Dear Fellow Workers and Friends:
The people of Israel were given careful instructions as they prepared to enter Canaan. Since the land was fruitful, a great temptation could occur. They could forget the Lord’s benefits as their wealth accumulated. So, Moses told them “to remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). The Lord wanted not just mouths voicing thanks, but lives carrying out thanks by obeying his commands. It’s like a doctor checking for vital signs. As a doctor judges the condition of a person’s heart by the pulse that beats in the arms and not by the words from the individual’s mouth, so it is here. Thankfulness is to be lived, not merely spoken.
Our crucified and risen Lord Jesus satisfied God’s justice against our many sins of ingratitude and disobedience. This not only saves us in respect to eternity, it provides us right now with the greatest incentive for thankful living. With words and actions may we, with faith in our Savior and in light of our blessings, exclaim, “Praise the Lord, O my soul” (Psalm 146:1)!
Does your congregation have an identity/mission statement? Is it one that is easy for the members to remember?
For those in the northern Iowa area, you may wish to note that a Sunday morning radio program is available. Pastor Rank of Scarville, Iowa, broadcasts a Law/Gospel message on FM 107.3 KIOW each Sunday at 8:00 am.
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Okauchee, Wisconsin, broadcasts each Sunday at 10:00 am on WTKM, 1540 AM and 105 FM. The radio station is out of Hartford, Wisconsin.
St. John’s Lutheran, Frankenmuth, Michigan, is on the radio each Sunday at 8:00 am on WKCQ, 98.1 FM, and 10:00 am on WNEM, 1250 AM. The service is also on local cable channel 16 on Monday evenings at 7:00 pm.
Our treasurer reports: Through the month of September $496,000 has been received from congregational offerings toward our congregational contribution portion of the 2011 budget ($725,000). This amount is about $700 ahead of last year at the same time. Would you like to make an online contribution to the ELS? You may use the secured link placed at the bottom of our ELS webpage (www.els.name).
Filling the Cornerstone
On October 3, 2011, new contents were placed into the cornerstone of the Old Main building on the campus of our Bethany Lutheran College. BLC President Dan Bruss and Prof. Erling Teigen are shown depositing the materials. Prof. Teigen indicated to the students that, earlier this year when original contents of the cornerstone were removed, the notable feature was this: Bethany, by God’s grace, has remained firm in “the One Thing Needful.” It is our hope and prayer that the next 100 years, if God permits, will also show a dedicated generation to the Word of God that proclaims the certainty of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The singing of “God’s Word is Our Great Heritage” concluded the brief ceremony.
Back in play
Heritage Lutheran in Apple Valley, Minnesota, recently rededicated its multi-purpose room. The structure needed to be rebuilt after it collapsed earlier in the year. The congregation graciously hosted (once again) the Communion service for the ELS pastors on October 5, 2011.
Another Candidate Assignment
The synod’s Assignment Committee has issued a pastoral call assignment to Candidate of Theology Matthew J. Moldstad. The assignment is to Peace Lutheran Church in Kissimmee, Florida, and will go into effect on January 1, 2012. Matthew currently is completing his vicarage at the same location.
Committee for Communication
The president has assigned four members to serve one-year terms on a new committee. The following have consented to serve: Rev. Paul Fries, Rev. James Braun, Mr. David Gruen, and Mr. Lance Schwartz. Two of these positions will be open for election at next year’s convention. Two others will be assisting as advisory members, besides the president and vice president of the synod: Mr. Steven Buelow and Mr. Scott Mikkelson.
Board for World Outreach
News from Santiago: Chelsea Dietsche, a 2011 BLC graduate, is now living in Chile and preparing to begin teaching English as a second language through our mission congregations. In the past, this program has introduced many people to our congregations. Most of the current congregational leaders were first introduced to Lutheranism through one of our English courses. Chelsea has completed her international ESL certification and will begin teaching soon. Please keep her in your prayers and ask the Lord’s blessings on this effort to reach into the communities surrounding our congregations in Chile.
Information from WELS
Our sister synod has established a Translation Feasibility Committee (TFC). It is looking into the possibility of producing a new or revised Bible translation by Lutherans. The TFC, which has contacted the ELS, is expected to report its findings to each one of the WELS districts next summer. Discussion of the NIV 2011 translation will be on the agendas for the districts.
Koren Family Visit
Forty members of the U. V. Koren family line made a special visit the United States last month. On October 16 they were entertained at Saude Lutheran Church in Lawler, Iowa, and on October 17 at our Bethany campus in Mankato, Minnesota. The Norwegian delegation traveled to the United States in connection with the 150th anniversary of Luther College in Iowa. While at our own Bethany College and Seminary, the group made a gift presentation to our synod. Pictured here are Petter Ulvik Koren and Kristin Klokkehaug (wife of Rev. Vemund Koren, who was leading the group) with the photographic portrait showing Rev. Ulrik V. Koren at the moment he received the Cross of the Order of St. Olav, an award bestowed for remarkable achievements on behalf of Norway and humanity. Pastor Koren (1826-1910) is often called “the father of Norwegian-American Lutheranism” and the leading theologian of the old Norwegian Synod, the predecessor church body of our ELS. Koren was ordained in Norway in 1853, the very year that the Norwegian Synod was organized here in America. He started 22 congregations in Iowa, of which three are in existence for our ELS today. We thank God for his stalwart confession of salvation by faith in Christ alone and his commitment to the entirety of God’s holy Word. The picture of Koren will be displayed in the Ottesen Museum (4 Browns Court, Mankato, Minnesota).
A specially appointed Committee on ELS Worship (CEW) reported to the General Pastoral Conference (GPC) on October 6, 2011. The conference, held in Bloomington, Minnesota, heard from the committee members during a panel discussion. The GPC approved the report and asked that it go to next year’s convention as the answer to a memorial on liturgical worship as it is practiced in the congregations of our Evangelical Lutheran Synod. We thank the committee members for their work: Rev. David Russow and Rev. Steven Sparley (co-chairs), Rev. Matthew Crick, Rev. David J. Webber, Rev. Dennis Marzolf, and Rev. Nathan Krause.
ELS Teachers Gather
The joint ELS/WELS (Minnesota District) Teachers Conference met on October 20-21, 2011. Pictured here is chairman Shu Ting Lai addressing the ELS group. Shu Ting serves as the principal at Trinity Lutheran School in Okauchee, Wisconsin.
Miriam Welde (third from left), the fifteen-year-old daughter of Rev. Tor and Rieko Welde, gave an excellent performance at Bethany Lutheran College’s Trinity Chapel on October 13. Beth Balge (of Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota) was the accompanying pianist. The concert was given in memory of the late Melvina Aaberg. Pictured at right are the daughters of Melvina: Sarah Mehlberg and Marie Aaberg. Pastor Welde serves a church of our fellowship located in Avaldsnes, Norway.
Our theme will be: “Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works” (how Christian charity serves to engage others with Jesus). Our essayist, Rev. Glenn Obenberger, will be using Ephesians 2:10 as the basis for his presentation.
Artwork to God’s Glory
Karyn Lukasek was one of the presenters at the October ELS Women’s Mission Society Rally in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Karyn, who is a Bethany Lutheran College graduate with a Studio Art degree, related how the Lord has enabled her to make use of her artwork in religious publications. One of those publications is an Arch Book Series account of creation produced by Concordia Publishing House. Karyn is married to Michael Lukasek and together they have a son, Isaac, pictured in the photo.
Lord’s Prayer Video
Please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/EvangelicalLutheran
We ask you to keep in your prayers the family of Rev. Matthew and Rebecca Brooks. Rebecca’s father, Rev. Ervin Junkans (LCMS), died on October 5. Through faith in the Savior, he now enjoys his eternal rest.
Also, we note that Rev. Rodney Flohr of our Golden Valley, Minnesota, church underwent a successful surgery recently. May God grant him a speedy recovery.
November 3-4 – Board for World Outreach
November 5 – ELS Historical Society
November 5 – Centennial Committee
November 7-8 – Board for Home Missions and Evangelism
November 9-14 – Seoul, South Korea, trip (lecturing, preaching)
November 14-15 – Board of Regents
November 16 – Board of Trustees
November 17 – Synod Review Committee
November 21 – Circuit #8 Winkel (northern Minnesota)
November 29 – Preach at BLC Trinity Chapel
December 5-6 – Doctrine Committee
John A. Moldstad