Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
Promises. They are often broken. God’s promises, however, always hold. What great strength this provides, no matter what task is ahead! He promises forgiveness, life and salvation in Christ. He promises to hear and answer our prayers. He promises that all matters will work out for the good of his believers. He promises to bless the Word – according to His will and purposes – as it is proclaimed. He promises not to test us beyond what we can bear. All these Divine sayings on which we can hang our life’s hope are bound up in this: Christ Jesus gave His life for us sinners. I love this remark by the sainted Dr. Koren: “The promises of God in themselves are not conditioned upon anything except the mercy of God and the ground on which they are given, Jesus Christ. They are and must be unconditional, otherwise they would not be promises of grace…” Like a relay runner gripping a hand-off, may we grab tightly these promises and run life’s course with them!
Dedication Set for Mount Vernon
Members of St. Luke Lutheran in Mount Vernon, Washington, are gearing up for the dedication of their new church building. The dedicatory Sunday is scheduled for April 15, 2012. Pastor Jerrold Dalke has served as pastor at St. Luke since 1984.
Media Blitz in Golden Valley
King of Grace Lutheran Church and School in Golden Valley, Minnesota, is in the middle of an extensive advertising campaign. Pictured above is an example of what is appearing on bus benches. Other aspects of the outreach project: radio spots on KKMS AM1280; mass mailings for Easter; movies and brochures on the school and the church. A new technology page has also been added to the “School’s About Us” page.
“Engage Others With Jesus”
The Evangelism Subcommittee of our synod’s Board for Evangelism/Home Missions has been working hard on developing an educational, informational and motivational retreat for pastors and key leaders of our synod’s congregations. The purpose of these regional retreats will be to encourage all congregations in our synod to view themselves as “mission” congregations. Details will be introduced to the synod at our upcoming June convention.
Note from ELS Secretary
Remember that all convention reports and items to be printed in the Book of Reports and Memorials are due to the synod secretary by April 1.
Synod Convention registration materials are being prepared. Pastors, look for these materials in your email in the next week or two.
At present, we have a remarkable opportunity for those who have not supported Thoughts of Faith for some time. Thoughts of Faith, Inc., is an entity of the ELS which is set up to support mission work in the three countries of Ukraine, Czech Republic and Latvia. A generous grant is offering $2 for every $1 we receive from new or renewing (those whose last gift was prior to 2011) donors. So, if you are in that position, please know that your contribution can triple in value at this time. You may send gifts to: Thoughts of Faith, 6 Browns Court, Mankato, MN 56001.
News from Ukraine
• The congregation located in the city of Ternopil is in the middle of a building project. Hopefully later this fall a dedication will occur.
• A celebration of the 20th anniversary of Gift of Life – Medical Clinic on Wheels is set for Sunday, April 22, at Holy Cross Lutheran in Madison, Wisconsin.
• Recently five baptisms occurred at the Resurrection congregation in Kiev.
• Bishop Horpynchuk recently has indicated he has received from the city of Kiev a document granting continual use to the ULC for the property it has been renting for many years.
Pastor Michael Moldstad has produced both organ and piano mp3 recordings of the liturgy for Rite II (p. 60–87) of the ELH. Many of our smaller congregations find themselves at a loss for organists or pianists. These recordings can assist in meeting the musical need when necessary. If pastors are interested in these recordings for use in their congregation, they should contact Elsa at the synod office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Repeat announcement on the Sentinel
The Lutheran Sentinel will increase to 20 pages from 16 and, at the same time, become a bi-monthly magazine (published every other month). Special collections of articles will be available on the ELS website (els.name) during months in which the magazine is not printed. These collections will begin in April and be known as “Lutheran Sentinel Online.” This schedule allows us to continue producing a high-quality publication available to the greatest number of readers.
College and Seminary News
• The BLC men’s basketball team had a successful year, winning the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) regular season title. Congratulations!
• The seminary is in need of vicarage requests. There are three seniors this year. Also, the number of candidates anticipated to be available for pastoral calls is four. Pray that we have places of service for these young men.
Emmaus Conference 2012
A second free conference arranged with participating presidents of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod occurred on February 9-10, 2012, at Parkland Lutheran Church in Tacoma, Washington. Pres. Matthew Harrison (LCMS) served as the presenter, while Pres. Mark Schroeder (WELS) and Pres. John Moldstad (ELS) were reactors. Next year another free conference is proposed for April 11-12, 2013. Pres. Moldstad is expected to serve as the essayist.
Rock Dell Lutheran
Pastor Daniel Faugstad is the pastor of a two-point parish at Belview, Minnesota. He has served Rock Dell Lutheran (rural) and Our Savior’s Lutheran since 1997. President Moldstad preached and addressed the congregations on behalf of the synod on February 19. Pictured at right are some of the women of the Our Savior’s church who put on a wonderful luncheon for the occasion.
Ruth Webber, wife of seminary senior Paul Webber, currently is undergoing cancer treatments in Rochester, Minnesota. We thank God that their newborn child, John Wilde Webber, is doing well after a premature delivery and gaining weight each day. A special fund for assisting the Webbers has been established at our seminary. Please mark your gift to: Student Support Fund – Webber Family, Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, 6 Browns Court, Mankato, MN 56001. See a video from Mankato KEYC TV: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFr-E76rtX0
Pray also for Tim and Janine Thies. Tim serves as principal of Bethany Lutheran School in Port Orchard, Washington. He and his wife recently experienced the earthly loss of a child, born at only 20 weeks. The child did live for a short time, and Tim was able to baptize the boy right before he died.
Pastor Mark Rogers is having quadruple bypass surgery for blockage at the Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Currently he is in the cardiac care unit, and indicates that he very likely will need to be in the hospital for three to five days after surgery and then a more extended recovery time. Please keep him in your daily prayers and ask that the Lord grant him a successful surgery and healing. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
March 1 – European Committee from the Board for World Outreach
March 5 – Winkel Conference at Gloria Dei, Cold Spring, MN
March 6 – Synod Review Committee
March 11 – preach for 125th at Our Saviour’s, Madison, WI
March 13 – Staff meeting
March 15 – Committee for Communication
March 19–20 – Doctrine Committee
March 25 – preach at The Dalles and Hood River, Oregon
March 25 – meeting with a congregation in Redmond, Oregon
God’s blessings to all in the benefits of Christ’s holy Passion,
John A. Moldstad