Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
Our attention this month is drawn to the remarkable and reassuring doctrine of Christ’s rising from the dead on the third day. Since he has risen, we as believers in his completed work of redemption will also participate in the glorious resurrection at the last day! Luther found comfort in the phrase describing Abraham’s earthly departure at age 175: “he was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8). If Old Testament passages like this have something to say about the future life for believers, then how much more in New Testament times! Luther: “For the words sound as though he [Abraham] had gone from one people to another or from one city to another. This is truly an outstanding and notable evidence of the resurrection and the future life. It should be set forth for the comfort of all who believe in God. Although more excellent and clearer evidences are presented to us in the New Testament, it is nevertheless worthwhile to see what the saintly fathers in the Old Testament had and believed” (LW 4:309, 310). May we join the believers of old and the believers today in praising God for the glorious life in soul and body we have as a result of a tomb-busting Savior! Have a truly joyous Easter!
ELS Catechism and Explanation
The synod is in the final stages of error-checking a new version of the ELS Catechism and Explanation (2001) for electronic readers. The ePub file should be available shortly after Easter (we hope a Kindle version will also be completed in the next month). If you would like more information or are interested in obtaining a copy of the catechism in this format, please contact the synod office (email@example.com). Our thanks to Pastor Andrew Schmidt for getting the project started and for doing the bulk of the proofreading and link-checking in this new format.
K-2 class at Gloria Dei
There are a total of 74 children enrolled in the school program (2nd grade and younger) at Gloria Dei Lutheran in Cold Spring, Minnesota. Pictured here is the K-2 class at Dei Spring Academy taught by Mrs. Melissa Notch. Rev. Cory Hahnke has been serving as the pastor at Gloria Dei since 2005.
Study of Schools
On March 2, 2012, at Mt. Olive Lutheran in Mankato, Minnesota, BLC Professor Polly Browne presented on her findings from a sabbatical tour of schools (ELS, WELS, other denominations, and also public). The main thrust of her study of how our Lutheran schools distinguish themselves is embedded in the title of her presentation: “Got Joy? The Lutheran School Difference.” Over 60 schools were analyzed by Polly in her study. She may be contacted at: Polly.Browne@blc.edu
125th for Our Saviour’s Lutheran
Sunday, March 11, 2012, marked the 125th anniversary celebration for the Madison, Wisconsin, area “mother” congregation. At the time of the Election Controversy in the 1880s, the congregation of Our Saviour’s was organized, only months before an explosive convention for the old Norwegian Synod where 1/3 of the congregations and pastors left the synod and formed a group known as “the Anti-Missourians.” Those who formed Our Saviour and were staying with the synod were interested in preserving the true teaching of Scripture: namely, that God has elected people to salvation only by grace for Christ’s sake without any merit in man (e.g., a person’s quality of faith) influencing the mind of God back in eternity. A church building was constructed in the downtown area in 1897. In 1974 the congregation relocated to its present site on the far east side. The current pastor of Our Saviour is Rev. Bradley Homan (pictured above with his wife Julie); he has served the church since 1987. Pres. Moldstad used Psalm 19:14 as the basis for his anniversary sermon on the theme, “Praise be to Our Rock and Our Redeemer!”
Board for World Outreach request
We urge all of our ELS members to pray for Marabi, one of our dedicated workers in the Amazon region of our Peruvian mission. Shawi tribal evangelist Marabi was accidentally shot twice in the foot when he tripped over an animal trap in the jungle. He was transported to the hospital in Yurimaguas where he received surgery for the injury. Although Marabi was able to return to his village following the surgery, the doctors have ordered him not to walk on this foot for five months. We pray that God will provide healing to him and bless the efforts of the other native evangelists as they fill in for Marabi during his recovery.
Lutheran Sentinel Online
The first edition of the Lutheran Sentinel Online is now available at: www.issuu.com/lutheransentinel. The online issue can be read, printed or downloaded from this link.
A number of the members of Grace Lutheran in Redmond, Oregon (located in the middle of the state), gathered on Sunday afternoon, March 25, 2012, in order to meet with Pres. Moldstad and to learn more about the ELS. Pastor Randy VanMehren (pictured fourth from the back right; his wife Robin is second from the back right) is an LCMS pastor who is seeking to join our synod by colloquy. The date for Rev. VanMehren’s colloquy is being set for June 13, 2012. Information for the colloquy should be sent to the office of the president.
Jacobsen Family at The Dalles
On Sunday, March 25, 2012, the congregations of Bethany Lutheran in The Dalles, Oregon, and Concordia Lutheran in Hood River, Oregon, hosted President Moldstad and his wife Joslyn. On this day of the Annunciation of our Lord, Pastor Jesse Jacobsen, wife Erica and family posed for a picture near the Bethany chancel. The Jacobsen children are: Sonja (12), Eva (10), Isaac (7), and the newborn twin sisters, Leah and Lucy.
Synod Sunday is set for June 17, 2012. Our preacher for the 3:00 PM Sunday worship service will be Rev Cory Hahnke of Gloria Dei Lutheran in Cold Spring, Minnesota. The chaplain for this year’s convention will be Rev. Joel Willitz, Frankenmuth, Michigan. Rev. Glenn Obenberger will serve as our essayist and present on Wednesday and Thursday during the convention week under the theme, “Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works,” Ephesians 2:10.
April 3 – Synod staff meeting
April 10 – Centennial Committee
April 12-13 – Board for Lutheran Schools of America
April 21 – presentation at IA Circuit Conference, Lime Creek
April 22 – preach at Bethany Lutheran, Ames, Iowa
April 23 – Circuit #7 Pastoral Conference in Ames, Iowa
April 24-25 – Great Lake Pastoral Conference, Oregon, WI
April 26-27 – Board for World Outreach
April 30 – Pre-convention planning meeting
May 2 – Board for Evangelism/Home Missions
May 3 – Communication Committee (Skype)
May 7-8 – Board of Regents
May 8 – preach at BLC chapel
May 10 – BLTS Vicar Workshop and Call Day
May 11 – Bethany Lutheran College Graduation Day
May 15 – Board of Trustees
May 16 – Circuit #9 Pastoral Conference at BLC
May you enjoy all the blessings that flow from our risen Redeemer!
John A. Moldstad