Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
About two hundred youth and counselors from congregations in our synod gathered this past weekend at our Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. The theme of their Bible studies was Luther’s famous remark, “Here I Stand!” Christian young people today face many challenges. Ridicule for accepting “old fashioned” teachings is expected. Many of their peers suggest that truth itself can never be known. We thank God for having pastors and teachers who take the time to train our youth in the ways of God’s holy Word, reiterating the clear message of salvation for sinners through the holy life and atoning death of Jesus. Please pray God to raise up succeeding generations committed to his Word, eager to share the good news of the Savior. The psalmist says: “Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18).
National Youth Convention at BLC
Rev. James Braun is shown here leading a small discussion group in the south lantern area of Honsey Hall on our Bethany College campus.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Norseland Lutheran Church of rural St. Peter, Minnesota, hosted the Sunday service for the convention-goers. Next year the National Youth Convention is scheduled for Cincinnati, Ohio, and will include a day at the Creation Museum. For more photos of the recent LYA convention, check the LYA Facebook page.
Installation at Tracy, MN
Zion Lutheran has received a new pastor, the Rev. Samuel Schmeling. Sam was installed on July 31, 2011. His father, Seminary Pres. Gaylin Schmeling delivered the sermon; Pres. Moldstad performed the rite of installation; liturgist for the occasion was Rev. James Kassera; lectors were Prof. Michael Smith and Rev. Andrew Schmidt. Other clergy participants were Rev. Craig Ferkenstad, Rev. Rodney Flohr, Rev. John Petersen and Rev. Dan Basel.
Dedication at Omro
Sunday, July 24, 2011, was a big day for the members of Messiah Lutheran and their pastor, Rev. Greg Haugen. The congregation located just outside Omro, Wisconsin (1 mile northwest), dedicated its new worship facility. Builders in Christ (WELS) assisted greatly with the project. Messiah was established in 1994. Pres. Moldstad preached for the occasion, and Circuit #6 Visitor, the Rev. Robert Otto, performed the rite of dedication.
Baptisms in India
We rejoice with our brothers and sisters in Christ in the LMSI as we hear reports of baptisms occurring in each of the three districts. For example, in the Hyderabad District (Pastor Solomon) alone, 65 baptisms of children were recorded for the first quarter of 2011 and the number of adults baptized in the same period was 51. There are 115 congregations located inside the Hyderabad District. The two other districts in LMSI are Rajamundry and Jabalpur. “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior. So that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).
New Teacher at Kissimmee
Peace Lutheran Church at Kissimmee, Florida, has added another teacher. She is Danielle Powers, pictured above with Pastor Herb Huhnerkoch. Early indications are that enrollment this year for the Peace School will be about 50 students. Three teachers, vicar and a pastor are the called workers for the Kissimmee congregation. A nice new sign along the main highway has helped attract new families for the school. Peace Lutheran has been extended a loan from LACE in order to acquire some portable classrooms.
ELS on Facebook
We want to let all of the members and friends of our Evangelical Lutheran Synod know we are using this avenue to increase our sharing of information. Please inform your friends of the linkage. We will also use the Facebook account to give you a brief update of an item or two in between the monthly newsletters: https://www.facebook.com/elslutherans
New sign in Oregon
Ascension Lutheran Church, St. Helens, Oregon, recently acquired a new sign that will help draw attention to their worship facility. The congregation is served by Pastor Joseph Burkhardt and joined the ELS in the year of 2010.
On Wednesday, August 17, an initial meeting is scheduled that will lead to the appointment of a new Committee for Communication. Please pray that God guides our synod in the area of communicating as we seek to inform all of our strategic plan to engage others with Jesus.
Our sister synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod met for their biennial convention in Watertown, Wisconsin, the last week of July. A greeting was given (pictured at the podium) by a former missionary to Nigeria, Rev. George Baer, now in his 90s. Pastor Baer, along with our ELS Pastor Paul Anderson, were involved in the early years of mission work by the Synodical Conference in the country of Nigeria. There are two church bodies in Nigeria which are members of the CELC. In June of this year, All Saints Lutheran Church (23 congregations; 5,000 baptized souls) was received as a permanent member of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference.
Upcoming Ordinations and Installations
On August 7 Candidate of Theology Mark Faugstad will be ordained and installed at St. Paul and Our Savior’s Lutheran Churches in Lengby and Bagley, Minnesota. On August 14 Candidate of Theology David Locklair will be ordained and installed at Richland Lutheran Church in Thornton, Iowa. On August 14, the Rev. Timothy Hartwig will be installed at Peace Lutheran Church in North Mankato, Minnesota. On August 28 Candidate of Theology Michael Moldstad will be ordained and installed at Hope Lutheran Church in Portage, Indiana. We are please to announce at this time that all of the candidates from our seminary have been assigned. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)
Circuit Visitor Appointed
Rev. David Jay Webber has been appointed to serve as the visitor of Circuit 11. We thank Rev. Tim Hartwig for his past services in this position.
Please keep in your prayers Rev. Dan Faugstad. We have learned that Pastor Faugstad suffered injuries from a fall off a shed this past Thursday. The injuries were to both of his legs (broken ankle, heel and femur). We ask our Lord to bring healing to Dan as he awaits surgery.
August 8-9 – Board of Regents
August 8-9 – Board for Home Missions & Evangelism
August 10-11 – Doctrine Committee
August 16 – Board of Trustees
August 17 – Committee for Communication
August 17 – Centennial Committee
August 18 – Lutheran Sentinel meeting
August 19 – Synod Review Committee
August 23 – classes begin at Bethany Lutheran College and Seminary
August 28 – preaching for ordination in Portage, Indiana
September 9 – Synod Review Committee
September 15-16 – Circuit Visitors Conference
September 20 – Mission Advancement Project
September 23 – Doctrine Committee and WELS CICR in Milwaukee
September 25 – preaching at Trinity, West Bend, Wisconsin
John A. Moldstad