July 2013

Dear Fellow Workers in Christ's Kingdom:
Food got us into trouble. Think of Eden. "Food" gets us out of trouble.  Think of Calvary and the Bread of Life.  In the one case, food or fruit was tangential or peripheral.  In Eden's Garden it wasn't actually the forbidden fruit that was sin.  It was Eve and Adam's eating of the forbidden food that was sin-the desire to violate the clear command of God for the sake of some momentary pleasure.  At Calvary the food - the Bread of Life - was far from tangential.  Jesus Christ is our very way of getting out of trouble, the trouble of sin that has affected and infected us all.  It isn't our desire for that Bread of Life that to some degree contributes to the cause of our rescue.  No, Christ in his own person and in his unfathomable love is the Bread of Life in every sense of the term.  Without him we perish.  With him, spiritually digesting him as he and his forgiveness for our sins is offered in Word and Sacrament, we have life and never-ending refreshment for our hungry, weary souls.  

As each of us pause for some rest and enjoy good food at this time of the year, may we be reminded above all else what really sustains us and gives us true rest beyond all measure:  Jesus says, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever" (John 6:51).   So... Bon appetite, O my soul!

Blessings in Christ, our Redeemer, 

John A. Moldstad


ELS Youth Convention 

Rollins College, Winter Park, FL, will be the site for the 2013 national
convention of our ELS youth.  Besides an adventure to Universal Studios, the group will be visiting our congregation of Grace Lutheran, Vero Beach, FL.  Theme for this year's gathering is  "You are the Salt of the Earth." Please pray for the spiritual edification, enjoyment and safety of our young people and chaperons attending.  In 2014 the Board for Youth Outreach is planning a convention somewhere in the northwest, possibly Montana. 



Ordination at Golden Valley, Minnesota

Rev. Benjamin Wiechmann was ordained and installed at King of Grace in Golden Valley, Minnesota, on June 23. Pastors pictured are (left to right): Jon Ladner (WELS), Tim Hartwig, Erwin Ekhoff, Craig Ferkenstad, Joshua Skogen, Ben Wiechmann, Matthew Brooks, Rodney Flohr, John Petersen, David Russow, Bruce Janisch (WELS).  Rev. Joshua Skogen preached the sermon, while Rev. Rodney Flohr served as liturgist.  Rev. Erwin Ekhoff, Visitor for Circuit 9, performed the rite of ordination/installation.


Ordination at Omro, Wisconsin

On June 23, 2013, Rev. Jesse DeDeyne, was ordained and installed as pastor of Messiah Lutheran, Omro, Wisconsin.  Rev. Paul Welke, Jesse's father-in-law, preached the sermon, while Rev. David Locklair served as liturgist.  Rev. Robert Otto, Visitor for Circuit 6, was the lector for the day, and Pres. J. Moldstad performed the rite of ordination/installation. Pictured at the service are pastors (left to right) Roger Holtz, Paul Welke (WELS), Robert Otto, David Locklair, Jesse Dedyne, Roger Kneppreth, Carlton Sielaff, Michael Smith and John Moldstad.  By the new sign at Messiah are pictured Pastor DeDeyne, his wife Katy and their three children (including newborn daughter).



Installation at Okauchee, Wisconsin

The installation of Rev. Daniel Hartwig at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Okauchee, Wisconsin, occurred on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Rev. Nicholas Proksch was the liturgist. Rev. Gaylin Schmeling served as the lector. Rev. James Kassera was the preacher for the occasion. Rev. Jonathan Madson, Circuit 5 Visitor, conducted the rite of installation. Pastors pictured above:  (left to right) Theodore Gullixson, Kenneth Schmidt, Kenneth Mellon, Gaylin Schmeling, Brad Homan, Daniel Hartwig, Steven Ristow (WELS), James Kassera, Nate Krause, Jonathan Madson, Bernt Tweit.   




"The Oak Trees Still Stand"

Cast members from the play presented on Synod Sunday were honored for their work in the synod-historical production.  Michael and Sarah Lilienthal received flowers of thanks  from the ELS Historical Society.   






Summary of 2013 ELS Convention, June 17-19, 2013



  • Three pastors, one teacher, and one congregation (Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church, Leander, Texas) were received into membership.
  • The Doctrine Committee will make a guide to the most common Bible translations; will provide a brochure explaining the differences between the ELS and ELCA by the time of the 2014 convention; and will produce a Bible study for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and the 100th anniversary of the synod.
  • The Board for Lutheran Schools of America will make available online resources, materials, curricula, and information for parents to use, especially in the realm of homeschooling.
  • Resolved that the president and Communication Director more effectively share with every congregation and member a unified picture of synodical activity, the work of the synod, and its blessings.
  • The Board for Christian Service will give further consideration to the issue of a remembrance for military personnel.
  • Resolved that congregations of the synod gather a two-year anniversary thank-offering in connection with the synod centennial.  An offering committee is to be appointed.
  • The Synod Review Committee will conduct a review of the ELS Handbook and report its progress to the 2014 annual convention.
  • The administration and regents of Bethany Lutheran College are encouraged to provide first and second year courses in both the Greek and Hebrew biblical languages on an annual basis.
  • Pastors, delegates, and congregations are encouraged to note the services available to members involved in the military from the ELS and its sister synods and to reach out to military personnel and their families.
  • The 2014 Convention will be held at Bethany Lutheran College from Sunday, June 15 to Thursday, June 19, 2014.
  • The convention essay, "Engaging Families With Jesus," by Rev. Donald Moldstad, provided valuable discussion.  You may access the essay on our synod's webpage:  http://www.evangelicallutheransynod.org/download/2013_convention/SynodEssay_2013.pdf 
  • The ELS Historical Society presented on June 16, 2013,an historical play, "The Oaks Still Stand," written by seminarian Michael Lilienthal.  The play was video recorded and plans are being made to make it available for future use.  





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