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September 2022 President’s Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of the ELS:

It is the time of the year to welcome back the routines of our weekly life. The summer usually finds us seeking respite from routine. Short weekends often expand a day or two here and there and even into a week or more of routine-breaking. As much as we can feel trapped by routine and come to resent it, there is also a kind of peace and comfort it gives to us as well. Our Lord built it into creation by His ordering of things. Six days were designated for work followed by a day of rest, the Sabbath.

Jesus is also our Sabbath, but more than just a break from our daily routines. As He said: “Come unto Me, all you who labor … I will give you rest.” We can never work our way into heaven, but in Christ and through His Word we find rest for our souls that is so desperately needed. Jesus has done all the work necessary to save us for all eternity. So, while the futile attempts at working our way into heaven do not give peace and comfort, we can know and trust that as we go about our daily vocations serving God by serving neighbor, we are at peace with God for Jesus’ sake.

While we fulfill the routines of life, we trust that in God’s Son our sins committed in vocation are forgiven, and we are dressed in His absolute holiness of living. The major component of drudgery in our routines of going back to work is lifted from us, and on the Sabbath Day, we hold the Lord’s Word sacred, gladly hearing and learning it. We enter our week of work freed from all shame, guilt, and condemnation.

Welcome back to your fall routines resting in Christ Jesus, your Savior 24/7!

In Jesus’ name,

Glenn R. Obenberger

Home Mission Dedication

Divine Mercy Lutheran Church in Weatherford, Texas, dedicated their new building to God’s work and His glory on Sunday, August 14. This building project began when the ELS purchased land along Interstate 20 in the fall of 2018. Years spent working with an architect, finding a general contractor, and enduring delays and supply shortages have all come together in a wonderful new home for God’s people in Weatherford. Thank you to everyone who has supported and prayed for Divine Mercy during this process. We are excited to continue spreading the love of Christ and the message of salvation to our community. You can follow our journey and our continued work through our Facebook page. To God alone be the glory!

Installation of Vice President

The Rev. Michael Smith was installed as vice president of Evangelical Lutheran Synod during the meeting of the Board of Trustees on August 11, 2022.

ELS Military Monument Update

Work on the ELS monument continues on the Bethany Lutheran College campus. In mid-August the 5-ton base for the two statues was delivered along with the 7 pillars for branches of military service. Benches will be added in September and the 152 pavers are scheduled to be installed in late fall. The two warrior statues should be completed in early spring.

Installation in Princeton

The Rev. David Jay Webber was installed as pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Princeton, Minnesota, on Sunday, August 14. Pastor Andrew Soule preached for the service. Pastor Paul Webber conducted the liturgy and Pastor Luke Ulrich officiated. The newly installed Pastor Webber presided at the Lord’s Supper.

Photo (back row, l to r): Rev. Ted Gullixson, Rev. Andrew Soule, Rev. Robert Lawson, Sr. (front row, l to r): Rev. Tim Zenda, President Glenn Obenberger, Rev. David Jay Webber, Rev. Paul Webber, Rev. Luke Ulrich.

Ukraine Crisis Fund Balance Update

Total revenue received YTD for the Ukraine Crisis Fund: $269,250. We pray that our Lord will bless our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Christ through these gifts as peace is sought and soon achieved.

Bethany Lutheran College Auxiliary Day

Bethany Lutheran College looks forward to hosting Bethany National Auxiliary Day on Monday, September 26, 2022. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Bethany faculty and students about the new and exciting things happening at BLC. The group will also take part in the annual business meeting where auxiliary members vote on projects to support. Lunch will include updates from the synod and seminary presidents, Glenn Obenberger and Timothy Hartwig.

Reformation Lectures

The 2022 Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures are being planned for October 27–28, 2022. The theme will be “Lutheran Care of Souls”: 1. Care of Souls in the Lutheran Reformation—Dr. Mark Mattes, Grand View University, Des Moines, IA; 2. Care of Souls in Lutheran Orthodoxy—Dr. Benjamin Mayes, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN; 3. Care of Souls in Modern Lutheranism—Dr. John Pless, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN. Registration is available online at

Upcoming Events

September 15–16 – Circuit Visitors Conference

September 22 – Committee for Archives and History

September 26 – BLC Auxiliary Day

October 5–7 – General Pastoral Conference

October 17–18 – Evangelical Lutheran Confessional Forum

October 24–25 – Board of Regents

October 27–28 – Reformation Lectures