Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of July 12, 2015 

Bishop Aitken's Reflections


Ordination of Charles J Boettcher


It is one of the most meaningful joys of being a Bishop to ordain, consecrate or commission candidates for Rostered Leadership in our ELCA. Yesterday I ordained Charles J Boettcher, originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, into the Pastoral office of Word and Sacrament. Charles will serve as pastor to Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Upsala, MN, a congregation in our Heartland Conference. Charles was at our Synod Assembly in May along with his wife, Candice who works with Early Childhood Education. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation there, at the ordination and know we will all enjoy future conversations with him as time goes on.


Charles graduated from The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and from Luther Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity. He Interned at Central Lutheran Church in Everett Washington. He is thoughtful and articulate and focuses on the "so what?" of faith. He enjoys helping equip others to live out and share their faith. I am proud to ordain him into pastoral ministry and commend him to our synod. You are encouraged to welcome him in person when you see him at a synod function - or send him a welcome at his congregation.


Pastors of this church have a responsible call that includes many tasks. I thank God for our pastors who take their call with both seriousness and joy.


Share a word of encouragement this week with your pastor or other Rostered Leader, would you?


+Bishop Thomas M. Aitken

Northeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA

PV for Phebe Update


Summer is flying by and in just one more flip of the calendar pages Solar August will be here! What better way to mark the occasion than by checking out the new Giving Calendar at Head over to the resources page to download this great resource to help you support Phebe Hospital, consider your own energy use, and get informed about the Skip the Grid ministry. The Giving Calendar is a great way to engage your family and invite your congregation in a conversation about PV for Phebe. Have other great ideas for how to support Phebe Hospital? Connect at  


Taylor Stevenson

RREAL Program Development Specialist

Boundaries Workshop
August 18; (9:30 registration) 10a.m. - 2:30p.m.
Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa
Presenter: Pastor Karen Bockelman
Cost: $20/person
Clergy and adults that work with youth are encouraged to attend.
Electronic registration is open at, or by clicking on the registration button below.

Eventbrite - Boundaries Workshop

Pulpit Supply Listing Updated


A new pulpit listing is now on the Synod website. Please use this list instead of any other listing you may have in that it may have pastors on it that are no longer available or interested in serving.


We are in the process of contacting retired pastors to see if they are interested in being on this list, so please check back often to see if the list is updated. Thank you!

Marriage Retreat

August 30 - September 1

Clearwater Forest, Brainerd Lakes Area

Cost: $200/couple rostered in NE MN Synod

Presenter: Pastor Ron Hunt

brochure available on synod website:

Congregational Learning Event: 

September 15


Equip a team from your congregation to use Discipleship Challenge and Practice Discipleship resources in your congregation's ministries. These resources are useful for your entire congregation - not just youth ministry! Contact Catherine Anderson at or 218-724-4424

Fall Theological Conference


"Living in the Promise of the Holy Spirit"

September 27-29, 2015

Ruttger's Sugar Lake Lodge


Registration materials will be mailed to rostered leaders and posted on the synod website this summer:

Speaker: Lois MalcolmProfessor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary

Youth Ministry Events


Middle School Gathering:

November 20-21 OR 21-22, 2015

Grades 6-9: Cragun's Resort, Brainerd


Cardia Deo: March 4-6, 2016

Grades 9-12: Big Sandy Camp, McGregor


Registration packets will be mailed in August and posted online at

Bulletin Board


Camp Vermilion Bluegrass Festival - Concert and Fundraiser

Saturday, July 25, 2015 - 1:00-7:00 p.m.

Join us for a day of great music, great food, and great family fun in God's great northwoods. This annual concert and fundraiser is an event you won't want to miss!

Free entry to the event. All proceeds from the event go to support the ministries of Camp Hiawatha and Camp Vermilion.

Auction items can be viewed at the Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry Facebook page.

Contact the camp office for more information or to buy raffle tickets: Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry; (800) 331-5148 or (218) 666-5465 -


Camp Onomia Golf Outing and Fundraiser

Sunday, July 26th - 2:00 p.m.

Stones Throw Golf Course, Milaca, MN

Gather your foursome and join us for a great afternoon of golf, friendship and conversation! Visit for more information or call 320-532-3767


Aging Faithfully Conference

Thursday, July 30 - 8:00 am-3:15 pm

Elmen Center of Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

$25 per person. Registration is required.

We invite you to meet New York Times best-selling author Kathleen Norris, who will join us to discuss how spirituality and well-being are different in the second half of life and how that can be celebrated in daily living. Whether you are an older adult, you work or care for an older adult, or you are simply interested in the topic, register to take part in this day of reflection and discussion. All faiths are welcome.

More information and registration on the  Augustana College website.


Save the date! RECHARGE is coming to Duluth!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 16, 2016! RECHARGE is a one-day multi-denominational conference aimed to inspire and equip church staff and their volunteers for ministry with children, youth and families. The NE MN Synod is excited to partner with Youth Leadership to bring this premiere training event to our area! More information will be posted this summer at


Notice of Job Posting - Assistant to the Bishop for Youth, Young Adult and Spiritual Formation - SE Pennsylvania Synod

2016 Synod Assembly

April 29 - May 1, 2016 at Breezy Point Resort  

Returning Speaker: The Rev. Dr. Anna Madsen

SAVE THE DATE: God's Work. Our Hands

Save the date and celebrate! On Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015, congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will again have the opportunity to gather together for "God's work. Our hands." Sunday and celebrate who we are as the ELCA - one church, freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. Visit for more information
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Northeastern Minnesota
Synod, ELCA

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The purpose of our

synod is to nurture a

Christ-centered climate

conducive to healthy,


congregations and

their ministries

throughout the world!

Staff Listing
Phone: 218.724.4424


Brenda Tibbetts, AiM - 122

  Assistant to the Bishop

Pastor John Dietz - 125

   Director for Evangelical Mission

   Assistant to the Bishop


   Youth Ministry 





1105 E. Superior St.,

Upper Suite

Duluth, MN  55802


FAX: 218.724.4393    

Online Reflections Editor

Anne Laechel

Latest Youth E-Chat

NE MN Synod 

Creation Care Team 

Green Tip of the Week


Around 25 million acres of ancient forests are being destroyed each year to produce timber, paper, and toilet tissue.  Ancient forests like the Amazon, the Congo, and the Paradise Forests of Southeast Asia are in desperate need of conservation.  Try to purchase sustainably harvested timber and paper products made with a high percentage of post-consumer material.