Dear Fellow Workers in Christ’s Kingdom:
Themes of motherhood and fatherhood receive our attention at this time of the year (May and June). As Christians, we surely know the value of mothers and fathers who take the time to bring up their children in the way of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4). Do we express our appreciation for those who serve as role models in this way? Our churches are blessed with parents who not only instruct on right and wrong but who—most importantly—hold out to their families the rock-solid assurance of a forgiving and loving Savior, despite our many sins and shortcomings. Gospel-oriented homes yield huge benefits for our congregations and for our society as a whole. Not a theologian but a politician remarked: “No other success in life—not being president, or being wealthy, or going to college, or anything else—comes up to the success of the man and woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up to call them blessed” (Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919). Many thanks, Moms and Dads!
A new electronic version of the ELS Catechism and Explanation is available. We thank Pastor Andrew Schmidt for initiating the project and also Elsa Ferkenstad for the work in layout. The ePub has a cost of $7.99 and can be ordered at the following links. If you would like more information before ordering, please contact the synod office (firstname.lastname@example.org). We encourage our ELS membership to inform others of this electronic edition.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-explanation-of-dr-martin-luther-x2019-s-small-catechism-evangelical-lutheran-synod/1110359182?ean=2940014536165 (For the Nook Color, our testers report the best experience when publisher defaults are switch on. With the book open, select text in the menu and find the publisher defaults switch at the bottom of the popup menu.)
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007X509V0
Easter Sunday at the Austin, Texas, Mission
In his wisdom and blessing, the Lord saw fit to provide 90 people in attendance at Hope Lutheran’s opening service! Pastor Brad Kerkow decided 75 chairs he had purchased might not be enough. Since additional chairs were on backorder, he ended up renting another 25 chairs for the day. That turned out to be a wise decision! A children’s choir of 10, which had rehearsed twice before Sunday’s service, and which included children from 2 prospect families, sang two selections. After seeing an announcement in the bulletin for a Newcomers Class, two families immediately expressed interest. Please continue to pray for our mission in Leander/Cedar Park, Texas (www.hopeaustin.com).
Bethany Lutheran College Choir Tour
Here is a reminder to our MN members of the opportunities to hear the BLC Choir on tour. Link to schedule: http://www.blc.edu/choir-tour
Funeral in Iowa
Albin “Red” Levorson, a member of our ELS Board of Trustees for 27 years, died at age 76 on Sunday, April 15, 2012. He was a lifelong member of Somber Lutheran church, Lake Mills, Iowa. For ten years he also served as treasurer of the ELS Historical Society. We pray God comforts his dear wife, Judy, and family as we ponder our risen Lord’s victory over death and its meaning for our lives.
Day of Significance
Memorial Day was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. After the National Holiday Act of 1971, Memorial Day is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May. May we with great respect and gratitude remember, reflect and honor those who have, in the name of protecting freedom, given their lives for our country. Please pray also for our synod’s uniformed men and women and their families who continue to serve in our US armed forces.
Organ Dedicatory Service in Missouri
Faith Lutheran Church, Carthage, Missouri, will officially dedicate their 36-rank Werner-Bosch tracker action pipe organ on June 3 with a Dedication Service in the morning (10:30) and a Festival of Hymns/Dedication Concert at 3 pm in the afternoon. For more information, see: www.faithcarthage.org
The 95th Annual Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod is scheduled for June 17-21, 2012, at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. “Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works” will serve as the theme.
Rev. Randy VanMehren of Redmond, Oregon, has completed the first part of his colloquy, as led by Vice Pres. Glenn Obenberger at Parkland, Washington, on April 17, 2012. The second portion of the colloquy is scheduled for Wednesday, June 13, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. Any relating correspondence should be directed to the office of the president.
Two ELS Churches in Minnesota Highlighted
Photos of two synod churches, St. Paul Lutheran in Lengby, Minnesota, and Manchester Lutheran in Manchester, Minnestoa, are featured in the newly published book Little Minnesota: 100 Towns Around 100 by Jill Johnson. Among the contributors to the book are synod members Amy Stafford, Wilda Sollberg and Marguerite Ylvisaker. Little Minnesota is now available in stores! The cost is $16.95, and it is a quality 8 x 10 paperback. Publication date: November 28, 2011 from Adventure Publications (http://www.littleminnesota.org).
Worship at Louis Terry
We urge all to keep in their prayers the work of our mission field in Peru. Pray especially for outreach efforts underway in the Amazona region. Ronal Rivas serves as the coordinator of the Bible training for the jungle churches. The training center is located in Tarapoto. One of the main gospel workers along the Amazon, Marabi, is recovering from an accidental gunshot wound.
Bethany Lutheran Church Choir – Ames, Iowa
An important feature for regular worship at our synod’s congregation in Ames, Iowa, is the active choir. The history of Bethany Lutheran dates back to 1919 from nearby Story City. In the 1970s the congregation, after relocating to Ames, built on its current location (3219 Diamond St). Since Iowa State University resides in Ames, the congregation sees a number of visitors throughout the year.
Iowa Pastoral Conference
Pastors of Circuit #7 gathered at Bethany Lutheran in Ames, Iowa, on April 23, 2012. Among topics discussed was an essay by Rev. Shawn Stafford on “The Clarity/Perspicuity of Scripture.” Chairman of the conference, Rev. Boyd Longshore (fourth from left) announced he would need to step down as chair since he recently accepted a call to another circuit (Ulen, Minnesota). Rev. Martin Hoesch, far right, serves as pastor at Bethany.
Lake Mills, Iowa
At the historic Lime Creek Church, rural Lake Mills, Iowa, the biannual (spring & fall) Lay Circuit Meeting was held on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Pres. Moldstad served as presenter for the day, focusing on the general theme, “Chosen in Christ for a Purpose.” Three parts to his presentation centered on 1) the historical significance of the Lime Creek church for the ELS, 2) the doctrine of election/predestination and why it was so misunderstood among many early Norwegian Lutherans, and 3) the purpose of our synod today as it moves forward with its recently adopted strategic plan, “Engage Others with Jesus.”
For the Easter season, members of Faith Lutheran in Oregon, Wisconsin, have displayed a large (kite) butterfly in the sanctuary. The butterfly serves as a reminder of the glorious new life we have through faith in the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus.
Great Lake Pastoral Conference
This year’s conference was hosted in the Madison, Wisconsin area (Oregon, Wisconsin). Pastor Karl Hermanson (center, front) is pastor at the congregation that hosted, Faith Lutheran. Subjects addressed in detail were: “The Divine Liturgy and Its Use,” led by Bethany Seminary Pres. Gaylin Schmeling; “Clear and Present Danger” (an essay encouraging proclamation of the active obedience of Christ); and “Ministering to Young People Struggling with Homosexuality in a Changing Culture,” by Rev. Bernt Tweit.
Great Lakes Pastoral Conference 2012
New Website Coming!
The new synod website is almost completed. We are expecting a launch date in early May. Watch for more information at: www.els.name
As of May 7, 2012, Rev. Kent Dethlefsen no longer is serving on the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Need weekly or monthly bulletin blurbs for your stewardship lessons or projects? Go to our new website (when it comes up) under the extension “/about/our-work-together/els-giving-counselor/” and download the PDF file “Different Ways to Give to the Lord.” There will be downloads for bulletin blurbs and inserts to encourage support for Gospel ministry. Additional help and information available through our ELS Giving Counselor, Dan Basel at email@example.com or call 507-344-7311.
Lynda Meyer, wife of Rev. David Meyer in Australia, continues her struggle with leukemia. Currently she is battling excess fluid on her kidneys. David reports she especially draws comfort from Psalm 121. We ask our Lord to grant healing to Lynda, according to his good and gracious will.
Continue praying also for Ruth Webber, wife of seminarian Paul Webber. Initial reports from chemo treatments at Rochester, Minnesota, appear favorable. Paul and Ruth now are back in the Mankato area, and baby John is doing very well.
May 1 – Assignment Committee
May 2 – Board for Evangelism/Home Missions
May 3 – Committee for Communication (Skype)
May 7-8 – Board of Regents for Bethany Lutheran College and Seminary
May 10 – Vicar Workshop at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary
May 10 – Seminary Call Service (3:15 PM)
May 11 – BLC Graduation (10:30 AM)
May 14 – “Shepherd Plan” Session
May 15 – Board of Trustees
May 16 – Circuit #9 Pastoral Conference at BLC
May 30 – Centennial Committee
In the blessings of our risen and ascended Lord, who sends us forth with the same living gospel as proclaimed by the apostles on that glorious day of Pentecost,
John A. Moldstad