Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of August 23, 2015 
Prayer Petitions

Each Wednesday morning the synod staff meets for devotions and prays for the congregations and people of our synod. You are invited to join us.
  • Pastor P. Joy Armstrong, retired in Cloquet, MN
  • Pastor Irving Arnquist, retired in Kensington, MN
  • Pastor Raymond Arveson, retired in Nisswa, MN
  • Pastor Gerald Augustine, retired in Brainerd, MN
Bishop Aitken's Reflections

Lately I've been involved in a lot of discussion about racism and prejudice. It is right for Christians to talk about these things, to listen and to learn rather than duck and hide. Our Lord knew all about marginalized people and the fear that often precedes such attitudes. He broke through; with love, with understanding, with a brave kind of savviness and courage that brought people new life. The ELCA holds that faith is more than a spiritual relationship with Jesus. It means being connected to Jesus' work. Faith involves "love in action" as the Scriptures so often point out. God calls us to a courageous life that will mean advocating for peace, mercy and justice. This means we are engaged in the public square, speaking and acting for those whose voices are not heard by the power of this world.
A colleague I deeply respect, the Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President of our own Minnesota Council of Churches, to which we in the Northeast Minnesota Synod are a part, invites us to listen and grow in understanding and love.
Her invitation:
Almost two months after the murder of the Mother Emmanuel 9, the National Press Club invites Bishop John Bryant to reflect. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear from one of the nation's top leaders of the Historic Black Church, the presiding prelate of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Bishop of our region and one of our members. 
[Click on the image below to view Bishop John Bryant's presentation]

Macedonia: Stewardship Event


You are invited to the upcoming Macedonia Project workshops on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, October 11. This is a great opportunity for leaders to learn how to grow faithful stewards in their congregation and community. The workshop is free to everyone in the synod.


What: In his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul praises the spirit of the Macedonians. He talks about them being enriched in every way for great generosity producing thanksgiving to God.

The Macedonia Project will help you:

            + Embrace the spiritual principles of giving

            + Connect faith with Christ's call to mission

            + Invite people to grow toward a tithe

            + Grow regular giving in your congregation

Find out more about the Macedonia Project at:

For more information about these events, click here.


Initial Session 1

Where: Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Hibbing

When: Saturday, September 12; 9:00 am - 1:00 pm


Follow-up Session 2

Where: Bethesda Lutheran Church in Malmo

When: Sunday, October 11; 1:30 - 5:30 pm


Who: Pastors, AiMs, SAMs, Treasurers, Finance Committee Members (at least two people from each church are encouraged to attend)


How: Register at or by clicking the link below:


Eventbrite - Macedonia Project Workshops - Sept 12 & Oct 11
t shirt
God's Work, Our Hands

Dear sisters and brothers in ministry,

"God's work. Our hands." Sunday is September 13, 2015. This dedicated day of service builds on the work ELCA congregations do every day, serving the communities in which we live. Whether we clean up outdoor spaces, fill back-packs with much-needed school supplies or write letters to soldiers and veterans, "God's work. Our hands." Sunday celebrates who we are as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - one church, freed in Christ to love and serve our neighbor.

If you haven't done so already, please sign up your congregation for the day of service.

Need help planning? Find new resources such as a study guide designed for congregations to discuss what it means to serve with a joyful heart. You'll also find the 2015 version of the toolkit, bulletin inserts, posters and a new worship resource for your dedicated day of service.

Do you want to get the word out about your congregation's activities? The toolkit includes a special section about sharing your congregation's activities with your local newspaper, television and radio outlets.

We want to hear from you! Shortly after Sept. 13, please share stories about your congregation's participation. Send your stories and photos to [email protected], so that together we can celebrate what God accomplishes through you.

Mark your calendars today, but if it's not possible for your congregation to participate on Sept. 13, please consider another day.

With our hands we do God's work of restoring and reconciling our communities in Jesus Christ's name throughout the world. I look forward to doing this work together on "God's work. Our hands." Sunday.

God's peace,

Christina Jackson-Skelton
Executive Director for Mission Advancement
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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 Information

The 2015 Fall Resource Packet for synod youth ministry events have been mailed to congregations. Click here to download the contents now!
Post-ELCA Youth Gathering video links and resources are available at Find links for follow-up Bible studies, PowerPoint templates, Proclaim Story Curriculum, mass gathering videos and more. These resources are free and can be easily tweaked to use with youth and adults who were not on the Synod Journey/ELCA Youth Gathering!

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
Why Are Our Health Care Costs Going Up?

Join us for a webinar, Aug. 28, 10:30 - 11 a.m. (Central Time), to see what drives ELCA health contribution rates, such as market trends and our collective use of care. Invite other decision-makers to attend, too
Friday, August 28, 2015

Duration: 30 minutes
Description: Join Portico Benefit Services for a look at what drives ELCA health contribution rates, such as market trends and our faith community's use of care. This live, 30-minute webinar will include an opportunity to ask questions. Organizational decision-makers are invited to attend, such as congregation presidents, treasurers, senior pastors, or others who help shape their ministry's budget.
Click here for more information:

Opening Our Networks
A Gathering Of Region 3 Rostered & Lay Leaders

When & Where: November 12-14, 2015 in Fargo, ND
Who: Any one involved in or interested in: World Hunger, Global Mission, Disaster Response, Campus Ministry, Outdoor Ministry, Synod Stewardship, Synod Mission Interpretation, the ELCA Campaign, Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
Cost: $85 per person including meals, plus housing

Click here for a flyer of additional information.

Click here to register online.

Bulletin Board
AGAPE Rise Up Together Tour 2015
When: Sunday August 30, 5-8 PM
Where: Milaca, MN Rec Park (Trinity Lutheran Church in case of rain.)
Admission $3 per person or Offering from Group. Benefits World Hunger and Mission Trips - Sophie Bauer Opening, Concessions to support Trinity Guatemala Mission 2016, Offering for World Hunger. - Supported by Thrivent Financial

The ConNext Summit: A Progressive Vision for Children and Family Ministries
October 11-14, 2015 - Buffalo, MN
Deadline for early registration at reduced rates is September 1.
The key note presentations are by David Csinos, co-author of Children's Ministry in the Way of Jesus, around the topic of "Faith Formation in the Postmodern Matrix" -  plus there are many workshops and lots of time to get to know other leaders in children's ministry. 
See the registration link below for fees and schedule.

Two Faith Inkubator Events in One Weekend!
Life-Long Cross+Gen Faith Formation
Holding Your Family Together
With Speaker Rich Melheim
October 23-24, 2015
Grace Lutheran Church, Hermantown Friday evening begins with a visioning session for pastors, key leaders and spouses. Saturday morning. The training sessions listed above will be held Saturday. A free Family Comedy Event will be held Saturday night.
Sponsored by Grace Lutheran Church, in partnership with Thrivent Financial and the Lake Superior Conference.
Overview Flyer and Paper Registration
Online Registration
Contact Pastor Phil Berge for more information.

2016 Synod Assembly
April 29 - May 1, 2016 at Breezy Point Resort  
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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
Uses for Mason jars:  1) as a baking ramekin, you can bake single-serving pot pies, casseroles, and fruit crisps or crumbles in it. 2) as a leak-proof to-go container, pack a salad in a quart jar:  dressing first, heavier things next, lettuce at the top.  Shake it at lunch time. 3) as a mini-greenhouse, you can empty jars that held last year's harvest and get a head start on the growing season by inverting them over seeds or seedlings as individual cloches.