Dear Fellow Workers and Friends:
Babies are attention getters. As soon as the birth happens, the comments pour in. Look at those facial features, hands, toes, and the hair color! Visitors venture opinions on what family side seems favored by the infant’s resemblance. But when the Birth of all births took place, the shepherds who gathered weren’t just coming to see what color of hair or eyes the Child had or to hear him coo. They were coming to worship. For you and me too, the Bethlehem Baby means our holy, just and loving God has come to be our perfect replacement. May our attention on this Baby in this blessed season of the year be that of true worship, acknowledging him as our own Savior who came to make ransom payment for sin – all sin. What child is this? He is the one called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Yes, what a Child this is!
Reformation Lectures 2011
The Bethany Reformation Lectures this year focused on the involvement of the laity in the Lutheran Reformation. Rev. Jerome Gernander, Princeton, Minnesota, (pictured, center) presented on “Laymen and Women of the Reformation.” Dr. David Schroeder, from MLC in New Ulm, Minnesota, (pictured, right) lectured on “civil Leaders of the Reformation.” The Lutheran Synod Quarterly, edited by Pres. G. Schmeling (pictured, left) will include the essays in the March 2012 edition. To subscribe, go: www.blts.edu/lsq
Museum Open House
The Ottesen Museum announces its first annual open house: “A Norwegian Pioneer Christmas,” Thursday, December 8, 2011, from 2:30 – 5:30 pm. Please come and join in the singing of Norwegian Christmas songs in the log cabin. Our museum director, Becky DeGarmeaux, also adds: “Try some Norwegian Christmas treats (sorry, no lutefisk), and make a Christmas ornament to take home with you.” The ELS museum is located at 6 Browns Court, Mankato, Minnesota. It’s the building next to the seminary.
East Seoul Canaan Church, Seoul, South Korea
Sang Soo Park (second from left), pictured between his parents and the Rev. Young Ha Kim (right) is a new communicant member of the Korean mission. Sang Soo, a college graduate, is hoping to attend our Bethany Lutheran College for language training in preparation some day for entering our Bethany Seminary.
Members of the choir at East Seoul Canaan Church in Seoul, South Korea, are shown rehearsing before the worship service on November 13. President Moldstad preached for the service and held three lectures on First Peter and on Christian Doctrine. After the worship service, Principal Bert Falak of Great Plains Lutheran High School addressed members and showed two DVDs of life at the boarding school in Watertown, South Dakotah. Rev. Young Ha Kim began the mission in Seoul in 2005.
Stay Connected with our Work in Chile
BLC graduate, Chelsea Dietsch, is helping our mission in Chile. She will be teaching English classes. Chelsea urges you to follow her as she goes about her work in Chile. Please go to her site: www.followchelsea.com
Christmas at Bethany
The Christmas at Bethany concert will be streamed live on the Bethany Lutheran College website, www.blc.edu, on Friday and Saturday, December 2–3. Pre-service music by the band will begin at 3:45 PM, with the official concert start time at 4:00.
Circuit #8 Pastoral Conference
The Oak Park Lutheran Church, rural Oklee, Minnesota, hosted a conference for the pastors of our synod’s northern Minnesota circuit. Pictured above are: Rev. Mark Faugstad (Lengby, Minnesota), Rev. Jeffery Merseth (Roseau, Minnesota), Rev. Nile Merseth (East Grant Forks, Minnesota), Rev. Joseph Abrahamson (Oklee, Minnesota), and Rev. David Thompson (Audubon, Minnesota). Thompson also serves as Visitor for Circuit #8.
Oak Park, Oklee, Minnesota
Pastor Joe Abrahamson serves a four-point parish about 100 miles from the Canadian border. Congregations in the parish include Mt. Olive, Trail, Minnesota; Nazareth, Trail, Minnesota; St. Petri, Grygla, Minnesota; and Oak Park, Oklee, Minnestoa. After lightning struck the Oak Park building in 1975, a new sanctuary was erected and then an addition was built in 1990. Abrahamson has served the Clearwater Parish since 2001.
Special Gifting Opportunities for 2011:
Those individuals who have attained the age of 70.5 years of age can take advantage of a special gifting opportunity. You can make a contribution to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod or any of its missions or ministries through a direct gift from your IRA. Any such gifts have the advantage of saving any tax consequences from your mandatory annual withdrawal. Visit the link below and see how this great gifting instrument can work for you. The link is: http://www.evangelicallutheransynod.org/our-work/giving-counselor/ira_gifts
Other great opportunities to support Gospel ministry: Want to give a gift to support your church or ELS missions? Request a copy of the publication “Different Ways…” from the Estate Planning Office. You can receive an electronic copy by sending a request to Pastor Dan Basel at email address firstname.lastname@example.org or call 507-344-7311. He can also be reached by calling his cell number at 507-469-9656. Let us work together in finding ways to support Gospel ministry as we engage others with Jesus.
Synod Gifts: Please note that upon request you may have your individual gifts to the synod’s general fund credited to your congregation’s gifts to the ELS and its missions and ministries. We look forward to hearing from you. – D. Basel
Pastor Daniel and Sarah Hartwig welcomed a son, Philemon Daniel, on November 15. Pastor Timothy and Annette Schmeling also welcomed a son, Andreas Martin, on November 28. Both mothers and babies are doing well. We give thanks to God for the gifts of new life to these families.
Lutheran Sentinel Survey
We would like all members of our synod to take five minutes to fill out a survey regarding our synod’s monthly periodical, the Lutheran Sentinel. Results should be sent to our Sentinel editor: Rev. Theodore Gullixson, 5530 Englewood Drive, Madison WI 53705. To find the survey please go to: http://www.evangelicallutheransynod.org/synod-office/news/general/sentinel_survey
On November 10, Norman Holte passed away. Norman taught at Bethany College and also served as the president for a time. The funeral service was November 14 at Mt. Olive, Mankato, Minnesota. We pray the Lord comforts the family with his precious Gospel promises.
Please also keep in your prayers the Rev. Timothy Erickson family. Ellen’s father, Elroy Stark, passed away recently and his funeral was on November 27 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Again we ask God to strengthen the family in knowing the certainty of eternal life through our risen Savior.
December 5-6 – Doctrine Committee
December 13 – Staff meeting
December 15 – Synod Review Committee
December 15 – Committee for Communication
December 29 – Board for LSA
January 1 – Preaching for ordination, Kissimmee, FL
January 9 – Board of Regents
January 10 – Board of Trustees
January 17-18 – Planning and Coordinating Committee
Have a truly wonderful and worshipful celebration of our Savior’s birthday!
John A. Moldstad