Dear Fellow Workers and Friends:
Our prayers go with those who will be traveling to our annual convention this month. We are providing you an update of the events both for the CELC convention and for our convention. Please pray that God grants us a profitable synod convention as we take up the matter of the strategic plan proposed by our Planning & Coordinating Committee.
Congratulations to the Board for World Outreach
The BWO website has won a Gold Award in the “Website Overall” category (category is for entire site, not just a single page) in the Hermes Creative Awards competition. Other winners in this category included Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Bausch & Lomb and several design firms. The competition has several thousand entries annually. Have you looked at the website yet? www.elsworldoutreach.org
The following events of the CELC convention will be broadcast live online:
Saturday, June 4:
Opening service: 8:30 am CDT
Essay #1: 10:30 am CDT
Essay # 2: 1:15 pm CDT
Monday, June 6
Essay # 4: 8:45 am CDT
Essay # 5: 1:15 pm CDT
Closing service: 7:00 pm CDT
Website is: www.mlc-wels.edu; Click on: MLC-TV
The following events of the CELC convention will be broadcast live online on Sunday, June 5:
Worldwide fellowship worship service 11:00 am CDT
Essay #3: 1:30-2:15 pm CDT
Visit Bethany Lutheran College website, www.blc.edu, and follow the link to the live stream.
Synod Sunday worship 3:00 pm – Rev. Ken Mellon, preacher; Rev. Dan Basel, liturgist
Seminary graduation, Sunday 7:00 pm – Rev. John Moldstad, preacher; Rev. Gaylin Schmeling, liturgist
Anniversary service, Tuesday 5:00 pm – Rev. Paul Schneider
Communion service, Wednesday 7:00 pm – Rev. Timothy Hartwig, preacher; Rev. Erling Teigen, liturgist
Essayist: Michael K. Smith
Seminary Call Day
On Seminary Call Day, May 12, Candidate of Theology James Kassera (pictured on right) was assigned as co-pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran, Albert Lea, Minnesota (ordination set for June 26). Two other candidates, David Locklair (pictured center) and Michael Moldstad (pictured left), are awaiting assignment; Mark Faugstad from the previous year also awaits assignment.
Rev. Dennis Schmidt, pastor at Hartland and Manchester, MN, retired from the pastoral ministry on May 22, 2011. We thank Pastor Schmidt for his faithful service of 30 years in the ministry.
On May 5-6, 2011, an historic free-conference occurred at Parkland Lutheran Church, Tacoma, WA. This marked the first time in many years when the presidents of three synods (WELS, LCMS, and ELS) met for a free-flowing discussion on doctrinal issues. President Mark Schroeder of WELS (pictured on the right) was the main essayist. His topic was Church Fellowship. President Matthew Harrison of the LCMS (center) and President John Moldstad of the ELS served as reactors.
Bethany Lutheran School
On May 4, 2012, the school children of Bethany Lutheran in Port Orchard, WA, sang for the opening of the West Coast Pastoral Conference. Mr. Timothy Theis (far right) is the principal at the school.
West Coast Conference
Pastors from Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Utah gathered for their annual conference. This year the conference was held at Bethany Lutheran in Port Orchard, WA, May 4 & 5. Rev. Tony Pittenger serves as pastor of the Bethany congregation.
On May 17, 35 seminarians received vicar assignments. On May 19, all members of the graduating class from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Mequon, WI), along with previous graduates who had been assigned to one year calls were assigned; the total men assigned: 58. This is the first time in several years that all candidates were assigned.
Preliminary plans are that WELS is interested in moving its headquarters to Pewaukee, WI. Sale of the present facility in Wauwatosa is anticipated at $2.82 million. The existing building in Pewaukee is proposed for sale at $2.85 million.
Help for Tornado Survivors and also for a Ukrainian Family
Rev. Piet Van Kampen of the Board for Christian Service sent this note to our pastors recently:
I’m sure you have read the emails concerning the recent tornado in Missouri. Please consider printing the following announcement in your bulletin for the next couple of Sundays:
Just as the Lord Jesus by His ascension to heaven taught us to be “heavenly-minded,” He also has recently granted us opportunities to exercise that “heavenly-mindedness” in our everyday lives with generosity that firmly trusts in the Lord to provide for our needs both now and in eternity.
• Faith Lutheran in Carthage, Missouri sits only a few miles from tornado-torn Joplin, Missouri where the death toll has surpassed 100. Thankfully, none of Faith’s members were injured. However, one member and her mother lost all their earthly possessions; another couple can’t stay in their damaged home. Other members whose homes were not damaged in the storm have stepped up to offer temporary lodging to these two families by opening their homes. While WELS relief has pledged some support, there is still great need both among these members of the congregation and in the immediate area.
• Also, please note, a faithful member of the Lutheran congregation in Kremenets, Ukraine has a son who has had serious medical problems. Over the last few years, the son has received medical treatment in Ohio for free. But with just one procedure left, the family is in need of financial support.
Please send donations to ELS World Needs Fund, 6 Browns Court, Mankato, MN 56001. Please make checks payable to the ELS World Needs Fund. Please specify how you would like you gift used in the “memo” line of your check. Or go to www.evangellicallutheransynod.org and click on the “give a gift online” button on the bottom left hand side of the page. Please be sure to designate your gift in the space provided for the gift on the website.
Dedication in Michigan
On May 22, 2011, Gloria Dei Lutheran, Saginaw, Michigan, dedicated its new sanctuary. On hand for the occasion were a number of ELS pastors from the area. Former pastor of Gloria Dei, Rev. Kincaid Smith, preached for the regular morning worship service, while Pres. Moldstad served as the preacher for the dedicatory service at 4:00 PM. The circuit visitor, Rev. Paul Schneider, performed the rite of dedication. Beautiful music accompanied the festival day by members of the congregation’s choir and the handbell performers. The current pastor of Gloria Dei is Rev. Homer Mosley.
Regional Conferences Proposed
As you may already have heard, the Planning & Coordinating Committee of our synod is including in its strategic plan being brought for adoption to this year’s convention the subject of biennial conventions for our synod. Along with this proposal is the thought that in off-years regional conferences could be held. Some have been wondering about the formatting for such events. Here are a few thoughts: one-day sessions could be held, preferably on a Saturday. Hopefully this gives opportunity for young, working adults to attend, men and women; the sessions would be non-decision-making, but we would hope to receive valuable feedback for the work of our synod; the circuit visitors respective to each location could assist with the logistics, hopefully also a designated person or committee from the local congregation could do some of the leg work; monthly time frame for these meetings could be May/June or September/October. The day plan suggestions would include beginning at 8:30 am and adjourning by 3:00 pm. An early adjournment would enable opportunity for those attending to return home by a reasonable time on a Saturday evening. If this proposal is accepted by the convention this year, our Circuit Visitors’ Conference in September could address itself to many of the details that would be necessary to the holding of such regional sessions. No doubt four regional conferences would suffice, covering circuits 1–2, circuits 3–4, circuits 5–10, circuits 11–12.
The funeral for Rev. Otto Trebelhorn was May 26 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. We give thanks to God for the many blessings to our synod from Otto’s years of service. Pray that God grants comfort and strength to Otto’s wife, Clara, and to the Trebelhorn family.
We also would like to keep in our prayers Rev. Jeff Londgren and family. Jeff’s father recently died in Marshall, Minnesota. May the Lord give encouragement to the family during this trying time. We rejoice in the victory we have through Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
Please pray for Violet Holte, wife of former Bethany Lutheran College president Norman Holte. She is up in years and has been ailing. May God give her strength through the precious promises we have in our Savior.
June 4-6 – Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference convention
June 12 – Call meeting for Peace Lutheran Church, North Mankato, Minnesota
June 19-23 – ELS Synod Convention
June 19 – Preach for seminary graduation
July 10 – Preach at Peace Lutheran Church, Kissimmee, Florida
July 24 – Preach for dedication of church building at Messiah Lutheran, Omro, Wisconsin
July 28–31 – national LYA convention at Bethany Lutheran College
July 27 – Address the convention of the WELS, Watertown, Wisconsin
July 31 – Preach at Norseland Lutheran for national youth convention
In the grace and joy of our Savior’s work of redemption,
John A. Moldstad