Northeastern Minnesota Synod
Online Reflections
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week of August 30, 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 Henry Aukee, retired in Barns, WI
  • Pastor James Bailey, retired in Duluth
  • Trinity Lutheran, Milaca and Pastor Timothy Bauer
  • Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Duluth, and Pastor Timothy Berdahl and Pastor Dave Mesner
Bishop Aitken's Reflections

We are all gearing up for Fall ministries of one kind or another. Last week at your synod office I walked through the 2015/2016 program year calendar with staff. We had a good meeting, one in which we thought through how each of us not only does her or his specific task, but also how we work together. We are a team here on staff like each of you in your congregations are team players. And while we have job descriptions that are very important, we are aware, aren't we as Christians - Christ followers - that we are part of a bigger picture?
This Fall there will be Conference meetings with Rostered Leaders that will include some of your synod staff: Myself, Pastor Dietz and Associate in Ministry, Brenda Tibbetts. We're cooking chili as a team, and bringing it with us for our meal together. As a team we will help lead by starting conversations about the vows we took as Rostered Leaders; promises to lead without dominating others, to model stewardship and a faithfulness to God's mission, serve without reproach, care for God's people and also to take care of our bodies, minds and spirit so that we may serve effectively the greater whole.
Jesus described his work among us, so often as a bringing together. He uses images we know well: A net full of fish, a Table where all can be seated and fed, a field full of wheat, a yeast permeating the dough that will make fresh bread, a tower that takes critical thinking and many hands to build correctly. Jesus came to do God's will, God's work, which is to bring God's creation to completion, and to bring all of creation together.
Bless you - all of you - for the good thinking, praying and planning you are doing together for not only your congregation, but for this bigger picture, God's bigger picture. There is a joy that comes as we live into God's will as a team and I pray for that joy to be yours now, and in the full days of activities to come. The Spirit works in your work and it will bear much fruit.
+Bishop Tom Aitken

Macedonia: Stewardship Event


Registration Deadline Approaches!

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
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.

Boundaries Workshops

Did you miss out on the August 18th Boundaries Workshop? Here are some additional workshops throughout the state to help you meet your every-three-years requirement:

October 29, 2015 (Thursday) - 9:00 am-4:00 p.m.
House of Hope, New Hope, MN
Cost - $25
Note: Their online course option does not meet the requirement.

November 5, 2015 (Thursday) - 9:00 am-3:00 p.m.
Faith Lutheran Church, Spicer, MN
Cost - $40
Presenters: Aaron Suomala-Fokerds, Karen Bockelman and Rick Loseth
Further information and registration to come

Bulletin Board
Apply for an ELCA Hunger Grant
Once a month, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Bloomfield, Iowa, posts a sign out by the road: "Free meal this Saturday 11 to 1." As many as 95 parishioners, neighbors and friends gather for conversation, connection, and a great meal prepared and served by members of the congregation - and supported by an ELCA Domestic Hunger Grant. Applications for 2015 grants are now being accepted from congregations and synods seeking to creatively educate and mobilize people to address the root causes of and solutions to hunger. Click here to learn how to apply.

Office Manager Position
Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, MN, is seeking applicants for a full time Office Manager.
Working Conditions: Work duties are performed primarily in an office setting. The position is full time with hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Supplemental Information: This is a position with benefits. The successful candidate is subject to completion of a criminal history background check. Starting salary to be commensurate with skills and job experience.
To apply for this position please complete a job application and submit it to the Senior Pastor ([email protected]). An application may be obtained from the church office (218-963-2564).

October 10, 2015 - Gloria Dei Lutheran, Duluth, MN
The promise of earth renewal in scripture and practice with Prof. Barbara Rossing. 8:30 am-2:30 pm at Gloria Dei, Duluth, co-organized by the NE MN Synod Creation Care Team and Lake Superior Conference WELCA. Dr. Rossing is Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Known for her scholarship on the Book of Revelation, Rossing believes the scriptural witness speaks of God not abandoning the earth but of a vision of renewal where the New Jerusalem and the Tree of Life provide inspiration for ecological civilization. An active theologian for the Lutheran World Federation, Rossing also sees the 500th anniversary of the Reformation as an opportunity for Lutherans to embrace an Eco-Reformation for our times. Free will offering for lunch.
This free event coincides with the Lake Superior Conference WELCA Fall Gathering, but is open to all.

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.