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September 2023 Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod,

Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus, our holy self-sacrificing Bridegroom, who unites Himself to His Bride, the Holy Christian Church!

This quotation was a delight to read and ponder. Please take the time to read it and consider who you are seen to be by your Beloved, Jesus, versus how the unbelieving world looks upon you.

“The Church will be despised as Christ was despised and suffer as Christ suffered. Yet Jesus accomplished our salvation when he was poor and lowly, and so we are not ashamed to be poor and lowly, nor is he ashamed to be poor and lowly in us.

“The Church is not a desperate girl waiting to be asked out on a date. She is no hussy who has to lower her neckline and hike up her skirt and smear her cheeks with rouge in an effort to get a man (which only attracts all the wrong kind of attention from the world). The Church is taken. Christ has betrothed her to himself forever (Hos. 2:19–20). She is a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, not because the world has lent her its trappings, but because Christ has presented her to himself in splendor (Eph. 5:25–27). The King has married his wife. The world may see her as Cinderella sitting in the ashes, but she is nevertheless the Queen of the universe. In short, the Church is not the world’s prostitute, but Christ’s bride. We rest secure in him.”1

In Jesus’ name,

Glenn Obenberger

1 Be at Leisure: A Lutheran Approach to Outreach, by Andrew Richard, Steadfast in the Parish, p. 2.

Bethany Lutheran College Auxiliary Day

As we begin our 96th year at Bethany Lutheran College we look forward to hosting the National Auxiliary Day on Monday, September 25, 2023. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Bethany faculty and students about the 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 ELS Synod and Seminary Presidents Glenn Obenberger and Timothy Hartwig.


On Sunday, August 6, 2023, Rev. Piet Van Kampen was installed as associate pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and School in Madison, Wisconsin. Pastor Mark Bartels served as liturgist, ELS Vice President Michael Smith preached the sermon, and Circuit Visitor Daniel Hartwig performed the rite of installation. After the service a meal was served to welcome Pastor Van Kampen and his family.

BACK: Nate Abrahamson, Thomas Heyn, Paul Sullivan
FRONT: Bill Grimm, Mark Marozick, Michael Smith, Piet Van Kampen, Mark Bartels, Daniel Hartwig, Paul Lange

Bethany Campaign Entering Important Final Phase

The Building Bethany Campaign supporting the construction of the newly-opened Bethany Activity Center is entering the final year, and final fund drive phases. We’ve been blessed to secure $15,300,00 towards the goal of $16,500,000—thank you to all who have supported the construction of the Bethany Activity Center!

During the next 10 months, we are launching the public phase of the campaign. Bethany is seeking additional support for the Activity Center project of $950,000 from BLC friends and alumni.

During the months of August and September 2023, we are fortunate to be able to offer a dollar-for-dollar match for every dollar contributed to the campaign up to a total of $100,000. A gift of $1000 means $2000 towards the funding goal! Any gift, no matter the size, will be matched dollar for dollar!

Again, we offer a sincere “thank you” to all those who have already supported the Building Bethany Campaign in our Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and we humbly ask for your support and prayers for this project now in the months of August and September.

Please visit the campaign page at to learn more about the progress towards the goal or to support the project.

2023 Bjarne W. Teigen Reformation Lectures

The 2023 Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures are being planned for October 26–27, 2023. The theme will be “Lutheran Ethics”: 1. Lutheran Bioethics–Dr. Scott Stiegemeyer, Concordia University Irvine, Irvine, CA; 2. Lutheran Social Ethics–Dr. Angus Menuge, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, WI; 3. Lutheran Ecoethics–Dr. Doyle Holbird, Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN. Registration is available online at

Convention Essay

Pastor Aaron Hamilton gave the 2023 convention essay under the title, “We Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” It was well received as we considered God’s precious gift to our human race of our bodies. This would make an excellent resource for congregational Bible classes. And while it is a good read, if the video is watched, Pr. Hamilton’s poetical and whimsical style will be appreciated all the more and you will see why he received a standing ovation by those who first heard it.

Prayer for Missions

Heavenly Father, bless the proclamation of your Word through our pastors and missionaries in the greater Seoul [South Korea] metropolis that your people may be strengthened and edified and the pure Gospel may be shared with many among the millions who live there. May the message of Jesus crucified to redeem lost sinners bring hope and comfort to the people of this nation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Upcoming Events

September 14–15 – Circuit Visitors Conference
September 26 – Missions Advancement Project Board of Directors
September 26 – Committee for Archives and History
October 4–6 – General Pastoral Conference
October 13 – Synod Review Committee

View current vacancies and calls in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

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