarca, a World Heritage City located about five hours from Chimbote. So far, about fifteen people gather for worship when a visiting pastor travels to the city.
September 23, 2018, was a very uplifting and blessed day for the members of Holy Cross Lutheran, Madison, Wisconsin. Their new sanctuary was dedicated to God’s glory. Pictured above is the Holy Cross Lutheran School children singing “First Song of Isaiah” as directed by Mr. James Baxter. On Monday of the same week of dedication, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to enlarge space for the school and early learning center. Pastors Mark Bartels and Bernt Tweit serve the Holy Cross parish, the second largest membership congregation in the ELS. The congregation and school, once located in the downtown area on Milwaukee Street, is fully settled in its relocation site on the east side of Madison (right at the intersection of the I-94 and I-90 split). The address is 734 Holy Cross Way.
The teaching staff for our Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary this semester is as follows: Adolph Harstad, Brian Klebig, Nicholas Proksch, Timothy Schmeling, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Harstad is teaching homiletics; Professor Klebig is teaching communication; Professor Proksch is teaching in the areas of New Testament and hermeneutics; Professor Timothy Schmeling is teaching Old Testament and homiletics; and Professor Gaylin Schmeling is teaching courses in dogmatics and homiletics. The seminary enrollment this year numbers seventeen. There are five seniors, six middlers, five juniors, and one special student.
Pictured from left to right: (back) Samuel Johnson, Peter Bockoven, Paul Agenten, Abraham Faugstad, Colin Anderson, Jonah Menough, Ethan Urtel, Patrick Ernst; (front) Roger Emmons, Nicholas Lilienthal, Sean Scheele, Adam Brasich, John Spivey, David Choi, Karim Yaghleji, Jacob Kempfert.
We hope that on October 14 all of our synod’s congregations will Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done with united heart and voice. On that special day, a final chorus of praise will be raised in observation of the one hundred years of abundant grace that God has bestowed upon our Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Both the worship resources and the centennial video can be accessed through the synod’s website: els.org.
Centennial History Book – Proclaim His Wonders: A pictorial history of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Available from the Bethany Lutheran College Bookstore (700 Luther Drive, Mankato, MN 56001) – $25.
Centennial Video – Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done: The journey of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod – View or download through the home page of the synod’s website: els.org.
Commemorative Medallion – Order from the ELS Historical Society (6 Browns Court, Mankato, MN 56001) – $15 ($10 for members of the society).
You receive communications from the synod in various ways. This newsletter is one of them (subscribe at els.org/subscribe). The Lutheran Sentinel is another (find subscription information or read current and past issues at els.org/about/ls). Facebook allows us to share news in a timely manner (like us at facebook.com/elslutherans). Prayers and blog posts can be found on our website (els.org/about/blog). The synod has a Committee for Communication and a Communication Director to assist the president in tracking and utilizing all of these channels.