Remember our schools and teachers in your prayers. We are back in the swing of resuming our educational agencies. Great opportunities present themselves in our Christian classrooms. Keeping our schools — Bethany College and Seminary, area Lutheran high schools, elementary schools, and Sunday Schools — solidly committed to the One Thing Needful is crucial. Only the news of our Savior God giving His life for every soul gives our students and all of us the hope and strength for daily living and the guarantee of life eternal through faith in Jesus. Our synod’s centennial causes us to reflect on just how much our church fathers held in high esteem the Lutheran school. For example, Rev. H. A. Preus urged 125 years ago: “Strive with all your might to build up good parochial schools! Try earnestly to give your children a Christian education. The growth of the Lutheran Church, nay, its very existence, largely depends on this; for the future belongs to the rising generation” (Faith of Our Fathers, p. 13). Dear God, bless our school year!
John A. Moldstad
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Belview, Minnesota, celebrated her ninetieth anniversary on August 12. Pres. John Moldstad preached for this special occasion. We thank and praise God for ninety years of his love, grace, and truth!
The Board for World Outreach has set aside a sum of $10,000 for online education to a group of pastors in Kenya. — In Korea, the Rev. Young Ha Kim is shifting from serving as head pastor of our congregation in Seoul to focus on outreach for a new mission site located in Incheon, near the international airport. Pastor Sam Choi is serving the congregation in Seoul.
Our mission in Leander, Texas, held a Theater Bible School this summer, where 145 people attended a performance at its conclusion. — We are in the process of purchasing a sizable piece of property for the expansion of our mission congregation in the Hudson Oaks-Weatherford, Texas, area. — A call has been issued for a missionary to serve an exploratory site in San Angelo, Texas. The Rev. Ken Mellon is holding the call.
On August 27, the Rev. Thomas Rank and the Rev. Dr. Brian Klebig were installed as called workers at our Bethany Lutheran College. Please keep these men and our college in your prayers as the new school year begins. As you may have heard, we also rejoice that BLC has a freshman enrollment of 227 at this time. We truly have much for which to thank God!
Pictured are all the newly installed faculty and staff from left: Dr. Jeff Lemke (Vice President of Admissions and Enrollment Management), Rev. Tom Rank (Religion), Dr. David Reagles (History), Lucas Fricke (Spanish), Rev. Dr. Brian Klebig (Communication), and Emily Goetzke (Nursing).
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service in Good Shepherd Chapel on August 27, 2018. Prof. Timothy Schmeling conducted the liturgy and the Rev. Larry Wentzlaff delivered the homily on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. Also at this service, the Rev. Nicholas Proksch was installed as professor of New Testament. Pres. John Moldstad conducted the rite of installation. The seminary enrollment this year numbers sixteen in the classroom. There are five seniors, six middlers, and five juniors. There also is one student participating electronically from Scandinavia.
Is your congregation making plans to observe the synod’s centennial on Sunday, October 14? How wonderful it will be when the voices of every congregation are simultaneously united in giving thanks to God for the many blessings which He has bestowed upon our Evangelical Lutheran Synod throughout the past one hundred years! Founders’ Day worship resources, including Bjug Harstad’s 1918 sermon, can be accessed through the synod’s website: els.org/els-100/. We also hope that on that day all congregations will view the centennial video, Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done – The Journey of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which can be downloaded from the synod’s website at els.org/2018-convention-videos/. A limited number of DVD copies will be available at the General Pastoral Conference for those who are in need of the video in that format.
Paul Anderson passed away on August 17. Our prayers go with Paul’s wife, Vergie, and with the Anderson family. We rejoice that Pastor Anderson now enjoys life eternal through the very saving faith in Christ which he was privileged to share with many as missionary and pastor. May God bless his memory in our midst.
On August 26, the Rev. Wilhelm Petersen (pictured at right) passed away at the home of his daughter Ruth in the Minneapolis area. He served as president of the ELS (1976-1980) and president of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary (1980-1997). We thank God that, through faith in His Savior as worked in Bill through holy baptism, he now has joined the saints in heaven.
“Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Philippians 3:20, 21
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), a sister church body of the ELS, noted our centennial anniversary in the September issue of their publication, Forward in Christ. WELS President Mark Schroeder brought greetings at the ELS Centennial Program in June, saying, “We are so thankful today to have you as partners in the gospel, to be joined and united with you in a common faith and a common mission, and to recognize that as we carry out that work together, it all depends on one thing-on one person really-on our gracious God in his Word.”
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary has two principle objectives: to train pastors primarily for the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and to serve the synod’s theological needs. Fall classes resumed at the seminary on August 28 with sixteen students in attendance. Much like Bethany Lutheran College, the seminary receives funding from many sources including your congregational and individual contributions.
The Rev. Peter Faugstad and the Rev. Andrew Soule have accepted the appointment to serve on a two-year ad hoc Committee for Rural Revitalization. Pastor Larry Wentzlaff, our Evangelism-Missions Counselor, and the Rev. Luke Ulrich from the Board for Home Outreach are also planning to meet with this committee. We will look to this committee to share some suggestions for strategic planning in our rural parishes. Items from this committee also may be brought to other entities for implementation (Board for Home Outreach, Planning & Coordinating Committee, Circuit Visitors, Trustees, etc.).
“This month our churches are gearing up for the start of their Sunday schools. We have an important and rightful emphasis on congregational Christian education, including adult education. The Anniversary Offering has a Christian education emphasis as well. It is called the Vicar-in-Mission program. With five seminary seniors preparing for vicarage next spring we will need to provide funding to help train future pastors and missionaries in mission settings. To be mentored and taught by our experienced missionaries and pastors is a vital part of what we do to prepare pastors in our synod in order that they may continue to Proclaim the Wonders God Has Done! Please be sure to help by sending in a gift today or give at els.org/donate. Thanks for all you do!” — Dan Basel, Offering Committee Chairman
Bethany Lutheran College and Theological Seminary announce the Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures, which will take place October 25-26, 2018. In this synod centennial year, the theme of the lectures will be “Evangelical Lutheran Synod: Three Perspectives.”
1. ELS: A WELS Perspective-Dr. John M. Brenner
2. ELS: A LCMS Perspective-Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr.
3. ELS: An Introspective-Rev. Craig A. Ferkenstad
The lectures will take place at Bethany Lutheran College, S. C. Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, beginning October 25 at 10:30 a.m. For more information or to register visit blc.edu/reformation-lectures.
September 6 – Committee for Archives and History
September 13-14 – Circuit Visitors’ Conference
September 23 – Dedication at Holy Cross (Madison, WI)
September 24 – Bethany Lutheran College Auxiliary Day
September 25 – Missions Advancement Project
October 3-5 – General Pastoral Conference
October 11 – Synod Review Committee
October 14 – Founders’ Day Centennial Observances
October 14 – 50th Anniversary at Faith (Hillman, MI)
October 16-17 – Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Forum
October 25-26 – Reformation Lectures